Wanted to give everyone an update on Remi since he got his shoes on. He continues to get more confidant about his feet and is moving well. There is no lameness at all and he is reaching out and moving his shoulders well. He still tends to drag back when I pony him and I am working to get him stepping up off the halter rope more readily.
I sure like the fill in pad material because it gives protection and support to all the structures in the horse’s hooves. It also fills up all the crevices like packed dirt would in a barefoot horse so thrush does not tend to be a problem as it is with regular pads. Cecilia says the fill in pad material allows the horse to build up sole and this has been the problem with Remi. He has gained so much in hoof function in the 2 years he was a barefoot horse but he continued to be tender and he had only about 1/4 inch of sole depth. This was just not enough protection for any horse’s hooves on my rocky terrain.
Cecilia’s and my goal is to leave the shoes and pads on until Remi can build about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of sole and then try him again as a barefoot horse or transition him somehow. I had very good luck when I put the hoof casts on Remi but I could not keep them on for more than a week. I may try them again and have wondered if I could even use some small screws on the side of the hoof to hold the cast in place. I am thinking the screws in the side of a horse’s hooves might not inhibit expansion as much as the nails coming through the bottom.
I have also considered the epona plastic shoes but I don’t know of anyone who has used them with success long term on rough ground. I like it that they would be light weight and they give great protection to the sole but I don’t know how much more hoof function they allow verses shoes. For now it is great the see Remi so happy with his feet and I am thinking the extra miles I am able to ride him will help him develop a stronger digital cushion and sole. Madalyn