at Sun Oct 8 18:01:15 2006 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by wundahoss ]
Sorry to hear of your hoof problems. I just joined this forum & am a hoofcare practitioner, so I'll give you my take...
Your horses need *water* to soak their feet in regularly. Other hoof gunk is not generally useful for much. If you can't afford the water to overflow a trough for them to stand in or make a 'soaking pond', you can use soaking boots. You can actually make them pretty easily out of tyre inner tubes.
While the environment and diet does factor in this, the main problem IS almost always incorrect hoofcare. I'd say your farrier is probably leaving the walls too long & not rounding off the edges, etc. On top of this, too long between trims, too long in shoes without a break(horses should be barefoot for *at least* 3-4 months of the year), too little execise, contracted feet, etc, can cause feet to become weakened, so cracking & other problems are more likely to occur.
Take a look at www.barefoothorse.com for some great info & pics on the good, bad & ugly of hoofcare.
With regard to saddles, are you only trying Western types, or have you tried English or Australian types? Some horses are just not suited to Westerns. I'd be either getting a saddler to come out or taking the horse to visit one. Pads are rarely the answer & can lead to other imbalances & problems. *Generally*, if a saddle doesn't fit without a pad, it won't fit with one, regardless of the type.
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