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Horse Care and Comfort

Sore Feet!!! :-(


Hello Guys!
I have a question regarding my Cobs sore feet.
As far as I know, he did wear shoes for a long time. ( he is only 3)
I am not a big fan of shoeing horses, so I had all shoes taken off by my Farrier on Friday.
Farrier said he has good solid hoofs.
My boy is turned out 24/7. Today I took him out of the field for a little walk ( first time after the farrier visit) and he didn't want to move. Was quite nappy and you could tell that he was sore on his front feet! He was good on grass.
What are your experiences with footy horses? How long until they feel better on their feet without shoes on? How can I help him to get better?


Well, as a farrier, I do sometimes see this on freshly "turned out" horses, but, generally it is not a very common occurrence to tell you the truth. The majority of the time, not every time, but the majority of the times that I have come across this is when a shod horse has had the shoes removed and has been turned out on rough, dry terrain, or on simply rough terrain period. Horses that are regularly shod as opposed to going barefoot do not have the chance to develop any sort of a "toe callus" that one would see on a barefoot horse. I'm assuming that your farrier has given him a "barefoot trim" and given him what we call a bit of a "mustang roll" to facilitate 'break over". As well, he is going to have a much more sensitive sole by virtue of the fact the shoes provide for virtually very little or in most cases no contact of the sole to the ground at all, hence no "toe callus' nor any chance for the sole to get used to some ground contact that is bound to be inevitable for the most part, once barefoot. In light of fact that you mentioned that on "good grass" he appears to "travel" alright, then, of course that is a very good sign, and that nothing appears chronic here or even remotely headed that way. I have seen this happen as well, with some newly barefoot horses that have not been turned out very often at all, but were housed either on cement floored stalls or pens, which is just as bad as being stuck on a drier terrain. So, if I was your farrier, my advice to you would be to make sure that when is indoors that you make sure that he has a lot of soft straw, 6" or so, (hoping he doesn't decide to eat it on for at least the first 6 to 8 weeks or so till he acclimatizes and be sure that when you turn him out, that its nice soft grass/ground that he is on. He should be quite fine within 6 to 8 weeks if not sooner really. You might want to ask your farrier to leave a little more "dead sole" tissue and not go as close to the softer more sensitive "live sole" as one would when putting on shoes. I would be interested to know how you make out. I have been doing this for 32 plus years now and am one of only 2 farriers in this Province that specialize in "pathological shoeing" so I have a professional interest in how you make out, if you would not mind commenting as time goes on. You never know, I may learn something new here myself. Good luck and cheers,


vicci - UK (North Wales)
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed

Its so great to have a farrier as part of this site!

Please upload your photo

Yes Vicci, I agree, great to have professional advice on this kind of topic. Maybe we could have an "Ask The Expert" section?


Hello Paul ( funny, Paul is also the name of my Farrier)
Thank you for the long answer and advice! :-) I live in U.k. And dry terrain is not very common here! Rains most of the time! Lol. He lives out all year round and there is loads of grass and mud in the field. He showed signs of discomfort, when I walked him down a path with rough ground. (Stony)
So I guess it is his sole which is not used to touch the ground. Will watch him closely over the next days. R