“Forge” – Grey Thoroughbred gelding off the track arrived with flat, cracked, overgrown and shod feet. Generally he was in a bad way and not moving comfortably.
Due to the appearance of his feet, the average horse person would believe that shoes would be required to hold the feet together even in a paddock situation.
In just one trim we removed most of the flare and had his frog level with his heels. For a period of five days Forge was allowed to rest and get used to the new sensation of actually feeling his feet. Quite a shock for a 10 year old TB who would have been consistently shod since he was a 2 year old.
Forge was put on a diet of herbs and high fibre to help with hoof growth and general well being. For the majority of his stay he was turned out in a group in a rubber and gravel laneway system promoting hoof conditioning through movement. After three weeks Forge was walked out in hand on the gravel roads and at four weeks he was ridden out.
Forge was returned to his owner coping exceptionally well under saddle on most terrain. However, he was by no means a fully conditioned barefoot horse, this was just the beginning of his transition. Such horses as this quite often require the use of hoofboots on tough surfaces.
This is a short stay story just to illustrate how such bad feet can become healthy and better conformed in such a short time.