Last week, during the torrential thunderstorm that swept through the area, one of my horses managed to pull both front shoes. After a spring that was characterized by alternating wet (think standing in mud) and dry, his feet weren’t in great shape. For the last two shoeing cycles, my farrier had patched his feet together to keep the shoes in place.
When he pulled them a lot of hoof wall went too. Basically, there was nothing left to nail to. Of course, if it were Big Brown’s owners, I’d have the resources to rebuild his hoof with the latest and greatest technology. But my horse isn’t anything like a famous race horse and my farrier isn’t stopping by daily. He likes to live outside 24/7, only venturing into his stall to escape the heat. And my finances will not allow for the materials or the extra care required to maintain that type of patching.
When you are dealing with a hoof that has become so brittle, I think probably the best thing to do is just pull the shoes and let the hoof wall regrow. Certainly, he did far more damage by pulling the shoe (and taking part of his hoof with it) than he would by going barefoot for a few cycles.
So, having trimmed up his feet, discussing it with my farrier and vet, that’s what we’re going to try. His front feet already look better and with some care and some Easy Boot Bare boots, I’m hoping that we can encourage the growth of better horn (without the nail holes to weaken them)
I’ll report back on his progress as it goes along. I’m just grateful that his happened during our “off season” — after spring hunting and before the fall begins!