For the first two weeks that Kroni was barefoot, I was pretty optimistic. His front feet were holding up and while looked ouchy when walking over the gravel driveway, he seemed okay when on grass. I was treating his soles with Durasole and even took him for a hack while wearing hoof boots.
Then he got really sore. To the point where he didn’t want to leave his stall or pick up his front feet for treatment. Even putting the hoof boots on him didn’t give him much relief. I know that to encourage hoof growth, he needs to move. So not only did it make me feel horrible to watch him standing in his stall in pain, I also knew it was counter productive.
I live about 20 minutes from both SmartPak and Dover, so I got on the phone to find out what kind of hoof padding they had in stock. Dover had nothing and the only solution at SmartPak was the Hoofsaver pad from Equifit that cost $45 and didn’t look like it would work for my needs; you aren’t supposed to ride with it, for example.
An internet search revealed that Thinline manufactures hoof pads from the same material as their pads at a cost of $7 per pair. That was the right price! Even better, it is a pad that is recommended for riding use; it can even be put under a regular hoof pad and used with shoes.
In the meantime, I looked around my tack room to figure out what I could cannibalize for a good cause. First I tried cutting pads out of thick felt (taken from my Mattes pad). Definitely made him feel more comfortable, but the felt compressed paper thin over night. Next, I cut some pads from an old Cashel seat saver. These also seemed to offer relief and they didn’t compress quite as much. They lasted until my Thinline pads arrived (very quickly shipped, I might add).
Kroni has been wearing his Easy Boots with the Thinline pads now since Wednesday. They are not compressing the way my jury-rigged pads did and he’s even started trotting out when I turn him out in our big field to graze. I am continuing to treat his soles with Durasole, and am keeping my fingers crossed that those front feet grow out soon so I can put shoes back on him.