It’s a rare day when my farrier tells me that Freedom’s feet look great. He has unfortunate Thoroughbred feet that grow slowly and are easily chipped. For the past few years, he’s thrived in glue-on Sigafoos, but, readers may remember that back in April, I decided to pull his shoes. Covid-19 concerns meant limited farrier visits. Given his inability to hold a regular shoe, I crossed my fingers, started feeding a hoof supplement and turned him out on his (thankfully) soft-at-the-time pasture.
This is a time when a good dose of “Dr. Green” worked wonders. When my farrier returned at the beginning of July, lo and behold a miracle had occurred. Freedom’s feet were not chipped, his soles were not bruised and he’d even grown a fair amount of hoof! Nothing like Zelda, of course. She has gravel crunching feet which grow like weeds. If I could bottle her hoof growth capability, I’d make a fortune.
So, what did I do differently? First, I started feeding Focus HF. I’ve tried a lot of supplements on him over the years and this one seems to do the trick by balancing the micro-nutrients that he is apparently lacking. Of course, it’s got to be the “legendary Source nutrients” aka “fairy dust” that are making the difference! Whatever it is, I’ll take it. Focus HF is not terribly expensive and, since it’s the only feed related thing that I changed, there’s a pretty good chance it’s what helped.
Second, I did almost nothing other than pick out his feet. To be honest, I was afraid to look at them too closely. At the beginning of the cycle they looked ugly. There was a lot of chipping. I wondered if he could last until my farrier was able to re-apply the glue ons. He walked daintily on the soft ground.
Then, it got better. I still averted my eyes as much as possible but noticed that he was galloping more and not looking gimpy. Fast forward three months and his feet look like a normal horse’s. Well, almost. He has a small divot in his right front that my farrier had to dig out to keep the bacteria from making the hole bigger. So, what did I decide to do for this shoeing cycle? Nothing. Why mess with something that’s working. I’ve only been riding him a little and for those times, hoof boots keep him comfortable. Eventually he’ll go back to glue-ons, but for the time being he’s happy being a regular shoeless horse.