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[RC] Horse Boots - Don Huston

Dyane wrote: I haven't used these on a horse I rode (only on one that is arthritic and in pasture).  I also thought they are too bulky.  Also, for what it's worth, the farrier at U.C. Davis said they would be bad for my coon-footed horse because the center is too far forward.

Hello Dyane, Yes the boots look bulky but they work very well, not perfect but for horses that are having trouble with steel shoes we now have several very doable options thanks to modern plastics. It amazes me that as riders we try different saddles, saddle pads, bits, splint boots, crupers, clipped shoes, eggbars, aluminum shoes, various shoe pads, hoof packing, oils, hardeners, special hoof powders, etc. BUT just say the word barefoot and the excuses, dire warnings, and goofy advise attributed to other "experts" starts flying. If a horse has a sore back most riders have no fear of trying a different saddle or pad so if your horse is displaying all the symptoms of sore hooves toss that fear, it's America and you are free to do whatever you want to improve your horses's condition. Steel shoes are not the answer to every horse's need. In all fairness I must add a warning here. IT TAKES TIME FOR A HORSE TO HEAL SORE OR DAMAGED HOOVES. If you are in a hurry and looking for a quick fix barefoot is not for you. A pulled tendon or suspensory will usually get a horse some quality time off but a hard working horse with corns, hoof soreness, road founder (horse tries to get to softer part of trail) or shelly weak sidewalls that won't keep shoes on very well usually gets a scoop of some quick fix powder and a few more nails in his already beatup hooves. I hate to admit it but I did exactly that scenario 4 years ago adding clipped eggbars which started a red bruising streak up his white rear hooves starting at the clips. That finally did it. If you are at that point of realizing that your horse has damaged hooves there are alternatives to steel shoes that will work very well if you have a little patience and then you can always go back to steel after they heal.

Don Huston