Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feet Quandry

The physio came out today again. She is starting to lean towards the notion that a lot of the swelling especially in three of the legs is lymphatic congestion and maybe some of the swelling in the injured leg is the same.

The main thing she had to say today was that she would like me to put shoes on Fox. He's been barefoot for the last year and a half with no problems. Her horses are shod so I'm thinking that she is a firm believer in 'Conventional Wisdom'. The reasons she gave me for putting shoes on is to give support to the leg with the injured tendon, improve his circulation and to help with the slight footsoreness Fox has developed. I have been feeding Fox molasses to get him to eat his hard feed and I think it has caused his soles to drop. From a week ago when his soles were nice, hard, clean and concave to dry, crumbly, flat, horrible looking things which is causing him to be sore.

I have the farrier coming on Monday and I will discuss it with him. My instinct is to keep him barefoot but obviously the physio is a lot more educated than I am despite perhaps being a believer of CW. I'm very confused. I really hoped to avoid putting shoes on Fox but the physio is really pushing it and I want to do what is best for Fox.


  1. Fox is recovering from an infection, and was medicated. That WILL affect his feet. Molasses does not generally cause dropped soles. What you might be seeing is a normal progression of growth, with the sole being ready to exfoliate. If he has been kept stalled rather than being out, you are going to notice a significant change in the feet, since movement equals wear and conditioning.

    Best of luck with him.

  2. That's interesting, I never thought of that influencing his feet.
    He hasn't been stabled but he has been kept in a much smaller area than he normally is in.

  3. I agree with Mrs Mom. Can you talk to a barefoot trimmer in your area? Frankly, the reasons your physio is giving for putting shoes back on are the reverse to what I know about shoes. I have been taught that shoes reduce circulation. He is probably footsore because of the antibiotics. Shoes will just numb his feet so he might appear sound, but it doesn't deal with the real problem.
    I would be very reluctant to put shoes on him. Get more advice!

  4. Agree!! Shoes reduce circulation by restricting how the hoof flexes to pump blood... if you want more info... I have studied 2 years on the pros and cons of shoeing vs barefoot... all my horses are barefoot. If you need more info, please visit my blog, specifically the entry about Shod vs barefoot:
    It's a long post, but might help in your decision. Feel free to read and visit my blog whenever you like! I'm fairly new in the blogging business!