Hoof boots/reining

DD does reining. Horse came up w/ early navicular. Have struggled to keep sound, get heels & breakover back etc. Was going into more & more involved shoes. Has a break, is rehabbing from a ligament strain. Starting back in work. Had shoes pulled at the beginning of rehab, about 2m ago. Have been trying to work a little at a time getting toe pushed back, w/ rasp. This is a typical reiner, hasn’t been barefoot since he was broke.

Had farrier out the other day to look at hooves again. There was absolutely no dead sole on these feet, after 8 wks. The toe is pushed back as far as we can at this time. Feet are slowly widening out. Angles are good.

Would like to keep barefoot, so we can keep on top of the toes & hopefully hoof will widen out more, but the lack of dead sole in 8 wks concerns me. Considering hoof boots, considering putting shoes back on. If go with hoof boots, would like some that we can do reining in competetively (fronts only).

Anyone have any suggestions?

I wonder which area you are showing in.

Many reiners here only have the necessary sliders behind, but are barefoot in front, practically all their showing years?
We know that navicular problems tend to run in families, so part of it is inherited.
I even have at times wonder if some of the navicular problems were partly from not having enough support for their hooves in front, so many train and show barefoot here, as much as bad farriery, but would not have any way to know if that is so, of course.

Since your horse has a diagnosis of navicular in front, not sure what exactly kind of clinical picture there, navicular in itself is hard to determine, I expect you need whatever will address what is going on there.

By lack of sole, you mean by x-rays no sole thickness at all?
That would be very worrisome, you want at least 1/2 mm there.

Sole didn’t look bad on radiographs, I don’t remember the actual measurement. I was more concerned that when we pulled the shoes & trimmed, there was dead, flakey sole to take out like you would expect. Now that he has been out of shoe for 8wks, I have no flakey stuff. Soles look nice, but they look more like a foot that just had a trim rather than one 8 wks out.

Nutrition is good, minerals etc supplemented acc’d to our hay, just didn’t have hardly any growth. He is at the stage where is is starting to get increasing exercise, but it is in a sand arena. He is working more, but still not alot. I would consider it still light exercise. (~30min, 15min of walk & 15min of trot/lope). Wouldn’t think this should outstrip growth…

He is being treated for the navicular, osphos, etc & has been hoof tester neg for awhile now. the Navicular is very mild.

I know numerous reiners who are barefoot up front, including my own. So not all are shod all around. I have yet to see a reiner at any level show in hoof boots. Some wear soft rides in between stall and arena at shows, but those are removed once they are in the arena.

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yes. I did check the rule book, & they are allowed, I’m hoping to find something that will make him a little more comfortable, without completely tanking his way of going. I would call him a mid-level reiner. Definately not derby caliber, but better than 4H etc.

Am hoping to find some sort of stop gap so I can see if eventually we can keep him barefoot. My daughter cannot afford to give up an entire season of her youth year, & can’t/don’t want to buy another horse. Would like to be able to show at least lightly.

Not sure if it will happen, but don’t want to leave any options by the wayside.

A barefoot horse especially one worked in sand will scour the dead sole off and keep the soles nice and clean. Dead sole does not equal thickness of sole.

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Even w/ that little work? My others have always had some sole to scrape off, (in the same footing), that’s why I was concerned, not so much about the thickness itself, but more that it didn’t seem to be growing. If he just has a foot that exfoliates easy, i’ll feel better.

Now just need to see if there is boot out there that might work. Easyboots/gloves etc aren’t really an option, don’t have the hand strength to get them on w/o a struggle. If they are difficult, they won’t get used, so might as well not bother.
Has anyone ever used the scoots for something like this? How is the weight compared to an aluminum shoe?

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Interesting you comment about a typical Reiner having shoes on since they’re broke. 90% of mine are barefoot up front most of their lives unless they require shoes for support or soundness. I would see no reason to put hoof boots on to continue your daughters riding and showing career? Is he thin soled and ouchy without shoes?? Durasole has been a lofe and money saved for me for the horses that wouldn’t need shoes aside from being thinned soled. I would be very reluctant to put hoof boots on a horse and then do reining maneuvers. Hoof boots are pretty bulky and I wouldn’t want to see them interfere or cause the horse to trip

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thank you, that is the sort of input I needed. Most of the reiners around here go shod all 4. Our ground is pretty hard. He still seems a little tentative w/o the shoes, after 2m, so we may just need to put them back on. Have used the dursole, but kind of got away from it.

Sounds like you may have a horse that came up sore and show on x-rays very mild navicular changes.

Then you mention he is recuperating from a soft tissue injury?
I wonder if the soreness first was not from the navicular changes, if those ligaments there were maybe part of why he was showing off there?
Or you may have more than one problem going on in there.

If your ground is “very hard”, that would make even a sound horse sore, I would say.

If your DDs horse is well trained already, maybe backing off, just working on fitness may keep him ready to show for this last year without getting sore, then have her do her practices on other horses, on him just tuning up before each show?

Just guessing, not really knowing what all you have there, sorry.

that’s OK, you never get all the info on these boards. Thanks for the suggestions. That’s pretty much what we are doing, he is improving. Just trying to cover as many bases & have as many options as possible

We ride all our horses every place, on all kinds of ground.

When we train for reining or other such, we don’t do that but on as good prepared ground and large enough space to do so, because that is very technical work reiners are doing.
You really can’t ask that much of a horse if the ground is not really good, or if the arena is too small, etc.
Just as you won’t ask a horse to slide without sliders.

If the ground is too hard, I would be worried about needing to work on such ground.

Yes, if ground is hard, could be more of a problem than shoes…and will give you more problems with joints in the long run. Do you have access to a drag? If so, ideal reining ground is solid level base with 2-3" of loose ground on top, which I’m sure you know
Also, like Bluey said, if you’re concerned about DD’shorses soundness and it’s a trained Reiner, back off and concentrate on keeping horse fit and work on maneuvers less. A horse only has so many stops and spins in them!

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