Easycare Blog - Full Story
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 by Amanda Washington
Last weekend at the 2013 AERC National Championships, I was lucky enough to be in the presence of several very knowledgeable, very talented hoof care practitioners. Between Christoph Schork, Rusty Toth and Susan Summers, I was in hoof care nirvana. Right there along with me was Topper, my seven year old Arabian gelding.
Topper has been barefoot his entire life. I got him as a gawky, gangly three year old, and chucked him out to barefoot horse heaven. Hundreds of acres of dry desert foothills. He spent his youth running up and down the hills, living in total bliss. Minus a stall, a blankie and a warm mash every night. Topper was never much for roughing it. I started lightly riding Top the end of his third year, trail riding at a walk a mile or two on gentle trails. His fourth year brought a little more riding, but nothing intense by any means. You see, when you're 15.2 hand four years old on spindly, long legs, it's all one can to do stay balanced. All of the riding that took place until Topper's fifth year was barefoot on lovely sandy trails. I boasted about his strong feet and anticipated no issues in that department. Unfortunately, barefoot perfection did not bless us as we ramped up the miles.
When Topper turned six, we started riding further, faster and frequently. I had him in Easyboot Gloves for all of his conditioning miles, which he seemed to come through with ease. However, the day after our longer, harder rides, I noticed Topper was tentative and footsore. I started putting Comfort Pads in his boots, which he definitely seemed to like, but did not help his day-after soreness. At this point we xrayed Topper's front feet, and thankfully found no pathology other than thin soles. Unfortunately this proved to be difficult to remedy and caused more problems than expected. All summer we battled a sound-sore cycle that I thought he would get through with proper padding and riding. He did a few endurance rides with Easyboot Glue-Ons and Sikaflex packing. While he felt excellent during the actual ride, the bruising that showed up weeks later indicated his feet could not handle the extra pressure.
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