Jack of Diamonds is 15 years old and had worn shoes all his life. He has show jumped in the past but now enjoys a life of hacking and being groomed. We had not experienced any significant problems with Jack or his hooves however hoof was breaking away at the quarters and heels and it became clear shoes were not able to provide the right environment for healthy structures and promote correct function for the whole horse. So we decided to try taking Jack's shoes off, in the hope that he would continue to lead a happy and healthy life and ultimately, be able to enjoy his hacks for longer.
So in February 2008 his shoes were removed and he was fitted with Poly Flex Wraps for the initial 3-4 months and we used Clean Trax to rid his hooves of fungal infection. We then progressed to hoof boots and solemate pads and continued a regime of conditioning and preventative measures to stop the return of fungal infection. We then moved onto hoof boots on the fronts, solemate pads were then removed and lastly we began to introduce short walks in hand on hard surfaces working up to walking out on the lanes. We continued ridden/groundwork and long-lining throughout this time in the school.
The progressions were steady and constant. On each visit by Lindsay, the next stage of the plan was set, following discussion of what had been achieved on the previous weeks in terms of work and how Jack was coping.
We are now able to hack out with no boots on the lanes, tracks and bridleways and Jack no longer slips on the tarmac, especially on the slopes, and importantly, Jack is now enjoying life to the full!
JACK, JILL AND SIMON