High Tech Kicks for my Gennyral

So Genny is feeling like he is not getting talked about enough these days. He is threatening to hurt himself in order to get more blog time so I figured I would preempt that and talk to you all about how Gen is on the cutting edge of technology. I mean, with his stem cell grown tendon and everything we all know that he is not afraid of the methods of the future, but now he is going high tech on his feet.

As you all know Gen’s feet have been stressing me out as of late. In the past, he had the best feet going, but as of late he was suffering with the after affects of going too long between trims and transitioning out of shoes. So a little while back I switched to a new hoof care professional (an Equine Podiatrist) and have been trying very hard to keep the faith that my horses good feet will come back.

I have been very happy with the switch to the Podiatrist. He has top notch customer service skills (often coming out at the end of the day when Gen gets a big chip instead of heading home) and is very knowledgeable (which is great because I pretty much just ask questions the entire time he is there). I love knowing why something is happening and what I can expect next. What I don’t love is the time it is taking for good foot to grow in.

So far Gen has tried to go barefoot and also tried having foot casts on. Neither one has really been working for him. I am trying to stay the barefoot course, but a few weeks ago when Gen lost yet another big chunk I started to waver. Gen was starting to get sore and ouchie and that is NEVER okay in my book. The Podiatrist came out to take a look and do damage control and said the one word that I was hoping to hear…SHOES!

He said that it was time to think about glue on shoes. I was so excited, but I wanted to make sure that I was weighing my options correctly so I asked about a million questions, including if it would start us back to square one of transitioning. He assured me that it would not, because these were not just any glue on shoes, these were state of the art glue on shoes.

These shoes just came out not long ago (I think he said four years ago, but I could be wrong) and are almost what we think of as a sneaker. The sole is like a normal shoe, but it has a special fabric coming out the top that attached around the outside of the hoof. The benefit is that there is no glue, nails, anything yucky that will damage the wall. To take the shoe off you just have to cut the bottom and the fabric will peel away like you are pulling off a band aid (much less painful though of course :P). Gen got them on around July 1st and has been feeling good ever since.

A little too good if you ask me. For the first week he had them on he lost his ability to walk or trot places…he could only run from one patch of grass to the next. His leg was not looking so hot during that time, but it has been much better since this weekend so I am much less worried at the moment. So at the end of the month I will call the Podiatrist again and he will come out and take the shoes off. Hopefully with 4-6 weeks (depending on how Gen is doing) of being “under wraps” his feet will grow out enough to get trimmed down to a normal foot. I know that all things with feet get better with time, but I really cannot wait until my horse stops trying to get rid of his hooves!

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10 thoughts on “High Tech Kicks for my Gennyral

  1. I have to ask you why you are so set on him going barefoot? If it doesn’t work for him, it doesn’t work. Does the podiatrist think once this course of glue-ons is done, he’ll be okay barefoot for a good long time or is it more “use these glue-ons and then go barefoot for a month and then go back to the glue-ons” etc? Just wondering if it would be better for Gen, easier (and cheaper) to go with regular shoes?

  2. Why do his hooves have to look “perfect”? Can’t they be a little chipped/tore up until the soles and walls adjust to barefoot?
    My guys were a little sore when they first got a true barefoot trim, too. I cold hosed legs and backed off riding/longing/work totally until they felt better, then gradually increased the workload.
    If Gen isn’t secretly being ridden, I would suspect a little “ouchie feet” while he adjusts barefoot would be good for him. I also suspect he doesn’t “have to have shoes”, especially when his job is to munch grass and wander.

  3. If I know one thing… it is that you know what is best for your boy, and I am positive that you will not rest until you have come up with the solution for his feet that make him the happiest pasture pet in the world. I would also love to see pictures of the glue-ons!

  4. My farrier shared some photos on Facebook of a set of wooden shoes he made for a horse who had “a surgical fusion of p-1 and p-2 with a plate and screws.” (I don’t know what that means?) I’d share it with you, but I don’t know how. (Me of the technically-challenged set)
    The vet wanted to try something different to make the horse more comfortable.
    I love clever people!

  5. Mary- that means his coffin bone was screwed to another bone in his foot, which limited the range of motion in his foot. I’d love to see the photos. To share them, go to the photo on FB, hit F5 on your keyboard so the photo shows up in the old viewer, right click the photo and hit ‘copy image url’, then paste that link here. You would be my hero 😉

    I have to say that going bare is what works best for MOST horses, but the transition can be hard. I have to disagree with Jennifer. Chipping is not ok and the glue ons can really help. I’d trust the trimmer and, as Marissa said, you definitely know what’s best for Gen. Go with your gut ❤

  6. I hope Gen can get to the point where he can go barefoot, from what I’ve read, it is so much better for their circulation among other things. My pony never wore shoes, he was very sure footed. I know ponies usually have pretty strong hooves too, it was sure easier on the pocketbook.
    Good Luck!

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