Horse with Tender Feet

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Barefoot Horse Has Tender Feet
  2007 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information
Hi Cherry

I have a Quarter horse mare that's almost three years old, she will be three years old in May.  Last year I started training her for the saddle.  It seems that she finds it hard to carry a rider and favors her feet on every little pebble in the road. I put steel slippers on her feet before I got on her back, but that didn't seem to make the difference. 

While taking her from a walk to a trot, she stepped on a stone and it must have caused her pain in the foot, she than stumbled and tucked her head between her front legs and we both went head over heels, resulting in a broken arm for me and a few minor scratches for her.

She is about 1000 lbs now and when she feels like running on her own she can travel like a gale of wind, but that's only when she wants to run and not when I want her to. What make her so tender footed ? Please let me know what you think.


Dear S,

First, you should have a good horse veterinarian check your horse's legs and feet to make sure there are no physical problems that might be causing your horse to stumble when carrying a rider.

It's not uncommon for a horse to show tenderness if ridden barefoot on gravel.  If you are riding your horse on the road or on rocky ground, you should have her shod by a good farrier.  If she is still tender with shoes, ask your farrier to put full pads on your horses front feet.  Pads go between the shoe and the hoof and cover the bottom of the feet to help protect the soles of the feet from rocks.

An alternative is to use well-fitted hoof boots on your horse when you ride her.

Work closely with your farrier and veterinarian to establish the cause and a solution for your horse's reluctance to move out, her tenderness, and her tendency to stumble.

Good Luck! 

Your Horse Barn DVDHorse For Sale by Cherry HillCherry Hill
and Richard Klimesh, AFA CJF
o-authors - Maximum Hoof Power
and Horse Hoof Care


  2007 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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