Confused about horseshoes...

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Confused about horseshoes...

This is a discussion on Confused about horseshoes... within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
  • Horse shoes draft cross
  • Do belgian draft horses need shoes

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    08-26-2009, 11:34 AM
Question Confused about horseshoes...

From what I've heard and read, it seems that some drafts do well barefoot, and some do not for various reasons...workload, terrain, weather, etc...

Is it that common for a draft horse to go barefoot?

And I've heard several times now that drafts need trimming more often than light horses do due to their heavier weight?

I know that horses have individual needs when it comes to their shoes, but if you are green like me, who do you go to to ask if your horse needs shoes or not...a vet?...a good farrier?...a trainer?...

Sorry if I'm asking silly questions, but the whole topic of "draft horses and their feet" seems to he HUGE! (pardon the pun )
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    08-27-2009, 01:35 AM
IMHO, regardless of breed, each horse is an individual. I prefer barefoot if at all possible. Sometimes it isn't. One of my TBs and my Arab need front shoes, the rest of mine can go barefoot. I have three draft ponies, but they don't need trimming anymore than any of my other horses. Actually,my minis need it the most, less weight to wear down their hooves ;) I would ask your farrier, they will know your horse's hooves the best. But make sure it's one you trust to tell you the truth. Some farriers believe all should be either barefoot or shod, some might tell you shod because they make more money that way.
    08-27-2009, 10:13 AM
I try to go barefoot as much as possible. I was able to keep Cody (17.3, 1800+ lbs, draft cross) barefoot until around 3 1/2. Then he just couldn't seem to keep enough hoof and would develop flares that would break off. I had my farrier coming every 6 wks at one point. Finally I had front shoes put on and he did fine. This last year we tried to go barefoot again and it didn't go well. He was so tender on our rocky trails here in CA and his hooves just wore down so I had the front shoes put on again.

I went on a trail ride last weekend with a lady who had a full Belgian (huge, dinner plate feet) and he is barefoot and seemed to do fine on the trail. I think it depends alot on the individual horse. Maybe Cody has flat feet that make him more tender, I don't know. If you're lucky, you'll find a farrier like mine who charges me the same for my draft cross as my paint!!
    09-17-2009, 12:27 AM
All of our horses are barefoot, I'd choose it over shoes any day if the horse can handle it. We've got one belgian/quarter cross, 3 haflingers and two arab/poa crosses (obviously the last two arn't drafts :) ).Actually our only horse that would need shoes (if I started riding/working her activly again) would be my arab/poa cross Shadow, she has become very tenderfooted with age.
With that said the team we've retired, Bill and Barney (belgian/quater crosses), they had shoes most of their lives with their previous owners; but they were in a lot of Parades/fairs/shows and they had very active daily lives so I can see where their shoes may have benifited them, being on multi and hard surfaces constantly. Now they are retired and work is minimal, our pastures are hilly and combination rocky/grassland and there are no issues.
The farrier comes out as close to every six weeks as we can get..

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