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Barefoot vs. Shoes

This is a discussion on Barefoot vs. Shoes within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        02-12-2013, 07:55 AM
      #31
    Foal
    Hemms...Why?

    Ok so if you have a horse that has conformation that needs support or a horse who has bad angles how would you go about correcting it as a barefoot trimmer?
         
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        02-12-2013, 09:13 AM
      #32
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustImagine    
    I can imagine she would be shod, yikes!
    Even on rocky terrain, metal shoes aren't necessary in my experience. My girls are in the middle of the desert in AZ - lots of rocks, sand, etc. I use Old Macs, just on the fronts of my girls' feet. One of my mares really doesn't need boots at all, but the other tends to get ouchy if she doesn't wear them every so often. I've never had issues with their back feet being barefoot all the time in harsh terrains like these:


    And here we are running in terrain similar to what you see in the video above, with just Old Macs on the fronts. We do this frequently, without issue.


    But like a lot of people already said, it's all dependent on what the horse needs. Just because one horse can be barefoot doesn't mean the next can, too. You've got to work out through process of elimination what is best for your horse.
    HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:20 AM
      #33
    Yearling
    When I say rocky terrain that requires boots, I mean SERIOUS backcountry terrain, much like what phatomhorse posted. For example, one of my favorite rides involves going across a rock slide with huge rocks and a "path" somehow wound between and around them. These are things that, in addition to likely wearing out the boots faster than I'd like, would likely rip boots off as well. In these circumstances, I would shoe. However 99% of my lifetime riding is over terrain that I could boot, and so that's what I do. I don't see me going on a ride requiring shoes anytime soon.
    HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:21 AM
      #34
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wolfetrap    
    Ok so if you have a horse that has conformation that needs support or a horse who has bad angles how would you go about correcting it as a barefoot trimmer?
    Here's a website you might find helpful about "natural" or barefoot correctional trimming. Afterall, it's not the shoes that fixes the conformation, it's the trim that occurs before the shoes are put on. You can "train" a horse's hoof to grow a certian way if it's consistently trimmed properly.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:27 AM
      #35
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wolfetrap    
    Hemms...Why?

    Ok so if you have a horse that has conformation that needs support or a horse who has bad angles how would you go about correcting it as a barefoot trimmer?
    My horse's foot used to look like this from the front: / /

    In other words, he wasn't even standing on the hoof! It was all skewed over to the side. In April/May, we'll almost be coming up on a year (how long it takes to grow a hoof) of excellent barefoot trimming and he's just about straight. You can clearly see where the new hoof is aligned the way it should be, while the bottom area is all wonky like it used to be. With trims that put him back on a naturally balanced foot, his foot took care of the rest.

    I can't tell you exactly what she did, but the key was to do a little at a time and let the hoof correct itself. He's never been lame for a single day - but that's because we took it bit by bit at a time so that he could be balanced and grow back correctly. That's very important with barefoot trimming: you MUST let the hoof tell you what needs to be done!

    Oh, and one last thing - the hooves don't always LOOK even. Rather, they are balanced as an individual hoof. Some farriers will trim two feet to look the same, but just as each horse has individual needs in its feet, each foot has individual needs as well that won't always come out "looking" the same.
    HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:34 AM
      #36
    Trained
    My horses both wear front shoes and I feel no need to apologize for it. My older guy has navicular, he will never go with out front shoes.
    Speed Racer likes this.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:44 AM
      #37
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jillybean19    
    I can't tell you exactly what she did, but the key was to do a little at a time and let the hoof correct itself. He's never been lame for a single day - but that's because we took it bit by bit at a time so that he could be balanced and grow back correctly. That's very important with barefoot trimming: you MUST let the hoof tell you what needs to be done!
    One of my mares has an old pastern injury that causes her hoof to grow with a deformity (down to the sole) due to scarring, which can split slightly in the wet season. The lady I bought her from swore up and down that I'd have to keep shoes on her forever, because without them her hoof wouldn't grow properly (*eye roll*) and she would be sore/lame. I haven't had shoes on her since the day I got her. I've got a great natural trimmer who keeps an eye on the scarring and trims it appropriately so it grows properly and doesn't split, and we've never had an issue.
         
        02-12-2013, 09:45 AM
      #38
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
    my older guy has navicular, he will never go with out front shoes.
    Can horses with navicular go barefoot?
         
        02-12-2013, 10:13 AM
      #39
    Trained
    Some might be able to eventually, mine cannot. I have a great farrier and vet whom I trust immensely. Part of my horses problem is that his bone is too dense, he gets incredibly sore, like crippled in NB shoes or barefoot. Its terrible, he cannot even walk.
    dashygirl likes this.
         
        02-12-2013, 10:33 AM
      #40
    Started
    Quote:
    Reminds me of the helmet no helmet threads.
    Pretty much comes down to the horse, the terrain, the distance, speed, gait, and personal choice.
    I use boots as a spare tire, but my horses are steel shod. Riding with boots doesnt work fo rme.
    just this. Every horse on the farm is barefoot, Even the racers that run at the track(and win) all summer get their shoes pulled and trail ride all winter barefoot. My mare has the best feet on the farm. In the summer we ride on gravel, rocks, sand and through mud and grass. The first 6 weeks of riding are fine, but as we pick up the distance and pace, I can wear her feet off far quicker than she grows them. When we get close to level with her sole(usually by june) she gets shoes, or I would have a lame horse. We can wear through a set of steel shoes in 4 weeks, so thin the farrier folds them in half.

    The 'recreational' horses are barefoot all year round, they only go 5-10 miles 2-3 times a week.

    One horse on the farm has bad feet, brittle walls and a permanent crack. To stay sound for regular riding he needs to be shod. This is genetic, and the crack the result of an accident. No suplements will fix this, he just NEEDS shoes.

    I've never had a good time with boots, but if they work for you, great :)
         

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