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Boots vs Shoes?

This is a discussion on Boots vs Shoes? within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Hoof boots hunter jumper
  • Benefits of wearing boots vs shoes

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    05-28-2012, 11:23 PM
  #31
Weanling
Hoof it's on my instructors warmblood school master, shoed with a high nail. They're lighter, don't wear (according to every day schooling and arena use), are reusable, nail holes don't widen, and she says they run a size small. This horse is a very floaty mover with a lot of extension. While I have not yet seen him in these shoes (I have requested video), he was wearing steelies on all four feet, and I can imagine him flying with the lightweight plastic.

     
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    05-29-2012, 12:47 AM
  #32
Weanling
Alright, update and correction on my previous post.

The Hoof - it's that horse is wearing in the above post, were previously worn by a hunter jumper mare for 6 months. The mare was sold, the shoes reused. So the shoes have 6 months of constant wear and tear on them. They are still very thick and show little to no wear and tear on the tread. They have been used on all sorts of terrains, but mostly sand, clay, dirt, grass. And I know the activity level of that mare was high, she was a popular and often ridden schooling and show horse, so it's not like the shoes were parked in a stall all of the time. The shoes don't slip in grass either (which I find surprising, but wonderful).

So hopefully that gives you some idea of the wear capability of the Hoof-it's.
     
    05-29-2012, 03:55 AM
  #33
Yearling
I've seen nothing on plastic shoes vs steel shoes.
But I would like to see where you read Gordon's horses were shod ever two weeks, if at all.
There are large areas of Africa (and the world) that getting a horse shod isn't possible locally and he wasn't going to load down with the extra weight to carry shoes. That was why he elected to make the trip with unshod horses.
Make sure your reading about Gordon's ride, not some other.
From the linked page:
"
An Important Alternative View !
Late in 1970 I departed on a 20,000 kilometer horse trip that was to take me from Lesotho, Africa to Austria and take nearly two years. A great problem was that of horseshoes. Going North from southern Africa there is a long ride before reaching Kenya, where shoes are available. Carry enough shoes? Ouch! Much discussion arose, with the vast majority saying that the shoes were needed. Then I thought of all the wild horses and wondered how they got on without a Smithy to visit. Made up my mind to forego the shoes, with the riding fraternity calling me mad, stupid, and worse. But, no shoes for the horses! The decision taken, I went and bought horses in Lesotho where the vast majority are unshod. I looked for horses with black hooves (ed. Note - because of their legendary hardness). Eventually took one with a white hoof but it was soon relegated to carrying a light pack. The drill was to start the trip slowly and give the hooves time to get to their hardest. At the end of each day a mark was made on the hoof with a file, one inch up from the front of the hoof. To start with the marks were in the wrong direction as the hoof wore faster than it grew. In two months the hoof was strong enough for us to ride for eight hours on a daily basis. At one point in the north of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) we used strap-on shoes to protect the hooves where the ridge tops were broken volcanic rock. These (emergency) shoes would have been better if they were made with cloth ties instead of straps. But they did the job for the one day they were required.
It may be of interest that after arriving in Germany, the horses were retired to a farm. The new owner insisted they should be shod and called in the smith. The blacksmith was unable to make any marks on the hooves with his rasp. In fact the horses were not shod for more than a year, until such time as the hoof had grown softer. After that, to keep the horse's hooves in shape the farrier used a grinder on the hard hooves. For the new owner could not afford the time to ride the horses enough to keep the hooves worn down.
Gordon Naysmith "


His book on the ride is interesting. It's mainly about the ride and things that happened to him during the trip and you could come away questioning his sanity. Not about the saddle, shoes, etc...., but about the where he elected to ride, because of some of the things that happened riding through dangerous areas (there's always some form of tribal war going on in Afirca or bandits, etc....).
     
    06-28-2012, 01:12 PM
  #34
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I don't endurance ride, but I do ride 5+ hour trail rides in the mountains.

I use Easyboot Epics. I use them because I think my horses feet are healthier barefoot. No contraction, overgrown hooves or crappy farriers to worry about. (Not saying all farriers are crappy of course, I learned from farriers and used to shoe my horses myself). But some of the farriers I've used have done a crappy job. And I have enough knowledge to realize when they have done a crappy job!

I have never lost a boot in the mud and I feel they give BETTER traction over solid rocks and pavement. (Loose gravel not so much though.) And you are actually less likely to get stone bruises because the entire sole is covered. I've never had heel rubs in the Epics either.

To me it comes down to the effort the owner wants to put in. You have to decide if the benefit of boots outweigh the labor involved in fooling around with taking them on and off. I have a friend whose horses are shod. She just gets on and rides and never worries about feet. Unless she looses a shoe. They she is stuck waiting for the farrier. I never have to worry about that.

On the other hand, I have to decide at the beginning of a ride whether I want to boot my horse or not based on the terrain. Some rides we go completely barefoot. Some rides I boot before the ride if I know the terrain is rocky. Some rides I carry the boots with me and put them on if I think we are encountering too many rocks. It can be a pain in the butt sometimes I must admit! But I normally only have to boot the fronts. And some rides we don't have to boot at all. And my friends are patient if I need to take a break to put on the boots.

It works out well for me because I do my own trimming and just totally take care of their feet myself. I look at boots like my own tennis shoes. When I am at home (or the horse is at home) we can go barefoot. If the terrain is fair, the horse can go barefoot. But my horse will be riding in rocks for a prolonged period I put his tennis shoes on.

Many endurance riders DO use boots. Mostly glue-ons (like the Easyboot shells without the "gaiters." ) Go to Easycare's website and you can learn more about that.

Mainly it is labor intensive. Shoes are easy. The farrier does all the work. But some people feel the benefits of boots outweigh the hassle. To me the main benefit is keeping my horses barefoot 99% of the time to keep their hooves well maintained and healthy.....which fortunately I am able to do myself. But I admit shoes are easier and if I had to boot all four feet everytime I rode I would probably go back to shoes. If I had to hire a farrier for trims I would probably go back to shoes. But I DO know my horses have wider, less contracted feet barefoot.

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with shoes. But I do think there are a lot of owners that don't know their farrier is less-than-great. But if you don't want to hassle with boots (and it does take a patient person) then shoes would be the way to go.

I agree with you 100%...I use to have shoes...but went to the renegade boots when training, and on race day use their glue ons, never had any rubbing problems, but I agree on gravel you need to be careful, although I think you can now get boots with studs to fix that problem.

I never really had any problem with shoes, except for the occasional stone bruise from underneath, I must admit since booting I have not had that problem.

The main reason I went barefoot was to get the feet more healthy.

But I admit, if you look at a lot of the winning endurance horses over here, they are all booted. I am hoping to be one of the first booted HWT riders :)...will see.
     

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