Barefoot for hard riding is it possible. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 46 Old 03-01-2012, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Perhaps your farrier lacks experience with boots though, so he doesn't understand the difference. He thinks they need shoes because he doesn't know there are viable alternatives. As well as rubber not sliding quite as much, so less abrasion, as Trinity explained, it is yielding, which allows it to last far longer than steel. Look at car tyres for eg, how long they last on unforgiving surfaces - one reason they moved on from metal wheeled vehicles.

Loosie make good point about wheel...
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post #22 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by yourcolorfuladdiction View Post
(like my pony who was barefoot for most of her life) wear will exceed the growth sometimes. Even on sand and rubber footing
Your horse wore her feet down on rubber?? Never actually heard of that before.
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post #23 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Loosie my horses hoofs get worn off way faster then they grow iam talking down to nubs in two week period. Tryed bare foot on the hind feet in two weeks time he was sore his hoof wall was worn down to the sole. Iam thinking about the boots my farrier uses boots on his own horse. Then again he doesnt ride as much as i do. The ground we ride on is very abrasive plus we ride a mile and a half on gravel dirt road. When our horses are fit we canter the mile and a half. Like i said in one post on here i had alot of trouble with stone bruising last summer. Plus he abcessed several times on all four from stone bruises. Just not sure he has good enough hoofs for barefoot riding i cant spend half my summer with a sore footed horse.
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post #24 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 10:07 AM
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Oh & there's no structural or strength difference between black & white hooves.
Well if there is no "structural" difference, then I'm stumped. I've seen a barefoot horse with one front white and one black, trimmed by a fantastic farrier, wear his white foot down faster.

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So I'm just going to input that you probably will have to do something to protect the hoof because with rigorous work even strong footed horses (like my pony who was barefoot for most of her life) wear will exceed the growth sometimes.
I have tried to turn several horses barefoot. They got great feed, a farrier familiar with barefoot trimming, a pasture with hard rocky footing. 2 years of this and my mare still was sore when ridden often and wore her feet down to the sole.
Shoeing came about because people felt their horses needed it, not because some one spontaneously said, "lets nail somthing onto my horses foot!"

I have ridden on a similar schedule then the op, and every horse we were riding eventually needed shoes because of excess hoof wear, not to mention the horses with bad feet(generations of breeding for a specific purpose and forgetting the feet has taken a toll, particularly on certain breeds) that had shoes put on near the beggining of the season.
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post #25 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 05:43 PM
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IMO, the difference between a white and black foot is the proclivity to have longer moisture retention in the white feet. as a trimmer, I notice this quite often as on the same horse, the white feet can be easier to rasp than the black but if it is dry out, they can all be the same and very very hard.

My non scientific guessing is that black feet seem to heat up in the sun during the daytime or while riding and dry out faster for some reason. I wish someone would do a study on this because I am certain it partially is responsible. This is my experience so far.

Moisture makes horn soft. Thus white feet can be (In some situations) softer IMO and experience.

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Last edited by Trinity3205; 03-02-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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post #26 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 05:50 PM
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I have tried to turn several horses barefoot. They got great feed, a farrier familiar with barefoot trimming, a pasture with hard rocky footing. 2 years of this and my mare still was sore when ridden often and wore her feet down to the sole.
I would hazard that the farrier was not as well versed as you might think and his go to "fix" was a shoe. I have followed behind several that were suppsoed to also be barefoot trimmers and they just didnt have a clue. I had to fix problems that any farrier should be well aware of how to fix like thrush, flair forward, underrun heels. they just didnt know how to apply a trim that dealth with those problems or informed the owner to treat for deep sulcus thrush that is absolutely a horse lamer.

For the record, I am not anti shoe at all. I just prefer bare and have the tools to make it successful with many horses. When I do shoe, I love the rubber shoes. My goal is healthy sound feet however we get there.

As a trimmer, I have alot more thing in my bag than just a "trim". Soleguard is an awesome thing

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Last edited by Trinity3205; 03-02-2012 at 05:54 PM.
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post #27 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 05:58 PM
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So farriers can't buy soleguard? We both know that the majority of barefoot trimmers don't know how to put a shoe on correctly. That's why they're barefoot trimmers and everything can be cured by going barefoot. Farriers can leave a horse bare or put on an appropriate shoe.

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post #28 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Easycare easyboot trail i was looking at these not sure how they will hold up. They have double velcro for closing the boot. How does that velcro hold up to mud water and sand dont want to spend 199.96 to have them rendered useless in a couple of weeks. Or could i just use solegaurd on him iam not going to do something that will make life hard on my horse. Am willing to pay to have him shod if thats what he needs.Just want to possibly go a driffrent direction if i can if not thats also ok.
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post #29 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 07:14 PM
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Easycare easyboot trail i was looking at these not sure how they will hold up. They have double velcro for closing the boot. How does that velcro hold up to mud water and sand dont want to spend 199.96 to have them rendered useless in a couple of weeks. Or could i just use solegaurd on him iam not going to do something that will make life hard on my horse. Am willing to pay to have him shod if thats what he needs.Just want to possibly go a driffrent direction if i can if not thats also ok.
I've been using the easy boot epics for almost a year now and they hold up really well in all kinds of terrain. I don't ride nearly as much as you do, or for as long tho. Lately I haven't even been using the boots since my mare doesn't need them, only needed them for because a terrible farrier trimmed her once and made her sore on rocks for about 5 months! Now she is fine on all surfaces.
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post #30 of 46 Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 PM
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Well if there is no "structural" difference, then I'm stumped. I've seen a barefoot horse with one front white and one black, trimmed by a fantastic farrier, wear his white foot down faster.
You need to consider every different factor - eg. high/low, previous damage, etc to be objective about it. Interesting point Trinity makes. I haven't noticed that personally, but different conditions make for different results. If white horn was weaker than black, then striped hooves would all crack down the 'fault lines' that would naturally occur.

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I have tried to turn several horses barefoot. They got great feed, a farrier familiar with barefoot trimming, a pasture with hard rocky footing. 2 years of this and my mare still was sore when ridden often and wore her feet down to the sole.
Well first & foremost, as explained, keeping & working a horse bare in all situations is not suitable or realistic IMO. It depends on many factors & I NEVER said they 'should'. I believe hoof protection/support is needed for most horses in at least some situations we ask them to cope with.

Just because someone is 'familiar with barefoot trimming' doesn't mean they're good at it, or knowledgeable about the rest of the factors that effect the whole. If for eg. your horses started off uncomfortable & were forced to work bare anyway, despite their feet not being in a position to do so, the damage done could well cause a lot more damage & prevent them from developing good function & strength. Again, I think horses should be provided with hoof protection/support if/when necessary, to allow them to exercise comfortably & without risk of damage to weak structures. To force a horse to work despite pain(whether feet or otherwise) is cruel IMO, not to mention not productive to long term soundness.

It depends on the environment & other factors IMO as to what 'ideal' hoof wall length may be for a particular horse, but generally, horses that live & work on hard ground *should* have walls that are trimmed/worn to around sole level, so perhaps it was also your perception of what 'too worn down' was that caused you to think they were wearing too much.

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Shoeing came about because people felt their horses needed it, not because some one spontaneously said, "lets nail somthing onto my horses foot!"
Of course. And many hundreds of years ago, metal rims were the best they could come up with. These days though, we understand a lot more about the function of the hoof and have far better technology to provide other, IMO generally far better alternatives, in the form of hoof boots. Not that I think conventional shoes are necessarily bad, or that hoof boots are always the answer, just that they're generally the better option wherever possible, considering the health & soundness of the horse.

To Spirit, I haven't tried the new Trails on my own horses, but my clients that have bought them have been happy with them. Re velcro clogging up, periodically using a wire brush to clean it is effective.

Re soleguard, I haven't personally used it myself, partly because it's expensive, especially the special dispensers. I've heard it is awkward to use & often doesn't stay in bare feet so well, or hold up to very rough situations. I'm also wary of sealing up hooves for long periods when wet environment & thrush is an issue, tho I am aware of their 'CS' type being made to combat that. So, I think it's potentially a valid alternative in some situations, but it seems that boots are generally a better & more economical alternative. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's had much experience with the stuff.
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