I have recently been reading articles and speaking to different farriers in regards to no shoes vs. shoes. I want to become more knowledgeable and make healthy decisions for my horse that are going to have a positive long term affect. I have been around horses all of my life and I have really, honestly, not been very 'involved' in the shoeing of my horses. Oftentimes, leaving it up to the farrier or trainer and trusting their 'expertise'. But now, I want to know more about what is being done to my horse which has prompted me to write this thread. After asking questions and getting involved I have discovered that a lot of people don't really know the whys, dos and don'ts about shoeing. After some recent shoeing problems I had my geldings shoes pulled and now would like to find out who else out there is having success with barefoot hooves! Trainers at my barn give me mixed reviews and express concern for my gelding going barefoot while my new farrier tells me to 'hang in there'.
The Situation: I have a coming 4 year old quarter horse and removed all four shoes almost 3 weeks ago due to some past farrier concerns. I have been owned by my horse since he was a yearling and he has been barefoot until he turned 3. He wore shoes for 9 months until recently. Currently, he is stabled where the footing is pretty abrasive and dry. He is lightly ridden or lounged 4-5 times a week. My gelding was pretty tender over rock and in the arena the days after pulling shoes. I have been putting iodine on his soles to harden the bottoms. It has now been almost 3 weeks since his shoes were removed and he is much more confident in his gaits. I am posting pictures of his feet as of today and am hoping to get feedback on what your barefoot horse looks like. I am concerned about the wall separation from the sole...? Does this look normal and will it become tight again after a while? Let me know anything you notice! (you will notice that his front right hoof has more sole on the outside which was part of the past concern)