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Barefoot vs. Shod...two weeks off shoes...

This is a discussion on Barefoot vs. Shod...two weeks off shoes... within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Barefoot shoes for formal work
  • Hoof wall breaking off leaving the sole

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    04-25-2012, 02:14 AM
  #11
Foal
Unhappy So confused....

Hi,

Loosie, I meant to say your resource for website . I was referring to the 7 suggestions on angles for taking pictures. Which, I tried tonight at the barn and things were going well....then I turned him out in the arena, on flat ground.....only to be bummed out in the end.

After only 5 minutes he busted off his outer front right flare, which was one of the original concerns of which lead me to remove the shoes to begin with. He seems okay but he is still not 100% confident in gaits and I am just feeling so unsure about keeping him barefoot...also I am tired of the comments from people at the barn saying that he 'looks sore'. Sigh....do I hold on and wait or put shoes back on? So confused and frustrated.....I don't feel like I can ride him 100% like this and I don't want him sore...... I also don't want to order shoes and have them not work and end up putting shoes on in the end anyway....

Here is a video of tonight....somewhere during this 2 minute video he busted the flare.....also see the pics... I ended up rasping the break off as best I could but its not perfect...my farrier is coming Friday to check in

https://vimeo.com/40988745
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    04-25-2012, 12:06 PM
  #12
Yearling
I don't know what everybody else thinks, but it looks to me like he is "self trimming" himself. Looks to me like his hoof is telling you it is too long...

Anybody else think this?
AQHA13 likes this.
     
    04-25-2012, 02:38 PM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyJoy    
I don't know what everybody else thinks, but it looks to me like he is "self trimming" himself. Looks to me like his hoof is telling you it is too long...

Anybody else think this?
after seeing the second set of pictures I would tend to agree.
     
    04-25-2012, 04:12 PM
  #14
Yearling
Answer to part of your first question on other's experience with going unshod. I've kept my horses unshod for 44 years and when I buy a new horse that is already shod I have them unshod before I get them.

At first you will need to trim them pretty regularly. Trim them for being unshod, not for being shoed. With horses that are still being conditioned for harder surfaces (i.e. Paved roads) I'm usually trimming them every two weeks or as needed. Depending on your riding and the conditions you may have to always trim pretty regularly. (and the horse...some have faster growth than others)
If they've been shod most of the time and most of their life then you'll need to start slowly to expose the feet to hard surfaces. They'll toughen/harden up after time. I ride mine on pavement whenever I ride. I've found that once the feet are hardened up and are prepared for it that riding on pavement helps give a little wear, keeps the toes rounded and cuts down on the amount of trimming I need to do. Over 30 years ago when I had working horses we rode on the road daily and trimming was not needed very often.

But it's critical that you prepare the feet for the surfaces you'll be riding on. If shoes have been protecting the feet then they won't be ready for riding down a paved road for 4 miles. Once the feet are ready though you'll be better off unshod when riding on roads, because the unshod hoof gets better traction and is less likely to slip.

If everyone had time to work with a horse and prepare the feet for hard surfaces you'd see a lot fewer horses needing shoes. But it can take a lot of time in some cases.
     
    04-25-2012, 05:30 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by crimsonsky    
after seeing the second set of pictures I would tend to agree.
I've noticed with normal healthy growing hooves, you have to roll the outer edge of the hoof wall weekly to keep it at the prescribed 1/16th over the sole height. If you leave them that long, yes, they will break off. In the barefoot world, the outer edge of the sole is supposed to meld with the inner hoof wall to bear the weight.
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    04-25-2012, 06:08 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyJoy    
I don't know what everybody else thinks, but it looks to me like he is "self trimming" himself. Looks to me like his hoof is telling you it is too long...

Anybody else think this?
I would agree as well.

Is there any particular reason he's not being trimmed shorter? It sounds like he's only about 3 weeks out from his original trim, but that's an awful lot of growth for so short a time.
     
    04-25-2012, 06:28 PM
  #17
Foal
Growth?

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for your comments....I really appreciate all of your guys time in helping Tucker and I

I see what you guys are saying about his feet looking a little long....I should tell you a little background about why the shoes were removed. His front right, the one that had some breakage, was growing with a flare due to too much sole being left on the outer edge. This was deforming his shape and throwing him off balance in the front. There was also concerns about his hind shoes and the way they were placed....in the end a new farrier came out just 1.5 weeks after he was shod, took his front right shoe off, rebalanced it appropriately but then we struggled getting it back on without causing more holes/damage to the foot. It was then that I made the decision to just pull them and let them grow out. So, she pulled them 3 weeks ago and balanced them. I guess, it has really been almost 5 weeks that he has had a formal trimming.....my farrier has come back and done some shaping up last week on his hind feet and is coming back this Friday to look at his growth. Although, I am also surprised that he has this much growth on his feet and the that the nail holes are almost gone since my old shoer kept commenting on how slow of a grower he is. Maybe the increased circulation to the feet has something to do with this?

I should also mention that my horse is moving barns in less than 2 weeks where there is rubber footing. I am tempted just to have shoes put back on him this Friday but can't help but think that if we could just make it until we get to the new barn he might be fine with some trimming and may not even need boots?
     
    04-25-2012, 09:02 PM
  #18
Trained
Hi,
Didn't look at the vid as my computer's too slow to bother. Be good to see a good range of pics. From what you've given so far, it seems his feet aren't in too bad shape, mainly just overdue for a trim, hence the flaring & breakage. With that deep central sulcus on the frog, thrush could be a problem & his heels will be weak & likely need protection/support to be *comfortable & become strong*. Sole looks a bit thin & flat, but hard to really tell from a straight-on pic. His right fore looks steeper but that shouldn't really be an issue if managed well.

I understand your frustration & confusion about whether or not to shoe him. I can tell you that IME it is preferable to keep horses shoeless(not nec. Bare) in the vast majority of situations, but at the end of the day I'm just one more opinion & there's really no shortcut to doing your own research into the principles, pros & cons, etc if you want to make an informed decision. Hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com are 2 good resources to help you on that note.

If your horse is sore/uncomfortable, this is not helpful(aside from not nice for him), so I would not just be trying the wait & see tactic & certainly wouldn't ride him if he's lame. There's the risk of damage - stone bruising, etc - & horses also need to be comfortable in order to use their feet properly & develop strength in them, so protection/support where necessary is vital. Conventional shoes without pads & such won't provide that, like hoof boots do.

What problems are you foreseeing with hoof boots? What sort of riding do you do? What terrain? Does the horse have a gait problem such as paddling, that makes you think boots may be unsuitable? These days there is a wide range & something suitable & effective for almost all situations & horses. Check out easycareinc.com as they have a lot of info on choosing the most appropriate boot, fitting, etc, whether or not you choose some of theirs or not.
     
    04-25-2012, 11:46 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
If everyone had time to work with a horse and prepare the feet for hard surfaces you'd see a lot fewer horses needing shoes. But it can take a lot of time in some cases.
This is very relevant to how practical, or even possible, barefoot is for many, but when if it's not, it still generally doesn't make horseshoes necessary, when there are so many good hoof boots available these days.
     
    04-27-2012, 12:24 AM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
This is very relevant to how practical, or even possible, barefoot is for many, but when if it's not, it still generally doesn't make horseshoes necessary, when there are so many good hoof boots available these days.
No argument out of me on that. From 14 I've never seen the need to put nails in any of our horses feet. Of course my grandfather had some influence there, since he didn't shoe horses and they all managed fine. Had me walking my 7 month old filly on the hwy in stages, so by the time she was 4 and ready start working her feet where like all the rest. Hard and tough. But then I had a lot of time to condition her feet, which unfortunately is not always the case. Even today, my almost mare (she'll be 4 next month) has at least a years work ahead of her before I'll begin to be comfortable that her feet will hold up well for extended pavement.
I've never used boots (didn't even know about them 30 years ago), and for me it's a better investment to spend the time getting the feet ready. Being over 200 miles out and needing a boot become unusable (I've heard that thay can tearup) when I might still need their feet protected is not really an option. Fortunately most people don't get into distance riding , so boots are an excellent choice over shoes. I'll never seen the good in driving nails into a horses feet. They should always be allowed to expand on impact with the ground which is another thing that would make a boot a better choice.
I just like to warn people not to expect their horse to be ready to ride anywhere under any conditions when they remove the shoes if the horse has spent a long time being shod and has never been conditioned.

I find it a bit distressing when someone wants their horse to be unshod like ours, but when they pull the shoes their horse is uncomfortable or in pain (more blood flow, etc...). They don't like (or don't believe) me when I tell them that it takes time for the feet to return to normal and they really don't like not being able to ride while the horses feet heel up (won't get into the some of the contracted heels you end up seeing and need fixing). Someone will tell them that shoeing will fix the problem, so they have shoes put back on and like magic the horse can be ridden again. So somehow they start believing that only certain horses (like mine ) can go unshod, but others (like their's) have to be shod or they'll go lame. I wish I had the time and money to always have one horse on hand that's recovering from being shod for years, so that I can always have one to show people that it's a process. It's ok if you don't have the time to condition them for hard surface. As you pointed out, there are boots that will allow you to ride hard surfaces without the lengthy conditioning time.
I just wish everyone would give some of these older horses the time needed to recover from being shod all their life. Somehow I don't think boots would solve the discomfort that they somtimes have to deal with for awhile.

But having read your feet comments on other strings I know that you are all to aware of all this, so I'm "preaching to the chior" .
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