We are planning on doing more trail riding on dirt paths and the trail we have mapped out goes on roads a little bit, aswell. We would be riding them on it at least once a week and more often in summer, and I was wondering if they might need shoes for this sort of riding?
Also, over winter on the days where it gets in the negatives and blizzarding they will be in a barn that has a concrete floor. We will bed it down thickly so hopefully it will help but would they need shoes if they had to stand on concrete? It is a large area with two sides that have half-walls, so they are not completely sheltered from the elements, but a lot more than if they were huddling around their three sided shed in the pasture.
I really do not know what to do, so any advice is appreciated. If it matters, our pastures get really muddy whenever it rains. It snows ALOT in winter and spring. Spring is either snowy or muddy 90% of the time. I can imagine shoes would not stay on very well, but I do not know how else to protect their feet. Is there an alternative for shoeing? Just for trails and such?
~Do horses that ride on trails [packed dirt, fields, and roads] weekly need shoes?
~If a horse is housed somewhere with bedding on top and concrete underneath should it be shod?
~Is there an alternative to shoeing?
Sorry if I am asking a dumb question. I am sort of a dumb person when it comes to shoes. :S