Do My Horses Need Shoes? Sincerely, Clueless. - Page 2
   

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Do My Horses Need Shoes? Sincerely, Clueless.

This is a discussion on Do My Horses Need Shoes? Sincerely, Clueless. within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
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  • Laminitis in POAs

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    12-01-2011, 06:10 AM
  #11
Yearling
My horses do fairly well barefoot and we do get them trimmed regularly. We finally found a farrier that does a really nice job. My gelding, Moe, has cracks in his hooves far before the others. He also has really big feet, and always has. Even when we had a farrier who trimmed other POAs feet tiny Moe's hooves have always been larger. He has striped hooves, if it makes a difference. He is 6 years old.

My paint mare, Sadie, has relatively nice hooves. Her front feet stay better usually because she drags her back feet. Her rear hooves actually are square and don't have any toe. It doesn't seem to be a pain issue, because if you lift her head up she picks up her feet. She has never been lame but I am sure it is somewhat of a problem balance-wise when her feet only grow out and not forward. She is 14 years old and she has black hooves except one of the back ones that has a white patch on the side. She also likes to walk off the trail and on the gravel threshold between trail and field. It is like she seeks out the rockiest path to walk on.

Gypsy, my 20 year old Morgan mare, has the very nice hooves. When we got her she hadn't had her hooves trimmed for a very long time. But since then her little black hooves have kept quite nice. She isn't ridden too often because my family is full of giants and she is a tiny 14.2 hands and fairly petite. (If she were a stockier horse I would ride her.) And the fact that she goes as fast as she can go all the time. Tight rein = trot, loose rein = gallop.

Then we have Scarlet, a Bashkir Curly who has decent enough hooves. Three hooves are black and one is white. Her hooves are fairly ressiliant, and I have yet to have a problem with them. She is not broke so she does not get that much exposure to hard surfaces. She is really fat, so I have to get rid of that before it becomes a problem.

And thanks guys for the feedback! ^-^ It is one of the subjects I am terrible on as I have never really been taught about it. I will most likely keep them barefoot as that is the easiest thing to do, and they keep pretty well that way. I never really like to ride any faster than a walk on the trail, anyway. I ride my gelding and he is slower paced then the other horses. But I will have to keep that in mind to remind others, and my Moe will have to summon his Pony Express roots to relay the message to those quick horses.

Also, I will look into hoof boots. Especially for Sadie and her 'walk on all the gravel you can possibly find' attitude.
     
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    12-02-2011, 06:09 PM
  #12
Weanling
~Do horses that ride on trails [packed dirt, fields, and roads] weekly need shoes?

No. Horses are MADE for dirt!! They will be fine.

~If a horse is housed somewhere with bedding on top and concrete underneath should it be shod?

No. If they have thick bedding, they should be fine. Even if they didn't have super thick bedding they'd be fine. Concrete and asphalt are very slippery for horses with shoes. Keep that in mind.

~Is there an alternative to shoeing?

Yes. Keep em' barefoot. My horse is barefoot, and I am NEVER going to let anyone put shoes on him. (Sliding plates for reining, and medical reasons are the exceptions) Shoes weaken the hooves, and the nails stop circulation.
     
    12-06-2011, 07:12 PM
  #13
Trained
IMHO no, horses don't *generally* need conventional shoes & are *generally* better off without. **However, most domestic horses aren't managed in a way that allows their feet optimum health & function, so they do frequently need *protection* to accomplish what we want from them on any terrain.

This is one of those questions that you'll get polar opposite views on from different people, so it's important to do your own homework & educate yourself as best you can before making up your own mind. To that end, I started a thread for more info, which you'll find in my signature below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt    
~Do horses that ride on trails [packed dirt, fields, and roads] weekly need shoes?
No. For rough/hard ground they may require protection though.

Quote:
~If a horse is housed somewhere with bedding on top and concrete underneath should it be shod?
Trouble with flat hard surfaces like concrete is the peripheral loading, especially if walls are overlong &/or the horse is shod in metal rims. Therefore they're better off bare & kept well maintained, or if they're spending a lot of time on paved ground, maybe boots with pads.

Quote:
~Is there an alternative to shoeing?
There sure is. There are a wide variety of hoof boots these days, so you should find something suitable for almost all horses in most situations. Easycare have a huge range themselves. For what you're doing with your horses, sounds like boots are likely the best way to go. You only need to put them on when necessary & the horse is bare the rest of the time. So for eg. If you're going for your weekly trail ride, put them on for that, or if it's a big ride with only a small section of rough stuff you may even choose to carry the boots with you & just put them on for that section. The brand new Trail model have been getting great reviews for that kind of situation & they're about the easiest boot around to put on/off too.

Quote:
Sorry if I am asking a dumb question. I am sort of a dumb person when it comes to shoes. :S
You're only dumb if you realise you don't know something & you don't ask!
     
    12-06-2011, 07:41 PM
  #14
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt    
My gelding, Moe, has cracks in his hooves far before the others.
Sounds like he might need a more frequent trim. 6 weeks is the general rule, but they're all individual & I find most horses tend to benefit from about a 4-weekly trim. You might also stick to the 6 weekly but get your farrier to sling you an old rasp & teach you how to 'brush up' the trim in between visits.

Quote:
Her front feet stay better usually because she drags her back feet. Her rear hooves actually are square and don't have any toe. ...somewhat of a problem balance-wise when her feet only grow out and not forward.
Could be a back or stifle issue or some such, maybe nothing to do with her feet. Not sure what you mean about 'out not forward' but you can post some pics & more info if you'd like opinions on her.

Quote:
Three hooves are black and one is white.
There is no stregth in pigment & that's the only difference between black or white hooves. On white hooves you tend to see bruises & such easily, where they're hidden on dark ones, which is how I think the myth came about.

Quote:
Also, I will look into hoof boots. Especially for Sadie and her 'walk on all the gravel you can possibly find' attitude.
If she's happy to walk on gravel, great. She possibly doesn't need boots.
     
    12-06-2011, 10:23 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt    
I do not know really anything about shoes.
Neither do most of the people that will offer advice on the internet. More to the point, they don't know anything about your horse. Your local farrier and veterinarian are usually your best source of information as pertains to your horse and your specific use of that horse.

Quote:
~Do horses that ride on trails [packed dirt, fields, and roads] weekly need shoes?
That perfect answer is.... it depends. Without additional information about a specific horse, any other kind of answer is conjecture.

Some horses will manage your performance expectations barefoot. Others will need orthotic assistance to meet those needs. Still others may not meet your expectations whether shod or barefoot.

Quote:
~If a horse is housed somewhere with bedding on top and concrete underneath should it be shod?
Again, it depends. Is the horse a chronic "pawer" or "weaver"? If so, he'll dig through the bedding quickly and abrade the toe of the front feet. A pair of front shoes would minimize that risk. More to the point, given a concrete floor, I'd probably lay a few rubber stall mats down first, then cover with bedding. That takes care of most concerns whether the horse is barefoot or shod.
Quote:
~Is there an alternative to shoeing?
Yep. Various hoof boots solutions. Boots come with their own brand of pros/cons. They reduce some of your annual farriery costs but include a comparatively higher personal maintenance investment on your part. They are not a 24/7 solution but can be a reasonable alternative for some owners/horses.

Quote:
Sorry if I am asking a dumb question. I am sort of a dumb person when it comes to shoes. :S
Your questions are reasonable. Managing the domestic equine distal limb is a complex topic. Engage your farrier/vet and learn what they are willing to share.

Cheers,
Mark
     

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