Farrier that doesn't do shoes? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 38 Old 01-23-2012, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreaSctlnd View Post
Okay...here is my question then. Is it okay to ride an unshod horse on pavement? And if I do decide to go the unshod route, what type of Farrier would I look for? I read that a barefoot trim is a lot different than a shod trim.
As has already been pointed out, your horse will have better footing on pavement without shoes.
So yes, you can ride on pavement. I've done for years (a LOT of years ) and did it again today . The lovely thing about doing some riding on pavement is that it will tend to round out the edges of the hooves.

You won't need a farrier if you go unshod. Farriers deal with shoes. You'll need a trimmer who knows natural equine foot care. The hoof for an unshod horse should not be trimmed the way it does for getting shoes. It's not really flat all the way around. There will be a very slight rise on the sides between the toe area and the heels. You might almost not notice it unless the horse was standing on pavement and you could look at it from almost ground level.

Unshod also does less damage to terrain and doesn't tend to get caught in hay nets if you ever use them. Shoes can.

And of course one of my favorite lines for when it's being explained to me all the reasons why I should shoe my horses (by people who haven't been told that I've been doing this for 40 years .....love the look sometimes when they find out that that's 40 years of sound feet and no shoes ), if nothing else I never have to worry about a shoe coming loose of coming off when I'm 20+ miles away for anywhere . There are other things I say too, but I always liked that one.
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post #22 of 38 Old 01-23-2012, 08:25 PM
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Interesting thread.Both my horses are barefoot and always will be unless some medical reason comes up and they need shoes on them! One thing you gotta love about morgans they have really good strong feet!

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post #23 of 38 Old 01-23-2012, 09:30 PM
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All six of our horses are barefoot. When we got our first, we were told to shoe him. It was done poorly and came of after a week. When it came off, it tore a big chunk of the wall off so a new one couldn't be put back on. He's been barefoot since. He does have soft and flat soles which bruise easily. He does well on any surface though and so do our other five.
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post #24 of 38 Old 01-24-2012, 10:48 AM
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Farriers don't only do shoes, mine does both but trimmers only trim.
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post #25 of 38 Old 01-28-2012, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by its lbs not miles View Post
There is a German lady here in SC who was part of the old "Shoe the horse" school, but today is a wealth of knowledge about horses going barefoot. Her first name is Claudia, but I don't remember her last name. She use to do (and probably still does) a free online series of classes that you can sign up for. Extremely informative if you want to learn about the equine foot (stucture, growth, problems, treatment, etc.....)
This has got to be Claudia Garner. I took vaulting lessons from her as a kid, before she switched to doing hoof care full time - she's an excellent teacher.

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post #26 of 38 Old 01-28-2012, 10:28 AM
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Just have to say that not every horse is even capable of going barefoot since tough feet aren't exactly a priority for many breeders.

Take my APHA mare for example:

When we got her, she was shod all around - badly: she was 16hh, standing on size one front feet, and her back feet were smaller than those of the PoA that we had at the time.

We pulled her shoes and tried to transition her to barefoot. We tried for a year and a half, and she just couldn't do it. We bought the ridiculously expensive hoof boots, we used EasyBoot Gloves, EasyBoot Glue-Ons, Old Macs, Boas (the ones with the dial-down cable) and a couple others that I don't remember. It didn't work. She'd go two- or three-legged lame every couple of weeks, from simply stepping on a rock the wrong way and we couldn't leave the boots on with her out on pasture 24/7 (other than the glue-ons) since they'd rub her coronet bands and/or pasterns raw and almost to the point of bleeding.

So, just over a year ago, we put shoes back on, and she hasn't been lame a day since. She's shod by a different person than the guy who shod her last owners' horses, and she's doing great - she even took Junior High-Point for Western Gaming at fair this past summer, and that's something she'd never be able to do barefoot.

So, I support going barefoot whenever possible - our other 7 horses are only shod when going on organized group trail rides in the mountains where shoes are required due to terrain, or if there's a situation requiring temporary corrective shoeing - but people need to realize that not every single horse out there can go barefoot. Many can, yes, but not all of them.

Last edited by PaintedShanty; 01-28-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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post #27 of 38 Old 01-29-2012, 03:18 AM
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First, I've never heard that farriers ONLY do shoeings. That may be a regional thing, but I do both, probably about half and half. I always recommend to just trim if it's feasible. It's a better profit margin. But when it won't work, it won't work. Now I know barefoot trimmers will say, "If you know how to do it, it'll always work". For example, my horses always wear shoes because I may have to unexpectedly ride up in the rocky hills for a couple days looking for cows. I don't have the time or the ambition to condition my horse's hooves to rocks when I don't even have them in my pastures. I won't take a chance fracturing a coffin bone to have them barefoot. They need to be ready to go ride anywhere and I don't need a $200 pair of hoof boots on em rubbing the hide off. The statement of barefoot horses being easier on the ground is funny. I've never heard that one. It's good to hear that people have good-footed horses that can hold up barefoot. But just because your animals can take it, don't ridicule others who can't.

What I have a problem with is when barefoot believers start sounding like extremists. To get followers, they use the "Shock Factor". They make claims that shoeing is painful, causes damage, and even abusive. HAHA! They compare shoeing to consticting little Chinese girl's feet. No, sorry folks, those are 2 very different things. They have videos on Youtube demonstrating "what shoes do" and show a hydraulic press busting a cadaver hoof. They are much like the animal rights activists, convincing people that if you do this, you're condoning abuse. Baloney!

I challenge anyone to show me evidence that a good shoe job causes lameness or even discomfort. When I say shoe job, I mean a straight, M/L balanced shoe job with proper expansion. No neglect pictures of a 6 month old shoe job like my neighbor used to do. Or a video of a horse that Billy-Bob-Gomer up the road slammed some steel on. Show me how a correct shoeing made a sound horse lame.

A good shoeing protects your horse's feet. It can straighten a crooked horse and correct gait faults. It can fix injuries, founder, and leg deformaties. The correct use of sliding plates on reiners and aluminum on pleasure horses helps get the desired results in the show arena. Good solid shoeing doesn't constrict a horse's hooves or pinch them at all. That's the reason for expansion. I'm glad for the barefooters for their success, but don't try to shove it down out throats and claim we're doing detrimental things by shoeing.
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Last edited by AmazinCaucasian; 01-29-2012 at 03:24 AM.
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post #28 of 38 Old 01-29-2012, 07:56 AM
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Going to toss in my two cents here but admittedly I didn't read through all the responses. When I started riding in the early 80s, the rule of thumb then, more or less, was that if the horse was being ridden on hard ground or was being jumped, shoes were a must. Very rarely did you see a horse with only shoes in front and not in back. In cases wehre the horse was being used for pleasure, not shown, and was on grass or other "cushioning" surfaces, people might leave them barefoot.

Now, some 30 years later, I have seen barefoot in all manner of horses. A mare I tried recently was a 5 year old OTTB who had never worn shoes even in racing (this form the breeder, owner and trainer). She was jumping solid 3'6" fences and schooling as high as 4' still barefoot which went against my thoughts of jumping a horse without shoes; I would say she at least needed shoes in front. I had the farrier do an eval on her and he said her feet were wearing nice and evenly and were hard and solid.

Most of the horses at our barn have shoes in front but are barefoot in back but other than the driveway the property is fairly "soft" ground and the rings have excellent footing.

Equine vets do have a certain level of knowledge when it comes to shoeing and the vet can work with the farrier to come to a solution. When, however, you have a vet who says one thing defintively without an explanation..I would want to know WHY shoes would help the arthritis, or a farrier who simply says, I am right and the vet is wrong..that is a bad combination.

I do know from observation, however, that the on again off again approach isn't going to do any good. Horses who have been shod and then don't have that support are likely to be sore for a time until the foot grows out again and hardens up. On the flip side, putting a shoe on a horse who hasn't been shod can also cause soreness. Going back and forth doesn't give the hoof time to adjust to the new situation. To me that would just exacerbate an arthritis problem going from support to no support. To me, it wold take at least a year of shoes to determine if they are helping the problem..not a 6-week "test."
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post #29 of 38 Old 01-29-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
What I have a problem with is when barefoot believers start sounding like extremists. To get followers, they use the "Shock Factor". They make claims that shoeing is painful, causes damage, and even abusive.
I have to agree here. Show me any horse who would put up with that type of pain when they, at that point, have the greatest leverage to get away from it. How easy is it for a horse to toss off a farrier when the farrier is half bent over with the hoof between their legs or over their knee..talk about lack of leverage.

Some farriers even still use the old hot shoe method and I have yet to see a horse jump at THAT when that hot shoe is pressed to the hoof. No horse, even sedated, would stand still if they could feel that.
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post #30 of 38 Old 01-29-2012, 05:15 PM
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Many, many vets dont understand the natural barefoot trim and personally I dont think they understand navicular or any other hoof "disease" either but thats another topic. Horses can perform extremely well barefoot and more and more people are taking this route in there horse care. Thats all im gonna say about that! ;)
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