Looking into boots to transition to barefoot*opinions* - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by itsapleasure View Post
Also a side note (op), not ride on gravel? really?? I thought a horse with good hooves should have no problem walking on a gravel road. I am confused as to why you are telling me not to?
Hoof pics?? Check out link in signature for tips.

As for the gravel business, I suppose 'should' is the operative word. IF they FIRST have healthy feet, well developed heels & IF they're well conditioned - eg. they live on that footing & get lots of exercise, or at least they're exercised on it daily & not kept in damp, cushy paddocks otherwise, then yes, they can well be fine bare on gravel roads. If they haven't got great hooves or if they haven't got the appropriate environment & lifestyle, then they may always need extra protection.

Think about your own feet - you may well be used to going everywhere bare in summer, but at the end of winter, your bare feet used to carpeted floors & warm boots, you're not likely to be comfortable running bare down a gravel road, regardless how sound & healthy your feet may be.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-21-2012, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Central Minnesota
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I agree about being tender if there is a hoof problem or if in my mare's case she is going from being shod for an extended time to bare that they will be sore untill they have time to toughen up, just like our own feet would if we switched from carpet/shoes/soft surface and started walking on hard/rocky/gravel surfaces. I have always trail ridden through woods, down roads etc. with barefoot horses (with good feet) and not had problems. That was my reasoning for getting the boots and giving her time to get used to no shoes and also walking her (in hand) very limited on a not very stoney driveway and giving her time to toughen up. She is doing wonderfully, and I am taking it very slow with her, I am not racing up and down the road.
I also was not questioning your advice, I very much thank you for helping me/her. I was asking why the other poster was basicaly telling me that riding on a gravel road was not acceptable under any circumstances. I may have misunderstood and am sorry if I did, but again I feel a healthy hoof should be able to go down a gravel road just fine. I do not feel my mare is ready at this point to be ridden down a gravel road unless she has boots on or I wait and take the time she needs to toughen up by slowly building up to it by the short walks. I have ridden her lightly in a sandy arena and walked her on the driveway with no favoring so am encouraged.
I will try to get pictures on here, not to good with the computer.
Thank you again for your help.
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