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    01-21-2012, 05:55 PM
Practical Horseman Article

Strengthen Your Horse’s Feet By Pulling His Shoes from Practical Horseman | EquiSearch

It's short, sweet and didn't make the print version, but Practical Horseman has an article on letting horses go barefoot for winter.
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    01-21-2012, 06:07 PM
Makes sense !

I wonder how bad it is for them to never pull their shoes....i ride all winter and my mare is level 1 lameness with out shoes in front, she just requires the heel support on her LF. I guess next winter I could just commit to not riding for 6wks...
    01-21-2012, 06:14 PM
It's a shame it didn't make it into the magazine. It's funny tho because at the top on the cover of my magazine it says " Leasing: An affordable Alternative . Pulling shoes for healthier hooves" But I looked and it's not in there, wonder why they decided not to print it.
    01-21-2012, 06:21 PM
I think barefoot proponents are still very much in the minority since shoes are still so widely used. At least it's gaining enough traction to make the online version.
    01-21-2012, 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
I think barefoot proponents are still very much in the minority since shoes are still so widely used. At least it's gaining enough traction to make the online version.
To me that is even more of a reason they should have published it, but I agree, at least it made it into the online version. I keep trying to convince my barn owner to give barefoot a try(or at least find a new farrier!) but I might as well be talking to a wall, her horses have so many issues with their feet you would think she would make the connection. She's the type to shoe the horse as soon as it takes a misstep.
    01-24-2012, 10:28 PM
I spoke too soon. It is in there, sort of. There's a question about it in the Q&A section. That's nice to see.
    01-26-2012, 01:20 AM
The message that removing the shoes in the winter to let the feet recover has always been recommended and age old.

I disagree with 3 points in this article:

A) that he'll be sore when you pull those shoes, but that's ok, he has to heal. If in pain, put the shoes back on. (well that just became a wasted effort)
Pain is both our enemies, he'll have cringing steps and promote nothing, he'll need Bute and possibly ulcers, heck, the pain alone will cause the ulcers, the risk of abscess just skyrocketed, he'll need a chiro from the cringe and mostly, I will not allow my horse to suffer needlessly. No mention of boots with pads, that are magic for promoting a healthy hoof and protecting it while it does. This advice to me, is no better than the barefoot hardheads that think if they turn pathological feet out on 90 acres to fend for itself, it will straighten out. Abusive thoughts.
Tell me how much you love your horse and if you could stand to see him like this...especially when its unnecessary. Pelvic tilt and standing under, too sore to play or keep up with the herd, too sore to even go over to the water to drink. A hoof will be what it needs to be. If its not being used properly and promoted properly, you are simply adding to the pathology and the damage from it. Now look up. Tell me his body is getting its much deserved rest as well.

B) Hoof Hardeners. No. Give me boots with pads again. I WILL NOT put formalin (better known as formaldehyde) on live tissue! It is for embalming dead tissue. Live sole is precious, why would I re-arrange its structure and kill it? Perfectly pickled feet to me! Ugh!

C)Taking a sore barefoot horse and keeping the ground under him soft, does not promote anything except thrush. Boots and pads again, hard surface and work that trim to promote better hoof health. Its called development.

If shoes are to be worn in the busy season, then down time means doing homework to promote. Lose the shoe, lose the pasture trim that went with it and get a barefoot trim, boot for bone protection and support and protection from abscesses that will slap you sideways. A horse that moves correctly with confidence is doing his homework. Cringing on pathology is getting no where.

Sorry, but I find this article archaic and un-informative.
    01-26-2012, 07:45 AM
All the horses in my barn get their shoes off in mid- to late-November for the winter. None of them seemed to go lame. Huey certainly didn't. He just had his mid-winter barefoot trim - needed very little work - and the farrier showed me that he'd gotten a little bruising in his hoof, but said that this was pretty normal for the circumstances.

I rode him in the (sand) arena until it got too hard to be safe. I don't think I'd take him out on the trail barefoot - the dirt in this area is full of little sharp rocks - but he seems to be fine on the sand and in his paddock. BO and the farrier said he'd also have better purchase on the snow and ice than he would if he were shod (unless I wanted to put those shoes with cleats on him). His hooves did look a little junky while they were growing out, but it only took about 6 weeks before the nail holes were basically gone, and now they look terrific. Farrier says they're in great shape, too.

Now it turns out that the chiropractor and the dentist are both barefoot fanatics, and are leaning on me to keep his shoes off for good. I think I'll discuss this with the farrier, and go with his recommendation (whatever that is).
    01-26-2012, 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
I spoke too soon. It is in there, sort of. There's a question about it in the Q&A section. That's nice to see.
I don't know how I missed that, I looked though the magazine 3 times and didn't see it lol.
    01-26-2012, 09:44 PM
Super Moderator
Many of our higher level event horses went barefoot off season. They were in a sandy area in Central Florida then. A few, who went on to do jumpers kept theirs on.

Yes, they would be tender at first. So am I in the beginning of the summer when I go barefoot. They soon toughen up.

We did it to let the clinches grow out. Our higher level horses were often reset every four weeks, at least, and their feet were messy by the end of the season.

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