Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Truthfully, unless the horse is having tenderness issues, I wouldn't worry about shoes. Doing a lot of riding on pavement, I would stay away from shoeing if at all possible because there are so many options...and the cons generally outweigh the pros with most of them. Those plastic and rubber horseshoes that are so popular look really cool...but you can't shape them to fit the horse's hoof without compromising the integrity of the shoe itself. So, you're just having to slap them on there and rasp the horse's hoof to fit...which is a bad deal all the way around.
And, if you wanted to go with regular shoes, you'd have to apply borium or some other "gripping agent" to stop the slipping...but borium doesn't provide any sort of leeway in the movement department. When their feet hit the ground, they stick hard, which is very hard on joints, muscles, and tendons. I've seen more horses with blown knees/hocks and bowed tendons because of borium tipped shoes than anything else.
My very best suggestion? Get a good pair of hoof boots that fit your horse. That way, you can go barefoot, but still have a good slip-resistant option handy if he starts to seem ouchy.
Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/