Shoes or no?

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Shoes or no?

This is a discussion on Shoes or no? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    11-06-2012, 07:33 PM
Shoes or no?

Okay, just a little thread I'd like to see why people want or not want shoes on their horses. I know Rick Gore absolutely despises shoes, but I wanted to see how you think. I personally think that shoes are a little bit bad and a little bit good. I don't like how they restrict a horse's hooves movement, but sometimes they're need if your horse wears down his wall fast. I dunno, just wanna see what you prefer.
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    11-06-2012, 07:42 PM
First off, Rick Gore is not very well liked or welcomed here, so comparing ANYTHING to his testimony isn't very well received.

Some horses need shoes for a variety of reasons, we as humans have bred and worked horses in a way that is unnatural to how nature created and intended them to be so we must make up for that interference and give them hoof protection when they need it. Many horses do well barefoot, but they are usually happy hackers or pasture pets (like mine) who do not wear their hooves down abnormally fast or really change the terrain from where they live 24/7 and where they work.

Shoes/boots/hoof protectors are just another way a good horse owner makes up for what we take from our horses. There is nothing "Bad" about a correct shoe job except maybe wasted money if the horse didn't need it

I myself prefer barefoot, just one less thing to worry about.
smrobs, Joe4d, Evansk and 2 others like this.
    11-06-2012, 07:51 PM
Oh, okay. Sorry, I didn't know that... you-know-who was to not be mentioned. Newbie here.
But yes, if I had a horse, I would prefer them to be barefoot. And you are totally right on the shoes for different reasons. Totally agree. Yeah, I think them being barefoot is just one less thing to worry about.
    11-06-2012, 07:53 PM
If a horse can go barefoot, I'm keeping it barefoot I'm a happy trail rider, and it's not all the time my horses do actual *work* (hauling firewood, getting ridden to the store, giving lessons, ect). But I won't condemn anyone who wants or needs their horses shoe'd or booted, not everyone can stay on the same soil or keep a sound horse over rocks.
    11-06-2012, 07:56 PM
That's very true!
    11-06-2012, 08:19 PM
Green Broke
Of course barefoot is better and cheaper IF your horse can handle it. All depends on where and what you do with the horse. Seems my horses live in a pasture, yet most of my riding is on gravel, soooo they get shoes. Been doing ok front shod, but had to pick and choose some training areas. Will be shod all around come early spring when I get serious about mountain trainign again.
    11-06-2012, 08:30 PM
Very interesting
    11-06-2012, 08:44 PM
My horse has rocks for hooves and doesn't need shoes. I ride him in all kinds of terrain too.
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    11-06-2012, 08:49 PM
If your horse's feet are healthy and comfortable doing the work you need/want to do barefoot, keep it simple and cheap and leave them barefoot, IMHO. We're recreational trail/road riders and all our mares have always been barefoot with no problems.
    11-06-2012, 08:50 PM
If a horse can go barefoot, I prefer that. However, my horse currently has shoes on the front.

I got him in March; the person I bought him from had pulled his shoes at the beginning of winter, let him out to pasture, and didn't trim his feet regularly. I'm guessing that he didn't trim them at all between the time the shoes were pulled and the day before I came out to test ride him. So, his feet were not in great shape when I got him home- his front feet were run forward to the point that his back feet were (and still are) rounder than his front feet.

The advice I got from everyone I asked (farriers & vets) was that it would be possible to correct barefoot, but would not be as easy and would take longer. Unfortunately, the farrier I started with (who I used previously when I leased) wasn't making any noticeable improvement. I switched to a new farrier last shoeing, and my horse's movement was noticeably better right away. Hopefully this one can get his feet into better shape!

Ultimately, I'd like to get my horse barefoot, because I do believe it's better for healthy hooves from pretty much every dimension- hoof health, cost, ease of keeping clean, etc. It's just a matter of setting my horse up for success first!

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