Should I shoe him????

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Should I shoe him????

This is a discussion on Should I shoe him???? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    04-03-2013, 04:34 PM
Should I shoe him????

Hello, I have a horse that is barefoot and he does perfectly everywhere he does fine in gravel too. But he is ouchie on the rocks. We don't always ride in the rocks but yesterday we rode him in the rocks and he didn't like it. So should I shoe him or leave him barefoot and use hoof boots? I really don't want to shoe him but I just wanted to see what you guys think.

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    04-03-2013, 04:39 PM
Green Broke
If he is good barefoot, I would just get hoof boots for the times you are on rocky area
loosie, beau159, waresbear and 2 others like this.
    04-03-2013, 04:41 PM
Ok thanks! That is what I thought I would do.
    04-03-2013, 05:14 PM
I think you should ask your farrier. I live in a reclaimed swamp called, the State of Illinois. We don't have to shoe here bc there aren't a lot of rocks. I always shoe when I take a trip west to SD or to CO. Too many rocks. When my QH, "Ro Go Bar" (1982-2009, RIP) threw a shoe in the Black Hills, there almost wasn't enough hoof left to reshoe with the local farrier.
beau159 likes this.
    04-03-2013, 05:59 PM
My farrier says that if he does fine barefoot then we can leave him barefoot. But if he needs shoes than we can shoe him. But since we don't ride in the rocks too often I think I'm going to use those hoof boots when we do go in the rocks.

acorn likes this.
    04-03-2013, 08:52 PM
If you only go bare on soft footing, no doubt you'd have difficulty running down a rocky road or such, but does that mean you should wear shoes eternally? For rocky trails, conventional rims, if not padded, give no protection to the bottom of a horse's feet anyway. In some cases, shoes may be the better option & in some situations & some horses, hoof boots don't work well, but generally they're a great option for the times you ride on surfaces the horse isn't conditioned for.
WesternRider88 likes this.
    04-04-2013, 02:43 AM
I have another question, is it possible for him to get used to walking on rocky surfaces? We got him about a month ago and he was in a place with just clay and no rocks at all. And also his hooves are round, would it be hard to get a hoof boot to fit his round feet?
    04-04-2013, 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by WesternRider88    
I have another question, is it possible for him to get used to walking on rocky surfaces? We got him about a month ago and he was in a place with just clay and no rocks at all. And also his hooves are round, would it be hard to get a hoof boot to fit his round feet?
In short, yes they make boots that fit round feet. Some of the boots available have two different "shapes"...they sometimes refer to "round" as "wide". But, in general, it is best to go to the manufacuture's website, measure as they instruct, and see by their size charts and recommendation which boots are most appropriate (it may be that not every "style" will work for round...but there will be some).

And, yes - it is possible for his feet to get adequately toughened for rocky surfaces if his turn out area is rocky, however, it wouldn't be fair to him to do this by simply riding him over rocks every so often, or even every day IMO. I live in a very rocky area. Mine are barefoot, and I use hoof boots on the fronts. It is easy enough to put them on. If nothing else, it is the impact w a non-yielding surface that I want to avoid for the sake of their joints. And, in a really rocky area they will no doubt choose to jump a few things on the trail. I especially want "shock absorbers" on at that point.
loosie and WesternRider88 like this.
    04-04-2013, 03:59 AM
Yeah, I would not be riding him on rocky ground very often, maybe once a month. We mostly ride in washes with sand and stuff. I'm going to measure his feet after he gets a trim and see if there are hoof boots that would fit him.

Thank you for all your information guys! I'm 14 so I'm still learning so much everyday.
    04-04-2013, 04:11 AM
Yes, it is *possible* that your horse could become a barefoot 'rock cruncher', but it depends on a number of factors whether this is likely - what the horse lives on & his lifestyle; diet & nutrition; the state of his feet in the first place; how old he is & how long they may have been in a bad state, for eg. I suggest you do some homework into hoof function & form, along with other factors such as the above. There is a lot to learn & you're probably like the rest of us, with limited spare time, & you may find the thread link in my signature will get you well started.

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