Taking a "Shoe Break" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-07-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Taking a "Shoe Break"

I just recently had a farrier bring this up & wondered if anyone did it or thinks it would be a good idea.

Cally has always had all four shoes. The front ones have pads on them, we're assuming because how her leg is set up makes her fairly heavy on her toes & the pads were meant to help alleviate that (she is not navicular). The back ones are just plain shoes. Again just assuming her previous owner felt she needed all four feet done (my trainer told me she absolutely needs her fronts done how they currently are & I asked about the backs, she said they probably weren't necessary). Now my plan was to pull her back shoes as they don't seem to really have a purpose for her & see how she goes. If she needs them then they'll be put back on. Anyway back to the topic I was getting to - he also mentioned I should pull her front ones for the off season. Probably about mid-nov to early march. That it would really help her hooves sort of "breathe" and just give them a break from constantly being shod. I have absolutely zero experience with shoes, never having a horse who needed them, but it didn't seem like a bad idea for a horse who just needs them during competition season. Yet I'm not sure if this is the best route for my mare. That will be up to me & my farrier to decide. I'd just never heard of it though & like I pondered above - does anyone do it? Or have thoughts on the idea?
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-07-2013, 11:56 PM
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When iv had my horses shod it was for 7 to 8 months out of the year wear of hoofs exceeded the growth reason for shoes. Always pulled them off for at least 4 to 5 months so they could be barefoot.

This summer diffrent story had shoes put on and ended up pulling them back off do to reasons I don't care to tell about... so iam doing hoof boots now and not using metal shoes.

Yes I think their hoofs need some time without shoes on but that's my opinion. If they can be barefoot its better but if not shoes work.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-08-2013, 12:16 AM
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Having a horse go barefoot part of the year, particularly if they're going to be off of work or only worked lightly during that time is very common IME. I generally think that most horses can do well barefoot unless they're working hard, and even a significant portion of hard-working horses can do well too if you have a good trimmer and the horse doesn't have any significant medical/build/lameness issue. Not all of them, of course, but a fair percent.

Your farrier isn't crazy. :) In fact, maybe he is good enough to help her feet be healthier than they currently are and reduce her need for shoes all around and the pads on the fronts. Maybe not, but it's worth a shot, right? After all, if it doesn't work, you can always just put the shoes back on.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-08-2013, 01:10 AM
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We take the shoes off our horses for most of the year. If riding on roads or gravel then its shoes. The horse hoof act as a pump. When pressure goes on it spreads out at the edges and contracts as the pressure is released. Thus acting as an additionl means of getting blood circulacted and helping to keep the hoof healthy. One of the reasons put forward by those that go barefoot.

When I run them barefoot we put a western roll on the hoof it stops chipping and small splits.

My blog foremyhorse.org you may enjoy the read. Its different.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-10-2013, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone! This is the first time I've ever owned a horse that actually needed shoes & it's kinda an entirely different world for me lol. All my horses have always gone barefoot. I'll probably give it a try with her this year, see how it goes. My farrier definitely wants to do some work & fix some stuff with her feet. I would love to see her get to the point where they're no longer necessary - we'll see though. I didn't think it was too crazy of an idea to pull them in the off season lol. Made sense to me.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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I would ask the trainer why it is necessary for the setup on the front feet. I have a mare that can't go barefoot on her fronts at all. She wears too much heel off her club foot and ends up lame.

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But I would talk to someone who knows the reasoning behind why she has shoes and pads on front before I tried pulling them.

Learning never stops
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-10-2013, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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We have always gone shoes April to sometime in November and barefoot November to the first of April. We get lots of snow so we can ride them all winter barefoot even if they don't go barefoot all year. It seems to keep their feet in pretty good shape. They are a really nice shape not the oblong shape you see on a lot of horses who have shoes 365.

Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-11-2013, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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aforred - She won't get them pulled if they HAVE to stay on. This was more a question of what everyone else does with shoes. With her right now my farrier wants to help out her angles as they seemed kinda neglected to him. Like her previous farrier just went through & automatically did them sort of deal. Didn't actually slow down to see how she was growing out etc. It's definitely a topic I'll get into a little more with my trainer & see what my farrier thinks. If she can't do it no big deal. I pretty much assumed when I got her she would always have her fronts on. At this point we're just trying to see if it's even possible.
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