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Your opinion on barefoot?

This is a discussion on Your opinion on barefoot? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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        06-05-2013, 12:03 PM
      #11
    Foal
    I think this is really a tough question to answer because there are so many things to consider that differ for every horse... Things I consider are the ground conditions, how much the horse is ridden (and to what degree), age of the horse and the way the feet grow.

    As of now my horse has shoes on year round because the ground is a little tough and when wet can be really bad, and in the summer when the ground is pretty decent I ride a lot more. Also my horse has feet that tend to grow a little weird and shoes help keep them in line.

    I used to at an old place I had her where the ground was perfect for horses like everywhere even on the trails, keep shoes on her only in the summer when she was being ridden a lot more but winter I had them off. Even with them off she did fine on trail rides and arena work, but with it being winter it wasnt as heavy and as often. I probably even could have left them off in the summer but I like to be safe and with the way her hooves grow it did help.

    But that's just my opinion, there is so much to consider!

    My friend had an old mare and she would have just her front feet shod as they seemed to be a little weaker and that worked really well for her.
         
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        06-05-2013, 12:30 PM
      #12
    Trained
    As an example: Last summer, Trooper was being ridden almost daily on rocky ground. Near the end of the summer, his feet were worn enough that shoes would be required for continued use. But since my daughter was about to start school again, we just cut back his use. Once she was in school, Trooper's hooves started growing faster than they were wearing.

    Mia is ridden about 3 hours/week. I'd like more, but time & health haven't let me. She does great barefoot. But if I bumped her up to a couple of hours/day, she would need shoes. So it depends, not just on the horse and the owner's wants, but how you ride, where you ride, and what happens as a result. Someone who flatly refused to shoe could lame their horse by their stubbornness.
         
        06-05-2013, 01:26 PM
      #13
    Trained
    I would love to have my horses go barefoot year round, would save me a bunch of coin, I trim myself. Unfortunately they can only manage about 5 months of it, when there is snow & ice. If I kept them barefoot all the time, it woul be cruel, they would get tenderfooted because of the areas where I ride. And both horses shoes cost $190 every 5 or 6 weeks.
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        06-05-2013, 07:56 PM
      #14
    Trained
    I think that if you've done the research, looked at the effects, considered the anatomy & hoof function of both shod & unshod, and then come to the conclusion that steel rims have no negative effects, then so be it. But my opinion, after study & experience is that shoeing does absolutely have 'cons' as well as 'pros'... just like virtually everything, including keeping a horse bare full time. I think it's important to understand & consider these cons, rather than turning a blind eye to them. This way, whether we shoe or not, we can maximise benefits & minimise problems.

    For eg. Some of my (general - there are always exceptions) guidelines to shoeing are; Avoid shoeing until after maturity - around 6yo; Shoe as light as possible & consider only using 'tips' rather than full shoes; Only shoe if/as needed & avoid back-to-back-to-back shoeing - give the horse regular breaks; Only shoe healthy feet & remove shoes if hoof problems occur. Go bare/booted as much as possible.
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        06-06-2013, 08:42 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Sense I ride back to back to back, they get shod back to back to back.
    It really isnt that complicated.
    Expected wear and tear exceeds growth shoe'
    Growth exceeds expected wear and tear save the coin go barefoot.
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        06-06-2013, 12:43 PM
      #16
    Trained
    The term "barefoot", as it is applied to horses, is generally taken to mean the rider will boot up under saddle when appropriate (i.e., terrain and distance will potentially cause wear).
         
        06-06-2013, 12:55 PM
      #17
    Started
    All of my horses have been barefoot since we got them and they have had no issues at all.
    I think that if the horse's hoof is strong, doesn't chip or crack too easily, then they don't need shoes. I would put shoes on horses if they bruise easily or have sensitive feet that cannot be trained to withstand all kinds of weather.
         
        06-07-2013, 03:19 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    I love barefoot. My horse has been barefoot for 10 years. But in the past year, my riding area has changed, and I have to down a mile long limestone road. She started tripping to avoid putting weight on a foot that would step on a rock. At that point, I felt it was best to get her shod.

    I, too, wonder how much trouble it would be finding boots for her that fit.
         
        06-07-2013, 05:20 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Im a barefoot and boot till proven needed otherwise horsekeeper....but that doesnt work for everyone and boots can be a real PITA.
         
        06-07-2013, 05:37 PM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    [QUOTE=princessfluffybritches;2735434]I love barefoot. My horse has been barefoot for 10 years. But in the past year, my riding area has changed, and I have to down a mile long limestone road. She started tripping to avoid putting weight on a foot that would step on a rock. At that point, I felt it was best to get her shod.

    I, too, wonder how much trouble it would be finding boots for her that fit.[/QUOTE]
    Our local horse auction has always got a load of hardly used ones so I think that's a general problem. I would love something that was easier to put on and felt less rigid and cumbersome, my horses always look they're 'clumping around' somehow. They aren't cheap and you don't get much back second hand selling
         

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