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Should I shoe or not?

This is a discussion on Should I shoe or not? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        12-19-2013, 04:16 AM
      #41
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
    Oh, I forgot. I can just as easily object to you insisting that some horse do need shoes.

    We have that luxury to object or disbelieve what someone else says. We can say we don't believe facts that cannot be disproved. It wasn't until the last 1/2 century that they proved conclusively that two blue eyed people could have a brown eyed child, but I've known college educated people who got their degrees after 2000 that still believe it can't happen . Even in the face of our modern understanding of genetics.

    So you object and I'll object and we'll let the situation in the year 2100 settle who's objection held up. (change with horses is slow.... e.g there weren't many of us riding with just halters, without bits, in the 70's, but over 30 years later you could buy a bitless bridles ) No, I'm not saying everyone should ride bitless just because I do (even my dear, long departed grandfather didn't like me doing that).
    Just a note.
    You could have bought a bitless bridle shortly after man domesticated horses but back then they called it bartering. (trade this for that. It was probably made by a clansman out of grass or leather thong: not nessearily going through the mouth.) No one realy knows when the first "bit" was made but archeologist do know they were of bone and leather/grasses.. Man wanted more control, and much quicker thus the bit (simplified). We are going back to the days of ancient old with "bitless" bridles.

    What I find intresting are the bridleless bits. But now we are going off topic.

    To shoe or not to shoe is still a question. I've had more unshod horses than shod and I remember back when I was in 4-H (a thousand years ago) the horse had to be shod before going to horse camp or the animal was not allowed to attend. So we put shoes on my large pony who never had a shoe on him after the day we bought him. They were removed after camp was over. Pointess in my opinion for that pony had hooves of steel (all white to debunk the "white feet are weak" myth).
         
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        12-19-2013, 08:36 PM
      #42
    Weanling
    I have had horses I kept barefoot that I trail rode even in the mountains. It really depends on the horse. The mare I own now was barefoot for 5yrs rode in all types of terrain and after moving to a very dry climate her hooves started to have cracking problems so I now keep her shod.
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        12-19-2013, 10:09 PM
      #43
    Trained
    It depends first on the horse and their hooves. Many, many horses are perfectly fine unshod or just using boots when needed. Others do better shod due to various factors. Your best bet is to educate yourself, talk to knowledgeable farriers/vets (many of them, not just one), and to first and foremost LISTEN TO YOUR HORSE.

    My boy is shod during the summers, I've considered boots, but they freak me out so I haven't yet go that way. We were barefoot for 3 years before I put shoes on him. Three years of limping down all of the gravel roads (basically all we have to ride on) and him ditch diving constantly to get off the hard ground. I was constantly told "oh, you just need to condition him to it!" How do you condition a horse to hard ground that literally cannot walk 10 feet on a gravel surface without limping?

    I had a well recommended barefoot farrier(actually tried a couple of them), I tried trimming on my own (with guidance), and so on and so forth. He isn't fed grain, isn't overweight, and isn't stalled. However, he is kept on soft ground and ridden on very hard and gravelly ground. We are also "trapped" by snow/ice for a good half of the year, so no hard ground to be found then either. Unless I was significantly more wealthy than I am there is no way to condition my horse to hard/rocky ground. So I shoe him when it becomes necessary. The pony ended up being shod this summer for the same reason. The difference between the ground they are kept on and the ground they are ridden on is enough that their hooves cannot acclimate fast enough for the relatively short season we have. It is possible their hooves would acclimate, I definitely have no doubt the pony would, although I am not sure that the gelding would at all.

    Now, my old horses that were kept the exact same way? Never shod and never a lame step in their lives. Although they were given straight corn and all sorts of other terrible things and never had an issue. Apparently they were just tougher than my current two.

    Bottom line is listen to your horse and educate yourself from a wide variety of sources. There are very few absolutes in the world and most of them have nothing to do with how to keep your horse.
         
        12-25-2013, 09:34 AM
      #44
    Green Broke
    Its--I may not want professionals treating me with 18th century techniques but, you're right, that's what I pay them for. And, shocking, I am not knowledgable enough (nor do I have the time) to do all veterinary or farrier procedures myself.

    The "you" I used in my post was the general, all encompassing "you". I pay a lot of money for top of the line care, and expect honest opinions, and what is best for my horse. I'd venture to say that it's what I receive. But, maybe I'm just old school, or "18th century".
         
        12-25-2013, 09:16 PM
      #45
    Yearling
    Shoeing done right should not hurt a horse's hoof. If done improperly it can easily injure a horse, as can regular trimming, or lack thereof. If you are doing lots of work that proves a lot of wear and tear, I do not believe there is a better substitute than a good shoe (or a horse with a naturally strong hoof.) For more casual use, intermittent use of hoof boots can do wonders. I've seen it myself, and a good hoof boot can stand up to pretty good abuse, but used too often can rub a horse raw. I've used hoof boots on driving horses where shoes would be too slippery. They held up nice, but couldn't be used daily for long distances. On weekend trails they are a dream for a tender-footed horse who isn't used enough to make shoes worth it.

    I take no particular side. Hoof boots are a very viable option for a horse that takes it rough on the occasional road-ride or rocky trail. Shoes have their place, and when used right I have no beef with them. The barefoot horse is a thing of beauty, especially ones with hoof quality that can hold up, but it isn't necessarily for every rider or their horse. There are so many debates that have plenty of pros and cons surrounding horses; blankets or no blankets, shoes or no shoes, grain or no grain, etc. There is no right or wrong answer, just the best possible answer for the situation. For this situation, I think hoof boots should be considered.
    Meadow likes this.
         
        12-28-2013, 11:50 PM
      #46
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Meadow    
    I have been wondering this for a while. Some say not to, some say you need to. But it is rather expensive and I know it really depends on your ground, but will it help or cause problems down the road?
    I love Epona shoes there shock absorbing and the horses don't trip!
    Its fantastic!
         
        12-30-2013, 11:13 AM
      #47
    Started
    It depends on what the horse is being used for.
    If the horse is a pasture pet or does light work on soft ground every once in a while, then no.
    If the horse has bad feet and/or needs a foot problem fixed, then yes.
    If the horse is shown and worked heavily yes, to prevent foot damage down the road.
    We have 5, and leave 3 barefoot. Two have great strong feet, and the other is not ridden. One has shoes only on the front because he has weak front feet, and mine has all four feet shod. He's been shod all his life and doesn't do well without them (we took them off once.) He also gets corrective shoeing.
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        12-30-2013, 11:13 AM
      #48
    Started
    If the horse can do fine without them, then don't bother.
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        12-30-2013, 08:35 PM
      #49
    Foal
    I copied what I wrote from another post.

    I had exactly the same problem boots rubbed my mare raw after a trail ride and yes they did fit her and yes she was "broken" into them.
    I think Epona shoes are the most amazing thing to come along for horses feet.
    1. There shock absorbing.
    2. They take the toe back.
    3. They give proper frog support.
    4. They support the whole hoof not just the rim.
    5. There light weight.
    6. The foot can toughen up with out getting stone bruised.
    (where as I have found they stay sensitive in boots, But with Epona's there twice as tough as when you put them on)
    7. They can be Glued, Cast, or nailed on.
    8. You can use packing or mesh to stop ANY stone bruise.
    9. No tripping
    10. Builds up sole on a thin sole horse.
    11. MUCH MORE incredible benefits.

    There amazing and I wouldn't think of using anything else on my mare or other horses ever..

    Ps. Metal shoes are horrific things in my opinion, I have never and will never use metal shoes and rim shoes are not comfortable for your horse at all they contract the heels and think about it your horse is landing on steel! Not rubber or flexible plastic or a shock absorbing frog its landing on exactly the place they should not bear weight on the hoof and on top of that there landing on steel.
    Metal shoes are not comfortable.
    The only shoe I agree with is the Epona Shoe and Barefoot if you horse is comfortable like that.
    I think the ACT Trim is the way to go trim the bars take the toe back ect...
    If you need help "The Happy Hoof" on youtube is the best ever trim (my opinion)
    Meadow likes this.
         
        12-31-2013, 08:44 PM
      #50
    Foal
    If you guys would like to see some of her pictures, you can go to my thread, "My Arabian, Cinder :)". I finally figured out how to upload pictures .
         

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