Barefoot/Natural Horse Trimming Vs. Shoeing

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Barefoot/Natural Horse Trimming Vs. Shoeing

This is a discussion on Barefoot/Natural Horse Trimming Vs. Shoeing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-24-2010, 01:34 PM
Barefoot/Natural Horse Trimming Vs. Shoeing

I learned to ride at a boarding barn where all the horses (over 40) get done by the same farriers. You where allowed to bring your own farrier but everyone loves these two brothers. I did a co-op for school at a place and they used the same two brothers to shoe and trim their horses. I saw them correct conformation errors in young horses and take a dead lame horse and trim it's feet and put special shoes on to make it comfortable enough to go on being littly ridden. When I got my first horse a few years ago, naturally I wanted theses two brothers to do it. Problem. They point blank refuse to come out to a barn for less then 5-10 horses. And definetly not if it is far from their home. So I got stuck jumping from farrier to farrier trying to find one I liked. This one charged too much, this one didn't handle my horse right, this one couldn't be counted on to come out when you called him. Finally after a couple of years and having just rescued Indy I found a blacksmith who trims horses but I asked about shoes and he said he didn't shoe horses. I figured I'd try him because Indy was in desprate need of a trim when we got her and I could always find someone else to put shoes on her. He showed up at the barn where I keep her just as the kids who live there returned home from an outing. The next hour - an hour and a half he pain-stakingly trimmed her superlong and cracked feet, and spent the whole time patiently explaining exactly what he was doing to me, the kids, and their parents who had come over to watch. He showed them the bruising in her feet and explained what caused it and how to prevent it. He showed the kids who groom her everyday how to make sure the frog is clean and use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of any sign of thrush that might pop up. He was AMAZING! He handled her really calmly and she was so in love with him and he so in love with her, at the end he crouched under her belly and lifted her two diagnol legs till they touched. With her balancing above him nose down, completley calm. So I finally found a farrier...and he does natural trimming so I have my horse trimmed naturally. He explained the difference and of course made barefoot/natural sound better but I wonder which do you all pre-fer.
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    09-24-2010, 01:37 PM
Lucky you and lucky Indy!!
    09-24-2010, 01:43 PM
Oy, I think you've just opened up Pandora's Box, Jekka.

I prefer whatever works for the individual horse.

I heart my farrier. He trims as well as shoes, but won't try and upsell shoes for a horse that doesn't need them.

My TB was in shoes all around when I brought him home. Now he's down to 2 shoes in the front. Farrier said he didn't think the horse needed 4 shoes, so we put him in fronts only. He's doing wonderfully.

My riding Arabian is also in front shoes, only because he has a crack in his left front that I want to grow out. Farrier said it's not all the way through the hoof, but I wanted shoes on just in case.

My retired Arabian is barefoot. Most of my horses in 32 years have gone barefoot, and Casper will be barefoot again once the crack in his hoof is completely grown out.

I like to keep them barefoot if possible. If they can't walk sound without shoes, they get them. As I said, it's all about the individual horse and what they need to stay sound and healthy.
    09-24-2010, 01:50 PM
I asked about a horse not being able to stay sound without shoes, for that he uses easyboots or this rubbery stuff that is melted right onto the hoof and stays on fr a month or so before starting to wear off.

I figured it would be heated but as long as there is no bashing of other people I figured it could be a really information crammed board for people like me who have done either and just base it on their farrier.
    09-24-2010, 01:53 PM
Oh, I have no problem with however people want to trim/keep their horses sound, as long as they don't go crazy and start bashing what everyone else is doing.
    09-24-2010, 01:54 PM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Oy, I think you've just opened up Pandora's Box, Jekka.
Jekka did say she was going stir crazy, so maybe that was the intent.

I like to use a professional who is willing and able to give my horse's feet whatever care they need.

I have one horse that is barefoot. She will probably always be barefoot. She has rock hard feet and runs across gravel with out a change in stride.

I have one horse that I would like to be barefoot but he just will not do it. He is not even pasture sound with out his shoes. We are going to try again this winter, by pulling his shoes as soon as the snow flies.

I think any good farrier would prefer a horse be in the least complicated set up for them. Doing a bunch of quick trims is far more economical for a farrier than having to do complicated shoes.

Edit to add: Easy boots are not meant to be worn 24/7 so they really are not an option for a horse kept on pasture that is not sound to walk with out something. Add that people who show can in most instances not show in easy boots.
    09-24-2010, 01:59 PM
For showing horses and horses not sound on pasture he uses the melt on stuff, lol I asked those same questions. And yes, I am going stir crazy and figured this would get alot of responses. It may be a few days between when I actually get on a computer but this way I'll be sure to have something interesting to read ;)
    09-24-2010, 02:02 PM
Melt on stuff sounds interesting. I am not sure I know of any melt on stuff that people can show in, though. Enlighten me.
    09-24-2010, 02:12 PM
Good for you! I bet Indy is going to be a lot happier and healthier now that she's barefoot :) Natural trimmers are great, glad you found a good one.
    09-24-2010, 02:12 PM
I'm not sure what it is either. I've only heard about it. They apply something to the frog and the hoof wall then sort of melt/mold somekind of rubbery/plasticy stuff right onto the hoof. I don't know much about it but he trims/puts goop on horses that compete Nationally in Western shows. Can't remember their names.

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