Barefoot OR Shoes - Page 3

       The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health

Barefoot OR Shoes

This is a discussion on Barefoot OR Shoes within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

    Like Tree36Likes

    LinkBack Thread Tools
        12-05-2012, 09:30 AM
    Super Moderator
    SR....we should really sit down and take turns in responding....

    I'm all for a good barefoot trim...IF THE HORSE IS COMFORTABLE. The boots work, but not every boot fits every horse. There are boots who hold up long, the Tevis has been ridden in boots.
    If my horse is sensitive and despite conditioning of the hooves stays that way, it needs shoes. I prefer a good barefoot trimmer over a bad farrier, and a good farrier over a bad trimmer. As easy as that.......
    Sponsored Links
        12-05-2012, 09:53 AM
    Super Moderator
    Its great if a horse can do without shoes - saves you money as much as anything and of course it is 'natural' but then nothing we actually do with horses is really natural - the horse we have today is so far removed from its ancient ancestors its barely recognisable
    Horse in the 'wild' don't do so great as you think without shoes, you go and look at a herd and half of them will be limping with broken feet. Natural selection made for stronger feet because the ones with the poorest feet were the ones who couldnt run so fast and got eaten by some predator or didnt even make it to the new grazing grounds and starved to death
    In the UK we ride on hard and often gritty roads, a barefoot horse doing 2 or 3 hours on that a day is soon footsore and lame. I've had horse still working in their late 20's, shod and worked on hard roads all their life and not a joint problem in sight
    Joint problems have nothing to do with shoes - its just a falacy spread by fanatics who think there is only one way to do things
    If your horse needs shoes to allow it to work happily and soundly then that's what you should do
    I have no issue with barefoot - that's how some of my horses are but if they need shoes they get them. Simple as that
        12-05-2012, 10:57 AM
    So just another question. My TWH does just fine without shoes, and is fine on hard surfaces other than the gravel that I have, but it is very sharp. My other two have problems walking on hard and rocky surfaces. For trails would shoes help or would it be better to invest in some hoofboots?
        12-05-2012, 01:37 PM
    Super Moderator
    Originally Posted by Running Whisper    
    So just another question. My TWH does just fine without shoes, and is fine on hard surfaces other than the gravel that I have, but it is very sharp. My other two have problems walking on hard and rocky surfaces. For trails would shoes help or would it be better to invest in some hoofboots?
    that's something you have to work out for yourself based on how well boots will fit your horse and how well you feel they work in them.
    Horses don't come 'off the peg' so buying boots to fit that are 'off the peg' doesnt often work well.
    I have tried many different types and even the ones that didnt rub or fall off always felt like my horse was clomping along in a rather clumsy way
    If you find some that work for you then that's fine but research them well and try to get them that are professionally fitted
    The other thing that ruled them out for me was riding on a daily basis sometimes on several different horses involved putting boots on and taking boots off and on a really cold day with a back like mine that's suffered from too many badly planned falls in the past - well it just seemed like too much of a faff when I'd never seen any evidence that shoes were doing my horses any harm
        12-05-2012, 01:45 PM
    Super Moderator
    Not every boot will fit every hoof, and some are more bothersome putting on than others. Work with a farrier or trimmer who has experience fitting them and preferably has some with him/her to try on.
    And yes, it looks clumsy, most of them at least. The Easy Boot Glove a little less, tho
        12-05-2012, 02:04 PM
    One of my horses goes great bare foot.. and I'll keep her that way because A.) its cheaper (whenever the universe allows me to be cheap, I go for it:):) B.) why shoe if she doesnt need it?

    My main horse pepper has thin soles and can get a little ouchie out on the gravel roads...with the farrier I have now I have managed to move her from shoes all the time, to riding her somewhat regularly (but short rides) with out them. In the spring I know I'll have to resume shoeing her as I will be riding her alot more (after baby and considering she is now in my back yard).. I have tried conditioning her feet to be tougher but I have only been able to get her so far..

    Third and newest horse..I plan on keeping her barefoot unless otherwise needed.. her feet seem to have a tenancy towards cracking and chipping in big chunks, but with a dietary change, and actually having her on a regular farrier schedule, I am hoping to get her feet where they need to be.. but we will see.

    I agree with everyone else that it needs to be decided on an individual horse level. And finding a GOOD farrier/trimmer is absolutely key. Its good to research and come up with your own opinions..but don't think for a SECOND THAT EVERY HORSE WILL FALL ON ONE SIDE OF THE FENCE OR THE OTHER..
        12-05-2012, 08:47 PM
    Relax speedracer! Nobody that I can see is arguing with you. I have a 4 year old marchador that has shoes in the front. I understand very well what your saying, and I very much agree with you. Down here in south texas, the soil is a very sandy loam, and we ride mostly on dirt farm roads, with some caliche, and the caliche bothers my Thoroughbred, and he has great feet. Our 6 yo AQH had a bad injury to the right front leg and bulb, and his hoof is growing funny as a result, so once the hoof gets a bit harder back there he's going to be shod for protective/preventative reasons. You aren't, and won't geet any arguments from me. I'm just saying whenever possible, and reasonably so, I will always opt for natural hoof trims and barefoot hooves. And I think more people should educate themselves as much as possible regarding hoof care and maintenance. It affects almost every aspect of the horses health/soundness.
    deserthorsewoman likes this.
        12-06-2012, 06:19 PM
    To OP, in my opinion & experience, as a hoof care practitioner & rehab specialist, keeping a horse *out of shoes* is better for the horse. GENERALLY. There are always exceptions & conditions where a conventional shoe could well be the 'lesser evil'. And notice I didn't say barefoot is better. I believe it is, *IF* the horse has healthy, strong feet & copes *comfortably* with whatever we throw at it. But that's a big if for most domestic horses IME & most will require protection/support in at least some situations we put them in. I think hoof boots are *generally* a better answer rather than nail on peripheral loading devices for that.

    As others have said, without pics & more info, as to your specific horse & problems, we can only roughly speculate. It could be that his feet are overgrown & flared & good regular trimming is required. It could be that due to congenital conformation, imbalance when he was young, injury, whatever, he is imbalanced, but if so, if the horse is mature, you may well do more damage to joints that have developed & adapted to that than if you leave the imbalance alone.

    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    This whole barefoot vs shoes debate is idiotic. SOME horses can go barefoot while SOME horses need shoes.
    Speedracer, the way you put it, I agree with all you've said 100%. I just don't think conventional rims are the best option for horses who need protection. OP it's also important to realise there are indeed fanatics & lots of theories & claims, not necessarily well founded, on either side of the 'debate'(ha!) so it is important that you educate yourself as best you can on the principles & pros & cons of different theories so you can make an informed decision.

    That whole 'wild horses do just fine without shoes' argument has holes so big I could drive a semi through them. Wild horses with bad feet do exist, they just don't live long. Plus, they're not being worked the way domestic horses are.
    I think environment & lifestyle is the biggest factor by far & is what makes the 'natural is best' argument a bit irrelevant. I do know of different regions in Australia where the brumbies live reasonably long, easy lives but have terrible feet - waterlogged swamp country, soft sand & rich feed country, for eg. They do fine despite their feet because they remain in that environment - they're not living in soft, cushy paddocks & then expected to go out every weekend on gravel roads for eg. But it's interesting that the whole 'wild horse trim' theory seems to be based upon wild horses having perfect feet - well, virtually all online egs I've seen have indeed had short, strong, tough feet, but have all come from the same sort of environment - arid, stony country with very little feed, were horses must travel many miles daily between feed & water. There is no mention on any of the popular sites about other 'wild' hoof forms in other environments.

    After saying all that, I think it's invaluable to learn about & consider the differences in what the horse has evolved for & the situations he develops strong feet, compared to the more 'normal' state of affairs, of the majority of domestic horses - & possibly the majority world wide of feral horses. There is a lot to be learned from nature, but just because something is natural doesn't make it necessarily Right or Good.
    deserthorsewoman likes this.

    Quick Reply
    Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

    Register Now

    In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

    Already have a Horse Forum account?
    Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

    New to the Horse Forum?
    Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

    User Name:
    Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
    Confirm Password:
    Email Address
    Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
    Email Address:


    Human Verification

    In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

    Old Thread Warning
    This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Go Barefoot or Keep Shoes loveyourhorse Hoof Care 37 05-26-2012 12:30 AM
    shoes vs barefoot triggetpony Horse Health 16 06-30-2011 04:13 PM
    Shoes vs. Barefoot White Foot Horse Health 36 07-04-2009 02:29 PM
    Going from shoes to barefoot appylover31803 Horse Health 8 06-09-2009 01:11 PM

    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:00 AM.

    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0