Barefoot OR Shoes - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 09:30 AM
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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.......
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post #22 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 09:53 AM
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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' dont 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 thats what you should do
I have no issue with barefoot - thats how some of my horses are but if they need shoes they get them. Simple as that
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post #23 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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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?
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post #24 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Running Whisper View Post
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?
Thats 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 dont 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 thats 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 thats 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
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post #25 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 01:45 PM
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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
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post #26 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 02:04 PM
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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 dont think for a SECOND THAT EVERY HORSE WILL FALL ON ONE SIDE OF THE FENCE OR THE OTHER..
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post #27 of 28 Old 12-05-2012, 08:47 PM
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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.
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post #28 of 28 Old 12-06-2012, 06:19 PM
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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 View Post
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.
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