Barefoot or Shoes???? - Page 2

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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

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    05-22-2007, 12:58 PM
Obviously there are advantages to either choice - barefoot or shoes. IMO I prefer to have my horses go barefoot because it's less maintenance, cheaper for me, and helps toughen their feet (important even if the horse will be wearing shoes again in the future). I trim my old mare myself now that she never wears shoes anymore. However, when I'm showing a horse or if I know I'm going to be doing a lot of trail riding or a lot of hard work with a horse, then I go ahead and have the farrier put shoes on. Just the way I do things...
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    05-22-2007, 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Singleton
I think that question very much depends on your horse, your lifestyle and you.
If your horse turns out to have long term tender feet then this is most certainly not an option. Also, if his hoof condition is naturally not that great then probably it will cause quite a few headaches in the near future!
Keeping a horse barefoot requires more time in general care - if you do not have this time then do not consider it. However, it does mean a significant reduction in overall upkeep of the horse.
Finally, if you are a worrier then with a barefoot horse you are most likely going to spend all your time worrying rather than riding! Horses can cope pretty well barefoot really - you just need to be a bit careful.
I agree with Dave here. What I might do, is if I ride a lot in the spring and summer months, go ahead and shoe him. Then, in the winter when you are riding less, let him go barefoot. That way, he is getting time to harden up his feet, and you are riding him less, so you don't miss out either. I personally prefer for my horses to go barefoot. I have a TB who used to be VERY sensitive, she has gotten a lot better. She is somewhat sensitive, but I don't use her in really rocky areas. We also have a QH who HAS to be shod because of work and I hate it. We have to give him time off from shoes every so often to give his feet a break. The farrier is a good one, it's not him, but Dukes feet get brittle when wearing shoes.
    05-22-2007, 07:37 PM
Well, all I know, is that he is unable to wear shoes for a long time, and they do better barefoot. I still feel that the farriors we use (We have more than one we use because if they throw a shoe or something we need it fixed asap and the farriers around here are busy.) It doesn't matter WHO we use, he still has the problem.
    05-22-2007, 10:21 PM
Some people have horses who do really well barefoot, mine do not. Have paints (crummy little feet) neither one of which did well barefoot no matter how much crap I painted on or how many supplements they got. But other horses where I was boarding did great barefoot and really liked it (definitely found old macs better than easy boots but that is another story). Where I am (montana) I could not imagine a barn that either did or didn't mandate going barefoot and I would not like a barn telling me what I could and couldn't do health-wise with my own horse, if I couldn't use fly spray (???) or use supplements (i'd definitely say "no thanks". I'd get a farrier I trusted and let my horse's behavior tell me what option to follow, not my barn manager.
    05-24-2007, 11:17 PM
Originally Posted by jr
Well if your horses feet improve when the shoes are removed only proves one thing, your farriers aren't competent " full stop"any removal of substandard work by an incompetent farrier would have to logical mean the structure of the hoof would improve, it is not the shoe that is the evil, it is the incompetent person applying it
You're putting yourself in the highest regards and putting a LOT of farries down without knowing a thing about each individual case. I have found it to be the 'farriers' that cannot accept that in certain cases barefoot is better...interesting....

To the rest of you who believe that there are good and bad aspects to any practice, whethor it be shoes, no shoes, breaking ways, riding disciplines and such...there are positives and negatives to every aspect...depending on each and every horse, the outcome is going to be a different experience for everyone:)
    05-25-2007, 10:26 AM
Originally Posted by jr
i'm sorry I rained on your parade, the truth is the horse world is full of spin doctors masquerading under all kinds of titles, that doesn't make them competent nor does it give them any validity, but it does make them a lot of money from the gullible who think they do till it all turns horribly pear shaped for them, I can tell you first hand every one who owns a horse thinks there an expert when it comes to horses hooves so your right up there with the best of them, believe what ever you wish, I'm not going to loose any sleep over it, I have no end of professional horse owners hounding me for my skilled services :)
You haven't rained on my parade ...I also never said I was a 'professional' anything...nor do I trim hooves...just have a horse and I do what's best for him;) That's it. It looks like you've got your mind made up, but why wouldn't make a living on the suggested topic. It would do you a disservice for you to preach any other way;) Take care...not going to bother with this anymore.
    05-25-2007, 07:27 PM
Stone bruse

Think about the time you will miss riding when your horse comes up with a stone bruise not to mention the pain the horse will be going through.

I had a mare that her hoofs were so strong she never needed shoes and we walked ove all types of rocks, gravel and hard ground. Never did she ever get a stone bruise.

Just like people are different horses are to and you may never be able to get away from your horse having shoes depending on their DNA.
    05-26-2007, 12:15 AM
WOW! It seems that I have sparked a very controversial and sensitive topic for some. Didn't mean to get anyone upset with my asking for opinions (However I did get them!) Anyhow, I have decided to let Ronan go barefoot. I have purchased some easyboot epics though. Many horses at my stable use different boots. The manager let me borrow hers to try them out. Ronan did great with them. I will continue riding him with the boots until his feet get harder. Then I will start taking him out every other time barefoot. If it turns out that his feet just can't take the hard surfaces etc., then I will probably have him shod again. I just want to try barefoot to see if it will do first. Can't knock it until you try it, right? So...thank you all for your opinions and suggestions!!!!

    05-26-2007, 12:20 AM
I think that it really depends on the horse. If you have a tenderfooted horse then put shoes on. If you have a young strong horse with strong feet(aka my old pony) let them go barefoot(he usually went barefoot in the winter and had shoes in the summer for show season).
    05-26-2007, 12:42 PM
I just had to laugh when I read these posts as my farrier makes similar comments about people doing all sorts of things with their horses feet, then calling him to come fix them. He told me that the good thing about being a farrier was that you don't need any training or schooling or anything because wherever you go, people tell you how to do your job.... (he is really cynical)

As I was saying before, I really like having a farrier/vet whatever that I trust, as I am not a farrier, whose advice I can rely on. Everyone has opinions so have to have someone who you really believe. We disagreed aon a few points (I never like the way my guy went in the aluminum wedge shoes as opposed to the wedge pads) but we discuss them with the idea that my horses performance is the deciding factor.

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