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Barefoot Trend

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

    View Poll Results: What's on your horses hooves?
    4 shoes 10 23.81%
    2 shoes 3 7.14%
    Nothing, my horse goes barefoot. 29 69.05%
    Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

     
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        02-11-2008, 06:40 AM
      #11
    Showing
    I keep mine barefoot. So far no reason for them to have shoes on (my farrier thinks same way). But I plan on getting pair of boots for trail riding.
         
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        02-11-2008, 06:53 AM
      #12
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val
    I keep mine barefoot. So far no reason for them to have shoes on (my farrier thinks same way). But I plan on getting pair of boots for trail riding.
    I forgot to get back to you kitten. We got a pair of easyboot epics for Sassafras and I plan on ordering a pair for Vida. We haven't had a chance to really give them a workout but they seem like pretty good boots and 'Fras goes well in them after the initial "what the heck" the first time she walked in them.
         
        02-11-2008, 08:23 AM
      #13
    Foal
    I'm certainly no expert on horse feet but to my way of thinking, there's only 3 reasons to shoe a horse....
    (1) Traction.
    (2) Protection.
    (3) Correction.

    Here in S/E Texas, we don't have rocky terrain and the ground is flat. Mine mostly get rode either on dirt or in the woods.
    Of the dozen or so horses that I've owned over the years, I've never shoed a single one of them. But on the other hand, if either of the two which I currently own were to develop some some sort of problem that corrective-shoeing would fix, I'd be all for it.

    DGW
         
        02-11-2008, 10:01 AM
      #14
    Showing
    Vida,

    Let me know how they'll work. I probably will need pair in summer. Just keep waiting on Jemma's growing. :) I was thinking about either easyboot or boa.
         
        02-11-2008, 10:47 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    My QH filly is coming three and as I'm not going to start her seriously until she's 3 - 3 1/2 , she's been barefoot and I'll keep her barefoot as long as I can even after she's going under saddle.........it just depends on her and how her feet hold up. I had a mustang mare, who had hooves of steel basically and never needed shoes! But that doesn't work for all horses unfortunately.
         
        02-18-2008, 02:09 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    I have had a little bit of experience with true barefoot horses so I'll tell you what I know.
    I used to ride a percheron/arab gelding in endurance. This gelding had never had shoes on in his entire 7yrs of life. We rode him on all terrain (although we tried to keep to the softer ground where we could) even rocky gravel roads. I did several 80km rides on him and by the end his feet were fine and we didn't use any boots!

    If a horses feet are trimmed the correct way for barefoot then they should not chip or crack and the horses soles before hard and callused so they are able to be ridden on all sorts of terrain with no probs.
    However, from the horses I have seen and ridden barefoot I would reccomend using a young horse that has never had shoes on in the first place to start barefoot with. Horses that have been shod previously have softer feet and it will take months or even years to become truly barefoot over any terrain.
    So if your horse has been shod and you are changeing totally to barefoot you should allow alot of time for a horses hooves to ajust and harden up.
         
        02-19-2008, 06:20 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    I like the barefoot method one because its cheaper and two because it's more natural. Didn't the mustangs live on rocky mountains with rocks and all kinds of other things? They're feet were fine. Also shoes restrict blood-flow in the hoof and don't absorb impact as well. And if the hooves aren't taken care of while shoed they can quickly be mishappen and deformed.

    I know this site was already posted, but its amazing and it really convinced me:
    http://www.barefoothorse.com/
         
        02-24-2008, 05:52 AM
      #18
    Foal
    judgement call

    As a professional farrier I have had friends, my mother, and clients touting barefoot trimming. One client point blank refused shoes for a toe crack, which was fine, they didn't show and had plenty of time to wait for a barefoot correction.

    My concern about the "natural hoof" cult is that the horse is no longer a physically natural animal. After about 4 thousand years of human "improvement" we have distorted many breeds' genes so they simply do not grow sturdy feet. I do try whenever possible to keep a horse barefoot (mostly because I am lazy and don't care to go through the trouble of shoes unless absolutely necessary :P ).

    As for mustangs (not an attack, I swear!), I do not desire a mustang's life for my horses, mustangs live hard and die young.

    Just went to the barefoot website that was posted, sounds like the prescribed trim is exactly how I was trained to do it, so my experience with barefoot horses is still valid. Yay validity!
    I do however strongly disagree with the idea of a fabricated "mustang roll". Unless the person performing the trim is absolutely 100% certain they are putting it in exactly the right spot for that horse, it can cause discomfort and potential damage to the knee. A horse's leg moves linearly, if the "mustang roll" (breakover point) is misplaced this will force the knee to bend at an angle not natural to that horse, causing lateral bending and breaks in the line of motion of the leg. I'd much rather just let the horse "grow" its own breakover point.
         
        02-24-2008, 02:02 PM
      #19
    tim
    Weanling
    Re: judgement call

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by emilou423
    my concern about the "natural hoof" cult is that the horse is no longer a physically natural animal. After about 4 thousand years of human "improvement" we have distorted many breeds' genes so they simply do not grow sturdy feet. I do try whenever possible to keep a horse barefoot (mostly because I am lazy and don't care to go through the trouble of shoes unless absolutely necessary :P ).
    I know! I always feel slightly miffed when people try to replicate the herd life at a farm. Some natural techniques can only be so effective in a domesticated setting.
         
        02-24-2008, 06:03 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Every horse that I've ever been intimately involved with had worn shoes...until I bought my first horse! His previous owners said that he had shoes in the past but "didn't need them anymore."

    When I brought him to my new barn, I made an appt with my BO's farrier for a trim/shoe consult. When the farrier arrived (who my BO raved about) it turned out he was the same guy who had been doing my horse's feet for 5 years! He gave me the real low-down on my horse's feet:

    He had been shod in the past while in training for endurance. Apparently, his feet didn't grow very fast and therefore the nail holes didn't grow out fast enough to be trimmed off each time. So, the multiple nail holes weakened his hoof. When his owner retired him from endurance, they took the shoes off. At first, he had very bad, soft feet (probably because he'd been shod his whole life). They put him on hoof supplements and he just hung out in the yard for 2 years. Now, he has amazing feet! And I think putting shoes on him now would ruin what he has built up. I do keep him on supplements though and we're pretty arena-bound. But it's nice to only pay 35 bucks for a trim!

    As others have said, I think the barefoot/shod dilemma is really on a horse-by-horse basis. And man, it really pays to have a good (& honest) farrier!
         

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