Barefoot vs shod - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 44 Old 12-11-2009, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: took the front shoes off about three weeks ago (rears were already off) - had a few ouchy days but is doing remarkably well. Only ridden in a sand arena, very little gravel to walk in. The worst is behind us I believe. Farrier did not recommend boots for his application since he isn't trail ridden - said for him just to tough it out and cut back on his riding until he is comfortable. Both vet and farrier thought he would do fine with no shoes. So far, so good. Thanks for the encouragement and advice.
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post #22 of 44 Old 12-11-2009, 03:57 PM
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YAY! Sounds like a success.

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post #23 of 44 Old 12-12-2009, 12:14 PM
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Congratulations! Before my horse came down with COPD, I rode him almost everywhere. On the road, gravel driveway, trails, grass, mud. Rain or shine. He had the best traction out of them all, especially in a group with shod horses. Never had a problem with chipping, sore feet, or anything. Not even with cantering down a cement road. Of course, Beau has .. better feet than average. He's never had a problem with his hooves, never a single crack or chip. No supplements or anything.

Barefoot is great for a lot of horses. My trainer's entire barn is barefoot, with the exception of about two horses. One needs back shoes because of a medical problem, and the other is a thoroughbred who needed them to help mend a quarter crack.
Of course, just the same, many horses do need shoes for various reasons. It all depends on the horse, IMHO.

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post #24 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 12:02 PM
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I'd like to add my opinion. I'm still a student, but I learn from experts that have been there, and done both shod horses and barefoot horses. And in the end they chose barefoot because of all it's upside.

Barefoot, barefoot, barefoot. All the way all day. I will never put shoes on my horses. It just doesn't make any sense to me. I understand that people have followed the crowd for who knows how many years, but that doesn't make the crowd correct. On an off note "the crowd has no idea that there is a cure for cancer or aids and such. Because the mainstream/crowd doesn't tell you about it." rant rant rant

Here's a few good sites learn about hooves and barefoot function. His dvds under the horse are the best IMO to learn from. Also his articles are excellent.
Barefoot for Soundness I do not suggest following the trim on this page. I made a sheepish mistake following this trim, which I still am apoligizing for. But still good info to learn from on this site.
The Horse's Hoof, News for Barefoot Hoofcare Good site lots of info.
Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance Good site lots of case studies.
Barefoot Hoof Care by Amber Mohr Resident expert. Good info
I'm sure there are many other sites. But these are the ones I frequent.
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post #25 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 02:06 PM
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What are you guys going to do for traction, for wear?? Compromise and not ride the horse or alter where you ride??
My guy just came off being barefoot for the fall. Snow started to fall this week so on go the shoes, the studs and the winter pads. Come spring off come the shoes until the insects in the bush become too bad and then on go the shoes again so I can run roads.
It is not about weather he can go barefoot or not but what is best for him.
Properly shod a horse can run across a skating rink. Can run all day long on coarse gravel. Footing that wears an aluminum shoe out in a week or a steel shoe in one setting.
It is not about weather I beleive barefoot or shod is best but what works for the work the horse is doing.

I live in amish country and every single horse, every one that is used on the road is shod. They couldn't survive any other way.
So if you want to play in the arena go for barefoot but if you are out on the roads in the ice and snow shod is the only way to go.
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post #26 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by totalfreedom View Post
Barefoot, barefoot, barefoot. All the way all day. I will never put shoes on my horses.
Then all your life your riding will be a compromise. Shoes were not invented so a farrier could make money but because a true working animal can not get along without them.

And yes I am barefoot 1/2 the year and put shoes on only because it becomes a necessity and for his and my safety.
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post #27 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 04:10 PM
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Well I would like to say some thing...
Bare foot or shod is not better than the other it is the the circumstances of the indvidual horse if you have a horse that has shoes on all his life than going bare foot would not be a good option but if you have a horse with strong feet than great keep him bare foot.
I personally have barefoot all winter (oct-march) then he gets 1 and a half in. sliders on for the rest of the year. BUT Champ has VERY strong feet he is never lame nor sore. My farrier said that he has the strongest feet he had ever seen...

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post #28 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 05:01 PM
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I don't know how I would have to compromise. I'm sure that there's still much I can learn, but I don't know when or if I would need to compromise or what situations would cause me to not being able to ride. I suppose I need to learn more. And I'm still learning mind you, but I still cannot find anyone that has switched from barefoot to shod because it was a healthier alternative for their horse and it worked better. I've heard of people that tried a barefoot trim for like one or two trims and decided it didn't work so they went back to shoes. But two trims aint nearly enough time to develop a proper hoof on most horses. With a proper diet it will take about 8 months to grow a proper hoof. Or so I've learned.

City of Houston Police Horses Go Barefoot, part 1 Barefoot horses working on paved city streets. I recall somewhere that in studies that have been done have shown a comparasion of shod horses over barefoot horses. A shod horse on soft ground has the same concussive impact as a barefoot horse running on pavement/cement. Scientific studies have shown this, not just a persons opinion.

I ride on rocky terrain. Rocky lava rock. With some steep hills I take him up and down. I've been riding without boots for the first month or so, but I bought boots because I simply wanted his hooves to turn into rock crunchers quicker. And also because I lowered the hoof wall too much two weeks ago following a certan sites recommendations. "I will not ever do that again." But before that I had no boots for him and he did fine in that lava rock. Ever since I lowered the hoof wall too much though, I haven't even wanted to try him without boots. No sense to go backwards when I wanna go forward. I also have to ride down a gravel road to get to the mountain I ride on.

I thought I read too, that a barefoot horse has more grip than a shoe on ice? And if it's about the best for the horse and the best for the rider and one must absolutely use a spike to run on ice then you can put on boots with spikes in em. Then take em off when you unsaddle. But if it's merely for the convenience of the rider and no care for the horse I can understand the shoes. It does take commitement to learn something that isn't in the mainstream. It's a challenge to grow rhino skin while the majority chooses not to be ostracized so they pick up stones and throw em at ya because you choose to learn. There's always two sides to a story and when you're only taught one side it makes me question what's being hidden on the other side of the coin.

I also recall a story of pete rameys who said in his horses that he used for group trail rides which he used every day. He said that the horses would wear down the shoe to a very thin level and he would be reshoing often. Much more often than normal because he used em so much. But he had no issuse with taking his horses barefoot and asking them to perform the same tasks. The hoof will grow if it needs to grow. Matter of fact he stated that they became healthier in that they weren't showing signs of soreness and lameness. And when they were shod they would need to rest for a while as he used a different horse.

If one were to trim barefoot and leave their horse in a soft ground arena/pasture and only ride on soft footing all the time and then one day expect the horse to ride on extreme rocks, you would probably be asking for trouble. I don't know for sure but I think you would need to condition em to it. From the pictures I've seen of horses that have never seen a rock in their lives and follow a barefoot trim they develop very deeply concave soles. And the ones that have varied terrain and rocks and such will have concave soles, but not as deep. I'm assuming that the rock crunchers just develope thicker and denser sole compared to the arena only horses.

Truth is that shoes were invented because the horses were stalled all day and night standing in their own muck/ammonia while living behind castle walls. That ammonia tore the hoof apart so, voila, shoes. Simply because the one person people will follow is choosing something doen't make that choice correct. People follow leaders even though those leaders choices are wrong. Learn to never follow and see the light shine. Question most everything you, we, were all taught. Because the majority of it is wrong. And there were plenty of working horses that did fine without shoes. There are today too. This world with it's societies are so backwards, I still feel like I'm dreaming in this world to see all that I do. I simply can't understand it. I understand it for its purpose though.

I also understand that die hard shoers will unlikely ever change their opinions. But I have a hard time following closed minded choices. And choices that were made from only inspecting one side of the coin. I prefer to follow experts that have made the mistakes on both sides of the coin and have chosen one side over the other for the obvious reason of it being a better path.

I'm just passionate I suppose. I enjoy all the opinions too though so that any new person can read the whole story and then choose for themselves. "To seperate oneself from the light and swim in darkness to only experience the joy of finding your way home."

rant rant rant. Please no one take offence to what I've said either. It's simply the EXPERIENCE of the people that have been there.

Last edited by totalfreedom; 12-13-2009 at 05:07 PM.
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post #29 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 05:19 PM
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I know that some horses are said to have 'softer feet' and get sore on rocks and pavement without shoes supposedly. HOWEVER, a horse who has had shoes all their life, and may have genetic hoof problems, or problems that go along with the breed, such as Quarter Horses and other breeds with smaller hooves may have problems without shoes, and need corrective shoeing and/or be unable to live without shoes, which I understand.
I don't completely dissaprove of shoes, however I will say this.
The average horses hoof is meant to do the same as a human foot. With a horseshoe on, the horse is unable to rely on it's hoofs flexion. When a human walks, their feet and muscles work together to create grip and comfort. The horses hoof and foot is built to do the same. They have muscles, that if shod from being very young, become almost nothing. There as if you allow a horse from a younger age to go shoeless, the flexion of the hoof is much easier to bring back, and thus the hoof is healthier and the muscles are able to work.
I'd suggest if anyone has any doubts about this to check out Joe Camp's website, Barefoot Horse Horse hoof care "The very best horse book ever: Best Seller The Soul of a Horse" Joe Camp best selling author and read his books. Joe is very knowledgble about this topic.
Just food for thought. =)

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Last edited by irydehorses4lyfe; 12-13-2009 at 05:23 PM.
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post #30 of 44 Old 12-13-2009, 05:20 PM
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I re-read what I typed and I can see how it could be taken offensive. Please don't take it that way. I have a hard time conveying properly in a way that is constructive.

I also meant to say " never follow, instead allow the light to shine"

I'm also not humble enough to only bite my tongue. But when you know the cures for pathological disease you want everyone to benefit from em. You wanna scream it from the roof tops. There's no reason to not wanna help your bretheren. I would enjoy watching everyone lending a hand to lift everyone else around em up.
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