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

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    08-17-2008, 10:19 AM

I've been reading on this topic for a while and can only found sites regarding the benefit of barefoot horses.
What are the main points against barehoof?
Any input from your expirience?
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    08-17-2008, 11:12 AM
Your horse and farrier will let you know if your horse NEEDS shoes...

Some don't some do ... and it also depends on the amount and type of riding you do as well.... the average horse with the average owner think weekend warrior type which most horse owners are can go barefoot but there are those like my mare that MUST have shoes year around because of bad genetics
    08-17-2008, 12:54 PM
Green Broke
Well this is a big Pandora's Box to open

I have trail ridden all my life. I have ridden "over & in the river and the thru woods to grandma's house" , and done my fair share of climbing rocks and have my horse literally sitting on his butt and "walking himself down power lines.

All of those horses wore shoes to do that. My 16H TWH that has been with me 12 of his 14 years, has hooves like a goat and can be ridden in rough/rocky terrain without shoes for 4 or 5 hours and not come back sore.

That being said, if I know my "Ya-Ya Sisters" are coming and I need all three of my Walkers ready to go, "ready to go" means shoes on everyone, because we all still like a bit of a challenge on the trails

My Arab can ride barefoot in some pretty rough terrain , but I've never tested the butt-sliding and rock climbing" theory because he has a vertebra injury from before I rescued him and cannot carry more than 100 pounds. Anyone that weighs 100 lbs or less is generally under 12 and I won't take little children on butt-sliding escapades.

I can't shoe but I have done my own trimming for 49 years. I currently adhere to Pete's Ramey's philosophy for barefoot trimming.

My horses are all barefoot at the moment. Not because I am a barefoot cultist and just know that's the only right thing to do; but because the horse in my avatar is metabolic and I need $$$$ I used to give to my shoer for the things Duke needs to stay healthy.

Except for my metabolic horse, I could take any of my four horses down my macadam road barefoot for an hour or two of riding.

The metabolic horse would have to have boots on the front. I will never shoe him again because the EMS exploded his arthritis and it's all he can to stand for a trim, much less having nails pounded into his hooves.

In summary: Barefoot, if done correctly, is a great thing. It has done wonders for my metabolic horse and learning the Pete Ramey method has also helped me with my horse that is slightly club-footed,

If I were still slidin' horses down a power line and knee-digging them up the other side --- make no mistake they would be sportin' a set of rim shoes and borium head nails 8)
    08-18-2008, 05:24 AM
Thank you for sharing your expirience with me.
I ride a 4 y.o. Qh who has shoes for a year. I ride about 3-4 times a week for one hour in a manege and about 1-2 times a week as trail riding on various grounds, but most of the time hard ground with stones.
I've read about bare foot and it sounds reasonable and healthy.
When asking my farrier he recommended to have her with shoes, but I didn't expect him to say something else (he is a farrier after all...).
I don't have the tools to evaluate the hoof myself. I asked some of my friends who are more expirienced than I am. The one with the "traditional" point of view said it will hurt the mare if I take the shoes off. The "barefoot lovers" say I'll harm her if I'll keep her on shoes...
I am confused...
Any suggestions?
    08-18-2008, 08:02 AM
I know there are such differing opinions on this but hereís my input from experience with my horse.

I had shoes on him just because it was the done thing but he kept throwing them. We live in a small town and the farrier is quite a way away. I got fed up and researched barefoot and decided it was worth a try even if I had to rest my horse a bit while his feet toughened up. He was fine! It took a while just keeping to the grass but he can go anywhere now and he also jumps without any problems. I know it doesnít work for everyone and there are some horses that simply canít go without shoes but his feet look great and heís happy.
    08-18-2008, 09:01 AM
Thank you.
What do you think will be a horse that if fit of beying barefoot?
In what horse would you chose to put shoes on?
    08-18-2008, 09:38 AM
Most horse are capable of going barefoot IF they have a good foot to begin with

I have a mare that has tender flat feet and her feet DO NOT grow she will never be barefoot... somem horses just can't be barefoot no matter what you do...

All you can do is try... most farriers would rather have a horse barefoot

My farrier charges $25 to trim he can do it in about 20 minutes or LESS

Only charges $55 for front shoes and all horses are hot shod so it takes another hour or so to do the fronts

And only $70 for all four ... he can TRIM 4 or 5 in an hour the is more money for HIM if all he does is trim !!
    08-18-2008, 11:50 AM
I have both of my horses barefoot and I too have questions on the "downsides of barefooing". My guys have been fine without them but haven't been ridden extensively on rough terrain either. I have concerns that by the time they need another trim they are chipping. Not chipping severly but still chipping. My trimmer comes every 6 weeks and by the end of 4 the hooves are looking pretty ragged. My trimmer said it has a lot to do with the excessive wet weather we have been having and I'm looking for other opinions as well.
    08-18-2008, 12:07 PM
In my experience...going barefoot saved my horse's "useable" life. My horse was having foot problem after foot problem and I took the plunge (against my farrier's advice) and went barefoot. He is now much healthier and happier. Here is a link to some xrays showing my horse's hoof the last 2 years...

For rougher riding you can always get hoof boots...hoof boots are also good for the transition period between shoes and most horses do get sore. Don't let the transition period deter you the long run the horse will be better off bare. My horse, unfortunately, was sore for about 3 weeks...but I just kept him on good soft ground and it worked itself out.
    08-19-2008, 11:14 AM

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