Going from shoes to barefoot

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Going from shoes to barefoot

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  • Going from shoes to barefoot on my horse

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    06-07-2009, 06:21 PM
Going from shoes to barefoot

When the farrier comes out next, I want to ask him if Gem can go barefoot again.
He's been shod for almost a year in Natural Balance Shoes (I believe that's what they're called)
We've seen a great improvement in his stride, but I think we would have seen great improvement when they went from

To this

As of right now the only work he's doing is groundwork, and its not every day. He is not getting ridden ATM and maybe the only weight he'll have on is if my 7 or 3 year old niece want a pony ride. And they havent even asked yet.
I like my horses barefoot and I know he was shod to help with the breakover point, but I'm wondering if the farrier could just trim him.

Would the shoes really make that much of a difference? Also, I know there's going to have to be an adjustment period because he has to toughen up his hooves again. Is there anything we should be looking out for to see that he's in some discomfort, or just let him work it out? (He's turned out 24/7 and there are little to no rocks, just dirt and grass)
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    06-07-2009, 07:01 PM
Green Broke
Your farrier is going to be the expert on this question. If he's had problems, he may continue to need to be on the same routine to keep his feet healthy. Sometimes horses have to be in shoes.

If he's uncomfortable you'll be able to tell pretty quicky. He might start limping or walking very carefully each step he takes. Or he may not show any signs at all. Some horses are very stoic and you never know there's an issue until it is really bad.

But again, talk with your vet and go by his recommendation. It's easy for us to give an opinion but without knowing your horse personally it would be wrong to tell you what you should do over your farrier.
    06-07-2009, 07:17 PM
Oh I would definitely take my farrier's advice over anyone's as he's been working on my horse and knows the situation.

I was just looking for opinions and or similar situations.
    06-07-2009, 10:12 PM
The biggest problem from going to shoes to no shoes is the nail holes.. esp if you work him it might be harder on his hooves. I think if you do try to take shoes off he will need to take a break from any hard work until his feet naturally get harder over time.

Good luck
    06-07-2009, 10:23 PM
I tried to go from shoes to barefoot on one of my horses a while ago. He went chronically lame. Refused to move/be led. Lay down almost 24/7, which is really scary and sad because he's the most dominant horse on the property, he hardly ever lays down.

I would never do it again but talk to your farrier about it, take what he says into consideration (just keep your fingers crossed he wont just tell you to shoe him so he gets more $$$) and keep a close eye on your horse if you do decide to go bare.
    06-07-2009, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
The nail holes shouldn't make a difference. They will grow out and as long as your' not working too much on hard surfaces you shouldn't have any splitting issues. I had shoes on my horse just once. It turned out that he didn't really need them so I had them removed. I was able to continue on riding and the hoof nail area eventually grew out.
    06-07-2009, 10:43 PM
You can also get the nail holes filled in. That's what we did. :)
    06-07-2009, 11:32 PM
We are definitely not working him hard. I personally cannot do hard work right now and my fiance is currently busy with work.
Any work that we do with him would be some long lining 90% walk 10% trot (if that) and that's it.
He wont be ridden again for atleast a year, if not more (depending how things go with the baby and all that)
We did ask him the first time he came out if he would need shoes or go barefoot and he suggest shoes for the added support for right now but said down the road we'd re-evaluate. He might be all for it since Gem gives everyone problems when he is being shod and I know just a trim would be easier on everyone, but we'll wait and see.
    06-09-2009, 01:11 PM
My TB mare is a PILL to shoe and we have gone to only front shoes on her.. she is a little tender but it getting better. I have her on an evaluation period... if after 6 weeks this doesn't work, then back shoes and fighting(this is a whole other story) here I come... so you could try and it see how it goes :)

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