Horse Shoes? - Page 2

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Horse Shoes?

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

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    08-29-2009, 12:27 PM
I have a mare that toes in really bad. Probably why she ended up as a recip mare at a breeding farm. So her front feet do not wear correctly without shoes and it causes her to be lame. She only has her front done not her back.

My gelding has low heels and so he is shod all the way around. I have asked and researched and haven't found anyone who said he could go barefoot.He just needs a little lift and shoes provide that.

My pony has awesome feet and I would never put shoes on her...I am grooming her filly to be a barefoot pony too.
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    08-29-2009, 06:27 PM
We have never been big on shoeing our horses. We had one horse that had a cracked hoof that we tried to shoe. The shoes lasted two days and all came off - and his hooves were in worse shape than ever before. Farrier came back out and carefully trimmed and scraped to mitigate the damage. He actually came back out every couple of weeks (at his expense because he was so embarrassed that the shoes came off) until the hooves were in decent shape again. The horse never exhibited any sign of soreness, fortunately.

Our other horses have always had bare feet with no issues, no matter where we rode them - including our gravel road. We didn't shoe them for the local parades, either. After seeing some of our friends' horses sliding around on the concrete like it was ice, we decided that we were better off barefoot.

My current mare has feet of iron. Farrier says if all horses had feet like hers, he would pretty much be out of business. She had a bit of over growth that he could NOT trim off and wound up filing it down. It took him a tad longer than he liked, and considerably longer than the mare liked (she got a bit antsy) but in the end she had beautifully trimmed feet. He says although her feet aren't as big as most mustangs, they are just as tough to work on...
    08-29-2009, 10:15 PM
My mare has really crappy feet, her heels are low and she's sensitive and no matter what we do they won't toughen up. For the past two years she gone without shoes in the back, but now that she is in heavier work she needs them or else she's really, really sore. I don't see a problem with shoes, I would love it if my horse could go withouth them, but she can't. My other horse can, he has amazing feet.

My mare is also really prone to abcesses because her heel is so low, she gets a bruise and it almost always abcesses. We're hoping with shoes that she'll stop getting so many.
    08-30-2009, 01:57 AM
Originally Posted by Jillyann    
Hmm, I guess I kinda understand it now. But if riders ride on gravel and roads and all that enough to put shoes on there horse, then why do they put shoes on in the first place, because the horses feet will harden up the more they are worked on the harder ground. It just doesnt click. I think some people put shoes on just because.
In my mare's case, she was at our barn for about 4 years before I bought her and lived mostly in our rocky pastures. Still she always tiptoed across pavement, gravel and cinder. I had the farrier test her hooves and he said they were rock solid. Because of her tender feet we both decided to try front shoes for six weeks. That first day she got her shoes I was able to ride in the arena with cinderfooting without her being ouchy.
If my horse lived in a grass pasture and was ridden only on grass, I'd have kept her bareback. However, I like to work her in different places and on different types of footing. She is very happy with her shoes so we're keeping them.

Out of our 12 horses, only one has shoes on all four feet. Not only were his feet horrible to begin with, but when he started working regularly his hooves actually began to wear away. With shoes his feet have improved so much and he is never lame.

So yeah, some horses need shoes, some don't. I prefer barefoot, but what matters most is that your horse is comfortable and healthy with whatever you choose for him/her.
    08-30-2009, 02:17 AM
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Usually Lacey is barefoot. She has really nice feet and she really doesn't need shoes ever, however my trainer puts shoes on her during the month of July because she has tons of camps that she trailers Lacey and her other horses to. Most of the camps she goes to have tons of gravel on the trails that the horses are on most of the day and she needs them all to be sound so she gets all her horses shod to make sure they stay sound.

I personally don't really agree with her logic, but at the same time I can see where she's coming from. I'm going to try to save up for some hoof boots for Lacey next year but if I end up putting shoes on her it won't be the end of the world.
    08-30-2009, 03:04 AM
I don't get why it's such a controversial topic. Some horses need shoes, some don't. It all depends on the horse.

My farrier told me a story about an eleven year old quarter horse who had been barefoot all his life and was lame. The owner was going to put him to sleep. My farrier trimmed him and gave him corrective shoes, and now the horse is completely sound and can be ridden again.

I don't know. If shoes can cause a lame horse to become sound, then I don't see a problem. I trust my farrier, though. That's all I can say.
    08-30-2009, 03:15 AM
This is a great article:

The Horse | The Barefoot Horse: Romance vs. Reality
    08-30-2009, 08:22 AM
Originally Posted by Thatgirlsacowboy    
For those going/wanting to go barefoot, I believe the bottom line really comes down to 'try and see' based on your horse and the type of work/riding you do.

I trim our mares myself, and have great respect for farriers and trimmers, but some that I've met feel pressured, directly or indirectly, to get the horse rideable and on the trail as quickly as possible and 'fall back' on recommending shoes. Similarly, many owners also expect a horse transitioning to barefoot to be 'tough' in a week. Effective communication of your goals and expectations is essential to being successful, having a comfortable horse, and avoiding frustration.

Also, we often talk about riding on gravel, a very unforgiving rock, but there is a very big difference between riding on a well packed/bedded gravel trail/path and gravel sitting on rock hard clay/roads. I avoid the later even with our toughest's not worth the chance of a stone bruise just to prove a point.
    08-31-2009, 12:16 PM
My mosey around do nothing broodmare is barefoot. I ride her on the odd day, but she mostly is a pasture potato, and she enjoys it that way. She never needs her feet trimmed because she wears them down the way she wants them.

On the other hand

We have our racehorses. THEY have to wear shoes for a number of reasons

1- the biggest reason is the track. Without shoes they can't grip the track. The track can either be loose, hard, sloppy, etc. if they can't grip the track, they can't go. For an example, its going to be easier to sprint in running sneakers, than flat sandals because you can grip a lot easier with sneakers. Also we race in the winter. It can get very slick out there, so would you really want to be going fast on a slick surface with a barefoot horse? I wouldnt

2- hoof problems, brusing, quarter cracks, etc. a horse with quarter cracks NEEDS shoes.

3- gaiting. Sure horses can trot and pace without shoes, but when the speed is picked up, they can go from an awesome looking pacer, to a knee knocking mess. This is where corrective shoeing comes into play. You can shoe a horse to not crossfire, knee knock, etc. and this is key in racing. A horse that knocks knees is much slower than a horse who doesnt, and it causes them a lot of pain, and sometimes its so bad it can cost them their career.

Theres just a few reasons there, but there are a lot more.

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