Natural Balance Shoes/Shoeing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Natural Balance Shoes/Shoeing

I know that there are some farriers that are on this forum. I was wondering if you guys could explain to me about Natural Balance shoes/shoeing. Have you used it?

I seen it done a couple of years ago. It looked like an "unfinished" cowboy shoeing. The shoe was placed back under the toe, but it looked like he forgot to rasp the toe back. Lol.
This seemed unpractical for horses used extensively in the rocks. They had a lot of toe hanging out over the front.
Any opinions?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 02:32 PM
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I am not a farrier, but I do have a smidge of personal experience. My mare went through a set or two of NB's, and the hoof was trimmed as usual. Of course with these shoes, the toe is squared and beveled.



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post #3 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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That is a much cleaner version than I seen! What was the purpose? I notice she has wedge pads. You mentioned she only had a couple of sets.
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post #4 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 06:41 PM
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Take a look at the Natural Balance website & e-hoofcare.com for the theory behind it. Many horses develop run forward toes and that is part of the theory - to place the toe of the shoe back to where it - & 'breakover' should be.

I don't personally agree with the square toe or long term use of NB shoes. It appears used long term they may possibly promote more heel contraction than normal shoes. **This is only my opinion based on theory, as I've never personally dealt with these shoes myself except to remove them from some bad jobs - the type of shoe does not make the farriery necessarily any good!
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post #5 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 07:07 PM
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I know alot of people put those on horses to reduce knee action.
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post #6 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 08:28 PM
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In my horse's case, she's a chronic cripple with repeated soft tissue damage in the left front leg (ddft tears, etc.). We were just experimenting with every shoeing job possible to keep her from injuring herself, to no avail. Same with the wedges. Her coffin bones appear very flat on radiographs, but she won't grow heel.
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post #7 of 32 Old 10-21-2011, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
I know that there are some farriers that are on this forum. I was wondering if you guys could explain to me about Natural Balance shoes/shoeing. Have you used it?
I'm not a professional farrier, but I did take Farrier Science in college and have been shoeing (and now just trimming) my own horses for many years. I have never used Natural Balance shoes myself, but I always thought that if I ever went back to shoes, the natural balance was a good idea. (Currently I am keeping my guys barefoot and using Easyboots in the rocks).

My understanding is that Natural Balance brings the break over back to where is supposedly should be. That allows the horse to make a heel-first landing, the way a healthy, sound horse should. Toe-first landings (again, just to my understanding) can lead to navicular and other arthritic changes in the foot.

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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Take a look at the Natural Balance website & e-hoofcare.com for the theory behind it. Many horses develop run forward toes and that is part of the theory - to place the toe of the shoe back to where it - & 'breakover' should be.

I don't personally agree with the square toe or long term use of NB shoes. It appears used long term they may possibly promote more heel contraction than normal shoes. **This is only my opinion based on theory, as I've never personally dealt with these shoes myself except to remove them from some bad jobs - the type of shoe does not make the farriery necessarily any good!
Hi Loosie!

I'm not saying your wrong, because I don't have any experience with these shoes myself, but why would Natural Balance lead to contracted hooves?

Shoes in general lead to contracted hooves (in my opinion) but if the horse is landing heel first with Natural Balance, why would that make contraction worse? Could it just be that these horses were put into Natural Balance to begin with due to hoof problems such as contraction? (a chicken or the egg senario?)

I like Natural Balance in theory, but have no experience with them. But I do think break over is important to a heel first landing. And Heel first landing is important to soundness. In theory anyway.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 10-21-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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post #8 of 32 Old 10-22-2011, 06:37 AM
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I don't know. Haven't heard any real theories either, just heard this of some farriers that have used them. Hooves that I've removed them from have been contracted, but as you mention, chicken or the egg?? B really interested to hear the experiences of BNT n co if they've used them.
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post #9 of 32 Old 10-22-2011, 07:56 AM
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there is a NB farrier at my barn....NB shoeing has never worked for my horses. My farrier tells me it can be really helpful for some horses, but is not neccessary for all horses- which is what a lot of NB shoers do.

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post #10 of 32 Old 10-22-2011, 08:09 AM
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Well said loosie about the shoe not making the farrier any good. I'm not an expert, just something I've noticed. I think the natural balance IS case by case. My trimmer does the more squared trim. Not a complete square, like an in between of those pictures and the normal rounded hoof. He does a roll on my horses hooves though. But, my horse is barefoot and is a pleasure horse who mostly does trailer, sometimes we do some jumping. Now he also does a barrel racer at my barn and that horse does NOT have the squared foot, so..maybe because he is a barrel racer and needs that traction controlled? I don't know, just something I've noticed. My horse is also barefoot to correct his underrun heels but the shoes he showed me matched the shape of his current hoof.
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