question for barefoot horse owners - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 05-29-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: northern utah
Posts: 202
• Horses: 0
question for barefoot horse owners

Where are your horses kept ( lush grass pasture, dirt corral, etc.) and how well do their feet hold up?
Makoda is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 Old 05-29-2011, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5,339
• Horses: 2
Dirt corral, and great!

Really, the feet holding up has never been an issue for my guys. Even barefoot and riding, I have to trim them pretty consistently. I keep a "mustang roll" on them and they hardly chip. If they chip in big chunks, they are wayyy too long. If they chip in small chips, they just need a good roll.

I do use Easyboots for riding on very rocky trails. Otherwise, I ride them completely barefoot much of the time. If I were only riding from home, I would never have to use hoof boots. But some of the places we trailer have volcanic rock and it's hard for them to walk on it, so I always bring the boots along on a trailer trip, just in case.

But you know how a horse can loose a shoe and big chunks break out of their feet? That should NOT be an issue with a barefoot horse. Like I said, it is a sign that either their feet are too long, or they haven't been rolled with a rasp. (Or their feet are poor quality, but that has not been an issue with my guys.) But they actually hold together much nicer than a shod horse that looses a shoe.

Basically, don't trim them short, but don't let them get long either. And keep a roll on them. Consistent care I think is what keeps hooves healthy (barefoot or shod!).
trailhorserider is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 05-29-2011, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,203
• Horses: 6
I have 3 horses who are all barefoot, 2 are kept at my moms house where the pasture is flat and grassy, not a whole lot of rock and both their feet hold up great. My mare(OTTB) i moved to my lesson barn in april where the turn out is very rocky and doesn't grow a whole lot of grass, her feet are holding up pretty well, I had to have their farrier trim her last time as mine won't go up that far for one horse and i'm not happy with the job they did, her feet have already started to chip a little, but no signs of lameness at all. I think i'm going to buy a rasp and do a roll on them myself since apparently that farrier can't or wont do a roll
Rachel1786 is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 05-29-2011, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 453
• Horses: 8
I have all my girls on green pasture as I don't feed hay from mid April to mid Oct... barring growing issues. Pastures are big and right now they have to travel a long (1/4m) narrow (25ft) track from one to the other. This I feel helps keep them exercised. I also have a run in with gravel where their water is kept.
The girls I've had over a year are doing excellent, the newest ones are improving. I personally love barefoot and have no desire to go anything else.
Crossover is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 27
• Horses: 2
I keep all my horses bare. I have 3 horses that I keep at home, and I have 1 horse that I board. The dirt at home is sand witch has been excellent at keeping the 3 at home hooves in nice condition. My fairer comes out and trims the regularly and were good. Now for my mare that is boarded... The barn where she is at is clay and I've noticed that they have been dryer, and not as neat.
tntgoldengirl is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 03:16 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,398
• Horses: 0
Great question OP, because the environment is a huge factor. I trim a wide range of horses in a wide range of environs and certainly notice the difference. Of course trimming, exercise & diet are also important factors, and if other factors are well managed, horses can generally get by OK with some compromises....

My own horses.... when I was just learning about all this, I lived in the hills, with 40 acres of 'poor' sparse native pasture, rocky ground with 13 various & sundry equids on it(one was my donkey). Well I learned to trim my own, 'fixed' a few supposedly 'unfixable' & chronic issues and used to ride everyone barefoot, over many miles of rocky trails and gravel roads without issue. Took to looking after the other horses on the property - my friend's and a few neglected ones. Among the rest, we had a couple of tiny footed QH's & 2 flat footed TBs, one with a huge 'unfixable' quarter crack. They all came along well & all did fantastically bare. I thought I'd found all The Answers

Then I moved to a wet climate where my horses lived on lush, rich pasture which was waterlogged half the year. I also got pregnant and found little time to take them out of the paddock. Lo and behold, I found I lost The Answers!! I had underestimated the importance of diet & environment. My horses ended up thrushy, occasionally laminitic & needed booting on all but soft ground.

Fast forward another 8 years or so & I'm in the same environment and situation as above, but they've been on a track set up for a few years now, so with restricted grazing & more movement. I also have areas of pea gravel where they hang out & where it's extra boggy. They still get very little out of paddock exercise(I thought now my kids are all at school....) but have been doing really well the past years, despite the tropical summer we've just had, where all manner of horses have been suffering laminitis, mudfever and chronic thrush galore! I currently need to boot them for rough terrain, but they're fine on normal road or trail rides.
loosie is online now  
post #7 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,224
• Horses: 5
Our three barefoot mares wander around from mostly dirt paddocks to a typical grass/weed/wildflower pasture. We have lots of red clay here, so they range from muddy to brick hard depending on the season and temperature. They do drain well, however, and will only stay muddy for days in the winter when the ground is constantly freezing/thawing. Their feet hold up very well, we've never had any thrush, and only get an occasional chip in between trims when it's hot and dry in the summer. Trimming is a bit harder on my back as I get older, so I make it easier on myself by just trimming/rolling them over with a rasp every 3 weeks or if they get a little long.
I've noticed over the years that more than anything else, the more space they have, i.e. the more walking around they do every day, the tougher their feet are (they're always out 24x7). They're fine on the trails/roads and haven't had a need for boots.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
PaintHorseMares is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 06:43 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,144
• Horses: 1
I agree with loosie. Depends on the environment they are on. I also think it can factore in the excersise they get.
Posted via Mobile Device
mbender is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,020
• Horses: 3
Both of our horses are barefoot, and both are breeds notorious for bad feet: A Belgian and a Thoroughbred.

Lucky for us, BOTH of our horses have excellent hooves. They are on dry lot most of the day, with 5 hours daily pasture grazing. They both are in light work, though the TB gets running jags out in the pasture and exercises himself most days.

Our farrier is one of the "Barefoot is Best" type farriers....he likes to keep horses unshod if possible, but alot depends on the horses genetic hoof condition and how much and where the horse is ridden.
Beauseant is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-30-2011, 04:38 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary
Posts: 47
• Horses: 2
I keep my mare barefoot most of the time. She was shod when she was jumping on grass a couple of years ago, but since then has had the shoes off and has great feet. She lives in a dirt paddock which alternated between deep mud and hard dirt. Her feet have never been soft or chippy. Our farrier does a really great job on her.
dezzistar is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Barefoot hooves question... Wallaby Horse Health 3 10-19-2010 10:16 PM
The never ending barefoot vs. shod question snoggle Horse Health 51 06-25-2010 11:17 AM
barefoot question newhorsemom Horse Health 5 07-13-2008 07:04 AM
Another barefoot question newhorsemom Horse Health 9 06-24-2008 01:34 PM
Question for Palomino Owners irisheyes12 Horse Health 13 06-08-2008 11:21 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome