shoe or no shoes? - Page 2

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shoe or no shoes?

This is a discussion on shoe or no shoes? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        08-17-2008, 06:15 AM
    Thanx so much everybody

    I was just wondering and I got a whole lot of good reasons not to shoe her

    Thanks again
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        08-17-2008, 08:26 PM
    Hhhhmmmmm, do horses need shoes in the wild? They do everything in the wild that we do with them in captivity. RUN over rocks, jump, cross rivers, etc. I'm a HUGE advocate for the barefoot horse. Now saying that, you have to have a farrier whho can trim BAREFOOT!! That means not taking off the beloved sole and not trimming the heels too much. I also have rocks, pebbles, and crushed concrete in all of my common areas such as in front of the water trough, before they eneter the barn, and infront of every stall. This serves 2 purposes. It helps to NATURALLY trim their hooves by giving them something to grind on, AND it toughens up their soles. I also have LARGE rocks in my pasture and you will often see the horses pawing at them...filing their hooves naturally!

    I use to do the "clean" pasture thing. Anytime I saw a rock, I'd pick it up and throw it out. Man, if I only knew then what I know now! I would've saved a lot of time!
        08-17-2008, 08:35 PM
    Green Broke
    I agree with everyone else - don't shoe unless the horse needs it (correctional problems or hoof problems). If the horse is sound barefoot, keep them that way. If I am going over unusually rough terrain I might get hoof boots for protection. They are actually better protection than shoes because they protect the whole sole as well and can be taken off after the ride.
        08-17-2008, 10:03 PM
    There are a few points that I just learned recently that make me happy that I have always kept my horses barefoot:

    1) The hooves are shock-absorbers. When you put a shoe on the hoof, it stops the natural shock absorption of the hoof, so now the horse's body has to accomodate that by absorbing the shock in an area that isn't designed for that might impact.

    2) The horse's hooves (specifically the frog) aid in circulation and therefore digestion, and when the hoof and frog are no longer able to hit the ground, you can create circulation and digestion problems.

    3) The nail holes can create a weak hoof wall, causing problems down the road.

    There are certain circumstances that call for the use of shoes, such as:
    - when a horse is being ridden over tough and hard ground.. but even then there are options such as boots.
    - corrective shoeing

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