To Shoe or Not to Shoe? - Page 2
 
 

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To Shoe or Not to Shoe?

This is a discussion on To Shoe or Not to Shoe? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        01-28-2013, 09:28 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    However, talk to any farrier who has been around awhile and they will tell you that they crack, chip, and bruise far more
    I personally think a lot of it is like 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. Don't know about 'any farrier', because the ones I talk/work with tend to agree it's rubbish & they don't find them more prone to damage at all. I've only been trimming as a job for about 10 years, but I haven't found any difference myself. As for 'bruise more', I think this is likely where the fable began - lacking pigment, you can see bruising & other damage far more clearly than you can on dark hooves. Doesn't mean dark hooves are any less bruised, just that you can't see it.
         
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        01-28-2013, 09:34 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Yup, my mare has two white feet on her hinds, and is barefoot all round, never had any issues. In fact if she goes a bit long between trims she is far more likely to chip on her fronts which are black.
         
        01-28-2013, 09:59 PM
      #13
    Foal
    to shoe or...

    Although I'm certain I don't have as much experience as some of the other members, I've found that most horses can do w/o shoes. All of mine do. We have every kind of rocks down here in south MO, & when I'm riding over a stretch w/ a lot of that sharp shale rock, I will dismount & give my horse a break. But otherwise, they do fine. Oh, and snow will pack even if they are not shod.
         
        01-29-2013, 03:05 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    I would take his shoes off. Hopefully there is some concavity to his feet, that way his soles wont be too sore at first. He'll need a little time to become more calloused, that way he isn't tender footed. But if you can keep shoes off, you should. Save your self some money!!
    I don't know if this is true, but can't horses hurt themselves if they get "ice balls" on their feet? It seems like it to me.
         
        02-01-2013, 10:01 AM
      #15
    Foal
    "Ice Balls" put stress on the tendons, joints and ligaments in their legs. It's effectively like they are walking around on a wobbly high heel.

    Use caution pulling shoes at this time of the year if you are in a climate where you are experiencing ice balls. In our experience shoes should be pulled in the fall or spring while the ground is soft to give the foot time to toughen up before the ground becomes extremely frozen in the winter or dried out and hard in the summer.

    I'm don't believe that every horse can go barefoot as some may. Your horse will 'tell' you what he needs. You will know very rapidly if he needs shoes. I have two shod and one barefoot. One of the shod horses hooves fall apart as soon as he's barefoot (and I have a very good farrier, this is not a case of incorrect hoof care. He is also supplemented). His hooves are white and as soon as he's barefoot and the ground is hard they start cracking, breaking etc. My other shod horse is perfectly sound barefoot however he does not extend and stretch out. When shod the extensions are beautiful and a non-issue. My mare is barefoot, has white feet, and has never had an issue. It varies greatly from horse to horse.

    You can take vaseline and put it on your horses soles- It will stop some of the ice balling. Cheapest way to deal with it and has worked in our Canadian winters. I highly recommend if you keep him shod to use snow pads and small ice picks on the shoe. Mine thrive with this system :)
         
        02-02-2013, 03:13 AM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jtranter    
    I'm don't believe that every horse can go barefoot... One of the shod horses hooves fall apart as soon as he's barefoot ....perfectly sound barefoot however he does not extend and stretch out. When shod the extensions are beautiful and a non-issue.
    Agree absolutely with the first comment. I actually think the vast majority of horses need support/protection in some situations we may require of them. Sometimes I think conventional rims are likely to be the best option for a particular horse & situation, but these days there are other great options such as boots, so it's not just a question of shod or bare.

    If your horse's feet 'fall apart' when bare with cracking & breaking, IME there's a lot more going on there aside from the question of shod or bare - Walls may be too long, infection in the walls may be compromising their strength, 'low grade' laminitis, imbalance, circulation, diet & nutrition can all be contributors, of which shoeing doesn't help get the horse over, but may in some instances exacerbate.

    If a horse is 'short striding' on any footing, I would question soundness actually. I'd suspect weak heels may be a problem, especially if palliative measures of shoes or pain blockers are needed for the horse to stride out.
         
        02-02-2013, 09:34 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    Sometimes I think conventional rims are likely to be the best option for a particular horse & situation, but these days there are other great options such as boots, so it's not just a question of shod or bare.

    If your horse's feet 'fall apart' when bare with cracking & breaking, IME there's a lot more going on there aside from the question of shod or bare - Walls may be too long, infection in the walls may be compromising their strength, 'low grade' laminitis, imbalance, circulation, diet & nutrition....

    If a horse is 'short striding' on any footing, I would question soundness actually. I'd suspect weak heels may be a problem, especially if palliative measures of shoes or pain blockers are needed for the horse to stride out.
    I agree with the first statement- there are other options that work for some like boots. However in my minimal experience with boots I don't believe they work for everyone and every discipline. There was a girl on our circuit in the jumper ring who's horses boots would inevitably be fired out half way through her course. I imagine these were not fitted properly etc etc. in the long run this particular horse was shod.

    "fall apart feet" Is a draft cross who has had historical laminitic events and a catastrophic trauma to his hind end 4 years ago. He has lots going on and I'm painfully aware of it thus a very good farrier and supplements :)

    And our last guy- I will clarify. He short strides on VERY hard ground in the summer. In the sand rings, harrowed rings, indoor rings etc. no issue. Unfortunately we go through ridiculous weather here, and some of the places we show in the summer are not ideal- jumping on baseball diamond type gravel surfaces does no good for anyone's feet. He has no soundness issues, he was x-rayed, ultrasounded, etc last year as part of his pre-purchase. In addition to this I am also an 'equine bodyworker' and perform regular assessments on both my own and clients horses- hoof balance, Break over points, soundness, tack fit etc are a MAJOR part of what I look at & do. I'm not sure I would call shoes for a horse that short steps on hard or gravely ground palliative measures.
         
        02-02-2013, 03:20 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lisa Marie    
    They had him on Smart Hoof. I am keeping him on Smart Hoof and have added Smart Flex to his supplements. I was hoping between the supplements and maybe by adding a topical treatment, he will do fine without shoes. I would so much prefer him barefoot.
    Mudpie has had really bad hooves since before I got him. That, paired with bad trimming, made it so that he could not be barefoot without becoming extremely uncomfortable and in pain all the time, even when left to adjust for months at a time. We kept shoes on him, and nursed him off of the leather rim pads, and I also started him on SmartHoof. He was on SmartHoof for about two months (with visible improvement) when I completely re-evaluated his supplements.

    I switched him to Farrier's Formula Double Strength, and I was COMPLETELY amazed by the results. His hooves are healthy, not flaky anymore, and actually growing! That's a BIG DEAL! :) I can actually highly recommend Farrier's Formula Double Strength. It's only $4 more per month, and totally worth it. :) So there's my two cents on supplements...

    As for shoes, it really depends on his workload and what he's comfortable with. Mudpie was in full work, so shoes were necessary. Mudpie's injury, however, means that he will be on stall rest for four months, and for the first time, I felt comfortable taking his shoes off... He's barefoot! And sound!! :)

    It's really your decision, but if he's not going to be doing much, and he's going to be comfortable, going barefoot is a good option! :)
         

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