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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    01-20-2009, 11:32 AM
I have thoroughbreds, quarter horses and a warmblood ALL are barefoot. I do use boots for transitioning but would rather have horses barefoot and natural all of the time and booted if necessary for the small amount of time they are actually ridden. Go to and READ READ READ. Watch the video clips and you'll see and learn the effects of shoes. If walls are chipping it's because the trimmer isn't rolling the edges properly, if there are flares, they aren't trimming the bars properly. Talk to your barefoot guy I would never shoe an Arab especially!
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    01-20-2009, 11:40 AM
I am definitely not a barefoot guru. But I don't put shoe's on horses that don't need them
If he has been shod before, I would put shoes on him
If he hasn't ever worn shoe's try him w/o them and progress from there
    01-20-2009, 11:48 AM
Originally Posted by lizzie_magic    
My family is anti- shoe. I don't agree, yes I have been convinced that with the time and effort all horses can go barefoot and for the last 2 years all our horses have been barefoot but I have never been happy with my horse being barefoot. I few weeks ago we got my horse shod for a show and have decided to keep him shod. The farrier we got seemed very good, I don't claim to know much about it but I got the impression he knew what he was talking about. He said all horses can go barefoot, some just take a lot of time to get used to it, he said my horses feet (which are very good when shod) would take at least 6 years to properly adapt to be comfortable barefoot so we have decided to keep him shod.

What I am trying to say is every horse is different and if your horse goes well barefoot and is comfortable with that go for it and if not get the horse shod.

I hope that helped.

It does not take 6 years to transition. Takes about a year, usually less, about 9 months, to adapt to what surface they live on or work on most. If you sporadiaclly got on tougher footing, you will always need boots on those occasions because the foot isn't conditioned to it. Some horses are tougher than others and never need boots, but regardless, even pathological feet can transition within a year.

To the OP, keep barefoot, you can use boots occasionally if you need, they get better traction and are more comfortable on concrete/ashpalt barefoot than with metal shoes. It's more dangerous for them to be shod on concrete. If your horse is happy and barefoot already, the hard part of going barefoot; (transition) isn't going to affect you, so why put shoes on?
    01-20-2009, 03:11 PM
My boys came to me barefoot. Their shoes were pulled for the winter by their previous owner and they never put shoes back on them. So my horses were barefoot for about a year. I searched all over the net,( Barefoothooves's site is a good one!!! )and read, and read. I decided to give it a try (barefoot trims were cheaper than shoes, what did I have to lose???) . My horse's had amazingly strong hooves and I never even needed boots for the transition. They rode on gravel, pavement, pasture with tons of rocks, never did I have an issue with their feet.

I'd go barefoot and not shoe unless you HAD to. My 2
    01-20-2009, 03:26 PM
I wish my mare could go barefoot, but everyone, the farrier, even the vet said that she couldn't without always being extremely tenderfooted because her soles are extremely close to the ground. The vet said the my girl would be ok with just front shoes, because it's her from hooves that have the soles so close to the ground. Before she became mine, she was barefoot for years and always favored her front hooves badly on anything other than very soft grass/dirt.

My colt, on the other hand, so far has been perfect barefoot, and I hope to keep him barefoot as much as possible...

But, when it comes down to it, I prefer having shoes on my horses.
    01-20-2009, 06:28 PM
I ride my horses barefoot. I have never shod any of my horses because their hooves have always been strong and unshod. It really just depends on the horse itself and what type of terrain your going to be riding over constantly. I have cutting horses so I am in the pasture most of the time and they don't need shoes. Also about the's not exactly a goo but you can buy a solution that comes in a syringe. You squirt it into the horses hoof (avoiding the frog) and it turns into a cushy rubber. It is a lot less expensive than shoes and can be taken off after each ride with a hoof pick. I use this when I have to ride over any rocks or super rough terrain.
    01-20-2009, 07:50 PM
I have recently (the past 5 months) have taken all my horses barefoot. Even the one who has had shoes for atleast 25 years! I have to use boots on his front feet when going out, but he's find in the soft sand and in his turnout (no rocks). But my other 3 are completely fine without boots (2-tbreds, 1 qtr). Don't let anyone tell you it's not possible. Your horse will stay sounder much longer without shoes.

Stay Barefoot! Less money! Healthier foot!
    01-20-2009, 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by My Beau    
Shoes themselves aren't bad. It's the work that the farrier does before fitting/nailing the shoe. If that's not right then of course the shod hoof won't function properly. It's all about a competent farrier...
Plus in some sports like 3 day eventing you pretty much needs shoes so you can put in studs for cross country.

Not quite true. Horses that are barefoot can get fantastic traction cross country. I know from experience.
Im pretty sure someone did a study on it too, but I don't know where to find the article.
    01-20-2009, 09:02 PM
Originally Posted by My Beau    
Shoes themselves aren't bad. It's the work that the farrier does before fitting/nailing the shoe. If that's not right then of course the shod hoof won't function properly. It's all about a competent farrier...
Plus in some sports like 3 day eventing you pretty much needs shoes so you can put in studs for cross country.
To add on this, I am not sure if my information is still current, but for higher levels of eventing, SJ etc in Australia for your horse to eligible to compete they would have to be shod. They may have brought out rules about wearing boots over their feet, but I believe there was a fair bit of talk around here that they could be dangerous in the sports such as xc due to slippage or something.

Also, when I went to Pony Club Camp (years back) all horses had to be shod. Although I believe this was just so nobody brought horses they did not care about or look. I think if you talked to a certain member of your club they could inspect your horse and if they thought their feet were okay you could still go, but if not they would not let your ride without horse shoes.

Just random info, but it would be different in America.
    01-20-2009, 09:27 PM
Im pretty sure that's not true. There is nothing in the rule books saying a horse must be shod.

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