09-19-2009, 12:17 PM
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My TWH gelding is barefoot and he hasn't yet displayed any problems with traction so far, though I haven't yet had him over winter here. Winter in Georgia is usually pretty mild. Still, he goes on gravel, roads, and rocky trails with no tenderness and is very sure footed. As we are on the fringe of the mountains and ride up in the mountains, rocks and gravel are mostly what he's on day in and day out.
I'd note though that Chief is young and grows a lot of hoof quickly so even with the high wear and tear I still have to trim a little off every week or two. If he was an older horse who had worn shoes most of his life, or was stall kept, or had different breeding with softer feet, kept on damp ground, etc barefoot might not be wise. But for him and for his situation, so far it's perfect. Even his pasture is hilly and moderately rocky, not damp river bottom nor stalled.