Shoeing the fronts only? - Page 2

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Shoeing the fronts only?

This is a discussion on Shoeing the fronts only? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Do horses need to be shod all around or only on the front
  • Shoeing horses on the front only

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    08-10-2009, 11:27 AM
Green Broke
Around where I live it is 70$ for just the front hooves. But there are MANY people who do that!
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    08-10-2009, 01:40 PM
One of my friends has a gorgeous cob that she does everything with, and he's only just had his front shoes on for the last few months. Its more the front that need to be shod than the back I think... but it depends entirely on the horse.
    08-10-2009, 03:09 PM
I have a horse that was tender on hard surfaces on his front feet, so, I had to balance some of that weight to his hind end, problem solved. He is barefoot all the way around, as are all of my horses.

Horses do carry most of their weight on their front feet, however, the hind end is designed for carrying that weight when in motion. Personally, if I were to shoe my horses, they would be shod all the way around, since ideally we are balancing 25% of the weight on each foot equally, if not more so on the hind legs. As it is now, they are all fine barefoot, so I will save myself some money. If I had no problem keeping my horse on the forehand for riding, I would shoe only the fronts. Or, if I had a pasture pet that needed shoes for physical reasons, I would shoe the front per the farriers suggestion if that horse would be using the "staying legs" only instead of the "travelling legs".

I know many people shoe only the fronts, I have found it much more effective to instead get the weight on the hind legs. That's just my opinion.
    08-11-2009, 12:44 PM
I've never put shoes on all 4 hooves, and now I don't put shoes on at all (I ride with boots).
Yes, your mare WILL be tender at first but she will toughen up. Just take it easy, she'll tell you when it's too much for her.
When I transitioned my horses from shoes to barefoot it took a good few weeks before they were good to go. One was particularly sensitive, it took her a bit longer, but now she can plow through anything without blinking.
    08-11-2009, 01:34 PM
I've never had all four done. My brother is my farrier and I only have him shoe the fronts. Every horse we've had we've only shod the fronts and I've never had any problems doing it that way. :)
    08-11-2009, 04:22 PM
My girl can't go barefoot. I've had the vet out to check her. He said that the sole of her hooves are lower to the ground than normal and her coffin bone is also lower to the ground (though she's never foundered or anything) and it causes her pain to walk on hard ground very long. I kept her barefoot for a year once, and she was so tender that whole year that I could barely ride.

My farrier agrees with the vet that she needs at least front shoes. I am calling the farrier later today, as he wasn't home yesterday.
    08-11-2009, 05:00 PM
Green Broke
My 3/4 TB 1/4 Shire mare (in avatar) is only shod in front. She wears size 3 shoes (my farrier was shocked at how big her feet were!) and goes great in them. She wears steel shoes though because she wears through the aluminum ones too fast. She is in 6x a week of intense eventing training and goes great in only fronts.
    08-12-2009, 02:36 AM
Originally Posted by Britt    
I kept her barefoot for a year once, and she was so tender that whole year that I could barely ride.
Was she sore from riding without anything on her hooves, or was she sore from just being turned out without anything on her hooves?

Have you ever tried riding her with boots of some sort?
    08-12-2009, 11:38 AM
I can't really remember that well, it was 4 years ago. I know that I rode her about 3 months that year because she was too sore to ride any more... We were keeping her trimmed, and many times my farrier commented on how hard her hooves were (I was using hoof conditioner), but she was still very sore.

I haven't tried to ride with boots because I don't own any and I don't have the money for them. I'm working on saving the money up, though.
    08-12-2009, 01:02 PM
Hm, that's interesting that your farrier said her hooves were nice a hard, yet she was sore. Did he have an explanation? This makes me think it could be something else besides just tender hooves. Do you know if she's being trimmed correctly?

Here is a website about the natural horse hoof trim, this is how I have my horses trimmed: Barefoot for Soundness
I recommend looking at the 'horseshoes' link. Just some food for thought.

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