Shoes and limping (long)
   

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Shoes and limping (long)

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  • Horse is lame after shoeing but farrier cannot pull shoes for another week
  • Medicl limp shoes

 
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    08-28-2009, 09:55 PM
  #1
Weanling
Shoes and limping (long)

I'm a new horse owner. Always assumed horses needed shoes. So when I got my TWH 3 months ago one of the first things I did was get her shod. Everyone where I live shoes their horses. I've been told that it is necessary because of the "rocky terrain". However, I kinda wonder how much of it is just because "we've always done it that way." I've suggested leaving the horses barefoot to my husband and farrier, like my friends in other areas do, and they act like I'm crazy.

Most of where we ride has gravel or is just really rocky. The thing is, my horse is always kinda "clumsy". No falling, just stumbles. I don't know how much of it is because she's still getting used to being ridden and trail riding (she'd barely been ridden before I got her) or if the shoes make it worse. She often prefers to walk on the non-graveled ground next to the trail. It seems like the shoes should protect her from the gravel, so maybe she'd be more sensitive without them?

So here's the thing. My farrier (neighbor) put shoes on my husband's horse last week. She was fine at first, but a few days (& 2 trail rides) later she started limping a lot. Neighbor's wife rode her the day before I saw the limping. Says she was fine after ride, but I have no idea. Today was the 3rd day of limping. It may not be the shoes or his farrier work, but I have to wonder because the ferrier's horse has had similar limping after being shod and its been off and on for weeks. We can't pinpoint any sensitive area on her hooves or legs. Can't find any swelling or anything. I'll call the vet if it continues, but its hard to get a vet out here (we have a serious shortage of large animal vets here).

So any opinions, ideas, etc. would be appreciated. Should a horse being ridden on a lot of gravel always have shoes? Would the shoes make the "clumsiness" better or worse, or is it likely unrelated to shoes?

Sorry for the novel, but I'm so confused on this stuff.
     
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    08-29-2009, 08:57 AM
  #2
Trained
Do a search on this forum for barefoot. You'll find lots of discussion on this.

In general, you need to shoe a horse. I say "in general" because there is always someone who has a well-thought out reason for it. Doesn't matter if you are riding on gravel, pavement, trails, jumping or in pulling competitions.

If you want to try barefoot, you will have to talk to your farrier about it. Maybe there is a barefoot trimmer in your area. That would be best. You can also think about what your farrier does when he shoes your horse -- what does he trim off? Does he take off sole? How well placed are the nails?
Can you talk to any other clients of this farrier? It could be that it is his method. Two horses isn't enough to tell, but it is odd isn't it?

Clumsiness could be from a bad shoe job, sore feet, bad eyes, sore joints... hard to tell really.
Also, if you go barefoot, your horse will need some time to build up a callus on the sole. Many people say they need a week to be comfortable on harder ground or gravel. I didn't notice that with my horses though. Some people buy boots for the transition stage.
     
    08-29-2009, 10:29 AM
  #3
Showing
^^ Great post Northernmama. I shoe my horses that I use in the summer as a precaution because we do ride on rocky surfaces and sometimes at very high speed. If it is just for leisure riding, I don't think it would hurt to try barefoot. The first thing that I would suggest though is finding another farrier. 2 lame horses isn't exactly a pattern but like PP said, it is a bit odd. A second opinion never hurts.
     

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