Originally Posted by pastrychef
well I wasn't planning on shoeing her now, but I just don't know if normal trimming or go for natural "wild horse" hoof trimming and start now, so by the time I ride its good to go. As I heard that if you have always shod your horse and then decide to go the natural way, it takes a good 6 months to a year depending on the horse before they get used to it, and can be shown and ridden....sound right.... so if I start now.... but is it the same if you go natural and then decide to shoe the horse later on, cause the hooves just need shoes....would you have to wait for the hoof to "grow out" of the natural trimming?
If I were in your shoes and I had those options, I'd go for the "wild horse trimming" now to get her started off right. You can always switch to "normal" farriery and shoes later on, if need be.
I think using a qualified barefoot trimmer now will only set you up for success in the future, no matter what you choose to do later on. :)
About switching from shoes to barefoot later on, it really all depends on the horse for how well they'll adjust. Some horses are adjusted immediately and others need months to years before they really adjust. A member on here, MyBoyPuck, went barefoot with her middle-aged(?) OTTB who had been shod since he was basically a baby (if I'm remembering the facts right) and I think I remember reading that he's pretty much 100% adjusted only 4-5 months since his shoes came off. I was impressed about how short of a time he recovered because he had been shod for SO long!
I can also say that about a year after I got my mare, my BO had a set of 4 shoes put on my mare. She was shod for probably 5 months but as soon as the shoes came off, you would never have guessed that she even had had shoes on. I rode her the next day without any missteps or "off"-ness.
For horses that need extra support, hoof boots are a major plus. They encourage a strong barefoot hoof while protecting the hoof from any "ouchies" that might be occurring during the transition (like for a horse that's been shod and is transitioning to barefoot or for a horse that can go barefoot but is ridden over really tough terrain, etc).
I'm not 100% but I think you probably wouldn't have to wait long for the hoof to grow out enough to be shod. Basically, I think it's because the barefoot trim rounds the hoof a lot more while a hoof that's to be shod has more of a square edge. However, I'm really not knowledgeable about that so I could be wrong.
Hopefully someone who really knows things will come along since I only kind of know about this stuff.