Why do you shoe your horses? - Page 3

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Why do you shoe your horses?

This is a discussion on Why do you shoe your horses? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-18-2010, 12:50 AM
Green Broke
Reining horses need shoes with slide plates to get those flashy slides, and help reduce torque on the hocks. I understand why they're needed in that case.

NR, are there any other western events where shoes enhance performance, like in reining? I don't know much about most of the events, except to ooh and ahh at the shows, lol. My western expereince is strictly pleasure and trail.
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    09-18-2010, 12:56 AM
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
Reining horses need shoes with slide plates to get those flashy slides, and help reduce torque on the hocks. I understand why they're needed in that case.

NR, are there any other western events where shoes enhance performance, like in reining? I don't know much about most of the events, except to ooh and ahh at the shows, lol. My western expereince is strictly pleasure and trail.
Speed events shoes would help same with cutting and roping. Not sure that they are NEEDED in WP but most do use them. Sand is very abrasive and will ware down feet as fast or faster then rough terrain. I am all sand here and you should see what it dose to a set of shoes.
    09-18-2010, 01:09 AM
Originally Posted by Shalani    
I can honestly say ALL horse are better off without Metal shoes.

For horses that must have some protection its better for the horse to use easy boots .
Have you ever evented? NO WAY I would go out on course in easy boots.

It's just not safe, they don't have the stay-on power of shoes, IMO. Plus, you can't add studs. I don't even think they're allowed at events, but it's been a few years since I have evented (before hoof boots became SO popular) so I could be wrong.
    09-18-2010, 01:15 AM
Green Broke
Renegade hoof boots have come up with an option for adding studs, and they stay on really well .

Easyboots also now have a "stud kit" for horses riding on ice or in mud/turf.
    09-18-2010, 01:16 AM
I would like to keep the shoes off my horse for now. As far as I know she has not had them in her 8 years. My TB and Tenn. Walker had them because it seemed like their feet would fall apart without them. However, I am really liking the look of those boots! I am horrid at puzzles though, are they easy to put on? We do a lot of trails and road riding.
    09-18-2010, 01:18 AM
Green Broke
I use Easyboot Edge boots and they are not too bad, once you get the hang of it . They stay on remarkably well too, as long as they are well fitted to the horse.
Easyboot Edge | A Sturdy, Long-Lasting Hoof Boot | EasyCare Inc.

I have friends that use Renegade boots and say that they are even easier to use. I may invest in a pair of those once my new horse has her shoes pulled
RenegadeŽ Hoof Boots, The Real Leader in Hoof Boot Technology! Horse Boots
    09-18-2010, 01:33 AM
I was lucky with going barefoot on my horses until my mare. Her feet are horrible. That is pretty much her only downside. Her heels are not built up, and they don't seem to build up at all. It is an on-going battle for my farrier and I. We want her heel to grow up, but her feet grow more out and not so up. I keep her barefoot in the winter, but come training and showing, she's sore without shoes on the front. Of course, we're going to start doing some reining this next spring, so she'll need sliders, too... not easyboots.
    09-18-2010, 02:06 AM
There was a gal at the barn I use to work at that had shoes on her horse 24/7 365 days a year. I feel bad when a horse goes without ever having shoes off. I have never shod any of my horses. I was able to ride them on gravel enough that they built up really tough feet. If I had issues I would get boots to put on. I think there is a good side and bad side to shoing.
    09-18-2010, 02:46 AM
My POA is shoeless, my paint has slightly clubbed feet and wears down his toes and grows heels really badly without his front shoes but his back feet are fine. My 18 hd. Draft has front shoes as his feet get huge cracks in them and lose chunks without, plus he is a tenderfoot. It's so dry and rocky here in CA I suppose. We've tried going barefoot and his feet start falling apart.
    09-18-2010, 03:40 AM
Here are 16 quick points to bring up about the damage they can do...
  1. Horseshoes Prevent The Hoof Wall from Wearing - Normal movement of an unshod horse wears down the lateral walls, toes and heels naturally. This is not possible if the hoof is shod...and the hoof grows while the shoe is still on, contracting the foot and creating unnatural angles in the foot.
  2. Vibrations from Horseshoes Destroy Hoof Wall & Damages Living Tissue - Studies by Luca Bein show that vibrations at 800 Hz on living tissue destroys the capillaries at the ends of blood vessels. The vibrations of horseshoes are similar and destroy the solar corium.
  3. Horseshoes Impair Shock Absorption & Movement Of the Sole - A horse loses between 70-80% of natural shock absorption with shoes on. This means that the bones and joints take a tremendous pounding...and this is why so many shod horses are finished before their time. A shod horse walking has around 3 times the impact of an unshod horse trotting.
  4. Horseshoes Impair Hoof Mechanism & the Circulatory Pump in the Foot - The feet of every equine are miniature blood pumps aiding the heart's circulation through the establishment of Hoof Mechanism. Hoof Mechanism is the cyclical process of a weight bearing foot descending (on a hoof that is properly trimmed enough to leave concavity in the solar region of the foot), so that the sole flattens out as the hoof walls expand. This allows the coffin bone to descend and the solar corium to fill with blood. The blood is then expressed upwards when the foot is not weight bearing. Horseshoes inhibit--even prevent this process from occurring naturally in the foot. The result is poor horn growth, no feeling and cold feet.
  5. Horseshoes Pinch The Corium & Living Tissues In The Hoof - Shod horses can no longer break over naturally. The result is inflammation to the coronary corium. Sort of like you trying to walk around in ski boots all day long.
  6. Horseshoes Produce Unnatural Strains on Ligaments & Joints - This affects the lateral cartilages on break over as well as other ligaments and tendon attached to joints when shod horses attempt to turn sharply on soft ground only to have the shoes dig into the ground. The horse trips and stumbles because it can no longer feel the ground.
  7. Horseshoes Cause Bruising of the Navicular Area ("heel pain") & Contraction - With growing hoof wall constrained by horseshoes...the only direction things can go is up. High solar vaults begin to pinch the solar corium against the coffin bone. The bars get forced upward against the deep flexor tendon and navicular bone, bruising the coronary corium.
  8. Thrush - Restriction of blood circulation from shoeing causes insufficient growth of the frog. Natural desiccation of the frog from bacteria and microbes occur at a greater a rate than the impaired growth.
  9. Unnatural Weight & Centrifugal Forces - Put some dumbells in your hands and start boxing. You will notice how difficult and even less accurate your punches are. This is how it is for horses who are shod with metal shoes. 800 gram shoes are enough to throw things out of synch and tear ligaments, cartilage and tendons, let alone account for the damage a kick can have on other horses or humans (and I should know).
  10. Nails Destroy the Hoof Wall - They vibrate. They let in bacteria, microbes & ammonia. They damage the corium. They dry out the hoof wall. They weaken the hoof wall. Hello!
  11. Nails Conduct Cold Into the Interior of the Hoof - Metal conducts heat/cold. On really cold days, nails conduct cold into the core of the hoof, lowering its temperature. The Natural Hoof insulates against the cold.
  12. Increased Risk of (Greater) Injury & Damage - Anybody who owns shod horses knows the damage a single kick can cause other animals and humans. Additionally, the damage done to trails and pasture by shod horses in wetter weather is clearly uncontested.
  13. Shoeing Contracts & Deforms the Hoof - Given enough time, a shod horse will develop combinations of several kinds of contractions ranging from contractions of the sole, heels, bulbs, coronet, and bars. These will deform the foot and sooner or later cause pain in the hoof.
  14. Horseshoes Prevent Proper Development of a Young Horse's Foot - A horse does not stop growing its feet till around age 5. If you shoe a horse before then, you will inhibit the normal growth of the coffin bone and the palmar processes.
  15. "Orthopaedic" or "Corrective" Shoeing Doesn't Solve Anything - The idea behind this is to make changes in the foot. But any change from bad to good is going to require metabolic changes in the foot (heat from circulation and the healing processes). Corrective shoeing inhibits healing by limiting or preventing altogether any circulation.
  16. Incorrect Shoeing - Due to a lack of enforced standards in the farrier industry, there are many poor examples of shoeing due to ignorance, neglect, and poor training. This only serves to exacerbate the problems shoeing already cause.

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