Horseshoes Vs. Barefeet?
   

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Horseshoes Vs. Barefeet?

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  • Horseshoes vs barefeet
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    01-24-2012, 06:10 PM
  #1
Foal
Horseshoes Vs. Barefeet?

My question is...
When is it nessecary to put horseshoes on...

I have had my horse for three months...her previous owner said she has always been barefeet, but they only did light riding in soft dirt (like an arena)

I was told if I'm not planning to trailride or anything with a rough terrain not to even bother with it. BUT I have started doing barrels with her...so I'm not doing "light riding" although I only ride her in the arena...should I look into have shoes on her??

I don't know much in that particular department...
But next month she will have her hooves trimmed and I just want some advice whether to shoe her or not. Please any suggestions, advice...???
     
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    01-24-2012, 06:40 PM
  #2
Started
The need for shoes depends on the horse's feet as much as anything else. Some are super tough and almost never need shoes while others are soft and break/wear down easily. One of my mom's mares has never been shod, even when she was riding almost every day on rough, rocky trails. The farrier only did a few swipes with a file because she her feet wore down evenly and didn't get too worn down either. Others may need shoes for almost anything (could chip their hooves on a rock in the pasture). The best thing to do is ask your farrier what their opinion is on the needs of your horse on particular terrain, doing certain activities, and the frequency you would be riding.
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    01-24-2012, 06:56 PM
  #3
Weanling
There is a nice thread on this very subject. I will try and link to it.

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-heal...-shoes-110445/
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    01-24-2012, 07:16 PM
  #4
Foal
If your horse needs shoes on then have them fitted, but if she's working well without them then I'd stick without. I know people who event without shoes. Don't worry about the level of work providing your horse is able to cope with that and only you and your horse can tell that.
     
    01-24-2012, 07:40 PM
  #5
Yearling
Shoeing is not healthy for the horse. But their may be certain types of feet; thin soles, thin walls etc. that are genetically inherited not a result of "human" intervention that may need shoes. If only we could provide the perfect pasture with hard ground and some rocks and hills along with an open range. In my opinion, their feet would get healthier they would physically and mentally get healthier also over time exposed to this type of terrain. I think humans have changed the natural way horses live too much, I am guilty. In my opinion, I do not think it is always the healthiest for the horse.
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    01-24-2012, 07:42 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by goneriding    
Shoeing is not healthy for the horse. But their may be certain types of feet; thin soles, thin walls etc. that are genetically inherited not a result of "human" intervention that may need shoes. If only we could provide the perfect pasture with hard ground and some rocks and hills along with an open range. In my opinion, their feet would get healthier they would physically and mentally get healthier also over time exposed to this type of terrain. I think humans have changed the natural way horses live too much, I am guilty. In my opinion, I do not think it is always the healthiest for the horse.
Maybe so, however for some horses, shoeing is inevitable for the job the horse is required to do. Most riders who compete on grass will shoe so they can use studs for extra grip, grip which they wouldn't have if barefoot.

I agree that barefoot is better where possible as it is more natural, however no matter how hard you try, some horses will always need to be shod.
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    01-24-2012, 07:46 PM
  #7
Yearling
Actually your horses feet will toughen up if needed. Most of my horses have never had a shoe, but some have and I had them removed as soon as they were mine. They've all worked out well. If you don't ride a great deal they will need pretty regular trimming. If you ride a lot they will have better wear and need less trimming. I use to average about 100 miles a week, but that was with working horses and they seldom needed an actual trim. Just their daily check and cleaning before starting to work.

The only time I've seen shoes actually "needed" was, fortunately not one of mine, a horse that had a badly damaged hoof. White line had resulted in a massive lose of hoof wall and a split that went to the coronet band. A shoe was needed to hold things in place while the hoof was treated and grew back out. Of course he had been shod initially anyway, but the owner went unshod after the hoof healed. She'd planned to anyway, but the damage to the hoof delayed it.

So there are times when for sever medical reasons you might need to have a horse shod. I've never had such a case in 40 years, but that doesn't mean some people have. One of the horses I'd bought did have the start of white line. A hole has started from a nail near the toe, but we caught it first thing and it's easier to treat when you catch them early. I pick daily, but that doesn't mean you catch everything right off. Some days can be pretty bad for cleaning :) But if there is something it's unlikely to go undetected for more than a day or two. Most of the issues I've had to deal with came from cases of taking a horse from shod to unshod. There can be issues with the foot and very often (if the horse was in shoes for a long time) it takes a while for the hoof to get proper blood flow and feel normal to the horse again. That can take the longest to get over, but once their feet have recovered they are fine.

Some people will say that you need to shoe for certain terrain, but keep in mind that unshod horses have successfully run (and won) the Tevis cup (which is not kindest terrain) and in the early 70's Gordon Nesbit (not sure about the last name) road from southern Africa to central Europe unshod and that's thousands of miles and some very unfriendly terrain. I've ridden all mine on pavement for 40 years without any problems.
     
    01-24-2012, 07:58 PM
  #8
Foal
That may be so, however I tried to go barefoot with my connemara x thoroughbred mare and attempted it for 2.5 months before I relented and replaced the shoes on her fronts as she was so lame. I tried to continue riding her, or walking out on various terrains but it got to the point that she was that sore, she was even lame on grass. That's not fair to her so I shod her. She's happy, Im happy, were all happy. Just pointing out that barefoot doesnt work for all people and horses
     
    01-24-2012, 08:49 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by maesseren    
That may be so, however I tried to go barefoot with my connemara x thoroughbred mare and attempted it for 2.5 months before I relented and replaced the shoes on her fronts as she was so lame. I tried to continue riding her, or walking out on various terrains but it got to the point that she was that sore, she was even lame on grass. That's not fair to her so I shod her. She's happy, Im happy, were all happy. Just pointing out that barefoot doesnt work for all people and horses
Her feet were still healing. It's like when they finally got the Chinese to stop binding girls feet. The girls who'd had their feet bound for some time couldn't walk at first. It took a long time for the feet to recover from being in an abnormal condition, but in the end their feet returned to normal and good health. For the older women the pain was extreme, since their feet had been bound for so long and the condition was irreversible. Fortunately for horses it's not irreversible, but riders have to be willing to give up riding for however long it takes for the feet to recover, but they will recover. It might take a year in some extreme cases, but they will recover.
Shod horses, among other things, have restricted blood flow. Imagine how your feed would feel if your blood flow there was restricted for a very long period. The suddenly it was returned. It would hurt terribly and you might not be able to walk for some time. In a horses case it can take quite some time, because the hoof has to start expanding (and it does every time the horse takes a step since there's not shoe keeping it from normal expansion) and the heels return to helping the blood flow. So every step can cause pain until the feet return to what should be their norm. The 3 year old filly I purchased last year wasn't shod terriblyl long, but it still took couple months for her to get back to normal. Now the only problem remaining is a crack from one of the shoe nails that would have healed already but had a bacteria, so that is being treated. She's walking, trotting and tearing up the pasture racing my mare (and beating her). Yes, it takes time, but well worth it in the end if you can go without riding for that long.
Besides, I ride on pavement also and unshod gets the best traction. Also does less damage to the pasture
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    01-24-2012, 08:52 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
Her feet were still healing. It's like when they finally got the Chinese to stop binding girls feet. The girls who'd had their feet bound for some time couldn't walk at first. It took a long time for the feet to recover from being in an abnormal condition, but in the end their feet returned to normal and good health. For the older women the pain was extreme, since their feet had been bound for so long and the condition was irreversible. Fortunately for horses it's not irreversible, but riders have to be willing to give up riding for however long it takes for the feet to recover, but they will recover. It might take a year in some extreme cases, but they will recover.
Shod horses, among other things, have restricted blood flow. Imagine how your feed would feel if your blood flow there was restricted for a very long period. The suddenly it was returned. It would hurt terribly and you might not be able to walk for some time. In a horses case it can take quite some time, because the hoof has to start expanding (and it does every time the horse takes a step since there's not shoe keeping it from normal expansion) and the heels return to helping the blood flow. So every step can cause pain until the feet return to what should be their norm. The 3 year old filly I purchased last year wasn't shod terriblyl long, but it still took couple months for her to get back to normal. Now the only problem remaining is a crack from one of the shoe nails that would have healed already but had a bacteria, so that is being treated. She's walking, trotting and tearing up the pasture racing my mare (and beating her). Yes, it takes time, but well worth it in the end if you can go without riding for that long.
Besides, I ride on pavement also and unshod gets the best traction. Also does less damage to the pasture
Wheres the proof that theres ischaemia within the hoof in shod horses? Having spent three years at university learning about the species, I have never been informed that shoeing causes ischaemia. Surely hooves would drop off?!

I maintain that whilst some horses are ok barefoot, others are not.
     

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