Alright so I'll admit I'm green to this. I'm getting a team of Belgians this coming week some time or weekend. the one horse had his rear feet shod cause he was having issues cracking. I don't know what kind of ground they are on in summer time but right now its all frozen and hard...
Now I know that people have them shod for farm and pull use ( My gramp's had shoes with little spikes on them for his plow horses. ) and I also know they have shoes for road use so you don't wear the hoof it self down. However I've been reading and I see some people saying to not shoe your horse just cause your going to run the road or harder surfaces and kind of slowly introduce them to it and their hooves will harden and come use to it. If that is true or not, I'm not sure.
This team will be used logging and a little farm work and just play with a little wagon or buggy so the whole deal with the pulling/farm shoes or what ever their technical term is I don't think we have to worry about. I'm going to focus on the flat shoes and take it as a pro-con as what will be good out of have them shod and what are negative effects of having them shod.
I also know there are a lot of people that go on about how it hurts the horse in the long run from pulling nails to circulation to the hard shock to horse.
anyone able to point me in the right direction.
If cracking was the only issue that they were shod do they make anything else other than a shoe he could wear? and not be drugged for it...
Draft horses' feet tend to be a bit of a different story than lighter horses- they're much larger and carry a lot more weight than your typical riding horse. I don't have much knowledge about them myself other than what I've seen from the draft horses that board in the same barns as me. I'd encourage you to find a reputable farrier in your area who has lots of experience with draft horses specifically and get his advice on what your horses will need.
Thanks for the tip!
I think a major 'con' of conventional shoes is that the peripherally load the foot(force the entire load onto hoof walls) and don't support/protect the rest of the foot. This of course is not such an issue with horses only working on soft/yielding ground. I think the biggest 'con' of keeping horses bare is that due to their management(diet, lifestyle, environment), they're often not well enough conditioned to be pulled out of a cushy paddock & be able to perform on every surface we may want them to. Domestic horses need hoof protection in at least some situations most of the time. But don't rule out hoof boots as one very good option, which do protect & support the entire hoof without further loading walls.
As for the cracking, you don't need shoes to treat that & I believe further peripheral loading is actually more unhelpful. There are a number of reasons that horse's hooves crack. He may have a diet/nutrition problem that has contributed to weakened walls & allowed stressed areas to crack. He may have been left without good/adequate hoof care, so the overlong sections broke away & leverage caused cracks. He may have had stone bruises/abscesses which caused 'blow outs' which became cracks, &/or some wall separation allowed bugs to get in & the infection which is eating away at the inner wall tissue is perpetuating/worsening the cracks.
Examining & if necessary correcting the diet & balancing nutrition is important, for general health & hoof health, regardless of cracks. Frequent good trimming, to *keep* the hooves in good shape & *prevent* them from becoming too long(as opposed to allowing them to overgrow before 'correcting' as many do) is vital. Cleaning out the crack & treating any infection is also very important. In ideal situations, with good diet & trimming, it's possible for seedy toe to go away without further measures, but usually it needs treatment & if you don't, it can continue to eat away at healthy tissue as quickly as the horse can grow it.
Sorry ment they chip, not crack. The ground they will be on has a few rocks but not real bad. But it is for the most part all hardon the upper half and soft for a qtr and swampy wet on the bottom. I wont be working them for a while I need collars still and I just want to do ground work anf let them get use to me being their new owner. Not jump in on them and jump the ball and make things hard for me...
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