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-   -   Trail boots vs. Shoes (http://www.horseforum.com/hoof-care/trail-boots-vs-shoes-119283/)

flyingchange1991 04-09-2012 01:35 PM

Trail boots vs. Shoes
 
Okay so my mare has cottage cheese hooves, shes very prone to abscessing (which I think is due to contracted heels in the past) but seems like its under control with hoof supplements. My thing is I really want to trail ride her but I'm nervous about all the rocks out on the driveway at our barn (must exit driveway in order to go trail riding) my trainer says she needs shoes and maybe even a sole pad (I think that's what she said) even though she's had natural shoeing for a while. However, we haven't had a problem for several months now and the only time she's ever exposed to rocks is when she is out on the trail. So I was thinking, would trail boots be a better investment than having her wear shoes all the time? Are there any brands that work really well? Or would shoes be better? Any help is appreciated!

caseymyhorserocks 04-09-2012 02:42 PM

I would definitivly go to hoof boots, way cheaper! After about one or two trimmings you start saving money. I would recommend Easyboots, but there is also ones like Cavallos and Big mac.. Always better to go natural when you can.

flyingchange1991 04-09-2012 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks (Post 1445378)
I would definitivly go to hoof boots, way cheaper! After about one or two trimmings you start saving money. I would recommend Easyboots, but there is also ones like Cavallos and Big mac.. Always better to go natural when you can.

thanks! what model of easyboots do you reccomend? theres like 50!

caseymyhorserocks 04-09-2012 03:23 PM

Haha yeah there are. I use the Original and Epics. I would not really recommend the Originals for regular use as they have little spikes that keep them on, and they therefore poke little holes in the hoof! I like the idea of the new Trail boot..

If you have a horse with wider hooves, Gloves are basically the easiest boot to deal with. I would recommend having a Easyboot fitter come out and measure your horse's hooves. If you tell them what you need it for they will also help you choose what type of boot would be best.

Saddlebag 04-09-2012 06:32 PM

You need to take your horse for walks down the gravel as often as you can to help toughen her hooves. Hoof boots can help for riding but she still needs her hooves toughened.

loosie 04-10-2012 04:14 AM

Hi,

What do you mean by 'cottage cheese' hooves & what do you mean by 'natural shoeing'? Yes, recurring abscesses are a symptom of ill health of hooves and yes, even if they were healthy but the horse doesn't live/work enough on rough ground to become 'conditioned' to it, they're likely to need protection on that terrain.

My vote is also for boots over shoes, especially as I believe shoes are generally contraindicated for sick hooves. If you want to protect weak soles/frogs with conventional rims then yes, you do need pads also. Boots will provide the necessary protection & if further is needed you can use pads with them, but you only use them when necessary, so the feet can be cleaned, dry, trimmed etc as necessary rather being 'locked' into padded rims for 6 weeks or more.

What sort(Casey, you mean OLD Macs:lol:) depends mostly on which ones fit him best. Other considerations are how much riding you'd be doing in them - eg. high profile boots such as Macs, Trails, Boas, etc can be problematic if you ride more than around 25 miles per week or ride, due to potential for rubbing. If your horse has odd feet, that will cut down on a few choices as some only come in pairs. How much maintenance your horse's hooves get and their form will be important considerations if you're thinking of Gloves, as they have no fastening system & require a pretty perfect fit. I wouldn't choose these without trying first. However, Easycare have just brought out a 'Backcountry Glove' which are effectively Glove shells with a high profile Trail upper, which doesn't require such perfect fitting. Whether or not you choose one of the Easycare line, if you get onto their site they have some good info on choosing the most appropriate boots.

flyingchange1991 04-10-2012 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loosie (Post 1446860)
Hi,

What do you mean by 'cottage cheese' hooves & what do you mean by 'natural shoeing'? Yes, recurring abscesses are a symptom of ill health of hooves and yes, even if they were healthy but the horse doesn't live/work enough on rough ground to become 'conditioned' to it, they're likely to need protection on that terrain.

Haha, cottage cheese is just a funny way that I have learned to describe her hooves. Her biggest problems were sandcracks, so in order to fix it my first farrier (don't worry I don't use him any more) put shoes on her to fix it and they really did not fit her, if you put the shoe up against her hooves now you can see how badly contracted her heels were. After we took the shoes off he tried digging out the sandcrack, and even sticking a nail through her hoof to get the crack to seal up (like a staple) (this was not on the hoof she started getting abscesses on). Then my new trainer had me go with her farrier who does the natural trimming (sorry I mistyped) with the "mustang roll" which I liked but was taking a lot of sole out and had very little heel which the vet told me wasn't good if shes abscessing, so I'm switching over to this new farrier with more than 30 years under his belt so I'm hoping her feet will start getting better. I'm just concerned he'll want to put shoes on her because of all the stuff that has happened with her feet because thats what my trainer and the rest of the barn says he'll do.

loosie 04-10-2012 10:14 PM

Hi,

How about some hoof pics? I think that 'stapling' or otherwise stabilising a crack across the wall can sometimes be appropriate. I don't think shoes, or otherwise leaving the base of the wall under pressure is good for treating cracks though. Opening them up & cleaning out any infection is usually a necessary step too, as without it, the infection can eat away healthy tissue quicker than a good trim can allow it to grow down.

IME people, including vets tend to have a variety of different opinions about heel height & IMO in the vast majority of cases I've seen where people talk about heels being too low, it is not the case. *However, I'm speaking generally, without even having seen pics of feet or such(not to mention consideration of different opinions) & it does depend, including considerations for taking 'too high' heels down gradually to avoid discomfort/further damage.

As a rule, 'natural' trimmers don't tend to pare much sole like farriers regularly do, but as with any lable such as 'natural', 'trimmer' 'farrier' for eg. there are good, bad & indifferent, especially in an industry so largely unregulated, that anyone can give themselves that lable without any training or study. Not to mention differences of opinion, so it's imperative for owners to learn at least the basics for themselves, in order to make more objective, informed decisions about who & what they allow to be done to their horses.

flyingchange1991 04-11-2012 12:12 AM

see I would agree with you loosie but I've seen so much different stuff on heel height it blows my mind. A lot of people have told me that she's abscessing because there is something permanently embedded but I will swear to the day I die its because her contracted heels are opening up. Also I have a new development, I rode her today and she was really quiet and soft (I went later at night too so that might be doing something) but it almost felt like she locked up one of her front legs or she tripped. She acted like she was stumbling around a lot though it was strange, then all of a sudden after about 4 strides of jog she started limping at the jog! I brought her down to the walk and she was fine, I tried jogging her again and still she was perfectly sound then five minutes later after several strides of jog again she started limping again! I just realized it kept happening around the same spot in the arena but needless to say I jumped off and did everything I could think of to check for lameness, and she went perfectly sound both ways! Does this have something to do with her feet too? I almost feel like I should put shoes on her because she just seemed really sore and trippy the whole ride. It also seems like her feet aren't growing back as fast as they should, maybe I'm just imagining stuff?

caseymyhorserocks 04-11-2012 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loosie (Post 1446860)
Hi,

What do you mean by 'cottage cheese' hooves & what do you mean by 'natural shoeing'? Yes, recurring abscesses are a symptom of ill health of hooves and yes, even if they were healthy but the horse doesn't live/work enough on rough ground to become 'conditioned' to it, they're likely to need protection on that terrain.

My vote is also for boots over shoes, especially as I believe shoes are generally contraindicated for sick hooves. If you want to protect weak soles/frogs with conventional rims then yes, you do need pads also. Boots will provide the necessary protection & if further is needed you can use pads with them, but you only use them when necessary, so the feet can be cleaned, dry, trimmed etc as necessary rather being 'locked' into padded rims for 6 weeks or more.

What sort(Casey, you mean OLD Macs:lol:) depends mostly on which ones fit him best. Other considerations are how much riding you'd be doing in them - eg. high profile boots such as Macs, Trails, Boas, etc can be problematic if you ride more than around 25 miles per week or ride, due to potential for rubbing. If your horse has odd feet, that will cut down on a few choices as some only come in pairs. How much maintenance your horse's hooves get and their form will be important considerations if you're thinking of Gloves, as they have no fastening system & require a pretty perfect fit. I wouldn't choose these without trying first. However, Easycare have just brought out a 'Backcountry Glove' which are effectively Glove shells with a high profile Trail upper, which doesn't require such perfect fitting. Whether or not you choose one of the Easycare line, if you get onto their site they have some good info on choosing the most appropriate boots.

-head desk- Thanks for the correction LOL


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