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the plea for barefootedness
so my new lease horse is shod on all four feet. his hooves look pretty good to me, hard, and healthy. where i am boarding him there is grass, dirt, more grass, more dirt to walk on. no gravel, no hard surfaces. the only concrete is the aisle of a two stall barn, and we don't go in there unless the farrier is there, for the level footing. horse doesn't need shoes. especially come winter, he won't need them nor do i want to have to worry about him sliding all over snow and ice with them on. as it is, the barn manager said he nearly went through the fence already due to sliding on some mud - horse has been there only since saturday afternoon.
i have a full free lease (i don't pay owner anything), i pay full board and all other costs on the horse, except farrier, as owner and i have agreed to split that 50/50 due to the expense of shoes on all four. horse is due for a trim and reset soon, sometime within the next couple weeks. i am more than willing to take on full farrier cost if horse goes barefoot.
horse's owner says 'he's always been shod' but has yet to explain further as to why. it was suggested that owner's farrier just likes to shoe instead of trim for the extra $$ it brings in. the shoe job looks ok, but there are definitely things i see with the way the hoof has been trimmed that don't look quite right, even to my not so educated eye - i will get photos soon - hopefully heading to the barn this eve.
i would be very comfortable having my old farrier doing barefoot trims on this horse, as my old farrier dealt extensively and exclusively with my horse for ten years and my old Boo never took a step wrong except for when he foundered (obviously nothing to do with the farrier's work).
has anyone else in a lease position had to convince the horse's owner that A) the horse does not need shoes, and B) a different farrier would be a good and viable option?
i already have an idea of what i am going to say, just wanted the collective opinion from y'all.
Not your horse, so you don't get the final say. If you want to experiment on letting a horse go barefoot, buy one of your own.
You have a free lease, and think you have the right to tell the horse's owner what should or shouldn't be done with the animal? No, you do not.
If you don't agree with shoes, then why did you take on a horse whose owner wants him shod all the way around?
You're showing a marked lack of respect for the horse's owner, and your arrogance quite simply astounds me.
Jeez, Speed Racer! Cut them some slack! I don't think they showed any arrogance or disrespect at all.
I would offer a compromise with the owner. Tell them that the shoes could be a safety issue (slippage) right now, and you'd like to remove them to see if that helps. Say that you'd like to keep this horse barefoot while you're leasing him, and say that you'll pay the price of shoeing him (with his previous farrier) if/when he goes back to the original owner. That might get his attention.
Sadly, if that doesn't work, you don't have many options. I like keeping my horse's feet bare too, so this would be an issue for me as well. Lots of folks around here shoe because, "Well, everyone else does it." You might even give him your farrier's phone number, so that he can talk about the care you provided your old horse, and how going barefoot will not hurt the horse.
TurkishVan, I agree with you.
OP, is there a specific reason why the owner is leasing the horse out? Can she no longer afford to care for the animal, or is it simply for convenience? That can make a big difference.
On a slight agreement with SpeedRacer, not that I thought you sounded arrogant at all, but if you ARE paying all the expenses of horse ownership, why not purchase an equine of your own? Can save some drama.
However, if it's the initial purchase price that is the issue, then perhaps just suggest to keep the back feet bare for now, and then slowly bring the idea of completely barefoot back up when the owner can see that the horse can handle life without shoes, and that the difference in expense is well worth it.
I'm actuall surprised that the horse is allowed in pasture with back shoes on. I know a lot of barns that restrict shoes to the fronts only for animals that will be sharing pasture space with other horse. Or is he in a private paddock?
If the horse owner is relying on your lease for the well-being of the horse, then I would think it not out of reach to suggest the barefoot method. If the owner is simply being courteous by not charging a lease fee, and you just like riding that specific horse, then I would probably just leave things as is.
Would be awful, though, if you ended up having to pay the vet bill for an injury caused by shoes. :/
a lack of respect for the owner would be me going ahead and doing what i want with the horse's hooves without consulting the owner. that i have not done, as i do have that respect.
by asking and hopefully getting advice on people's past experiences on how to proceed with this situation before going to the horse's owner, i believed i was doing the correct thing, gathering information before submitting a proposal (essentially that is what this situation is). i suppose by Speed Racer's opinion, i'm arrogant and disrespectful now.
the horse can be shod all winter if the owner wants it. i am not going to go against his wishes if he is adamant about it, i am merely looking for a solution that causes the least chance of injury to the horse. i would hope that all members here on the forum would be concerned about that first and foremost.
TurkishVan, thank you for the contribution and advice.
The OP knew going in that the horse was shod all the way around. That right there negates any opinion she might have on the matter.
I'd be insulted if someone I was FREE LEASING my horse to decided they knew better than myself and my farrier what was right for my horse.
Why not ASK the owner if it would be alright to TRY the horse without? The worst she can say is no, IMO.
I would suggest that rather than "pulling" the shoes, you let the feet grow with them on until they nearly fall off. I did this the first winter I had my guy since I had tried "pulling" them and he was so lame for several weeks I put them back on (and there was no hard footing there, either, in fact, sand and rubber in the arena even). When they get close to falling off, take them off and rasp the edges. If you have to trim do not trim much at all. Let the foot get hard. You can also use venice turpentine too to harden, but I did not need it at all doing it this way. My guy has been barefoot ever since, except when he has his sliders on. I just like to know I have a horse with 4 good feet to ride when I go out, instead of one missing a shoe, etc.
the only cost that is still on the owner is half of the cost of farrier. that works out to about $35 a month, assuming an 8 week schedule (what the horse has been on) for farrier.
i have brought the owner's horse expenses down from the $300 range per month to $35 per month.
the owner cannot ride due to injury, has had some 'extra work' dry up lately and has reduced income, and does not have time for the horse either. horse has not been ridden in 'a few months'. he is trained for reining, but i will not be pursuing that. pleasure hacking, light to medium arena work, and training him to ground drive this winter (yes, i have the owner's approval for this). not hard work at all.
the horse is out in pasture with a number of other geldings. i too worry about him being shod in back with others around, even with his disposition being fairly quiet.
i am a single parent with one job, one income. i cannot afford the initial cost of buying a horse in the near future, as much as i would LOVE to! i did own for 10 years, so i know how much nicer it is to have a horse you can 100% call your own. i am getting back in to riding after a 12 year break. not sure if i am quite ready for the commitment of owning yet, so leasing is my option. the month to month expenses for my lease situation are no issue for me, neither are any unexpected vet bills.
Id just ask the owner if she cares if you try barefoot for a while and see how it goes. Im not much for games or beating around the bush.
You would really need to speak to the owner about this - maybe with some professional support from a farrier
I will say though that just because a horses feet look healthy and good with shoes on doesn't mean that they will essentially be that way without them
I have one horse out of five that cannot do without shoes even on grass. She is otherwise healthy and her feet look fine, its just the way some horses are.
It is nice if horses can go barefoot but shoes aren't really the devils own creation
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