Do horses need all 4 shoes to ride Big South Fork?
hi, The title pretty much says it all, we are going there this fall for our anniversary and wondering if we need to have front and back shoes? thanks in advance!
I think it depends on your horse. Ours can do it bare in back, but they are used to riding on rocky ground on day rides near home too, and they have great feet. We do use hoof boots on front hooves for sure, and carry extras for the hind hooves too just in case.
I would say most horses with traditional farriers (i.e. not barefoot trimmer) probably need hoof protection on all four. Also depends how fast you ride I'm sure. The faster/longer you want the go, the most likely you need shoes/boots.
Mine came from there with both fronts. He has not needed shoes since, only there. The rocks are nearly fist sized and not nice round stones, at least from what I saw in my brief ride there.......I would do shoes or boots.
I do all four shoes and pads in the front. I'm going there next weekend for a CTR. :wink: I never been, but it was highly recommended to shoe by my friends who did the ride last year. Especially since my mare's feet aren't the best. She is sound barefoot in our native Georgia sand and grass, but she isn't sound on gravel, roads, or rocks despite careful barefoot trimming during her summer "shoe breaks." You just gotta know your horse.
But then again, I'm going to be doing 50 miles at a trot/canter...
I can tell you more when I get back.
We rode Cumberland Ridge trail and Jacks Ridge loop back in June.
I rode with front boots only and really didn't find BSF to be a difficult ride when compared to the trails in the Cohutta's of N. Georgia or the Great Smokey Mountains.
The park service takes pretty good care of the trails and I don't think my horse stepped over a log the whole weekend. There are a few rocky spots but during June the trails had a lot of mud bogs.....
It's a pretty place to ride and geared for the equine community.
Thank you all! Pretty mixed reviews here but maybe better to be safe than sorry. Our horses are tender on the fronts on gravel without shoes and they only have fronts now. I think we will likely go ahead and shoe all 4 for the trip or see if the boots we dont use now will fit on the back.
Brighteyes I would love feedback when you get back..pictures would be great too, have fun. I can't wait myself!
LOVE BIG SOUTH FORK!!! We go every year and sometimes twice a year! Be sure to get a map and ask around about the trails. Are you staying in the park at the Bandy Creek campground or outside the park?
There is a great trail that leads out from Timber Ridge Campground that has cool cave type places you can get up close. Even if you are not staying at Timber Ridge, they are very helpful and love for folks to come ride out from their place, (there is a place to day park, they ask for a donation for the trails to park there).
If interested I can go home and check out the map and tell you some of the trails we love.. and I am sure others on this forum can also.
Thanks Rhonda, we are staying at Whisperwood Cabin. We prefer to ride easy to moderate trails, rougher trails are ok as long as they are safe.haha
Whisperwood?? Whisperwood? That is EXACTLY where we stay when we go. Pat (owner) just keeps our deposit so we don't keep having to send her a new one.. We LOVE Whisperwood Cabin. It is in the perfect spot to see/ride BSF.
If you have never been there I will be happy to answer any questions!!
That is cool Rhonda, and no we have never been there..relieved to hear it is a good place to stay! Will let you know if we have any questions! :)
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