Barefoot vs shod
I know this is a touchy subject for some. My farrier said that my horse should do fine barefoot but not to take the shoes off until the fly season is over. He is strictly ridden in a ring, doing very light jumping. His paddock is fairly rocky with little grass. Any advice as to whether he will need time off, wear boots, any supplements to help with the transition? We took the back shoes off a year ago and he did great and has been in training 5 days a week since then. Any ideas?
Why wait til the fly season is over? That's a new one on me.
I very much prefer barefoot but am not opposed to shoes if there's a lot of trail riding or gravel around. IMVHO I would have the fronts taken off and have a good trim done all around. It'll take a little while for his feet to toughen a bit but he should be fine.
My horses only stay shod during trail riding and fly season. I know if the horse is especially sensitive to flies they can stomp quite a bit. I've had issues with some horses that would stomp so much that they would manage to crack and chip their hooves pretty bad. Personally I like going barefoot as much as possible.
I prefer barefoot and just spoke to my farrier about this yesterday. He said as long as her feet stay as healthy as they are, there is no reason to ever shod her.
Sorry I wouldn't know my horse is shod all year round
Shoes, in new zealand, esp in my case, we dont ahve a huge amount of places to ride, mainly the road, me personally, I have to ride to get to a arena, over the road. or I can ride 2 mins to the beach. so shoes are nessercery, not to mention i have a thin soled tb who is receving remedal shoeing for various problems, I do SJ mainly and mostof our shows are based on grass. so barefoot traction could also be a issue
My horse has had front shoes for the atleast the past 5 years that I've owned him. No ill effects. He is a horse that cannot go without shoes in the front - he gets so sore and his feet chip terribly. Since he's been home I put him on a better feed and hoff supplement, which seems to be helping.
The longest he has gone without one is 2-5 days, and that's when he loses them and we have to wait until our farrier is in the area.
He is ridden a lot, all year long, so even if I pulled shoes he doesn't have time off for a "transition period".
It works for us and that's the way it's going to stay.
But we did pull shoes off of a rescue-turned-school-horse at the barn I worked at a few years ago. No problems.
You might want to go for a hoof supplement that helps them grow faster - since his hooves won't be that tough they mind be worn down a lot for the first couple of weeks/months. Have boots on hand just in case, and take it easy when riding him until he is transitioned.
Yes, you could buy some boots for the transition period if it's not possible to avoid hard surfaces/gravel. It's good for the horse and hooves to move a lot, so a big paddock will help. You could also give your horse some yeast-product (the ones made for horses), it will reinforce the hoof.
My two horse have been barefoot for 4 years now, they both have strong and fine hooves (an arab and a paint).
When you take the shoes off, I would wait a few days and see if he gets sore before doing anything...considering where you ride, he may not need anything at all, and if he's getting trimmed when the shoes come off, make sure he's not trimmed too short or has sole taken off...that will help a lot.
I ride on roads, on gravel, I jump, I campdraft, I do mounted games - All very high impact activities. Both my horses are barefoot and will stay that way.
I find that traction is BETTER on grass barefoot, shoes make it worse, especially if it's wet.
The only time I will shoe is if my horse needs it as a remedial thing.
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