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ilovemyPhillip 12-05-2009 10:00 AM

Is it uncommon..?
Sorry if this is in the wrong place, if it needs to be moved - go ahead Mods :-).

Well, at my farm we have two horses, and two ponies; they all go barefoot. The two horses (Tornado and Zeph) had all 4 shoes when they came to us... Their previous owners weren't very knowledgeable with horses, and I guess they just figured "Oh horses need shoes; 'Hey horseshoe guy! Come put all four on 'em!'" - so they were on all four for a few years, before they came to my place (April 2009). We had our amazing farrier [Roy] came out, and we asked if they could go with out shoes. And he said as long as the hoof could take it.

- They were strong enough to handle it, and all the horses have been shoeless (the ponies never had shoes) - but is this uncommon? All we do is light trail riding on basic dirt/mud/leaves (lol). I know they don't need shoes but I hear so many people make a big deal over being barefoot. I'm just curious!

Oh! And while their hooves were getting used to being bare, we put special hoof 'stuff' (I forget its name! I just call it turpentine, similar substance..) and this helped the hoof. Total mind blank to what it is called.. It was bought from Tractor Supply :D.


jimmy 12-05-2009 10:14 AM

i would keep going the way you are if they are ok unshod whats the harm

MN Tigerstripes 12-05-2009 10:24 AM

I don't think it's all that uncommon, especially for what you do with your horses. I've never *knock on wood* had a shod horse, but if my horse required it I wouldn't rule it out just because it's "unnatural" or anything.

strawboss 12-05-2009 10:45 AM

most horses in turnout don't need shoes. there are exceptions to all rules. some horses don't ever need shoes and some horses only need shoes when they are doing hard work on rough ground. if a horse remains sound while doing what it's doing it doesn't need to be shod for that job.
some trail riding camps require horses to be shod to use their trails. a horse should be willing to give their feet to be shod even if they are never shod. this is done by trimming the feet at proper intervals. giving biotin and useing hoof dressing will make a horses hoves stronger.
shoeing of horses is a misunderstood topic. as is bitting and sometimes tacking as well. a little learning is a dangerous thing.

CheyAut 12-08-2009 06:37 AM

My TB needs fronts (he wears them down to quick just playing around, not even being ridden!) but all the rest of mine are barefoot. And the ground here is really rough and rocky, and they do just fine. Many people shoe horses just because it's what they're used to, or they think they need it. Sure, lots of horses DO need it, and some disciplines such as reining DO need it. But there's a lot of shod horses out there who could go barefoot if given the chance. Do what's best for your horse as an individual :)

1dog3cats17rodents 12-08-2009 06:42 AM

Depends on the horse. Some never need shoes a day in their life, otheres need shoes just to be comfortable. Ponies rarely need shoes, especially small ones (can you imagine a 2 inch pony shoe?)

~*~anebel~*~ 12-08-2009 11:39 AM

All horses should be able to go barefoot. Only if the horse has medical or performance needs should it be shod.
As soon as you shoe the horse with back shoes, it should not be turned out with other horses. This is why you really should only shoe a horse in the back if it absolutely needs it.
My horse is shod in front because he is taken off the property quite a lot and needs the support of the shoe to prevent stone bruises and provide even traction on most surfaces. In the next few years, I will probably start shoeing the hind so that he has the same support there too for the higher level work.
Any horse that has foundered usually needs shoes, and ringbone also merits their use.
Otherwise, I think barefoot is great.

iridehorses 12-08-2009 11:48 AM

Some of my horses have been shod all around, some on the front only and some not at all. They have all been turned out together and in nearly 30 years, I've never had an incident that required me to separate horses due to their shoeing.

The choice to go barefoot or not was up the the horse and the conditions I rode them in.

kitten_Val 12-08-2009 12:05 PM

Both my mares are barefoot. I do trail riding and started lessons this year. The only prevention I use is I have pair of boots for each I put on front hoofs when I ride in really rocky park.

Your horses may have some issues with the transition from shoes to barefoot (may be really sensitive for while), but if they have good hoofs they should be OK. Moreover I've seen OTTBs with REALLY bad hoofs restored and went nicely barefoot with the good farrier.

farmpony84 12-08-2009 12:55 PM

some people that do alot of heavy trail riding in rocky terrain will opt for shoes all the way around. I know when I got Blue he was shod all the way around, so was Sierra. They are both barefoot now. I don't have a need to shoe them. Riley and Blue will be shod in the front for the summer show season...

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