Horseshoes and Breeds
Seven month old Belgian needs horseshoes by the age of two? How often will we need to re-shoe? Are there visual cues that mandate a re-shoeing or just a reasonable schedule based upon the breed of horse?
Are there designer shoes? :lol: As in shoes for draft horses and shoes for jumpers?
Been awhile since I had a horse with shoes (we go barefoot) but it seems we reshod with every trim. I always figured if you weren't riding in areas where shoes were needed ie rocky rough terrain, they didn't have extremely soft feet or they didn't need any correction in the hoof there was no need to shoe. JMO
I totally agree. If a horse is allowed to be outside on firm ground, the hoof becomes hardened to the terrain. If a horse is not used heavily, there is little need to shoe. Infact, check out everything you can about barefoot trims. I do a barefoot trim on my horses and they do great. If I were to travel hard roads continually or real rough terrain, I would shoe, but most of the year they would be barefoot. The natural or barefoot trims are so easy on joints and ligaments. Wild horses have been studied by many and the trims equal how the wild horses hoof wears normally. Please research this before making big decisions. You have a young horse, let him be a horse and let his feet be fit naturally!
Research? Absolutely! 8) The intent is the occasional ride, pulling some farm equipment in the field, and a one horse open sleigh... 8) 8)
I can't see using the horse on the road and the local terrain is NOT rocky, just hundreds of acres of fields in every direction.
I wouldn't recommend to shoe until at least 3 years old. The feet grow and change a lot when they are so young. I keep my horses barefoot and considering getting the hoof boots (swiss or old macks) when I'll be riding on rough terrains.
Re: Horseshoes and Breeds
I know there are a few, maybe many type of draft shoes. For example, the scotch bottom shoes you tend to see on Clydesdales in shows.
My Clydesdale was shoed this spring/summer and she just had what I think are plain draft type shoes with clips.
My mare, however, had to have shoes because she was getting hoof seperation. But, I liked the shoes because I could take her anywhere without her getting sore. She is now barefoot.
This is a big (and sometimes heated discussion with draft horses). I'm not sure if you have a farrier or if you trim yourself and if you have a farrier, I probably don't know him :wink: , but check to see if he leaves 'flairs' on your horse's feet when he trims. Many many people say that you SHOULD 'naturally' leave flairs and a draft horse's feet. Well, you REALLY SHOULDN'T. They do no good and make a mess out of your draft's big feet.
My poor girl has horrible flairs because the farrier's always leave them. This is not natural and causes many problems.
I personally think my horse's hoof seperation is from flairs. I was thinking about trying to trim my own horse's feet and I did 'a lot' of research on 'feet'.
True 'naturally' trimmed draft feet are beautiful!! I love natural hoof care!
With all this said, good luck to you!! If you don't know what I mean by flairs, let me know and I'd be glad to show you!
It can be tough to find a barefoot farrier. The trim that is done for barefoot and a basic regular farrier type trim when shoes are applied are very different. If you can't locate a barefoot person in your area or if you are interested in trying it yourself I recommend getting a couple of books. Horse Owners Guide to Natural Hoof Care by Jaime Jackson and Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You by Pete Ramey. I tried to get several farriers to at least look at the books but none seemed interested. I finally, through this forum, found someone who goes natural in my area. If you decide to try the barefoot methods you might try giving it a go yourself. the books are very helpful.
I do want to add a note that we are starting to boot our girls when on extreme terrain.
Another good barefoot info person is Gene Ovnicheck-Equine Digit system. He has good videos and this is who I went to seminar to see. He does weekends of teaching as well as regular farrier seminars. He is awesome and so thorough. Know the two listed above are excellent. It is not hard to do your self. Once you understand it. I get faster as I go and it becomes more natural to do as you visualize how the hoof should look. The horses I work on always look so much more comfortable when they walk off.
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