Being barefoot is excellent for the horse, because when they land on their hooves, they flex the hooves ever so slightly and there is blood circulation. This helps to absorb shock. When a horse is shod, they lose that small shock absorption and the impact goes more into the leg. All you need to do is make sure that their hooves are not wearing faster than they are growing or getting tender and they should be fine.
Cool, roro. I didn't know that!
The people who I have seen use them have only used them on the fronts.
Thanks Cat. That's what I was thinking, so I'll try it that way at first.
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
I actually asked my farrier once about riding on rocks. My mare is the same as yours, she'll always tell me when something isn't right. And she avoids rocky terrain as well, or steps a little lightly on it...nothing too noticeable but she definitely prefers grass. My farrier said that 99% of horses will do that, shoes or no shoes. He said that if she were REALLY foot sore from being barefoot, she'd flat out REFUSE to walk forward on it at ALL. I told him my mare is pretty willing and he said "no trust me, if she was foot sore from it, she'd refuse...it would be VERY obvious and you'd know!"
Ha ha, that is so funny! Sounds like your mare is like mine; polite, but she's going to speak up for herself. And thanks...I'm already paranoid about staying barefoot as it is...because people, like you said, DO sometimes act like you're just being cheap or something if you prefer not to shoe. So it's a relief to know that I'm not "abusing" my horse by not having her shod.
If you just ask your horses to walk for a trail ride, occassionally trot /canter on parts of the trail with good footing, a barefoot horse will do fine. Especially if they have days off in between rides. Of course I see no need to put shoes or boots on for arena work or very short rides. But they will benefit from shoes/boots if you really work them day in and day out.
I'm just fed up with the problems/expenses I've had with boots and I have learned that my horses need some kind of protection for the type of riding that I do .
Thank you for the input, Painted, I will certainly keep it in mind.