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Shoes,boots or barefoot

This is a discussion on Shoes,boots or barefoot within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Barefoot horse slips
  • Horse slipping on metal

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    04-24-2012, 12:09 AM
  #11
Yearling
The type of rock you ride on will make a huge difference in whether shoes are needed or slippery.

Steels shoes are very slippery on granite rock. I'd rather be barfoot when crossing large granite slabs than have steel shoes on. Borium or drilltec does wonders to help prevent those shoes from slipping on granite.

Aluminum shoes are soft and really grippy on granite. They are great if you ride a lot of granite slabs. But they wear fast.

The Polyurethane plastic shoes also have good grip on granite.

On sandstone, I find my barefoot horses slipping and sliding . Steel shoes bite into the soft sandstone and give better traction than being barefoot.

Boots work, But they are expensive, You will loose the occasional boot if you bushwack thru rough tangles of trees/shrubs. In very abrasive materials like sandstone, I find the boots wear out pretty fast. If you are riding down a clear trail or gravel road, they work great.

Barefoot horses need to be trimmed on a much more frequent basis. Probably every 2-3 weeks during the riding season. If you let the hoof wall get long, it will pry back and cause pain as dirt packs into the dirt groove and white line
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    04-24-2012, 04:37 AM
  #12
Weanling
Our walkers have shoes with borium, and they gait just fine. The farrier puts the borium on on-site when he puts a new set of shoes on, and he is. . .generous with it. It's nice to have for those trails that get a little more goat-y and the horses end up scrambling over boulders, up banks and sliding down greasy hills.

As I said in another thread, boots work better for some terrain types than others. If you're in an area like me be prepared to lose your boots or do a lot of dismounting and remounting to retrieve them.

The ground is muddy almost year-round in some areas and it will just suck the boot right off the foot. But, on the very same trail, you may find yourself on good dirt footing, or gravel, or flat solid stone.

The only people I know (locally) who do the barefoot/boot method successfully are people who only go out for an hour or two, once a week, at a dog-walk, and only if the weather is nice and the trails are all dry and clear.

I don't doubt that some people in other regions and climates have a lot of success with the barefoot/boot methods, and I'm happy for them that it works for them in their situation.
     
    04-24-2012, 11:08 PM
  #13
Yearling
Borium on the shoes keeps them from slipping on asphalt when I need to ride on the road. I prefer barefoot for 3 day trail rides I like to keep my horse protected since I don't know the trail until I get there.
     
    04-24-2012, 11:15 PM
  #14
Weanling
My horses are barefoot all the time, I ride in creeks and I would trust their hooves over metal in some of the creeks I've been in. JMO We got a gelding whose hooves looked terrible and we noticed he was tenderfooted so we got him boots for his front hooves, which he did really well in. After about a year we stopped using the boots, and we never had to use them again. Our farrier told us it takes at least a year to get a horses hooves in shape barring any deepeer issues.
     
    04-25-2012, 02:35 PM
  #15
Weanling
I shoe my horses, never have tired boots. But the trails I ride in vary so much, from 3 foot deeps creeks, to gravel, to rocks, to knee deep mud, all this while going up and down mountains. Often times, you see other riders always back tracking looking for boots they lost. We rarely lose shoes, if put on right. We also use boruim. Have been thinking of boots while my horse heals n crack.
     
    04-25-2012, 02:45 PM
  #16
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandra1313    
My horses are barefoot all the time, I ride in creeks and I would trust their hooves over metal in some of the creeks I've been in.
That's what Borium is for.
     
    04-25-2012, 05:02 PM
  #17
Foal
My horse goes barefoot year round (and always have), but I don't really ride on any rough terrain and am not planning too, so shoeing isn't really a problem.
     
    04-25-2012, 06:06 PM
  #18
Foal
Lightbulb Monty my Haflinger...

Is going through the same thing..I am determined to leave him barefoot. The poor guy had really contracted heels when I got him home in Dec 2011. So,I'm looking at Eastboot..they have new trail type boots. Hope this helps...Bella.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diegosmom    
Just curious what some of you do for your horses feet. I have shoes on my boy right now and he slips alot. I tried to go barefoot once and he got an infection in one of his frogs. I'm guessing because he has been shod his whole life and then I come along and take the shoes off and he may have sensitive soles to do no exposure. I don't know. I wOuld love to go bare foot seeing that there is no really rough terrain here. But I'm scared to Seth to take him across a creek bed for fear that he will slip.
     
    04-25-2012, 06:36 PM
  #19
dee
Started
I'm keeping my girl barefoot. I'm just a backyard rider - the once in a great while trail rider. I've ridden her down our gravel road with nary a problem, but the gravel is pretty small. I do make sure I clean her feet out good when the ride is over. The trails at Prague Lake, where I ride, are pretty sandy, with a few areas of broken up sandstone. Haven't had any issues, but I'm also not ready for anything more challenging, either.
     
    04-25-2012, 07:18 PM
  #20
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaBowes    
is going through the same thing..I am determined to leave him barefoot. The poor guy had really contracted heels when I got him home in Dec 2011. So,I'm looking at Eastboot..they have new trail type boots. Hope this helps...Bella.
Why not just do what is best for the horse regardless of one's personal biases?

If he goes better shod, shoe him! If he goes better barefoot (which doesn't sound like it) then do that.
     

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