Are shoes necessary?
   

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Are shoes necessary?

This is a discussion on Are shoes necessary? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Are shoes required on horses for trail rides
  • Shoes or no shoes for trail riding

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    07-28-2011, 01:38 PM
  #1
Trained
Are shoes necessary?

I would really prefer not to put shoes on Aires. Not only is there the added expense, but he's not exactly the best for the farrier (he had his feet trimmed for the first time a few weeks ago and it was an adventure, to say that least). However, in order to go up the trails on Granite Mountain, I've been told by other boarders that our BO requires that the horses be shod. I can understand for the tenderfooted horses like my friend's arabs, but Aires has great naturally hard hooves (even the farrier was impressed by them). There is only one other trail that we could ride on without being shod and we actually might lose access to that trail because the person whose land we have to ride through to access the trailhead is being dumb and may deny us access through the ravine on her property.

So, are shoes really necessary for rougher trails (from what I've seen, mostly sandy riverbeds and trails with a few boulders thrown in for good measure)? Would something like these: EasyCare Easyboot Trail Hoof Boots - Horse.com work as an alternative to shoes? We wouldn't be doing nearly 25 miles a week. Also, are they sold in pairs (the BO only requires that only the front feet be shod) or singly?
     
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    07-28-2011, 02:05 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I can't say if shoes should be necessary without knowing your horse and seeing the trails for myself, but I can say that boots have worked for a number of horses I know. Some people do 35 miles a day in rocky, muddy conditions with just boots. Sometimes the boots came off, but with the addition of straps that problem was minimized (our association didn't allow the straps to be used until this year).

Boots are especially good if you're only going to need them for trails a few times a week. I thought of investing in boots for my mare since we only need shoes when we go out of state.

Also, easyboots are sold individually. I'm a fan of easy boot epics.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:06 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
It depends on many things....

What are you planning to do with your horse? Are ALL the places you plan to ride soft and easy footing?

What kind of feet does your horse have? Large and tough? Flay and shelly? Some feet can do well barefoot....other not at all.

What discipline do you ride? Some are very demanding on the foot.

So, we cannot answer whether YOUR horse can go barefoot without know more detail. In my experience, shoeing requires little more than good trimming as far as obedience goes.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:16 PM
  #4
Weanling
I'd try pleading your case to the BO. All you can do it try it once and see how Aries does. Tough hooves must be a draft thing. The farrier was impressed with Hugo's dinner plates when he trimmed them last night.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:17 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
It depends on many things....

What are you planning to do with your horse? Are ALL the places you plan to ride soft and easy footing?

What kind of feet does your horse have? Large and tough? Flay and shelly? Some feet can do well barefoot....other not at all.

What discipline do you ride? Some are very demanding on the foot.

So, we cannot answer whether YOUR horse can go barefoot without know more detail. In my experience, shoeing requires little more than good trimming as far as obedience goes.
Right now, we're just going to be trail riding and doing arena work. There is only one trail that has soft, easy footing and we might be losing access to that trail (if we had access to that trail, I wouldn't be asking if he has to have shoes).

Aires feet are definitely large and tough. Our farrier commented on how good his feet are and that he'd do well barefoot.

As I said, right now, we'll just be doing trail riding and arena work. Aires is in the process of being broke right now, so we're not going to be doing anything heavy duty for a while. Eventually, I want to do hunter, maybe XC (he has the stamina for it), and anything else we can do. He will always be a trail horse as well, though.

As for shoeing verses trimming and the obedience required. Aires was basically untouched for a year and a half before I got him. He has a distinct dislike for men (our farrier is a man and the only way he tolerated him was if the farrier slid in behind me while I was scratching Aires' shoulder...once the farrier got a hold of his hoof, he was fine) that we don't know where it stems from. There are only two men that he tolerates/likes. One is our BO and the other is another boarder who has a distinct way with horses. Aires hadn't had his feet touched in at least a year.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:23 PM
  #6
Foal
I don't have shoes on my arab-x mares backfeet, she hasnt had them for years and never had them when I got her. But her feet are brilliant and always have been (touch wood!!), they don't crack at all and i'm really lucky with her as she doesn't seem fussed in terms of being picky where she walks either.

It really does depend on the horse, some horses naturally just have poorer feet than others - my friends horse goes lame straight away if he loses a shoe. Suppose there is only one way you are going to find out.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:40 PM
  #7
Weanling
Shoes really depend on the horse. I personally don't think it's wise of the BO to require it for outside horses. I have a paint gelding that has never had a shoe near his feet and I have ridden him threw rocky mountain trails, canyons, and sheet rock/lime stone creek beds. He's never missed a step! However on the same note, my mare has great hard, black feet for most trail riding but when I tried to ride her in shoes (for a really, really rocky trail), she sliped on and tried to jump over rocks. It would have been better to leave her barefoot so that she would of paid attention to her feet and placement instead of freaking out from slipping and then trying to jump.
I say that to say, if the BO only enforces that rule for the safety of rider and horse, and IF you KNOW that your horse can handle the trails barefoot, then he should listed to you and allow you to ride sans shoes.

IMO, the boots aren't worth the money. On a hard trail, they tear up and fall off. They have been such a pain in my experience with them.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:46 PM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
However, in order to go up the trails on Granite Mountain, I've been told by other boarders that our BO requires that the horses be shod.
Before you get yourself all worked up about shoes or no shoes on your horse why not simply ask the BO if there really is such a requirement?

That discussion might lead you to either find out that the barn owner does not require shoes or that the barn owner has a very good reason why they think shoes are a must have on this trail.
     
    07-28-2011, 02:46 PM
  #9
Trained
I think I'm going to talk to the BO. I know that all his horses are shod and they all go up Granite Mountain. It was my friend (who owns two arabs, one of which HAS to be shod or he goes "lame" and the other who started getting rocks jammed up in her soles from the trail, but she has fairly soft soles) who told me that the BO requires all horses to be shod to go up the mountain. We're not on trails yet (Aires has only had one ride on him as for yet), but I'd like to try the trail at least once without shoes before deciding to go shod or not.

Yeah, I'm going to do that today, AlwaysBehind. It's not that I'm getting worked up about it...it's just that I am trying to figure out expenses and such (monthly budget planning and all that). I would like to be prepared for the cost of shoes ($70 for fronts with our farrier) if they are required.
     
    07-28-2011, 03:13 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
As for shoeing verses trimming and the obedience required. Aires was basically untouched for a year and a half before I got him. He has a distinct dislike for men (our farrier is a man and the only way he tolerated him was if the farrier slid in behind me while I was scratching Aires' shoulder...once the farrier got a hold of his hoof, he was fine) that we don't know where it stems from. There are only two men that he tolerates/likes. One is our BO and the other is another boarder who has a distinct way with horses. Aires hadn't had his feet touched in at least a year.
Hugo has hoof issues as well. The farrier had a bit of a struggle last night but thanks to a one quart container of apple bits and carrots, a small bucket of carrot horse bars and a stack of ritz crackers, he actually picked his hoof up for the farrier towards the end.

Keep working on Aries. He will get there for you. After all, he LUVS you.
     

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