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post #41 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 07:00 PM
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They really do seem to be hearty horses. At least the ones I've known (I live in VT and we're partial to them I'm sure if they were over bred for some certain aspect they wouldn't do so well, but the thing about them is they're so versatile there's nothing to over breed on them. No Arab dished faces, or TBs long legs, etc. They can and will do anything with relish they're trained for. And with the cross breeding I think it's making them even better, like with Sienna. Because recently seems like they've tried to breed the pure breds taller. Figure was just a little guy and he was bred to just about every american horse breed cross country. From the draft to the AQH, he was there improving the breed. I wouldn't trade Sienna for the world.
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post #42 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 08:36 PM
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*Sigh* And again, everyone jumps on the 'ridicule the barefoot advocate' train - yep, Hunter, you're right - it has arrived.


Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes:
Some horses do NEED shoes. Period. Some horses don't need shoes. Period.

See, that sounds just as absolute to me. Said horse who needs shoes, always? To me, no. Depends entirely on environment, use and management. Same goes the other way.

If I had a horse, who due to my management and intended use needed shoes, then I would use shoes. Since I choose to manage in a way that works well with barefoot, and my intended use doesn't require shoes (studs, slider plates) I choose to stay barefoot as I do feel it is the better option. If that makes me a 'cult member' then ^so be it. I'm happy in myself that I am doing my best for my horses health, as everyone should be, no matter what path they take. I don't feel the need to ridicule anyone for their choices, even if I consider them wrong, or blinded. I would rather try and help/educate than ridicule, personally.

On to my horses:

Wildey, 15yo Arab gelding. Owned him for ten years. Shod his fronts when I first got him as I rode a LOT and someone told me I had to shoe because his feet would wear too fast. Educated myself a bit, pulled the shoes, and he has Bern barefoot for at least 8years now. He had a lot of work, including riding on roads, chasing cattle in rocky paddocks... He has never had a bruise or abcess, in fact has never been lame.

Latte, 5th Arab mare. Rock hard feet, bare, handles anything.

Lucy, 4yo ASH mare. Came to me a month ago with one front shoe, and very long/chipped/neglected feet with a lot of separation. Pulled the one shoe, and over a week slowly trimmed her feet back to a good length, and a week later did a proper trim. She was sore on one hind due to separation, then got an abcess due to separation on the other hind. Once that burst she was sound, and I've been riding her the last two and a bit weeks with no issues. She actually will have very good feet once the separation grows out, and even now isn't ouchy on gravel.

All horses are on 24/7 turnout in big paddocks all together with two others. Free choice salt/minerals. Only fed when in hard work and on a grain free diet.

I maintenance trim myself, every two weeks or ^so, and get our trimmer out every 8-10 weeks to do a more aggressive trim and make sure I'm on track. Last time he said we shouldn't need to re-book as I should be doing it myself by now, lol, but I like having him check them over.
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post #43 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 08:55 PM
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I don’t think that anyone is helped by approaching an issue with either a black-and-white, or an eye-rolling attitude.

It’s funny how certain issues surrounding horses cause such reactions in people (natural horsemanship, barefoot vs. shod, etc.). We get all up-in-arms and defensive and critical or derisive. None of it helps us interact with people, and none of it helps our horses. Can we agree on that much?

There are some extremely talented farriers, and extremely talented barefoot hoofcare practitioners. Likewise there are some rather bad folks from both groups out there butchering horse hooves. The issue should never be “my barefoot trimmer is better than your farrier” but rather educating ourselves to recognize GOOD workmanship.

Also, I firmly believe that we shouldn’t be focused on statements that generalize either barefoot OR shoeing. Obviously, not every single horse is going to be able to stand up to the stresses of extreme competition with no protection. But many ARE capable when given the chance. There is a woman in Ontario who is racing Quarter Horses barefoot, and winning those races. There are people in the highest levels of dressage competing barefoot and noticing improvements. Nearly every discipline now has a handful of people who are demonstrating the potential that our horses have to be in a more healthy, natural state even in extreme sport!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs View Post

Another reason why not a lot of mustangs are seen with crappy hooves is because they haven't had the feet bred out from underneath them like our home kept horses have. Just look at some of the horses being bred out there these days. TBs with paper thin hoof walls and soles. QHs with size 000 feet and 1300 pounds of muscle. 'Stangs have been running barefoot over tough *** country for generations, it is ridiculous to compare their feet to those of our domestic horses. Not only is their entire environment different, but their genetics are very different as well.
While it’s true that our domestic horses have some natural tendencies towards problems (ie, small QH feet and flat TB feet), Mustangs that are domesticated are subject to the same environmentally-caused hoof maladies. Mustangs can get contracted heels, thrush, navicular, and laminitis if their environment allows (poor shoeing, poor horse husbandry, bad feeding).

It’s pretty easy to counter the “barefoot hoopla” with a VERY generalized statement of “Some horses need shoes. Some don’t.” Some horses need protection, and it is up to the owner to decide whether that protection is hoof boots, metal shoes, glue on shoes, plastic shoes, etc.

It bugs me when people make decisions out of ignorance, by following “tradition” or without being well-informed...on either the shoeing side or the barefoot side of the argument. “My horse should be barefoot so I will let him suffer through rehab with no protection, and I will trot him down the gravel road and let him gimp along because it's natural.” OR, “My horse is tender, so he must have metal shoes nailed to his feet, because he NEEDS them.”

Based on decades of research by many veterinarians and horse professionals I think it would be safe to say that barefoot is an ideal healthy state for the horse, and that metal horse shoes have been proven to cause long-term damage to hooves over time.

</novel>
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post #44 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchFeather View Post
Well I'm probably going to start some sort of debate with my reply, but oh well. My horses are barefoot, and by that I mean I have a Natural Hoofcare Practitioner (NHP) come and trim their hooves every 6-8 weeks. I do not use a farrier because if you ask them to leave your horse barefoot, you are going to get a pasture trim. A pasture trim, while the horse may not be wearing shoes, is not a true barefoot trim. With the NHP, my horses are trimmed to imitate a wild mustangs hooves. They are hard and strong with no cracks, flares or lameness. Mustangs wear their hooves down on varying terrain and never have the lameness issues that are recurring with our domestic horses. You don't see navicular, ringbone, club foot, flares, cracks etc., with a wild horses' hoof. With NHP you get the same thing. No horse actually needs to have shoes, traditional farriers just ruin horses feet by thinning the hoof wall, reducing hoof/leg circulation, and taking away full flex and function of every part of the hoof. Bella, my 14 year old QH mare was VERY lame on front with swelling and pain in her knees, while she had shoes and was trimmed by a farrier. After the few trims by an NHP, her swelling and pain was gone and she was no longer lame. I'm a firm believer in REAL barefoot trimming by a certified and educated NHP. Some people are no-believers and insist that their horse needs shoes, I know better now that I've actually tried it and had it work for me and my horses.
Couldn't agreed more, i say farrier but he does both NHP and shoeing but he tells people his opinion and most of his clients have barefoot horses.
And i'm glad you wrote this half the time i'm too scared to write my real opinion cause when write it people take the offensive and it starts a conflict.

Crystal paint QH ASH Arab mare. Angel bay Brumby mare, Clyde bay clydie cross gelding, Gerry white welshie gelding.
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post #45 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magaidh View Post
I don’t think that anyone is helped by approaching an issue with either a black-and-white, or an eye-rolling attitude.

It’s funny how certain issues surrounding horses cause such reactions in people (natural horsemanship, barefoot vs. shod, etc.). We get all up-in-arms and defensive and critical or derisive. None of it helps us interact with people, and none of it helps our horses. Can we agree on that much?

There are some extremely talented farriers, and extremely talented barefoot hoofcare practitioners. Likewise there are some rather bad folks from both groups out there butchering horse hooves. The issue should never be “my barefoot trimmer is better than your farrier” but rather educating ourselves to recognize GOOD workmanship.

Also, I firmly believe that we shouldn’t be focused on statements that generalize either barefoot OR shoeing. Obviously, not every single horse is going to be able to stand up to the stresses of extreme competition with no protection. But many ARE capable when given the chance. There is a woman in Ontario who is racing Quarter Horses barefoot, and winning those races. There are people in the highest levels of dressage competing barefoot and noticing improvements. Nearly every discipline now has a handful of people who are demonstrating the potential that our horses have to be in a more healthy, natural state even in extreme sport!



While it’s true that our domestic horses have some natural tendencies towards problems (ie, small QH feet and flat TB feet), Mustangs that are domesticated are subject to the same environmentally-caused hoof maladies. Mustangs can get contracted heels, thrush, navicular, and laminitis if their environment allows (poor shoeing, poor horse husbandry, bad feeding).

It’s pretty easy to counter the “barefoot hoopla” with a VERY generalized statement of “Some horses need shoes. Some don’t.” Some horses need protection, and it is up to the owner to decide whether that protection is hoof boots, metal shoes, glue on shoes, plastic shoes, etc.

It bugs me when people make decisions out of ignorance, by following “tradition” or without being well-informed...on either the shoeing side or the barefoot side of the argument. “My horse should be barefoot so I will let him suffer through rehab with no protection, and I will trot him down the gravel road and let him gimp along because it's natural.” OR, “My horse is tender, so he must have metal shoes nailed to his feet, because he NEEDS them.”

Based on decades of research by many veterinarians and horse professionals I think it would be safe to say that barefoot is an ideal healthy state for the horse, and that metal horse shoes have been proven to cause long-term damage to hooves over time.

</novel>
Thank you that really opened my eyes great post really interesting and i have found that to be true. i hope my posts have not been taken the wrong way.............
But this post is very close to my opinion.

Crystal paint QH ASH Arab mare. Angel bay Brumby mare, Clyde bay clydie cross gelding, Gerry white welshie gelding.
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post #46 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetsAB View Post
Did you ever consider that they are shod so that the surface they are working over doesn't wear down their hooves too fast? Not because the horse needs them, but to protect the hooves. Different concept, hmm?


We happily leave shoes off anything that does not need them, but as soon as our horses go into more serious work, the shoes are slapped on. It helps save their precious toes from being torn apart by stone dust.

Heck, I dont even remember any of our broodmares (or any of my riding horses for that matter) being seen by a farrier because they wore their own hooves down in a grass pasture. Sure, sometimes they were a bit long, but nothing extreme.

The exception to the pasture horses was a stud that we had. He ended up with a stone chip in his ankle, leaving it softball sized. He wouldn't put full weight on it all the time, so it wouldn't wear down as fast as his other three. He got the one hoof trimmed every so often, so that it wouldn't cause him damage.
I ride Crystal on terrain that does wear them down and I asked about 5 people with more experience than me A farrier, vet, barefoot trimmer, and some people that have been working with horses for many many years and who i respect their opinion quite a bit.
And they all said in slighty different words that her feet were getting stronger and more sound because of it, her feet barely need trimming just fileing get ride of any tiny flares or chips, She went from a horse that i thought would need shoeing if i worked her more to a horse on hard work on sorts of terrain including gravel and stone dust and some time the road though i do avoid it for her joints sake, her hooves barely chip now and have improved so much.
But do remember i'm talking about my experience not yours and i have nothing against what you do with your horses this thread is about shareing your opinion not judging other people about their opinion.
By the way i know race horses that race without shoes and they have have better feet in the long run as i said it my opinion not a judgement of other people.
Excuse any gramma i'm dyslectic

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post #47 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 10:23 PM
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Well I must say with this thread and another similar one I have been following it has really made me think. Last month I put front shoes on Hunter because he was having such a hard time on the gravel and rocks. He actually got a stone bruise on his back unshod foot 3 weeks ago and rehurt it last weekend. BUT as I had only intended to leave the shoes on for a short time I will leave them on for now and try and see how he does over the next summer. He is not even 4 yet (we think as he was a rescue he may be younger) and from reading these forums I should have waited before shoeing. NOW having said that I have total trust in my farrier as she corrected Hunters twisted front legs which were caused by poor trimming before I got him and she spent a long time in school (I can't remember exactly what she took after farrier but it was an intense course on remdial care etc. She is also my trainer and I wouldn't be where I am right now with Hunter without her. ANYWHOO I have absorbed everyones opinions on here and am researching myself and will try and do what is best for my horse as that is what it is all about.
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post #48 of 144 Old 05-12-2011, 11:01 PM
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If nothing else comes from these debates/discussions, I think it's fantastic that it peeks peoples interest enough to EDUCATE themselves and make educated decisions in either direction :)

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post #49 of 144 Old 05-13-2011, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Cecillia I agreed
Hunter65 I'm glad ur doing your own research and that this has helped you think about your decisions but it sounds like you've done an amazing job with hunter i know it not easy looking after rescue horse having two myself goodluck

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post #50 of 144 Old 05-13-2011, 01:15 AM
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I think the statement "some horses need shoes and some don't" is entirely valid. Yes it comes off as absolute but it allows for variation based on the actual horse. Which is the most important part of the equation.

I have never had a shod horse. Ever. Most of my family hasn't had a shod horse either. The only horses who get shoes are those who are incapable of handling any sort of work without it.

I live in South Central MN. The ground is soft here. There are no rocky areas, unless you put a ton of rock in your pasture. You put a herd of wild horses out here and their hooves will look completely different than that of a horse in MT. They will more than likely be tender if you run them over a rocky field.

As I've mentioned before. My horses live out 24/7. Minimal to no grain, beyond the hoof supplement Soda gets to *hopefully* help with his hoof tenderness. As I've said before he is maintained in a barefoot trim by myself w/ the advice and guidance of a certified barefoot trimmer. He is still ouchy on gravel. So what am I to do? Continue to work through it? I've owned him for 4 years coming Sept. He's been sore on gravel the entire time. My options are boots or shoes to make my horse comfortable and to keep us both safe. If the boots work, great. If not, he will get shoes on his front hooves.

Now people who are "barefoot or die" mentality.. Please tell me what exactly I should do to fix this problem. Just to make it more fun, he has odd shaped hooves and tiny ones for his size.

Maybe I did come off a little strong in my initial post, but frankly I'm really tired of the "all horses" mentality when it comes to hoof care. Our horses are not wild horses. Even the ones that are kept out 24/7 on a forage only diet don't come close to replicating the environment that a wild horse lives in. Quite frankly if you put my darling out there he'd probably be dead and he's not the only one.
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