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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
My horse is 20 years old and I was thinking of doing a barefoot trimming course to transition her to barefoot. She usually has her back shoes off in winter anyway and has 0 problems so I think she would do well barefoot. She is currently on livery with no winter turnout as north of Ireland get extremely wet and the fields are like mush. She gets exercised everyday and has no problems. I would be expecting to buy hoof boots to help her while hacking but 90% of our riding happens in a sand arena. We also compete 70/80cm jumping courses at the moment and wondering if she would be able for that barefoot (the shoed photo was done by my old farrier who put the nails in a little to low I have changed farrier and it’s better now but it’s only photo I have of her feet)
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@Kalraii transitioned her horse from shoes to barefoot in the UK, maybe she can chime in with her experience.

At my barn, the horses tend to have shoes but the ponies don't. Several of the ponies, including my own, frequently take jumps in the range that you're talking about and don't seem to need shoes to do it. I wonder about the combination of jumping AND wet fields, though. Like, if she were standing out on wet pasture all day and then brought in to jump, would it be bad for her feet because they'd already be a little soft?

Her feet look pretty good in that picture, so you wouldn't be starting out with any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am quite certain she will be able to go barefoot with the right amount of adjustment period. What course are you taking? I have been trying to find a good one.
It’s a one day barefoot trimming course in co Mayo I thought I’d try it they seem nice all of their horses are barefoot and they trim them themselves
 

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I wont comment on feet but my mare is 17hh ID ;) This winter gone I transitioned her fully barefoot from all 4. It went about as well as expected. Wet, thrushy, chipped enough to scare me massively lol, Obviously made it a lil ouchy to go on any solid surface. No abscesses or issues but I also gave her like a solid half year off, nearly zero riding, and rehabbed her wither atrophy with ground work and a weekly dressage coach. It has completely healed now and the saddler wants to use her as a case example. Right now with the fields beginning to be baked into concrete it is looking like I'll have to boot her soon just for turn out. I was recommended scoot boots as they have vents and really like them. Will use them for work as well now and a few people I know have them or similar boots and go galloping/jumping etc. I will say I need a set of boots after a fresh trim and another set for the two weeks before due. Farrier comes fixed 6 weeks but he does such a good job and took ages to find.

Financially speaking its a bigger upfront cost but I mean shoes were costing me £65 for a pair here, £85 for all. She doesn't need hinds (even though I got them) so assuming you wont either then that's what, £300 a year? Depends on mileage but that's two front sets. I lucked out and mine fit great first try, might need room for error. One lady knows another that is using the same pair a year and a half later because her mileage is low. Not as if you can really take shoes off and save em for later, well... I guess you could but awkward eh.
 

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@Kalraii does your trimmer think she will get to the point where she doesn't need boots for turnout?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I
I wont comment on feet but my mare is 17hh ID ;) This winter gone I transitioned her fully barefoot from all 4. It went about as well as expected. Wet, thrushy, chipped enough to scare me massively lol, Obviously made it a lil ouchy to go on any solid surface. No abscesses or issues but I also gave her like a solid half year off, nearly zero riding, and rehabbed her wither atrophy with ground work and a weekly dressage coach. It has completely healed now and the saddler wants to use her as a case example. Right now with the fields beginning to be baked into concrete it is looking like I'll have to boot her soon just for turn out. I was recommended scoot boots as they have vents and really like them. Will use them for work as well now and a few people I know have them or similar boots and go galloping/jumping etc. I will say I need a set of boots after a fresh trim and another set for the two weeks before due. Farrier comes fixed 6 weeks but he does such a good job and took ages to find.

Financially speaking its a bigger upfront cost but I mean shoes were costing me £65 for a pair here, £85 for all. She doesn't need hinds (even though I got them) so assuming you wont either then that's what, £300 a year? Depends on mileage but that's two front sets. I lucked out and mine fit great first try, might need room for error. One lady knows another that is using the same pair a year and a half later because her mileage is low. Not as if you can really take shoes off and save em for later, well... I guess you could but awkward eh.
I currently share my horse to help with costs and I was wondering if with or without scoot boots would she be able to still do arena work while transitioning to barefoot? I dunno if my sharer will continue to help if she can’t ride her 😅 also thought scoot boots lasted 2 years?
 

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@Kalraii does your trimmer think she will get to the point where she doesn't need boots for turnout?
Honestly the big reason some of us are putting boots for turnout are because there are fist sized rocks around the gate area where its worn down. We remove as we can but new ones always reappear and we've gone out riding etc come home, turned them out and BAM lame/bruised from random rock. The rest of the field is fine, just baked hard. Someone convinced the farmer years ago to put massive rocks to fill the worn area and we're still paying the price >.<. But it will just depend on how fast she wears them down and how much work we do without boots. If I wouldn't work her at all or only ever with boots could she right now remain barefoot? I believe so because there isn't much grazing + heat and thus not much moving about. Farrier agrees it just depends how fast she wears them down but her feet are rock solid now.

I currently share my horse to help with costs and I was wondering if with or without scoot boots would she be able to still do arena work while transitioning to barefoot? I dunno if my sharer will continue to help if she can’t ride her 😅 also thought scoot boots lasted 2 years?
Boots go by miles not years. So really depends how many miles you get done in them. I think scoot boot has 300 miles for one boot iirc, depends on terrain, discipline, how the horse moves etc too.

I staggered the transition. Hinds off for a few cycles then fronts off, no boots at all. I will say though two years ago I took off her hinds in summer and she was still in work 5x a week with jumping. All good but two cycles was waaaay too long without protection because she was also turned out 24/7 on baked ground. In winter, I'd have struggled with soft feet + sand which is better than hard ground but still abrasive. They got worn SO fast that we needed to shoe again just to get some growth.

If I were you I'd take off hinds this coming trim and I'd measure her before farrier puts the new shoes on. Hinds off at most of my previously livery (lesson/working) yards are just continue as normal, that very same afternoon even. My own mare, too when she had hers off. Fronts.. different matter. Wait for boots to arrive and if she's been good without hinds you can remove fronts when he/she next comes and immediately begin introducing them. They need to be gradually broken in every day coz like shoes they can rub at first and they need to adjust to the new "brakes" literally. Instructions come with. Adjust her workload and listen carefully to her, watch for any change or resistance. Shorter easier sessions, look for bangs and bruises. No way would I jump on potentially sore feet I'd want to be 100% sure she's comfortable on the flat and hacking out (with or without boots, whatever you decide). You know her best and obviously always consult your farrier or even many farriers :p I went for the plunge coz my mare was a good candidate but I wont lie - there were times I looked at her feet, watched her ouch along the gravel path and wanted to fold. I don't regret doing it though because her feet are SO healthy, frogs so fat and juicy. The biggest thing? She's the most sound she's ever been. She had a fair bit of strange stiffness behind, sacroiliac pain the physio said but since being barefoot and 24/7 turnout its all gone away. She also watches her feet better than just ploughing through everything lol. Honestly this is less about the boots and more giving your girl time to adjust. A tough discussion with the sharer if she has to decrease work load. What if she gets an abscess from banging them or stepping on a rock while her feet are still adjusting? It might happen, I actually expected it to given my own circumstance but lucked out.

We have some amazing feetsie experts here that I love so hopefully one comes along too :) They sure helped me!
 

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In as much(little) can be told from that one pic, her feet look pretty reasonable. Still, at 20yrs old/shod, her feet are likely weak caudally at least & not likely to improve in strength now. Esp if lifestyle is not ideal. So I wouldn't actually expect her to 'transition' to coping fine bare with everything you expect of her. Tho sounds like you're realistic, anticipating boots, so... just saying.

Shoes may currently be reducing feeling to her feet enough to 'mask' probs/pain. So that's important to consider - just because she might be 'ouchy' out of shoes when she's not now, doesn't mean that she 'needs' (conventional at least) shoes or that shoes are best for her. But she will probably need hoof boots, in at least some situations.

Yes, she will likely be fine barefoot in a sand arena & there's no reason you should need shoes/boots in that situation just to jump. If you were to do x-country or such, where she needed extra protection/support, hoof boots may not be the best option, as they can be insecure/slippery jumping in that environment.

Jumping, esp under a rider, is hard on a horse's body, not just/necessarily hooves though, and I wouldn't personally be doing much of that sort of thing with a 20yo. Possibly any, depending on how fit & sound of body the horse is - and from that pic, as it appears she is standing under herself both in front & behind, while that could well be simply camera angle & her stance at that second, it could also indicate body issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In as much(little) can be told from that one pic, her feet look pretty reasonable. Still, at 20yrs old/shod, her feet are likely weak caudally at least & not likely to improve in strength now. Esp if lifestyle is not ideal. So I wouldn't actually expect her to 'transition' to coping fine bare with everything you expect of her. Tho sounds like you're realistic, anticipating boots, so... just saying.

Shoes may currently be reducing feeling to her feet enough to 'mask' probs/pain. So that's important to consider - just because she might be 'ouchy' out of shoes when she's not now, doesn't mean that she 'needs' (conventional at least) shoes or that shoes are best for her. But she will probably need hoof boots, in at least some situations.

Yes, she will likely be fine barefoot in a sand arena & there's no reason you should need shoes/boots in that situation just to jump. If you were to do x-country or such, where she needed extra protection/support, hoof boots may not be the best option, as they can be insecure/slippery jumping in that environment.

Jumping, esp under a rider, is hard on a horse's body, not just/necessarily hooves though, and I wouldn't personally be doing much of that sort of thing with a 20yo. Possibly any, depending on how fit & sound of body the horse is - and from that pic, as it appears she is standing under herself both in front & behind, while that could well be simply camera angle & her stance at that second, it could also indicate body issues.
Judys never had any Injury’s to date or problems had vets and dentists around her and getting her physio done one monday but never noticed any issues? She loves jumping completely changes when she gets into a competition ring
1115814

We are still working on her moving her hind legs more in flat work admittedly but I’ve only had her for 8 months and she’s improved a lot considering she was out of work when I got her
1115815

In this most recent photo she’s on 24/7 turnout and off work due to trying to put on weight after a dentist problem we fixed last week
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Honestly the big reason some of us are putting boots for turnout are because there are fist sized rocks around the gate area where its worn down. We remove as we can but new ones always reappear and we've gone out riding etc come home, turned them out and BAM lame/bruised from random rock. The rest of the field is fine, just baked hard. Someone convinced the farmer years ago to put massive rocks to fill the worn area and we're still paying the price >.<. But it will just depend on how fast she wears them down and how much work we do without boots. If I wouldn't work her at all or only ever with boots could she right now remain barefoot? I believe so because there isn't much grazing + heat and thus not much moving about. Farrier agrees it just depends how fast she wears them down but her feet are rock solid now.



Boots go by miles not years. So really depends how many miles you get done in them. I think scoot boot has 300 miles for one boot iirc, depends on terrain, discipline, how the horse moves etc too.

I staggered the transition. Hinds off for a few cycles then fronts off, no boots at all. I will say though two years ago I took off her hinds in summer and she was still in work 5x a week with jumping. All good but two cycles was waaaay too long without protection because she was also turned out 24/7 on baked ground. In winter, I'd have struggled with soft feet + sand which is better than hard ground but still abrasive. They got worn SO fast that we needed to shoe again just to get some growth.

If I were you I'd take off hinds this coming trim and I'd measure her before farrier puts the new shoes on. Hinds off at most of my previously livery (lesson/working) yards are just continue as normal, that very same afternoon even. My own mare, too when she had hers off. Fronts.. different matter. Wait for boots to arrive and if she's been good without hinds you can remove fronts when he/she next comes and immediately begin introducing them. They need to be gradually broken in every day coz like shoes they can rub at first and they need to adjust to the new "brakes" literally. Instructions come with. Adjust her workload and listen carefully to her, watch for any change or resistance. Shorter easier sessions, look for bangs and bruises. No way would I jump on potentially sore feet I'd want to be 100% sure she's comfortable on the flat and hacking out (with or without boots, whatever you decide). You know her best and obviously always consult your farrier or even many farriers :p I went for the plunge coz my mare was a good candidate but I wont lie - there were times I looked at her feet, watched her ouch along the gravel path and wanted to fold. I don't regret doing it though because her feet are SO healthy, frogs so fat and juicy. The biggest thing? She's the most sound she's ever been. She had a fair bit of strange stiffness behind, sacroiliac pain the physio said but since being barefoot and 24/7 turnout its all gone away. She also watches her feet better than just ploughing through everything lol. Honestly this is less about the boots and more giving your girl time to adjust. A tough discussion with the sharer if she has to decrease work load. What if she gets an abscess from banging them or stepping on a rock while her feet are still adjusting? It might happen, I actually expected it to given my own circumstance but lucked out.

We have some amazing feetsie experts here that I love so hopefully one comes along too :) They sure helped me!
So I’d say this year we will just take the hinds of them next year I’ll see if I still need the sharer cuz when Judys at home she has 24/7 turnout so the change to her front feet going barefoot might be easier
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wont comment on feet but my mare is 17hh ID ;) This winter gone I transitioned her fully barefoot from all 4. It went about as well as expected. Wet, thrushy, chipped enough to scare me massively lol, Obviously made it a lil ouchy to go on any solid surface. No abscesses or issues but I also gave her like a solid half year off, nearly zero riding, and rehabbed her wither atrophy with ground work and a weekly dressage coach. It has completely healed now and the saddler wants to use her as a case example. Right now with the fields beginning to be baked into concrete it is looking like I'll have to boot her soon just for turn out. I was recommended scoot boots as they have vents and really like them. Will use them for work as well now and a few people I know have them or similar boots and go galloping/jumping etc. I will say I need a set of boots after a fresh trim and another set for the two weeks before due. Farrier comes fixed 6 weeks but he does such a good job and took ages to find.

Financially speaking its a bigger upfront cost but I mean shoes were costing me £65 for a pair here, £85 for all. She doesn't need hinds (even though I got them) so assuming you wont either then that's what, £300 a year? Depends on mileage but that's two front sets. I lucked out and mine fit great first try, might need room for error. One lady knows another that is using the same pair a year and a half later because her mileage is low. Not as if you can really take shoes off and save em for later, well... I guess you could but awkward eh.
I’ve calculated it and if I was trimming Judy myself I’d need the scoot boots to last a year to break even and if my farrier was trimming her I’d need them to last a year + one extra shoe to break even
Currently €35 to get front shoes and trim and €60 for all feet shoed. Assuming shoed like 6 times a year and only taking back shoes off first as Judy gets shoed an average of every 8 weeks
 

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So I’d say this year we will just take the hinds of them next year I’ll see if I still need the sharer cuz when Judys at home she has 24/7 turnout so the change to her front feet going barefoot might be easier
If the horse has always been shod, back-to-back-to-back without respite, this is not advisable & there will be more probs caused than if the horse had had 'off seasons' each year at least.
 

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Hi
My horse is 20 years old and I was thinking of doing a barefoot trimming course to transition her to barefoot. She usually has her back shoes off in winter anyway and has 0 problems so I think she would do well barefoot. She is currently on livery with no winter turnout as north of Ireland get extremely wet and the fields are like mush. She gets exercised everyday and has no problems. I would be expecting to buy hoof boots to help her while hacking but 90% of our riding happens in a sand arena. We also compete 70/80cm jumping courses at the moment and wondering if she would be able for that barefoot (the shoed photo was done by my old farrier who put the nails in a little to low I have changed farrier and it’s better now but it’s only photo I have of her feet) View attachment 1115797
Hi there,
When I first bought my horse when he was seven, and my mum and I (she's very experienced with horses) decided to pull his shoes- however it did take him a really long time to adjust and he was pretty sore and couldn't be worked or ridden for about a week, but after a while he did adjust beautifully. He's now 11 and since we pulled his shoes we've been using cavallo hoof boots on all fours (treks) and they are really good and can be kept on during turnout, trails, jumping, and basically everything I have used them with. I'm now doing a similar level of riding as you but I'm currently training him to move up so we have also been doing bigger fences too and the boots have worked for the bigger stuff too especially since I can put studs in them too! To be honest though those are the first boots I used and I liked them so I haven't tried other options so I don't know if there would be better suited ones for her. The only complaints I would have with them would be that they're very pricy but they do last. The major advice I could give you is to consult a proper barefoot trimmer or a knowledgeable farrier and make sure they approve of pulling her shoes- at that age it could be a very different story than my seven year old so take major caution with that. Also I personally like having a specialized barefoot trimmer for him in general however that isn't a must of course. Good luck with your girl I hope everything works out for you guys!
 

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I have to admit, I've never heard of "scoot boots", so I looked them up. I also have to admit I fail to see the need for them. if you want your horse to be barefoot, just pull the shoes, and there ya go. So for the sake of talk, what is the "transition" you speak of? I have pulled the shoes off mares and thrown them out on to my range pasture, and they've done just fine. Same with geldings and stallions I've kept in my barn.
So what is the purpose of a scoot boot?
 

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My drafts would have shoes during the "street" season. Shows and touring. Basically fall into winter through Mardi Gras. Then the shoes came off were cleaned up and tagged by horse and saved for the next season. They'd still get worked, driven and get ridden across varying terrains. The intensity and frequency was less. But some road work. Mostly thought they were in the fields doing farming demos. No problems. And no boots.

My feeling is it depends on whether they got good feet genes and were allowed to properly develop a healthy foot before any shoeing and then the hoof has some sort of hoof memory of where it needs to be when the shoes come off.
 

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My drafts would have shoes during the "street" season. Shows and touring. Basically fall into winter through Mardi Gras. Then the shoes came off were cleaned up and tagged by horse and saved for the next season. They'd still get worked, driven and get ridden across varying terrains. The intensity and frequency was less. But some road work. Mostly thought they were in the fields doing farming demos. No problems. And no boots.

My feeling is it depends on whether they got good feet genes and were allowed to properly develop a healthy foot before any shoeing and then the hoof has some sort of hoof memory of where it needs to be when the shoes come off.
I agree with your last statement. Very much so.
I have mares that have never been trimmed in their lives, let alone had shoes on. Heck, they have never been in the barn and would take great offense at the mere thought of it! They are out on my range pasture and have to travel several miles in to water. Their feet are hard and worn as nature intended. I shudder at the thought of having to trim one should they ever needed it.
 

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So what is the purpose of a scoot boot?
Is your question why someone would ride with boots vs. shoes for hoof protection? For horses that live well barefoot but travel regularly on gravel and paved surfaces, a hoof boot is the best of both worlds- no need for compromising good barefoot feet with conventional shoes, but an option for extra protection on unforgiving surfaces. My mares are all barefoot year round, but riding on gravel/hardpack, need something between their foot and that terrible footing. I wouldn't need to boot if we were riding in an arena or across pastures or snow.
 

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Don't fault your farrier for low nails, I nail low as well! The reason is if your horse puts his foot somewhere and there is enough force to pull a shoe, it's not going to make a difference if the nails are up high on the wall or low, except on how much hoof wall it rips off with it. Some farriers leave long clinches up high so the shoe is more secure, when that shoe gets caught somewhere, it won't make a difference, the horse has the force and power to rip it off, along with its hoof wall. Low nails & short clinches, usually the shoe pulls off fairly cleanly. I can easily reset a shoe, I can't replace hoof wall. My horses have been shod this way for a long time, they rarely a pull a shoe unless they are in a gnarly, tree root bound area. Then I am sure glad the shoe pulled off cleanly, especially when I find the lost shoe wedged in a root months later.
Our other fine forum members have covered the barefoot transition, I have transitioned 2 horses to barefoot, one didn't quite make it, he wears fronts part of the year when the ground tightens up.
 
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