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Sorry if this is in the wrong place, if it needs to be moved - go ahead Mods :).


Well, at my farm we have two horses, and two ponies; they all go barefoot. The two horses (Tornado and Zeph) had all 4 shoes when they came to us... Their previous owners weren't very knowledgeable with horses, and I guess they just figured "Oh horses need shoes; 'Hey horseshoe guy! Come put all four on 'em!'" - so they were on all four for a few years, before they came to my place (April 2009). We had our amazing farrier [Roy] came out, and we asked if they could go with out shoes. And he said as long as the hoof could take it.


- They were strong enough to handle it, and all the horses have been shoeless (the ponies never had shoes) - but is this uncommon? All we do is light trail riding on basic dirt/mud/leaves (lol). I know they don't need shoes but I hear so many people make a big deal over being barefoot. I'm just curious!

Oh! And while their hooves were getting used to being bare, we put special hoof 'stuff' (I forget its name! I just call it turpentine, similar substance..) and this helped the hoof. Total mind blank to what it is called.. It was bought from Tractor Supply :D.

Thanks!
~Anny

 

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I don't think it's all that uncommon, especially for what you do with your horses. I've never *knock on wood* had a shod horse, but if my horse required it I wouldn't rule it out just because it's "unnatural" or anything.
 

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most horses in turnout don't need shoes. there are exceptions to all rules. some horses don't ever need shoes and some horses only need shoes when they are doing hard work on rough ground. if a horse remains sound while doing what it's doing it doesn't need to be shod for that job.
some trail riding camps require horses to be shod to use their trails. a horse should be willing to give their feet to be shod even if they are never shod. this is done by trimming the feet at proper intervals. giving biotin and useing hoof dressing will make a horses hoves stronger.
shoeing of horses is a misunderstood topic. as is bitting and sometimes tacking as well. a little learning is a dangerous thing.
 

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My TB needs fronts (he wears them down to quick just playing around, not even being ridden!) but all the rest of mine are barefoot. And the ground here is really rough and rocky, and they do just fine. Many people shoe horses just because it's what they're used to, or they think they need it. Sure, lots of horses DO need it, and some disciplines such as reining DO need it. But there's a lot of shod horses out there who could go barefoot if given the chance. Do what's best for your horse as an individual :)
 

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Depends on the horse. Some never need shoes a day in their life, otheres need shoes just to be comfortable. Ponies rarely need shoes, especially small ones (can you imagine a 2 inch pony shoe?)
 

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All horses should be able to go barefoot. Only if the horse has medical or performance needs should it be shod.
As soon as you shoe the horse with back shoes, it should not be turned out with other horses. This is why you really should only shoe a horse in the back if it absolutely needs it.
My horse is shod in front because he is taken off the property quite a lot and needs the support of the shoe to prevent stone bruises and provide even traction on most surfaces. In the next few years, I will probably start shoeing the hind so that he has the same support there too for the higher level work.
Any horse that has foundered usually needs shoes, and ringbone also merits their use.
Otherwise, I think barefoot is great.
 

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Some of my horses have been shod all around, some on the front only and some not at all. They have all been turned out together and in nearly 30 years, I've never had an incident that required me to separate horses due to their shoeing.

The choice to go barefoot or not was up the the horse and the conditions I rode them in.
 

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Both my mares are barefoot. I do trail riding and started lessons this year. The only prevention I use is I have pair of boots for each I put on front hoofs when I ride in really rocky park.

Your horses may have some issues with the transition from shoes to barefoot (may be really sensitive for while), but if they have good hoofs they should be OK. Moreover I've seen OTTBs with REALLY bad hoofs restored and went nicely barefoot with the good farrier.
 

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some people that do alot of heavy trail riding in rocky terrain will opt for shoes all the way around. I know when I got Blue he was shod all the way around, so was Sierra. They are both barefoot now. I don't have a need to shoe them. Riley and Blue will be shod in the front for the summer show season...
 

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I don't think the fact that the previous owners shod them is an indication that they were not knowledgable - only that they made different choices than what you do. I, personally, have our horses barefoot at this time. However, I have also kept horses shod in the past. I do what fits the individual horse and the needs of the situation.
 

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You are referring to Venice Turpentine. It's a resin, not a solvent like the turpentine most people think of. It is used to provide a thin protective layer on the sole. It's a very short term fix, and it does help hold exfoliating sole (and whatever dirt, shavings or leaves find themselves attatched) to the hoof to add extra protection. (TO THE OP). It doesn't last long, and generally doesn't make much of a difference to the horse. Though, some horses need every bit of help they can get coming out of shoes, if boots aren't provided...

I'm not sure if I understand the point of the post in the first place. Are you just looking for affirmation that you did the right thing? I'm all for going barefoot, but there wasn't a good clear question about it. As far as "doing the right thing" that's very subjective. If your horses are thriving under your care, and you don't cause them any misery, it's going to be hard to find anyone to say you are doing wrong.
 

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Most of mine can go barefoot in most situations. When we go on long or rocky rides they get shoes automatically because we would rather not have them hurt in the first place. We did have one gelding that never could go barefoot. We tried giving him almost a year barefoot, and he was still very pained on even the slihgtest gravel. :( For me it all depends on the horse. If they can go barefoot or are comfortable with boots then that is what they get, but if that doesn't work I have no problem putting shoes on. most of the time it is just cheaper for me to keep anyone that can handle it barefoot.
 

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I don't ever shoe any of my horses. I almost had to, once, for correction but we found a different method.
The only time I'd shoe one of my horses is if they were Reiner's ready for the show ring.
 

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To shoe or not to shoe that is the question! Both methods are only as good as the care and maintenance that comes with it.

Proper hoof health is pretty darn critical for sure--unfortunately its not a high priority to some.

Back shoes and pasture board don't mix for sure. If you want back shoes just sign a blank check for any vet bills those shoes cause when little bobby kicks the snot out of little bill.
 
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