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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I'm currently doing some research on shoeing horses and Leaving them barefoot.
And i would love to know what you do with all your horses and why for example I would like to know what sort of supplements you give them for their hooves any sort of hoof oil or soak you may use, Do you shoe them or leave them barefoot how often do you get their feet trimmed or shod, What sort of work they do, And there type of hoof I.E soft medium or hard colour of the hoof what sort of terrain do they live and exercise in. And why you shoe or leave them barefoot etc.
I'll start,
My first horse Crystal 7-8 years old 15.1hh Stock horse Quarter horse cross, Used in barrel racing jumping dressage and mustering, Worked daily and on weekends worked rather hard (all day rides etc). She has soft sensitive feet and they are white even though that is a myth, She gets megamin hoof supplement and her feet trimmed every 8-9 weeks no shoeing,
She lives in a large pasture which is rotated every two months or so and is worked on roads in sand, dirt and grass.

Angel Brumby mare 14.2hh 20 years old Used in jumping mustering and trail riding some pony club too, She gets worked every second day at medium work because she recovering from a micro tare she sustained two years ago,
she also gets megamin and her feet trimmed every 8-9weeks no shoeing.
Her feet are hard and black with a small well set frog.
She gets worked in the same terrain as crystal.

I'll do my others later

Plz reply
 

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Our horses are barefoot, they don't get any supplements but my 24 year old mare might try something in the summer.
I trim my horses feet myself and the two mini horses. The farrier does our 5 year old mare because her feet grow fast and are kind of tough to trim.
I trail ride about 5 to 6 days a week mostly barefoot, but use front renegade boots for the rocky trails.
 

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Hello,
I'm currently doing some research on shoeing horses and Leaving them barefoot.
And i would love to know what you do with all your horses and why for example I would like to know what sort of supplements you give them for their hooves any sort of hoof oil or soak you may use, Do you shoe them or leave them barefoot how often do you get their feet trimmed or shod, What sort of work they do, And there type of hoof I.E soft medium or hard colour of the hoof what sort of terrain do they live and exercise in. And why you shoe or leave them barefoot etc.
I'll start,
My first horse Crystal 7-8 years old 15.1hh Stock horse Quarter horse cross, Used in barrel racing jumping dressage and mustering, Worked daily and on weekends worked rather hard (all day rides etc). She has soft sensitive feet and they are white even though that is a myth, She gets megamin hoof supplement and her feet trimmed every 8-9 weeks no shoeing,
She lives in a large pasture which is rotated every two months or so and is worked on roads in sand, dirt and grass.

Angel Brumby mare 14.2hh 20 years old Used in jumping mustering and trail riding some pony club too, She gets worked every second day at medium work because she recovering from a micro tare she sustained two years ago,
she also gets megamin and her feet trimmed every 8-9weeks no shoeing.
Her feet are hard and black with a small well set frog.
She gets worked in the same terrain as crystal.

I'll do my others later

Plz reply
Okay here goes...I have quite a few so I'll do just some of them. I prefer for them to be barefoot, but do have a couple that are shod for showing purposes. All of them go 8 wks, except for 2. All of them are on orchard/bluegrass pasture those that aren't 24/7 get orchard/alfalfa hay at night. Easy terrain. I spent my childhood picking up rocks on the farm for my grandpa so there aren't many left 20+ years later :wink: I do trail ride on occasion and boot them.

Hondo - 29 yo stallion, had a very long & successful AQHA show career. I ride him 4 times a week, 1 hr each just to stay in shape. He also gets ridden 3 times a wk by my soon to be 6 yr old daughter. Gets daily turnout in a 3 acre stud lot, comes in at night. Has great feet. No shoes. No hoof supplements.

Jana - 23 yo mare, my retired youth reining horse, was also shown HUS, Jumping, all speed events, team penning, trail & showmanship. I ride her 6 hrs a wk to stay in shape & tuned up, 4 hrs of lessons and the occasional moving the neighbors cattle or trail ride. She is going back into the reining pen for a young rider at AQHA & open shows so she is getting sliding plates put on this week. Will have screw in cleats made so she can also be ridden on the trail.. She is on 24/7 turnout & a ration balancer. No hoof supplements.

Buttons - 22 yo mare, retired youth wp horse & broodmare. Also used for beginner lessons 6 hrs a week, I rarely ride her as she is the same horse every time :) Shown walk/trot by my daughter. Same turnout/balancer as Jana. She is shod & is trimmed & reset every 5 wks.

Lacey - 9 yo mare, ex working & roping horse & hubby's trail horse. Just had her first foal. Started light riding yesterday to get her back in shape after foaling. Daily turnout & in at night. Fed Ultium Growth, no hoof supplements.
Merit - foal, not 2 wks old. Hooves cleaned daily, will get first farrier visit at 8 wks for learning purposes mostly.

Pella - yearling filly. Daily pasture, stalled at night. Fed Ultium Growth & is on DAC Foundation Formula for her hooves. We supplement them until 2 for a good healthy start.

Woodstock - 4 yo stallion. Limited turnout & exercise due to re-injuring a tendon. Stalled, 4 hrs turnout in small 1/2 acre lot but does have grass, daily handwalking for 1 hr am & pm. Fed Purina Strategy GX & Smart Pak Smarttendon repair. Would be shod w/plates if he had not been injured and training stopped :cry:

The rest are all similar. Hope that helps and wasn't too long :lol:
 

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Why didn't that cross my mind when I added my answer about my horses. I'm not dead set either way & have both. Thinking I should un-subscribe or my blackberry will be dinging all day :lol:
 

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OP, to actually answer your question before we continue on our tangent, I have 3 horses, 2 who are barefoot and 1 who is shod.

I go with whatever works best for the individual animal in question. I prefer barefoot, but knew when I took on a TB it would be unlikely he could ever go without shoes. He's perfectly sound when shod, but barefoot he gimps, so he has shoes.
 

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I have 2 horses. Both are barefoot (and have always been barefoot) but one is either getting boots or front shoes this summer. He's constantly tender on gravel and I'm tired of his pain and trying to keep him out of the glass encrusted ditches.

24/7 turnout. Very minimal grain, 2-3% of their body weight per day in hay, good quality pasture. Gelding is getting a hoof supplement SmartHoof I believe to see if that helps his ouchiness.

Ok...

Now can I have a Mojito? Please pass the popcorn too!
 

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It's actually in the rule book for my horses breed association that no horses are to be shod. Well, I mean I guess you can shoe them but if they catch you with shoes on the sanctioned showgrounds you're in trouble :D
That being said I rode a QH mare that HAD to have shoes. I tried my best to keep her barefoot and her feet would just fall apart and she'd be dead lame. she was on all sorts of supplements, I tried hardeners, softeners, sealants, anything. She could NOT be barefoot :(
 

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i agree with speed racer. i have 7 horses, 2 are babies (2yo and 1yo) so obv bare. i have 2 TBs that are bare, 1 TB that i tried bare in every possible way with boots, supps, extended t/o, special hoof trimming methods, etc., and he was miserable so he's shod in front (bare behind, and bare all around for winter). i have a clyde cross that is usually bare but his leg confo leaves something to be desired so he is shod as needed based on his showing and work schedule, and i have an arab that's bare but will go in boots if we do any intensive trail riding.

i prefer bare, but not all horses are comfortable that way. my tb was lame all the time for YEARS and absolutely miserable and even the boots - from boas to easy boots, etc. didn't give him relief. and since we tried it for over 6 years, i'd say he was given more than enough time to adjust lol. to each his own.
 

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It's actually in the rule book for my horses breed association that no horses are to be shod. Well, I mean I guess you can shoe them but if they catch you with shoes on the sanctioned showgrounds you're in trouble :D
That being said I rode a QH mare that HAD to have shoes. I tried my best to keep her barefoot and her feet would just fall apart and she'd be dead lame. she was on all sorts of supplements, I tried hardeners, softeners, sealants, anything. She could NOT be barefoot :(
Which breed association is this?
 

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All of mine are bare. They all have good quality grass hay (rationed not free-choice) during the winter and early spring, and are on pasture 24/7 late spring through late fall. Free choice salt and mineral.

15-year-old Percheron cross gelding was shod for the first three years that I owned him. He could not walk across a gravel driveway if he lost a shoe. I (very skeptically) decided to try barefoot with him and after a year of rehabbing he was, and still is, sound to hack or drive on our local gravel backroads, as well as the trails in the area.

11 year old and five year old Canadian mares have always been barefoot and have breed-typical, rock-hard hooves.

Weanling Percheron/Oldenburg is of course bare. He gets his diet supplemented with some beet pulp and a bit of a yearling pelleted feed.
 

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:rofl: @ mbender, SR, and all you guys.

Nd, I am also curious about which association that is, just for curiosity's sake.

Most of mine are kept barefoot year around with scheduled 8 week maintenance trims since most of them are turned out for retirement. In the winter, they are all barefoot. However, in the summer, the horses that get used often get shoes. We do a lot of hard riding, sometimes at high speed, over varying terrain while doing cattle work and a barefoot horse would end up with numerous stone bruises. All but two of them have good hard feet but running down a rocky road after a cow will bruise even the toughest feet.

One with not so great feet is my 2 year old QHxBelgian, they are soft and fall apart if he runs on hard ground too much. He'll probably have to have shoes when I start riding him.

The other is one that is only pasture sound barefoot and for him to be riding sound, he requires shoes (and pads if I am going to ride on rocks larger than pea-gravel). He has really thin soled, flat, TB type feet and he is a bit of a weenie when it comes to walking on anything that's not soft grass or sand.

All my green horses get shoes after they are started under saddle because I take them over pretty tough country and I'm usually traveling at either a long trot or a lope almost daily. The last thing I need is for a horse in training to get a stone bruise that turns into an abscess so they all get shod.

The older horses in the pasture get free choice alfalfa/grass mix hay and the younger horses in the 'jenny craig' paddock just get grass hay. No special feeds, no hoof supplements, no grains.

I, like others, am of a mind that you should do what your horse is most comfortable with. Some horses simply cannot go barefoot on any kind of terrain that isn't rock-free and soft, others go great barefoot their entire lives and never take a lame step. The horse's comfort is much more important than strictly following some particular frame of mind.
 

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All of mine are barefoot. They get pasture/hay depending on the time of year and free-choice salt/mineral. I think being barefoot is healthier when possible, but if any of mine showed signs of needing shoes they would get them. Thankfully they are all sound and going strong with the type of trails we ride.

Haflinger - 2 front black hooves and 2 back white hooves. Never worn shoes in his life.

Draft cross - striped hooves, also never worn shoes in his life. Tends to want to flare a bit, but keeping him on a tighter trim schedule than the others keeps that in check (he is on 4-6 week schedule while the others can go 6-8).

Grade ? - 3 black hooves and one white. He is only 2 so we have not ridden him so if he needs shoes or not is still left to be seen. He is also the only one that gets feed in addition to his hay/pasture.

These are just leisure/trail horses. They are not high performance horses and do not have highly demanding jobs. If we changed what we asked from them their hoof needs might change as well.
 

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I do trail riding with my mare, usually 4-10miles at a time over varied terrain. The ground is usually hard compact dirt with rocks. We ride 3-5 times per week in the summer. I would say that her work load is about medium~ish. We don't give any hoof supplements, but we do use Rain Makers Hoof Oil Moisturizer certain times of the year. I also use easyboots on her front feet if the terrain is really bad or our ride will be especially long.

She is barefoot and I rasp her feet usually once a week to keep a "mustang roll" on them, but other than that she wears them to the appropriate length. She has one black hoof, two striped, and one white hoof.



 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everyone for your answers very helpful, I'd also like to know what your veiws are on shoeing and barefoot i know it changes depending on the horses needs but I would still like to know what you think, No judgement I promise.

I'm my opinion If a horse is young they should be given a chance for their feet to develop most horses in my experience can be barefoot from birth to retirement but it really does depend on the horse, Take off the track TB's for example because they are shod for racing alot have trouble being barefoot simply because thats what they are used to.
Shoeing has it's place and when my horses have needed them they got them no questions asked (crystal chipped her hoof and the chip spread up along the hoof and started to bleed so i cleaned it and called the farrier and vet because i was sure it had turned into a slight abbess and she need shoeing because of that)
I also have a Clydie cross who doesn't get worked much because he is older and still recovering from bad owners in the past, but if he was worked as hard as my others, yes i would probably shoe him because of the pressure on his feet.

But in most cases where i live horses are better off barefoot because of bloodflow and the fact that shoeing does weaken hooves but their some that do need it but in my opinion half the time horses don't need shoes to sound happy and healthy but i don't know any of your cases and if someone is doing or at least trying to the right for their horse they are saints i've seen so many horses hurt by bad owners or just ones who don't know what to do it's so great see people who really love and look after them.
:) thank you Ireland
 

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Personally for me it depends on the horse. All of our horses get shoes on for the late spring/summer/fall. Depending on the horse we will take the shoes off in the winter or put snow pads on the horses if we need to keep the shoes on. I have had horses that don't need shoes. Even the horses that have shoes on now have gone barefoot at one point or another depending on what their work load has been.

We do a lot of road riding, gravel and pavement so shoes are a must have. I believe that if you aren't riding the horse in terrain that will not wear the foot out to quickly and they aren't in pain then you don't have to worry about shoes. If however you are riding the horse a lot or in areas that will wear the foot out or cause pain then you should put the shoes on. It's better to keep them sound then to worry about whats "natural".

We don't give supplements, our horses are just on 24/7 pasture.
 

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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.
 

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It's actually in the rule book for my horses breed association that no horses are to be shod.
Another one curious as to what rule book this is.


The train has arrived :0)
Laugh.


I have three; 1 retired old man, 1 5yo who does very light work, 1 5yo who I hope to drive on the roads and ride regularly all summer. Right now all three are barefoot. The two younger horses both have great rock crunching feet that my farrier thinks can easily stay barefoot for what I plan to do with them.
The old man might need his shoes put back on once the ground gets hard again this summer. He is not even pasture sound barefoot.
Their trimming schedule varies depending on season and work load between six and eight weeks.

I agree with SR that I prefer my horses barefoot but I will do whatever an individual requires.
 
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