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Discussion Starter #1
My horse has to be constantly shod all round, as soon as she loses a shoe she is sore.

she is also club footed.

Is there ANYWAY that i can ever have her unshod?

she has been on pellets to harden her feet, but they dont do anything.

Any ideas???
 

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Well you could try taking off her back shoes....I have seen people do that and let her have some time to get used to the hard ground but sometimes it can take a long time for them to get used to the footing. And I know of some horses who just have to have shoes on all the time. You could also try some boots (Cavallio) (sp?) adn try to ajust (sp?) her to hard ground, But Im not at Farrior talk to your Farrior he/she will be your biggest help
 

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Why not just keep shoes on?
 

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Have you done any research on barefoot trimming? When I adopted my horse 5 weeks ago I was drawn to learn about the hooves. And that lead me to barefoot trimming. From many case studies I've read or watched on youtube, I've seen many people state things like; my horse has week hooves and they will never last in a barefoot trim, white hooves, soo many different things where the owner had doubts because that's the knowledge that was passed down to them. But all of those owners saying that became case studies where they were able to take their horse with an, "impossible to take barefoot hoof", and they are now barefoot. I've seen case studies of club footed horses that came back to normal healthy hooves. I saw one study which I was trying to find cus it's such a joke as how bad owners can neglect horses and this pony had hooves which were over a foot long and curling upwards. The lady that trimmed this guys other horses asked if she could have him, and he said sure. His answer to why the hooves were like that was, "you can't do anything about that, it's just they way they grow." It's too bad that bad knowledge continues to be passed along and horses pay the consequences because the human counterparts cannot become humble enough to ask if this is the best way. "Sheesh I need to stop, I'm getting on a rant." Also many owners don't want to allow their horses hoof enough time to heal so they opt to do what the majority does. Shoe it and ride it.

I'm in no way an expert on hoof care, but I have a gut feeling/sixth sense about finding the right paths in all I seek. And I see absolutely no reason why a hoof cannot be brought back into a normal healthy state. Well I take that back, I've read of a case study where the horse was so old that it wouldn't of lived long enough to transition to barefoot, so they put it back into shoes to keep it comfortable.

I honestly wouldn't of gave such a strong opinion if you didn't have any want for a barefoot horse. But it kinda sounds like you're looking in that direction and wanting a push.

And nutrition plays a big role from what I'm learning. Check out www.safergrass.org I'm just barely beginning to peruse that site so I'm still learning about proper nutrition.

Sorry for offending anyone if they strongly believe in shod horses. I didn't intend it, there is a better way though. And that is my strong opinion. I do know though that in the coming future everyone will look back at our times of shod hooves and ask why we did things that way. The answer will be, "simply because they didn't learn/know any better." Hooves were a natural design to operate in a way without shoes in all sorts of terrain. We only need to learn how they are taken care of by nature and follow that path home.

Here's a few links with lots of good info and many case studies.
Barefoot for Soundness
The Horse's Hoof, News for Barefoot Hoofcare
Healthy Hoof - Solutions for Barefoot Performance
Pete Ramey hoof care heals founder in horse’s navicular disease farrier

If I can find that story with the foot long hooved pony I'll post it. It wasn't clubbed hooved of course, but I just wanna share it for some reason. When I saw those pictures I was just so taken aback. Kinda in awe. But I'll bet there are case studies in those links of "used to be" clubbed hooved horses.

If you get really interested in barefoot hooves I would see if you can find a barefoot trimmer in your area. And get references too. I had one come out right when I got my horse cus he hadn't been trimmed in a while and I was told that they knew how to do a proper barefoot trim. But after seeing the trim my horse received and then learning more from those sites above, I knew that the trimmer I paid didn't posess enough knowledge to do proper barefoot trimming. Only enough to do a pasture trim for shod hooves.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i dont know, they are just a pain having, would be much easier to just have none, but spoke to farrier today and he said there is not much i can do.

she will always need them...


thanks for the tips though, will do some reaserch
 

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Discussion Starter #8
probably, i guess they make awicked sound...
 

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When I adopted my horse 5 weeks ago I was drawn to learn about the hooves.


Sorry for offending anyone if they strongly believe in shod horses. I didn't intend it, there is a better way though. And that is my strong opinion..

Based on an entire 5 weeks of horse ownership? Why don't you give it 2 months before you drink the cool-aid? Maybe you could spend the next 5 weeks researching the benefits of shoes and the downside of barefoot trims. Any time that the hoof wears faster than it grows you need to put shoes on. Also there are some horses that have abnormalities that prevent them from going without shoes. Nutrition is the key to going barefoot. You can use all the boots and have the trimmer out every 3 weeks but if you don't have a horse on a low starch diet you will end up with a lame horse. It is foolish to base an opinion on something you have next to no experience with, on a "sixth sense".
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah, farrier said that barefoot trimming would not work with my stead, her feet are badly conformed (if thats the right word to use), so shoes it is
 

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but spoke to farrier today and he said there is not much i can do.

she will always need them...

I've read a lot of success stories that said things just like that before they beleived in barefoot hooves. It's definately worth looking into. Especially check into the success stories. It does take time though to transition back to a healthy hoof, and the time depends on the condition of the hoof. It could be a month it could be a year. But most purchase boots to help speed the transition and ease any transition pain too. I've read that a lot of newely unshod horses that have had shoes for so long come into pain, and they say it's because the feeling comes back to the hoof and so they have to deal with the current pain from an unhealthy hoof for a little while. I typically don't read about the pain lasting all that long though, but the owners are using boots to speed transition and releive pain.

I actually found that pony too, that's why I headed back here is to post the link. I got the story a little wrong. The trimmer wasn't trimming the guys horses, she just heard about the pony and drove out to have a look. Everytime I see stuff like this on youtube with the music and such it makes me cringe up and hold back or just let go of a tear or several. There's another one that always makes me hold back a tear. It's so sad, the horse can hardly take a step out of it's stall. But it has a happy ending in video two.

Here's the pony



Again I'm sorry if I've offended anyone with my strong opinion on barefoot horses from my previous post. Or even this post, or even future ones. As I may have a hard time biting my tongue. I beleive that horses kept by us deserve the best from us. Even if it requires that we re-learn something that our bretheren are unwilling to learn cus they were spoon-fed knowledge from the past. Even I believed in shod horses as a child. But that was before I begun asking why.

Oh also in my search for that link I saw two examples on a new site to me," one I didn't post earlier", and it had two examples of clubbed foot horses taken back to a healthy barefoot.

For my strong opinion again sorry. I just feel everyone deserves to know a better alternative so I just can't keep my tongue bit. "Erm, maybe I mean I can't keep my hands in mittens."
 

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Barefoot trimming is way more of a hassle than staying shod. It is also more expensive when done properly.
 

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I bet her farrier didn't start 5 weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yeah, i dont have to pay my farrier, so staying shod is cheap, just can be a pain.

but barefoot trimming can be risky so i have heard
 

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whoops. I didn't notice all those posts in-between from when I quoted you till now. I just took too long typing. I probably wouldn't of typed all that. I'm not trying to convince you either which it kinda now seems like. Cus of all the responses. mittens on
 

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Kevinshorses, I don't see why you're so dead set against horses going bare...

To the OP, going bare should not be done if you don't want to do your part. There may be a need for boots and foam pads to help your horse adjust to being without metal shoes, which requires labor on your part. It's not an instant magical fix to lameness, either. It's a process that takes time and good trims along with a good diet and exercise plan, which ANY horses, shod or not would benefit from.

Metal shoes do offer comfort for horses that are used to them, and you can make a horse seem sound in them (metal shoes dampen sensation in the hoof), and as an owner, there's little you actually have to do with the shoes, beside making sure they are still on and in place between farrier visits.

Barefoot trims require regular trims, just as often, maybe more so, than shoes, as the hoof grows faster without metal shoes in most horses (so that should alleviate fear of wearing faster than they grow). I've never seen a horse suffer from true wear that took them too short. I've seen chunks break off too short, from BEING OVERGROWN and poorly trimmed, though. I'm not saying a hoof never needs protection to do the unnatural tasks we ask of our horses..that is why there are so many hoof boots now. Boots absorb more shock, protect the foot, and yet allow it to fuction more normally for the horse, and metal shoes simply can't do that. We have the technology that is better than metal, that is what barefoot is about-to let the hoof itself function as closely to normal as we can, to promote soundness and usablity in the horse. Metal shoes don't offer true soundness-if your horse can't function without metal shoes, he isn't sound. Personally, I"ve fixed horses barefoot that were supposed to be put down when metal shoes couldn't fix them anymore.

Yes, even club feet can go bare, but your hoof care provider must know how to trim it and not fight it and exaccerbate the problem. If you do your research and find someone qualitfied, it will be a satisfying experience. I do not condone just trimming your own horse without a lot of research, guidance and experience, as that is a recipie for disaster, that applies to healthy feet, as well as pathological.

Overall, getting out of metal shoes could make the biggest impact on your horses performance and health, but keep in mind that holes in the rest of your horse keeping will show up more easily-thrush is more apt to cause lameness, if you never clean the stall, but the incidence may be less without shoes, too.

I don't agree that going bare is any more expensive than having your horse shod, even with boots and pads being purchased. It may be less costly, or about the same averaged out. Don't decide your horses hoof care solely on cost, do what you think is right, and using the professionals available to you that are most qualified, regardless of what style you pick.
 

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Just to support that club feet can be handled and even improved upon with correct trimming: my neighbour's horse has a club front foot and the trimmer is out at least every 4 weeks to look after her. She has improved dramatically since she arrived just over a year ago.
 

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Winter traction is a necessity here and nothing can provide it like studded shoes. Our horses must cross skating rink ice and barefoot they don't stand a chance. Properly shod they can lope safely across it.
Wear is another factor. If you run roads alot even steel shoes wear out in a 8 week cycle.
I too would love to run barefooted and do at certain parts of the year but I am forced to shoe for the above reasons.
 

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RiosDad, did you know that hoof growth increases with exercise, when left barefoot? Shod, they growth is inhibited,and obviously, metal shoes can't grow thicker, so they only show wear, and the hooves dont' grow as much because of the shoes..once the shoes are off, the growth increases, and can match the wear and tear. Also, you can put studs on hoof boots when you need to cross ice or slick footing. =)
 

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Kevinshorses, I don't see why you're so dead set against horses going bare...
I'm not against barefoot trimming at all and I agree with almost everything in your first post. I take issue when someone that admits to only 5 weeks of study on the subject quoting articles and making bold statements that they don't have the experience or education to back up. You speak very knowledably about it and make many good points. I respect your opinion. I have my doubts about some of the things you say. I'm not sure how the shoe inhibits growth of the hoof since the hoof grows from the top and the shoe is nailed to the bottom.

My biggest problem with barefoot trimming is that most people think it is just about the trimming. You need to change the horses diet and footing. You need to spend a small fortune on boots and pads and people need to be prepared for that. I usually ride way too hard across rocky ground to leave a horse with no shoes. If I used boots I would have to buy 4 new ones every day. It's not feasible for me but anyone that wants to commit to that has my respect and best wishes.
 
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