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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Default Eventer Shoes vs Natural Balance for a Show Hunter?

    I recently switched barns and as a result had to get a new farrier. The new farrier came in, said the previous guy's work was all wrong, and said I should use an "eventer" shoe on my horse rather than the NB shoes that she's in now.

    She's a 6-year-old TB whose feet are in pretty bad shape (thin walls, thin soles, flat feet), though I think their condition is primarily due to the fact that the old place had incredibly wet pastures, which was the primary reason why we moved. I base this supposition on the fact that her feet were in much better shape when I got her so I'm hoping that with the right care her feet will improve (and they do in fact already look better).

    My goal is for her to be my A/O hunter, so we eventually will be jumping 3'6 to 4'. She's a good mover and so I want something on her feet that will help her be competitive in the hack. At the same time she's a big girl with big feet (size 3 shoes) and protecting her from the concussion of jumping is of paramount importance. As such, both farriers advised against aluminum shoes.

    I admit that I am much more ignorant about hoof care than I should be but I am trying to educate myself. Does anyone have any advice to offer as to the difference between these two types of shoes given my goals and the needs of my horse.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
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    Default

    Many farriers and horse owners think that Natural balance is just a shoe. In reality, Natural Balance is the method of balancing, trimming the foot and the shoe fit is only a part of that. For years prior to the introduction of steel Natural Balance shoes, Natural Balance farriers modified and used eventers to apply those principles. I sometimes still do use eventers to apply NB, depending on the shape of the prepared foot. So your new farrier is probably not planning on applying Natural Balance principles,therefore it will make no difference if he uses eventers or not. .If he is not going to use NB principles then he will find the NB shoes difficult to fit to his desired shoe placement. So since he is what you have available now , I recommend letting him use the eventers, fit in the manner he wishes.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2002
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    30

    Default

    The difference is more between the farriers than between the shoes. Properly applied, both shoes would probably be able to do the job, each in its own way. It's just that the new farrier prefers plan b. Think of it as that s/he rides western and thinks the horse is not meant for English tack, or vice versa. Or some people drive stick shifts, some like automatics.

    It's a personal preference and trying to force a farrier to apply a shoe against his/her will, especially one that requires some skill and experience like Natural Balance, and you'd realize you are better off letting the farrier choose the shoe.

    Or, if your are convinced that the shoe is making the difference, you need to find a skilled, experienced Natural Balance shoer (not just someone who says they can nail one on) to carry on with horse.

    In my experience, forcing a farrier to apply a particular shoe has never been of much benefit to the horse or to the owner-farrier relationship.

    If you want to stick with Natural Balance, the company keeps a list of recommended farriers and has a certification program just for that type of shoeing. Natural Balance is a system of shoeing, as well as the name of a shoe.

    If you want to stick with your new farrier, you'll need to be brave and give him or her a chance to show you what an alternate shoe could do. And hope it works.

    "Eventer" horseshoes are made by the St Croix Forge company in Minnesota. They are probably the most popular American-made horseshoes, and they have a rolled edge. Definitely nothing to be afraid of! I had them on my horse for years.
    http://www.stcroixforge.com/products...ventfront.html.
    Certainly nothing radical or complicated! Plenty of jumping horses wear them.

    Good luck! (that's what horseshoes are for)

    Fran Jurga
    Hoofcare Publishing
    Fran Jurga, Editor, Hoofcare & Lameness Journal, The Jurga Report, etc.
    www.hoofcare.com and www.hoofcare.blogspot.com
    Tweets on horse hoof / health news : www.twitter.com/franjurga



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    FWIW, I'd be more inclined to think that there was more to your horses feet becoming worse at your old place then wet pastures. Maybe this move will be positive in more ways than one - change *in many directions* may do your horse good!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2009
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    626

    Default

    I would be very leary of the new guy.
    Besides the poor hoof quality, you did not mention that;
    She's lame
    Not traveling straight
    Interfearing
    Has heels to low/suspensory issues
    Over reaches/ Forges
    Loses shoes
    etc...
    If what you have been doing previous is keeping her sound, it can't be all that bad.
    With the flat feet, check her true foot size/shape.
    A 3 is really big, she may have been allowed to have her walls flare, which will give you big/flat feet.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltc4h View Post
    I would be very leary of the new guy.
    Besides the poor hoof quality, you did not mention that;
    She's lame
    Not traveling straight
    Interfearing
    Has heels to low/suspensory issues
    Over reaches/ Forges
    Loses shoes
    etc...
    If what you have been doing previous is keeping her sound, it can't be all that bad.
    With the flat feet, check her true foot size/shape.
    A 3 is really big, she may have been allowed to have her walls flare, which will give you big/flat feet.
    I am concerned about the new guy though he came recommended. She has been doing fairly well. She's not been lame or interfering. Her heels do seem a bit low and she was losing a lot of shoes last summer, which was unusually wet with a lot of bugs, so she was doing a lot of stomping, but things had been much better lately. In fact, she had gone 10 weeks this winter without losing a shoe. Her walls were flaring but that also seems to have improved, at least to the layman's eye. She's a big girl, with a lot of bone and big feet.

    I've known the previous farrier for a long time and he is quite well respected around here, so I was a bit taken aback by the new guy's attitude. I must say there was a certain degree of arrogance to it that was a turn-off. At the same time, certain things that he pointed out to me made sense. My mare's now on stall rest so I really can't say whether there's been any change in her movement.

    What can be done to prevent the walls from flaring?



  7. #7
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    FWIW, I'd be more inclined to think that there was more to your horses feet becoming worse at your old place then wet pastures. Maybe this move will be positive in more ways than one - change *in many directions* may do your horse good!
    When I say wet pastures, I mean she's spent a good deal of the last six months standing ankle deep in water.

    But I do agree that it is a change in many directions, and I hope it will do both of us good.



  8. #8
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    May. 23, 2002
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    Ontario Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EAY View Post
    . In fact, she had gone 10 weeks this winter without losing a shoe. ....
    What can be done to prevent the walls from flaring?
    A shorter cycle will keep that in check.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BumbleBee View Post
    A shorter cycle will keep that in check.
    We went 10 weeks on that cycle because she had very little growth and the farrier thought it was best to wait.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 13, 2002
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    Idaho USA
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    Default

    We have never had a horse go 10 weeks.



  11. #11
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    Jan. 5, 2010
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    Default

    10 weeks for being reshod?? Oh my.



  12. #12
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SonnyandLacy View Post
    10 weeks for being reshod?? Oh my.
    The farrier was at the barn every week and checking her. Though maybe I could have said she was somewhat overdo she had little growth and we were not really doing much anyway because of the weather. My understanding was that if there is little growth it is better to wait.

    At our previous barn one farrier did all the horses and we were not really in a position to question his judgment and as he seemed to do a good job I never really felt the need. It is only now with the new guy who is so critical that I've begun to wonder.

    But I do think that 10 weeks was unusual. Usually it was four to six weeks in the summer and eight weeks in the winter.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,562

    Default Great questions and answers on this thread

    A couple more, please?

    Looking at the Eventer shoe (and thanks for the link), they look similar to the NB shoes I have seen. But they look like they put the point of breakover further forward than would an NB shoe. Do I have that right?

    Or can you set these half-round shoes just as far back and achieve what you want-- a hoof that easily rotates during the last phase of the stride and where the center of rotation is directly below the coffin joint?

    To do that, I think you'd need a much more compact-looking shoe, front-to-back. So can the Eventer really be made to match an NB shoe?

    The reason I ask is that one flaw I see in the NB shoe is the squared way that the taper near the toe starts. If you have a horse who paddles or wings and doesn't want to break-over exactly at the mid-point of his toe, I don't see how to use NB shoes. Again, do I have this right?

    Finally, I know the NB peeps believe they have an entire trimming philosophy that goes with the shoes. Besides the stuff mentioned above about putting the point of rotation directly under the coffin joint, what else am I missing?

    And FWIW, I can see why a farrier might want to stretch out a shoeing cycle for a horse who was not growing much hoof and had thin hoof walls. The less frequently you try to put nails in the same place, the greater the odds of keeping the shoes on.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
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    May. 23, 2002
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    Default

    Any shoe can be shaped and fitted to nb principles so it is largely irrelevant what shoe is used.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 21, 2009
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    Default

    Looking at the Eventer shoe (and thanks for the link), they look similar to the NB shoes I have seen.
    The edge of the eventer has a similar bevel all around the shoe as the steel NB shoes.
    But they look like they put the point of breakover further forward than would an NB shoe. Do I have that right?
    The breakover point of any shoe is determined by how the shoes are placed on the foot.
    Or can you set these half-round shoes just as far back and achieve what you want-- a hoof that easily rotates during the last phase of the stride and where the center of rotation is directly below the coffin joint?
    Sure you could, if half rounds were suitable for that horse's job.
    To do that, I think you'd need a much more compact-looking shoe, front-to-back. So can the Eventer really be made to match an NB shoe?
    It can be made similar but lacks a few features of the NB shoes. . The NB shoes make applying all the parts of NB principles a lot easier than modifying other shoes.
    The reason I ask is that one flaw I see in the NB shoe is the squared way that the taper near the toe starts.
    It is not square at all , particularly the steel shoes. The edge of the inner rim may look a bit square on a two dimensional picture, but when you look at the bevel that continues around the corners and the sides of the shoe, it eases the breakover in any direction much more than most other shoes . It particularly eases breakover for sideways movement more than flat shoe that has been modified with a a rocker or rolled toe.
    If you have a horse who paddles or wings and doesn't want to break-over exactly at the mid-point of his toe, I don't see how to use NB shoes. Again, do I have this right?
    Accommodating breakover in any direction is one of the basis for Natural Balance. The shoes accommodate that with the rolled edges that are similar to a half round all around the shoe . And it is quite easy for the farrier to modify the shoe to accommodate special breakover needs in the occasional crooked horse. That is why farriers have forges.
    As well there are many shoes used to apply NB principles,in order to accommodate the individual horse's needs.
    Some of the shoes sold specifically for NB applications have much more medial lateral breakover than the plain steel NB shoes.
    Finally, I know the NB peeps believe they have an entire trimming philosophy that goes with the shoes.
    It is actually the other way around. NB is a hoof balancing and trim philosophy. The NB shoes are designed to accompany that.
    Besides the stuff mentioned above about putting the point of rotation directly under the coffin joint, what else am I missing?
    The farrier can not change the point of rotation of the coffin joint.nature put it there. We can however center the base of the foot around the coffin joint and prevent distortion away from that center. I hope I explained that OK.. If not, feel free to ask more questions.

    And FWIW, I can see why a farrier might want to stretch out a shoeing cycle for a horse who was not growing much hoof and had thin hoof walls. The less frequently you try to put nails in the same place, the greater the odds of keeping the shoes on.
    I agree. That is why I have horses on schedules anywhere from 5 weeks to 11 or 12 . They are individuals as to how much hoof they grow. __________________
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  16. #16
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default

    Hey Patty, thanks so much for taking the time to patiently answer my technical questions.

    From what I understand about the NB approach as explained by my farrier and your post, I dig it.

    I do understand what you mean about not moving the point of rotation from where God put the coffin joint. It is about balancing the rest of the foot to work well with that. I haven't explained it well, but I think we are on the same page.

    I will search out some more pics of NB shoes. I have only seen an aluminum set, and get back to you if I have more questions.

    Again, thanks so much for you help.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  17. #17
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    Feb. 21, 2009
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    Go to the website for the developers and distributor, Equine Digit SupportSystems inc.It is at www.nbhoofcare.com. Look under the products section. . The array of different shoes may surprise you.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  18. #18
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Ten weeks. Wow. Try a good hoof supplement and get a plan of action from your farrier. You need to know what is wrong now, what he intends to do to correct it, and how long he thinks it will take.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    10 weeks?!!!

    Without pictures I cannot say for sure but when you describe a size 3 foot that doesn't need to be trimmed and reshod for 10 WEEKS I envision a splaying foot with walls that are just spreading, therefore giving the appearance of no growth.

    I think you might be better off now that you've moved and have a new farrier

    I have seen people try to contain that type of foot with a NB shoe, some are better at it than others, but the crux of the matter is that foot shape needs to be trimmed MORE often, not less... hard to do in shoes IMO without having a truly excellent farrier. 10 weeks ... very, very suspect.

    Patty, how often do you see horses that go that long and what is the basis for it, do you think? Diet, exercise, genetics, something else? Combo? I am intrigued!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  20. #20
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    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Default

    I think this is one of those cases where it's REALLY unfair to judge the farrier. We've not seen pics, vids, or anything to show what the horse is doing.

    We have no idea EXACTLY what the farrier is trying to accomplish.

    And I'm sorry, but I would not want to have my work judged without someone having SOME kind of background.

    OP...you are on the right track! Good to ask questions. But maybe better to do some homework and look at good healthy feet and get educated before trying to find the answer for your horse.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



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