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  1. #1
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    Apr. 27, 2006
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    Default When to put hind shoes on...?

    Last weekend I was at my trainer's and she thought I should consider adding hind shoes now that my gelding is working with more collection at 2nd Level (3rd next year!).

    He has had fronts only for several years.

    Is there a "time" to add shoes based on work level? Or just if your horse's feet are not holding up to the work barefoot? Will hinds give him more support?



  2. #2
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    Jul. 14, 2003
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    Default

    I agree with your trainer that as a general rule this is the right time.

    Think about it--you are now asking your horse to rebalance toward the hind legs and carry more weight back there. Not fair if he does not have as much confidence with his hind feet.

    Additionally, we like to see the hind foot stride match that of the front foot in articulation, elevation and reach. Again the disparity in weight and protection with and without hind shoes makes it more difficult for most horses.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  3. #3
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    Aug. 2, 2005
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    Oxford, USA
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    Default

    We seldom put hind shoes on our dressage horses, even at the grand prix level. The event horses and jumpers get four shoes, drilled and tapped, until they get a break from competition when their hind shoes are pulled. In our view hind shoes are a necessary evil, so if you horse grows a good foot and needs trimming, doesn't wear to nubs, then go with what is working.
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist



  4. #4
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    There is a lot that goes into this decision IMO. I'd talk to your farrier about it. Added collection really has little to do with the need for hind shoes. Need for shoeing has more to do with protection and concussion issues. Since shoeing is not without its own inherent issues, the big one for me being that four shoes versus two gives my horse even more potential to pull one off
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 27, 2006
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    Default

    Thanks for the input. My farrier will be out this week to work on my boarder's draftie (feel bad for him to lift those honkin' feet in this heat!), so I'll talk to him about it.

    My gelding's going well - we've just moved up to 2nd this spring and have gotten good scores. I've got a show coming up in 5 weeks, so I'll hold off making any changes until after that.



  6. #6
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    Jul. 11, 2006
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    Default

    You should not put hind shoes on your horse if he gets turned out with any other horses. The risk to those horses if he should kick them is much more serious if he has shoes on.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 25, 2008
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    Stuttgart, Germany
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    Default

    My 2nd/3rd level horse got hind shoes after several years without them and he was much happier and easier in the collection even though he had excellent feet and was not sore at all.



  8. #8
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    Default

    Hinds may be a mute point now. Planned to ride last night and my boy was lame. Looks like left stifle

    Kept him in the barn with a buddy but he proceded to do wheelies, trash his stall, and scream all night. This morning he charged the poopie cart, knocking it over and getting out of his stall. He'd been bucking in his stall when I got up there so I shut the barn gates incase he got out, well... he didn't realize one was closed and crashed it. The latch failed and off he galloped into the dark.

    Last time he was on stall rest was nearly 9 years ago when he was 4 months old, so keeping him up will be a nightmare.

    Thanks for the shoe help tho - hope I can use the advise in the future.



  9. #9
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Default

    This is just me, from my experience with my own horses, and watching many horses over the years.

    I put hind shoes on a horse when I put front shoes on. I am an all or nothing person when a horse is truly in dressage or jumping work. I totally don't believe in just front shoes for a horse that is being asked to do what is un-natural, and move the weight more to the hind end.

    My recommendation for anyone contemplating fronts only, is to put hinds on for a couple months, and evaluate the horse with and without hind shoes before just assuming the horse is fine without them.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2dressage View Post
    My 2nd/3rd level horse got hind shoes after several years without them and he was much happier and easier in the collection even though he had excellent feet and was not sore at all.
    Funny, I didn't see this before my post. This is nearly always the case. Soreness can manifest itself in different ways. A horse does not have to be sore with hoof testers to be uncomfortable in the work we are asking them to do with bare feet. Nearly every horse I have put hind shoes on had radical improvement in every aspect of their work. You could practically feel them breathe a sign of relief when asked to go forward and round after the shoes were put on.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    What PP said.

    If the horse isn't asked to do much but be a horse and go trail riding, fores only may be fine. If we're working, though- I'm going to put 4 on and try them a while, at least two sets, before I say ok they don't seem to matter, let's go back to fores only.

    This is a philosophical change for me as I used to be happy with fores only on some of mine that seemed to be fine w/ that... but I've had some horses change my mind over time...



  12. #12
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    Oct. 20, 2001
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    San Jose, CA
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    Default

    Good timing on this thread. I just went through this with my horse. He turned 8 in June and we are at Third Level and starting to school pirouette canter more. My trainer and the head trainer at the farm noticed that as I was asking my horse to take more weight behind, his hind hooves would slip every now and again. They thought it was time to put the hind shoes on him now to give him something more stable to push against. And, it means his hocks and stifles won't have to work as hard.

    He got the shoes on last week and my feel from the saddle is not refined enough to notice the difference, but my trainer was really pleased with how he was using himself with the hind shoes on now.



  13. #13
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    Hmm... maybe my boy has been developing a stifle issue and shoes would have helped.

    Lately he's been very oral under saddle - tongue coming out and he hasn't been getting the trot lengthings like he was a few months ago. Coming back from the canter lengthenings has been harder...

    crap, maybe he was telling me "I need hind shoes" and I just didn't get it. Maybe I'm just frustrated to have him going so well for so long and now not.

    Argh....



  14. #14
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    I am curious to hear exactly what people think putting shoes on their horse did for them that changed the way they went. Traction? protection? I have a horse who only wears front shoes because hind shoes change his way of going over the trim cycle to the point that it aggravates an old injury. I have another who need them, for exactly the reason the other one cannot wear them. It's interesting.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  15. #15
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    Boomer, it's highly unlikely your horse injured his stifle because he did not have shoes on. Give yourself a break... Horses are usually determined to hurt themselves no matter what we do.. Or don't do.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I am curious to hear exactly what people think putting shoes on their horse did for them that changed the way they went. Traction? protection? I have a horse who only wears front shoes because hind shoes change his way of going over the trim cycle to the point that it aggravates an old injury. I have another who need them, for exactly the reason the other one cannot wear them. It's interesting.
    Just a couple weeks ago I had a mare on trial that had front on only. She had a couple problems that needed addressing (like her teeth) but she was quite unbalanced and on her forehand at the trot, and really unbalanced at the canter. She had a sore back as well. After putting on hind shoes, the first ride after she had a much more balanced trot in both directions, had an excellent left lead canter, and her right lead canter which was nearly impossible to ride was ridable. Within two weeks the improvement in her balance, rhythm and topline was remarkable.

    I would love to attribute the entire thing to my riding <grin> but a lot of it IMO was putting a set of shoes all the way around.



  17. #17
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Oh and to answer your question about what exactly it does, well truthfully I don't know. My theory is it gives them a little more traction and protection, but I also think some horses also respond to the weight balance and "feel" of having shoes on all 4.

    Unfortunately horses cannot talk and tell us.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post
    You should not put hind shoes on your horse if he gets turned out with any other horses. The risk to those horses if he should kick them is much more serious if he has shoes on.
    Oh - for heaven's sake !
    You'd better take his teeth out too - just in case he wants to bite those other horses.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  19. #19
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    Maybe her feet were sore.... If her teeth were not done and her back were sore and someone sent her on trial (??!!!) it would stand to reason that they wouldn't have noticed/cared that her feet were sore, too...

    I pull off so many back shoes on lame horses and have them be so much sounder after they are balanced but still barefoot that I have to try to see it from all sides.

    I don't think a horse feels unbalanced longitudinally with only front shoes. It's a negligible difference in foot height and they grow accustomed to the weight quickly.... Adding back shoes (for the sake of this example) only adds more weight, no inherent advantage there..

    It's an interesting subject. I think it's easy to get into a habit of shoeing all four feet and not thinking about why.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  20. #20
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    Just look at the way your horse wears his rear feet. If he tends to wear one side (medial/lateral) more than the other it may be wise to shoe him.
    Last edited by Equibrit; Jul. 21, 2010 at 02:41 PM.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



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