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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2010
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    897

    Default Barefoot Trend and the Cost of Shoes??

    So, as a re-rider I've noticed a lot of horses going barefoot. 12 years ago, it wasn't even an option if you had a riding horse, you shod it. Period. Or else you were a neglectful witch.

    I'm sure there are exceptions to this... But I almost never saw a working barefoot horse in 20 plus years.

    But now, barefoot care is all the rage, people talk about it a lot and it seems like a great idea to me.

    PLUS the cost of a full set of shoes has gone up about 80% in 12 years. I recall paying about $120-150 for shoes with pads and clips and all manner of fanciness for my craptastic footed TB mare and under $100 for my less complicated guys. Now a full set of plain shoes in MA is $160-$200.

    Did the cost of shoes cause the barefoot trend, or is the barefoot trend driving the cost of shoes up?? Are the two unrelated?

    Discuss! I'm curious.
    ==================
    Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!

    http://reriderandpony.blogspot.com/



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    4,090

    Default

    I'm going with inflation as the main reason costs go up. Inflation and higher gas prices.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    I'm not terribly familiar with the metrics over there but I am a member of horse shoes. com and believe it's more or less the same.

    But I do know what the situation is in the UK where metrics have been available for a long time. .

    Here unshod horses made up about 30% of a farriers client base 20 years ago and today.... guess what..... just more than 30%.

    So the trend is a bit like some people's heads......... Not a lot in it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    926

    Default

    I tend to believe that the natural approach to keeping horses is spreading ie 24/7 turnout, barefoot, no daily wormer, fewer vaccines, etc. Many folks believe that this is a healthier approach so why spend extra money just because it's always been a trend or the "thing to do".



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    ^ I call it "cheapskate"


    (ignoring the daily wormer thing though which isn't good at all ..... heard of wormer resistance??)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    9,587

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    Here unshod horses made up about 30% of a farriers client base 20 years ago and today.... guess what..... just more than 30%.

    So the trend is a bit like some people's heads......... Not a lot in it.

    What Thomas_1 said:
    I evented my TB barefoot in the late 90's (showed BNH & schooled up to Training Level fences at home).
    Nobody ever sneered at me for being "neglectful"
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2001
    Location
    up the hill from the little river (that floods alarmingly often)
    Posts
    3,612

    Default

    When I started riding as a child, the only horses with shoes in our barn were the ones who needed them. Most of the horses and ponies used for lessons were barefoot and did fine.

    I've not met anyone who has refused to shoe a horse for financial reasons, though I've met more than a few whose shoeing jobs "lasted" until the shoe came off. And the longer it stayed on, the better they thought the shoeing job was. But I'm not sure whether to chalk that up to ignorance or cheapness ... I would guess the former more often than not.

    Most people I know are happy to do what the horse needs to be comfortable, though there are a few who are looking for shoes/shoeing/trimming to solve problems that aren't the sort to be fixed by a farrier.
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 1, 2006
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    ^ I call it "cheapskate"


    (ignoring the daily wormer thing though which isn't good at all ..... heard of wormer resistance??)
    Just curious, but which part?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas_1 View Post
    ^ I call it "cheapskate"
    I take the middle approach. I understand where the barefoot/holistic/natural movement came from. But most of us don't have hundreds of acres for our horses to roam on. And many of us don't live in areas where wild horses routinely lived. Some of us live in places not all that well suited for wild horses. Additionally, improved horse care means our horses tend to live (and be sound and healthy) much longer than wild horses. Since I'm not ready to let go of my older guys, I'm happy about that!

    What bothers me is the people who tell us their way is the best. I recently had a trimmer berate me for feeding my horses grain and keeping them in stalls/pens. (The stallion was in a stall/pen as the tornado took down our cross-fence. I did not want tornado babies, so I put him up. When I put him up, that meant his pasture-mate had to go up, too.)

    My guys are barefoot - because they seem to be fine with it. I don't ride hard or show hard at this point, and they have healthy feet. I've had shoes on horses in the past and imagine I'll again have shoes on a horse. It isn't the end of the world.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,521

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    For me it wasn't about the money at all. I believe in using the least amount of hardware I can get away with and still have happy, healthy, sound, horses. I live in middle georgia where my horses lounge about on my grassy rock free pasture most of the time. My horses stay sound barefoot. I used to shoe all my horses. One of them had recurring problems with white line disease and other hoof ailments. After dealing with it over time I finally just had his shoes pulled and left them off. The WL cleared up and the horse stayed sound. I had the shoes pulled from my other horses then. They've all been barefoot for over 10 years now. I do use hoof boots when riding in rough or unkown terrain. I do believe that not all horses can or should stay barefoot and some just do better with shoes. However, I don't happen to own any. I have friends who have 2 or 3 times the number of horses I have and have most of them barefoot.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2009
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    1,776

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaila View Post
    So, as a re-rider I've noticed a lot of horses going barefoot. 12 years ago, it wasn't even an option if you had a riding horse, you shod it. Period. Or else you were a neglectful witch.

    I'm sure there are exceptions to this... But I almost never saw a working barefoot horse in 20 plus years.

    But now, barefoot care is all the rage, people talk about it a lot and it seems like a great idea to me.

    PLUS the cost of a full set of shoes has gone up about 80% in 12 years. I recall paying about $120-150 for shoes with pads and clips and all manner of fanciness for my craptastic footed TB mare and under $100 for my less complicated guys. Now a full set of plain shoes in MA is $160-$200.

    Did the cost of shoes cause the barefoot trend, or is the barefoot trend driving the cost of shoes up?? Are the two unrelated?

    Discuss! I'm curious.
    Given the cost of some of the barefoot trims, I doubt it's about money..

    And actually, in the 70s, I worked at a barn with 70 working horses (in the summer some worked 10 hours/day). How many had shoes? 1...... The rest didn't need them. I got my first horse in 74 and he needed shoes. I got grief for buying a horse with crappy feet..... Eventually, he was able to go barefoot too. Point is, way back then, horses went barefoot unless they needed shoes... nothing new or different then.... or now....
    Turn off the computer and go ride!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2008
    Location
    The Great Northwest!
    Posts
    1,350

    Default

    I didn't go barefoot to save money, I went barefoot because my horse could with out any major issues. and goes fantastically without shoes. I get her feet trimmed every four to six weeks, so I don't really save that much money on her feet in the long run because I do them more often.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2000
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    Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
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    23,401

    Default

    interesting about the daily wormer, because the latest guidance/research down here in the South is to stop daily wormer in the summer months to slow down early evidence of wormer resistance and because the shedding/larval stage of worms isn't really prevalent in the heat. Fall/winter/spring, they go back on daily wormer. But different geographies, different guidelines...

    Meanwhile I think farrier costs are going up due to normal economic forces: fuel increased 3X since Katrina and that is a SIGNIFICANT outlay if you are driving 50-100 miles per day in a heavy duty vehicle loaded to the gills with steel. Also clients are cutting down because of their economic pressures, so the remaining billed work has to help cover economic pressures, but farriers still have bills to pay, so less clients must pay more.

    But most everyone I ever knew was perfectly content to let their horses stay barefoot of barefoot behind for as long as it worked for the horse, be it the 70's, 80's 90's or 21st century. Nothing new about that.
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    9,016

    Default

    I love "good old days costs rants."

    How much was a gallon of gas or diesel ten years ago? How much was newspaper? Or a pound of hamburger? Those are the yardsticks to use to measure "inflation" in farrier service costs.

    If your horse doesn't need shoes then don't use them and save the money. If it does then it's probably a cruelty to not provide them. And if you can't affort them then you can't afford the horse.

    It's really not all that complicated.

    G.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,422

    Default

    I didn't take my horse barefoot because of the cost; however it's a nice side benefit.

    My horse is barefoot because he couldn't hold a shoe. Now after nearly a year his feet are so much better that I don't intend to put shoes back on him.

    He wears hoof boots when he's going to be on particularly rocky terrain.

    If he needs shoes in the future, I'll put them back on but it's nice not to deal with them.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    I never thought about it before, but now that I recall picking hooves as a child at lessons, I don't recall any of the lesson horses having shoes. All they did was a half hour of walk trot in a ring a few days a week, or occasional walk-only trail rides around the neighborhood, so they probably didn't need it.



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