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  1. #1
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    Feb. 29, 2012
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    Default To shoe or not to shoe--opinions?

    I've read so much about this. I know there are barefoot trimmers (Ohio barefoot trimmers recommendations?) that do different types of trims (mustang roll?) but I don't know much about them. Can any good farrier trim hooves to be barefoot? Under what conditions would it be ok for horse to be barefoot?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 27, 2009
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    Upstate NY
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    Of course any good farrier can trim for barefoot. Ask each one about it and how they would do your horse. All farriers I know have barefoot horses, horses with shoes on only the front, etc as well as shoes. Its the underedcuated non-farriers who might or might not know what to do specifically for your horse a well educated farrier of course knows how to trim for barefoot.

    Just make sure you don't exclude shoes - if your horse needs the protection, make him comfortable, don't keep him barefoot and uncomfortable for your sake. Its just an admonition I feel I need to say to people who question about their horses. Usually if you are questioning whether or not to shoe, and if your horse is uncomfortable barefoot, for goodness sake, make him comfortable with shoes, if that's what HE needs.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  3. #3
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haleye5197 View Post
    I've read so much about this. I know there are barefoot trimmers (Ohio barefoot trimmers recommendations?) that do different types of trims (mustang roll?) but I don't know much about them. Can any good farrier trim hooves to be barefoot? Under what conditions would it be ok for horse to be barefoot?
    There's a great deal of "snake oil" sold by "barefoot trimmers."

    I'm not a farrier, but I've learned that you trim a horse to its anatomical correctness (foot angle equals pastern and shoulder) and ensure it's correctly balanced for that horse's conformation. This will permit most efficient movement (but may not win any ribbons in the show ring, as some disciplines require movement that is not all that efficient).

    The "ruffles and flourishes" of the "mustang roll" and other nonsense serves mostly as an excuse to give you a larger bill.

    A good farrier trims to anatomical correctness and, if required, adds a shoe to protect the trim. And here endeth the lesson.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  4. #4
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    Apr. 14, 2007
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    Pen Argyl PA
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    go with the Farrier and find out if your horse can go barefoot. some cannot. i have one of those.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 17, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    There's a great deal of "snake oil" sold by "barefoot trimmers."

    I'm not a farrier, but I've learned that you trim a horse to its anatomical correctness (foot angle equals pastern and shoulder) and ensure it's correctly balanced for that horse's conformation. This will permit most efficient movement (but may not win any ribbons in the show ring, as some disciplines require movement that is not all that efficient).

    The "ruffles and flourishes" of the "mustang roll" and other nonsense serves mostly as an excuse to give you a larger bill.

    A good farrier trims to anatomical correctness and, if required, adds a shoe to protect the trim. And here endeth the lesson.

    G.
    "Mustang" roll is just a trendy term for what we used to call "rolling the toe" to "give him a good breakover." What's key is to remove any flares rather than letting them grow out as shoers want to make nailing easier. Then theyre'll be nothing to crack and split. Rounding all the edges is always good, in moderation of course. (R. & T., bite me!)

    When your horse first comes out of shoes, expect his feet to break up a bit (esp. in this weather!) until he's grown out the former nail holes; after that, you'll find a better quality of horn growing in, denser, as long as you keep up with your trimmings; 4 weeks is about right! Don't let him get long & flared and pointy-toed. Also, don't carve out the sole; let it grow naturally and don't pare it away.

    There is not a thing wrong with using EasyBoots or similar, especially to ease the transition or for rough rocky footing. I'm normally skeptical of topicals, but I can't deny that Durasole works, with less mess than the traditional Venice turpentine for a little extra help with toughening up.

    Remember, it takes a little bit of commitment in the beginning; say the first 3 months. If your horse has not adapted without soreness on forgiving footing after 3 trims, you may need to consider a return to shoes. Let your horse have the final word!



  6. #6
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    I would say find the best farrier or hoof care expert you can in your area (check with local trainers you respect, ask your vet for references) and have THAT person look at YOUR horse then ask him/her your specific questions and point out whatever specific concerns you have. Then you'll get a reasonable answer. Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?

    Hint: any practitioner who tries to tell you things that include ALWAYS or NEVER has an agenda that may or may not line up with what is best for your horse.
    Click here before you buy.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    A good farriier, whether they are nailing a shoe on at the end of the trim or not, would not leave flares. Period. A good trim is a good trim, whether you stop there or add shoes is totally dependent on the horse's needs.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I would say find the best farrier or hoof care expert you can in your area (check with local trainers you respect, ask your vet for references) and have THAT person look at YOUR horse then ask him/her your specific questions and point out whatever specific concerns you have. Then you'll get a reasonable answer. Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?

    Hint: any practitioner who tries to tell you things that include ALWAYS or NEVER has an agenda that may or may not line up with what is best for your horse.

    That.
    A good hoof specialist is the one that will do what your horse needs and can do it well or refer you to someone that can if they can't.

    Try to stay away from any one that "only" does this or that to all horses following some strange ideas.

    "Only barefoot or else" is not fair to some horses, that have to suffer and limp along forever on that misguided idea, if they don't have the feet for it or the rider is not riding in a way that they can be barefoot.

    Here, our horses happen to be mostly barefoot, but our farrier will put shoes on one that is going to train and compete where shoes are necessary, as in reining or going to work cattle for many hours in the canyons.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 29, 2012
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    Default

    Alright, I know shoes protect the horse's hooves. What exactly do they need protection from? Hard ground? Rocks? Lots of moving (riding?) Impact from landing after a jump?

    I've heard that there will be an adjustment period. So, my horse is going to be walking around in pain for the next 3 months if we let her go barefoot? What if a horse is turned out part of the day, is ridden 3-4 times per week in an arena, and goes on trails? Would that be a case where most people would use shoes? What about fox hunters? Do they all use shoes? Dressage? Jumping?



  10. #10
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    I had a riding school with 30 horses where I gave lessons in an arena and took groups of trail riders out.
    I did all my own shoeing, had learned from a master farrier first for long time.

    We didn't have the modern keg steel shoes then and in our very sandy, abrasive soils, our shoes would start to wear thin in five to most six weeks of hard use.

    Some times, if a horse had grown longer feet, I would take the shoe off and use the horse for a couple of days and then put some on again.
    The hooves wore down in a hurry, could not have kept those horses from getting ouchy if I had not kept shoes on them.

    Here now, we can go forever without shoes, because we ride on mostly turf and in the canyons, we can pick our ground so as not to be in rocks all the time but on soft grass or sandy trails, so we hardly ever shoe.
    Unless we will be riding for days on end helping at the neighbors, where you have to do what you have to do and don't want to end afoot with a sore footed horse and that will be only on those few horses we would use there.

    If you are jumping competitively in jumpers, where speed and quick turns in all kinds of ground matters, I think that with 99.9999% of horses, you want shoes to help you with traction.
    Boots are not an appropriate substitute if you are doing other than just moving on easily forward.
    I don't think they can take the torques, like a fixed shoe can.

    If your horse is barefoot and ouchy and you put shoes and he sighs and moves on freely, you got your answer there.

    As always, all that depends on a good trim/shoeing job, of course.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haleye5197 View Post
    Alright, I know shoes protect the horse's hooves. What exactly do they need protection from? Hard ground? Rocks? Lots of moving (riding?) Impact from landing after a jump?

    I've heard that there will be an adjustment period. So, my horse is going to be walking around in pain for the next 3 months if we let her go barefoot? What if a horse is turned out part of the day, is ridden 3-4 times per week in an arena, and goes on trails? Would that be a case where most people would use shoes? What about fox hunters? Do they all use shoes? Dressage? Jumping?
    Shoes protect the foot from wear. It takes about 9 months to grow out a foot. How much is that per day? How much does the horse wear per day? These questions are not rhetorical; their answers are quite important.

    How far does a lesson horse travel in a 45 min. lesson? If you assume 15 min. of warmup and 10 min. of cool down you're looking at about 7 miles (more or less). Throw in a bit of hacking and you're 10 miles plus. Each and every lesson.

    So the issue is what this will mean to the horse. It means that the feet will wear. Will growth equal wear? If so, what are the consequences of that? If not, what are the consequences of that? Answer these non-rhetorical questions and you have your answer(s).

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  12. #12
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    Apr. 22, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haleye5197 View Post
    Alright, I know shoes protect the horse's hooves. What exactly do they need protection from? Hard ground? Rocks? Lots of moving (riding?) Impact from landing after a jump?
    My daughter's gelding needs shoes to protect from excessive wear. He tends to drag his hind toes. Ridden 5 days a week he can wear right through the wall into the white line in nobody's business.

    [/QUOTE]I've heard that there will be an adjustment period. So, my horse is going to be walking around in pain for the next 3 months if we let her go barefoot? What if a horse is turned out part of the day, is ridden 3-4 times per week in an arena, and goes on trails? Would that be a case where most people would use shoes? What about fox hunters? Do they all use shoes? Dressage? Jumping?[/QUOTE]

    I would guess that the majority of serious riders, regardless of discipline, shoe their horses. There are those, however, that don't. I do not think a horse needs to walk around in pain for 3 months or longer in order to adjust to barefoot. A hoof trim should never result pain. That said I think they are referring to the growth process needed to develop concavity of the sole. Many horses that have been shod for years have a flat sole. A natural unshod hoof is slightly concave. This lifts the sole up off rocks and keeps direct pressure off the bottom of the coffin bone. Even in this case the horse would not be sore on soft forgiving ground like a grass pasture or a ring with good footing. If a horse has flat soles and must go on hard or rocky ground, boots can be used to keep the horse comfortable until the hoof remodels. There is no need for a horse to suffer during this phase.

    I think that the barefoot experts make a great deal of sense and prefer to keep my horses barefoot if possible. Our domestic horses, however, are not genetically selected for strong well formed hooves. Therefore, many of our horses need shoes. I have a very well educated, thoughtful farrier who I trust to evaluate each horse individually based on their particular foot and what they will be doing.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp



  13. #13
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    I have two barefoot and two With fronts only. It all depends on your horse. My dressage horse has low heels we are tring to correct and no concavity in the hoof we are correcting also from years of not so good shoeing. A barn hand that knew had to nail on a shoe pretty much. He is shoed in front but as he advances in dressage work and the more push from behind he may have to have back shoes one day. The other is just a trail horse that rides once in a while but I like to have shoes in my trail horses because of rocks and terrain. Even a tough soled horse can have an ouch step if on rocky rough trails so it's just my preference. The two barefoots are retired and hang in the pasture. One had shoes when in work and the pony never did but he was my daughters and wasn't really ask to do much outside an arena and never needed them. It all depends on your horse and yes if you pull shoes he maybe tender footed for a bit. Think about ourselves. Someone that never goes outside barefoot is going to be more sensitive than someone that runs around barefoot all the time. Some horses just can't go barefoot for many reasons. You need a good farrier to help you with this. I don't like the natural trimmers because they are soooo against shoes and I have been approached by some at shows telling me they know what's best for my horse and thats being barefoot like in the wild. What these people don't get is these horses are not in the wild. They don't have the natural terrain to naturally wear their hooves and with breedings and lines these horses are not like what is in the wild. It's so different.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  14. #14
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    If the horse needs shoes, it gets shoes. If the horse doesn't need shoes, it goes barefoot.

    The same farrier does both!!!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 1, 2007
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    Canada
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    Our retired pasture horses and broodies are barefoot. All the others are shod, as are 99 percent of athletic performance horses (there are very good reasons for this!). I would also recommend getting the best performance farrier in your area and asking him/her what he/she thinks. If your horse doesn't have naturally hard, well shaped feet he will likely need shoes.
    www.svhanoverians.com

    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.



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