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  1. #21
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    Jan. 9, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    Those studies have been debunked repeatedly.

    Actually there are impact and load studies done in vivo with hoof mounted accelerometers that show quite the opposite.
    Would LOVE to see that. Are they in a book? Will purchase immediately! If online, can you send me a link?

    I want what is best for my horse. I do not care about dogmas or camps or rants. I absolutely understand that what works for some horses doesn't work for others. I want to make the best, most informed decision I can for my guy, based on research (often contradictory : /), professional opinion, anecdotal evidence from other horse owners like myself, and, of course, from my horse himself.

    I agree that there is compelling research in BOTH camps in this case, hence why it is such a volatile debate. If there was one obvious answer, no one would be passionately arguing about this. At the end of the day, the research for barefoot was slightly more compelling, so I decided to try it. I have been explicit, though, about my horse's comfort and welfare trumping any ideals or values about being barefoot.

    However, I do not want to abandon an experiment in less than a month if time is truly a factor that will make a difference. One thing my farrier said that stuck with me was, "The barefoot people will tolerate a surprising amount of lameness." He's not okay with that, nor am I (nor is my horse!). He is both a certified farrier and barefoot trimmer. He does both, depending on the horse's needs. Anyways, I'd love to see any facts and studies debunking the benefits I cited above. I will remain a student of the horse, and a student of my horse.



  2. #22
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    I call troll.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    5 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
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    Aug. 28, 2006
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    Call the vet. The horse may have laminitis.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Upstate NY
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    I am confused. Your horse is lame. Your farrier saw your horse lame but then you tell us that your farrier and you are not willing to tolerating lameness for the sake of going barefoot.
    That does not compute. At all.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhoover View Post
    Would LOVE to see that. Are they in a book? Will purchase immediately! If online, can you send me a link?
    Contact Dr. Jeffrey Thomason at the Ontario Veterinary College.

    http://www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/biom/faculty/jthomaso.shtml

    Ask him about his studies done with hoof mounted accelerometers. Also ask about his finite element analysis studies.

    He presented his material several years ago at the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, OH. I bought him dinner and got into some excellent discussions on biomechanics, then later participated in a round table discussion he moderated on the same topics.

    It was refreshing to see hard scientific data (in vivo measurements) backing up the biomechanical theories, geometry and math, that some of the great minds in the business (Duckett, Rooney) put out there decades ago, but never had the technology and funding to prove.

    It is very difficult for anyone that doesn't have a mechanical engineering AND material science background to grasp the mechanics of equine locomotion.

    Most hoof care practitioners adopt various theories because they put faith in the person who is promoting the theory, NOT because they understand the theory and can argue the technical merits using math and vector diagrams.



  6. #26
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    Most hoof care practitioners adopt various theories because they put faith in the person who is promoting the theory, NOT because they understand the theory and can argue the technical merits using math and vector diagrams.

    Oh, pooh--gratuitous chest-thumping.

    I can't do a ladder diagram nor understand EKG vector analysis without sitting down and giving myself a headache and spending a couple of hours reviewing the math and theory (by which time any patient relying on me to do this quickly would be quite dead) but I do know what to shock and what to NOT shock.
    Click here before you buy.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhoover View Post
    . . . He is both a certified farrier and barefoot trimmer.
    Ya know that is redundant and superfluous? Like saying your dentist both a dentist and a dental hygienist.

    A farrier cannot get certified without passing the trimming part of the test as a prerequisite to the shoeing part of the test.



  8. #28
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Oh, pooh--gratuitous chest-thumping.

    I can't do a ladder diagram nor understand EKG vector analysis without sitting down and giving myself a headache and spending a couple of hours reviewing the math and theory
    So you have admitted that under set the conditions you CAN do it. Likely at some point you had to jump through those hoops as a prerequisite to changing your first name to Doctor.

    (by which time any patient relying on me to do this quickly would be quite dead) but I do know what to shock and what to NOT shock.
    Having a license to do that is evidence enough for the state to let you hang a shingle. Imagine how it would be if somebody could just call herself a doctor and as long as they could "sell people" on their theories and had followers promoting their ideas on the internet . . .

    Click here before you buy - right back atcha.



  9. #29
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    Feb. 15, 2012
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    I would recommend having the vet look at your horse to get his opinion on your horse's hooves. If your farrier can be there as well, that would be ideal as this will allow all parties to discuss the best options for your horse and his specific needs/issues.

    Hoof issues are a real pain (both for you and your horse)! My OTTB has problem feet. He has been worked on by three different vets, four farriers (all with very good reputations). It took a long time to find the right shoeing/trimming combination for him and he still abscesses in wet weather. When I first got him and his hoof issues reared their ugly head, I had one vet and one farrier completely miss a deep abscess which started a downward spiral. During the worst of his issues, the vet pulled his shoes. Within 5 days, I literally begged him to let me put shoes back on my horse. My horse will never be without shoes again while I own him, but that doesn't mean I think barefoot isn't a valid option for other horses.

    Sometimes, despite all we do to be proactive and knowledgeable before a problem occurs, lessons have to be learned through experience. Don't beat yourself up. It sounds like you are very proactive with looking after your horse and keeping his best interest in mind. Would love to hear how everything works out.

    Best wishes!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    Jan. 3, 2013
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    I recently pulled my horse's front shoes. In the past before I owned him he was 100% sound and ridden without shoes so I know he can be fine barefoot. The vet and farrier have both commented without me asking that he has great feet. He was sore on both fronts for over a month. It takes time for their hooves to strengthen since previously they were protected by the shoe. As each day went by he got better and better. Any person I know who has pulled front shoes off a horse that has worn them for a period of time has had their horse's feet be sore initially. You aren't being cruel by not sticking shoes right back on them. Now if months down the road he is still sore on his feet then I would consider shoes again. Some horses just don't have good enough hooves to be barefoot, my last horse a TB had horrible hooves and I would have never considered pulling his shoes. After pulling my current horse's shoes he was still running around his field and acting like himself even though he hoof tested slightly sore in both front feet I just gave him time off from riding. You can use products such as durasole or keratex to help toughen up his feet more quickly. You do also have to keep in mind their hooves grow slowly it can take an entire year to grow out a full hoof.

    I would still suspect a bruise or abcess for your horse's sudden lameness. About 4 weeks after pulling his front shoes my guy became lame in his hind left. It presented like a bruise or abcess and didn't go away in a week so I had the vet out. He didn't hooftest in that hind left foot but after a full lameness exam the vet decided it was a deep stone bruise in that hoof. A week and a half later he was fine.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    I think that the OP should not discount laminitis as another poster mentioned. A friend of mine just went through this with her mare, and as things progressed, they finally discovered 16 degrees of rotation with rads once she insisted on them. The vet kept saying it was just bruising. I believe she has since moved on to another vet.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
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    May. 17, 2010
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    OP:
    I think you are doing a terrific job responding to the pressure on the board, so I am not sure you need my support. But I thought I would share my experience.

    Last year I pulled my horse's (OTTB) front shoes (he is barefoot behind) for the winter on my farrier's recommendation. His feet improved a lot over the winter. They got harder and had a better shape. They also grew more hoof than before.

    I did put shoes on again this spring because I needed studs for cross-country. I pulled them again for this winter.

    Ymmv,
    PKN


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    There are no health advantages when it hurts your horse to do it. I used to always front shoe my horses and then pulled them for winter and they never had a transition period. If you are riding somewhere other than your well groomed arena ( or turn him out) since his shoes were pulled I would guess he has an abscess brewing.


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  14. #34
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargzng386 View Post
    I recently pulled my horse's front shoes. In the past before I owned him he was 100% sound and ridden without shoes so I know he can be fine barefoot. The vet and farrier have both commented without me asking that he has great feet. He was sore on both fronts for over a month.
    Considering that the average foot grows 1/4" to 3/8" in a month it may be that is why it took a month. When I pull shoes to leave a horse barefoot, I pull the shoes and trot the horse out in the pasture, use hoof testers, and if the horse is sound, I don't trim any length from the foot or take my knife to the sole, just round up the edges and roll the toe. So the transition is instantaneous. Either the horse is sound for its intended job when I pull the shoes, or it goes back in shoes.

    But I do cheat by using Durasole to harden the sole and white line. Sometimes a little chemistry can make a big difference, sometimes it can't.

    It takes time for their hooves to strengthen since previously they were protected by the shoe.
    That hasn't been the case in my practice. I have a lot of horses that go in and out of shoes based on where or how the owner plans to use the horse. They may wear shoes for one cycle just to go on a trail ride where the ground is rocky, and then the next cycle, pull the shoes and still ride the same day on soft ground.

    Shoes on for fox hunting season, shoes off for summer trail riding on the beach. Shoes on for driving show season, shoes off for hacking trails. There is no "waiting" for the feet to get stronger to ride. Either the horn is tough enough for the intended terrain and use or it isn't. And I run about 90% barefoot in my practice - barefoot backyard trail horses are my bread and butter.

    As each day went by he got better and better. Any person I know who has pulled front shoes off a horse that has worn them for a period of time has had their horse's feet be sore initially.
    Well now you can say you know of a person that has had thousands of horses come out of shoes and not be sore. And if they are, I come back the next day and shoe the horse for free. (Actually had to do that 3 times in the last 12 years. So there's PROOF that I have imperfect judgement.)

    You aren't being cruel by not sticking shoes right back on them.
    Neither am I being cruel by immediately returning to the scene of the crime and putting the shoes back on for free if I'm the one that decided the horse could go barefoot and I was wrong.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Apr. 15, 2010
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    Have you tried putting boots on and see if it helps? It might help the transition.

    I had a TB once and took his shoes off, it took him a while to transition. He was the only one that took a while. I used boots with him off and on until his feet toughened up, and eventually he could walk on pretty much anything without a problem. But it took a while. All my other horses have been barefoot since I got them.

    I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but... after my own experience switching from (human) shoes to 'barefoot' shoes, like Vibrams, etc, I would prefer my horses shoeless. I had back pain, orthotics, all kinds of problems that disappeared after two days in barefoot shoes and they're all I wear now. My feet can now do their job and the pain is gone. I can't imagine it's different with horses. Even at disneyland, they have transitioned the horses to barefoot and they walk on asphalt pulling a carriage full of people.

    I know shoes have a purpose and I would use them on my horses if they needed them for some reason, but so far I have no reason to put shoes on my horses.



  16. #36
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    Sep. 2, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by pal-o-mino View Post
    I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but... after my own experience switching from (human) shoes to 'barefoot' shoes, like Vibrams, etc, I would prefer my horses shoeless. I had back pain, orthotics, all kinds of problems that disappeared after two days in barefoot shoes and they're all I wear now. My feet can now do their job and the pain is gone.
    To use your comparison - you clearly do not have any foot problems that make it extremely painful for you to walk barefoot. Some people do. If I was forced to be barefoot (which I have always preferred for myself until my feet decided I couldn't anymore) I would not be able to walk most of the time.

    Good thing my doctor is not a barefoot trimmer type who insists I just work thru the pain until my feet get used to it.



  17. #37
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    walk on asphalt pulling a carriage
    Not the worst environment for hooves, all things considered. Asphalt is hard but not uneven, the horses (IME) just plod along and stand around a lot, and we really don't know how many of them are tried before the ones that can "make the cut" are selected for this job.
    Click here before you buy.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Not the worst environment for hooves, all things considered. Asphalt is hard but not uneven, the horses (IME) just plod along and stand around a lot, and we really don't know how many of them are tried before the ones that can "make the cut" are selected for this job.
    Yes!

    I would guess that is more of a case that they said 'ok we are going barefoot, all horses working here need to be barefoot' so horses that could be barefoot was chosen for the job. Not a case where they took all the horses working there and transitioned them to barefoot.



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by trubandloki View Post
    Yes!

    I would guess that is more of a case that they said 'ok we are going barefoot, all horses working here need to be barefoot' so horses that could be barefoot was chosen for the job. Not a case where they took all the horses working there and transitioned them to barefoot.
    I'm pretty sure disney looks at more qualities than if the horse is sound barefoot. We asked them about it when we noticed and the driver said the ones that could go barefoot now do, but I haven't seen one in shoes for a while.



  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by pal-o-mino View Post
    I can't imagine it's different with horses.
    Really?

    I can't imagine how it could be even infinitesimally similar.



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