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  1. #81
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    I was not trying to say hoof boots were necessarily a bad thing. Just that I really couldn't see them working properly for me. I want my horses out as much as possible. The ground/mud would have caused rubbing. I may have seen more value if I had nothing but rock hard ground.

    I agree with the "pretty foot is not necessarily a sound foot". My now 18 yo semi retired TB gelding would fit that profile. 3 previous times I tried taking off the shoes. Feet trimmed to a nice shape. Crippled each time. Left his feet to right themselves and it was interesting how his right front compensated for the severe injury to his hock 9 years ago. It's not a text book foot but it does its job and he's sound.

    Again, there is no never say never with me. They get what they need. I'm glad I have a forward thinking farrier. I have the best of both worlds. For those interested why not check out the Rockley Farm blog and read through all the case studies. Lots of examples of not so pretty feet that are now sound.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.



  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    I was not trying to say hoof boots were necessarily a bad thing. Just that I really couldn't see them working properly for me. I want my horses out as much as possible. The ground/mud would have caused rubbing. I may have seen more value if I had nothing but rock hard ground.

    Terri
    Terri, I never thought you were saying that they were bad but asked about them so I thought you might like another perspective.

    As for sand and mud being a problem with them, I'd not over worry that if you ever do need them. I rode for 3 days over 20 miles a day last summer in the Adirondacks and it was very sandy (as well as rocks and roots) and we had no problems with either horse. We literally had to swim a river too and had many water crossings so we got them plenty wet and sand down inside them. Never had a boot pop off in all three days. In many of our VA rides we run into mud and mess in wet spots and then rocks further up the trail. Again, we've had no problems.

    At the end of the ride we of course wash off the horses and then go back and clean up the equipment. We dunk the boots in a bucket of water and set them in a airy spot to dry. They are ready the next time we need them.

    I will admit I was pretty surprised at how little trouble they are when I first started using them and now I've put many miles in them, I think they can be a wonderful alternative to shoes.



  3. #83
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    So agree on "ugly foot" syndrome. One thing I have noticed about a lot of trimmers (not so much farriers) is that they seem to be unknowledgable about how the leg/body above the foot affect it. There is a fine line to walk between allowing a foot to run rampant and cause a secondary issue, and overtrimming it to fit an ideal image.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  4. #84
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    You do realize that the "ideal image" is based on a foot allowed to run rampant.



  5. #85
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    One way to look at it!

    the "ideal foot" I see perpetuated here means the foot is whittled down from the outside to look perfect no matter what the consequence.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  6. #86
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post

    I will admit I was pretty surprised at how little trouble they are when I first started using them and now I've put many miles in them, I think they can be a wonderful alternative to shoes.
    I have to speak up. I thought boots would be a wonderful alternative to shoes, but the reality *I* have is the exact opposite of yours. The boots( and I have tried Easycare products, Renegades, Swissboots) (and I mean everybody who tries to use them here, not just me) fill with stones and soil. They rub holes in the pasterns and heel bulbs. My own horse becomes sore in the shoulders from the weight. They tend to get pushed off the feet when full of debris. The Gloves wear out in less than 20 rides. The heavier boots last longer, but the above problems are magnified. Overall, they are pretty unusable in my neighborhood. Everybody has gone back to shoes if they wish to ride their horses.



  7. #87
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    So agree on "ugly foot" syndrome. One thing I have noticed about a lot of trimmers (not so much farriers) is that they seem to be unknowledgable about how the leg/body above the foot affect it. There is a fine line to walk between allowing a foot to run rampant and cause a secondary issue, and overtrimming it to fit an ideal image.
    I've got no problem with an ugly foot that works and agree that overtrimming is as bad as the opposite. One thing I notice in my area is almost no farriers (I'm the only trimmer per se in this region) pay attention to movement dynamics. New clients are often surprised when I want to see the horse move before and after I work on it as nearly no else here does that I'm told. I've also shared barns, working at the same time as other hoof care providers, and I've not seen another farrier yet actually watch one move. I'm not sure why that is but I was taught that proper function overrides form every single time.



  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    I have to speak up. I thought boots would be a wonderful alternative to shoes, but the reality *I* have is the exact opposite of yours. The boots( and I have tried Easycare products, Renegades, Swissboots) (and I mean everybody who tries to use them here, not just me) fill with stones and soil. They rub holes in the pasterns and heel bulbs. My own horse becomes sore in the shoulders from the weight. They tend to get pushed off the feet when full of debris. The Gloves wear out in less than 20 rides. The heavier boots last longer, but the above problems are magnified. Overall, they are pretty unusable in my neighborhood. Everybody has gone back to shoes if they wish to ride their horses.
    Thanks for sharing your experience hank. Where are you? I'm sorry they didn't work and I realize they don't for everyone.

    My Gloves from last year look barely worn! That is funny how different our experiences are!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #89
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    In addition to the troubles hank mentioned, think of it logically...there is NO boot anywhere (so far) that is not going to significantly change the gait of the horse.

    Maybe the human's eye adjusts to the change but there is going to be compensation somewhere for the addition of the boot.

    Good or bad? *shrugs*

    Anything that 'contains' the heel bulbs is going to do something somewhere-any of the boots made (except the renegade glue on maybe?) is going to do something to the heel bulbs and descent of the pastern.

    Enough to matter? *shrugs*

    But have no doubt it is doing something...better or worse than shoes? *shrugs*



  10. #90
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    I agree that everything we apply to the horse's hooves has an effect..can be good or bad. Even shoes change how they go and how they move. I've seen an amazing amount of damage to heels from horses that were short shod for example..that shoe placed too far forward leaving the heel unsupported and in a cycle or two a normal hoof can be underrun. So, I don't care what it is..if you attach it to the horse's hoof in some way or manner, you are going to have some effect.

    I suspect that it just depends on the horse and the situation with the boots...like all things...what works for one horse/situation does not for another. So many people are using them now that I think if it were such a big problem with heel constriction they'd be losing in popularity rather than gaining. I don't think we give people enough credit at times to know what is going on. Most of my clients are very watchful of their horses feet and they ask questions, notice changes, way of going, etc... so if they were being injured, I think it would be more evident. On the other hand people can sometimes do some pretty stupid things...see below.

    Now I have seen boots tear up the heels on one friend's horse badly. They were not used correctly. She was having some WL separation and possible WL Disease and the VET (yes I'm not kidding) told her to put her Cavallo boots on the horse in the pasture and the mud to keep his feet dry. This horse lives outside 24/7 and it was very wet..his feet were soft already She mentioned it to me that day and I told her to NOT do that as it would likely hurt him, that the boots would keep his feet wet, possibly rub, etc.... Well, like many people, they'll believe the vet over the farrier and I hear from her the NEXT day that he's literally bleeding in his heels. Took that horse several weeks to heal up and he got dermatitis and other complications from that one misuse of the boots. You can't blame the boot really...normally he was fine in them for just trail rides...but putting them on at the wrong time or for too long or in the mud/water caused him injury. She ended up moving him to my farm for a month or two to get his feet dried out and clear up the WL problems so I had to follow the saga of the heel problems.

    The vast majority of the time, used as intended for riding only, they don't cause issues..at least in my own first hand experience and that of my clients. Some of these horses I've been trimming for years and they've been sound with no hoof issues at all.



  11. #91
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    I think this was a great article. It doesn't stand as a fanatical poster for either side, but it DOES highlight the fact that some high-performance horses actually can make it barefoot. BIG smiley for that!
    I recently had an incredibly unsettling experience with a shoe-fanatic, who apparently is very high in esteem in the area she practices in ... she had the nerve to first call me an animal abuser and then call me mentally ill when I explained to her that my high-performance horse actually functioned barefoot. I now see that she's going around the Internet talking crap about me, posting about how "barefoot people can't distinguish between themselves and professionals, I talked to a woman who claimed her horse was high-performance because she could gallop on asphalt". Clearly talking about me, and twisting everything I said to her.
    An INCREDIBLY uncomfortable experience.... and I'm so happy articles like this are coming into the world, showing how high-performance horses actually CAN function barefoot, and it's not a myth! I'm very happy at the same time that it didn't try to advertise barefoot as the cure-all for every horse in the world, because of course it isn't.

    There are few debates in the equine world as heated as that of shoed or barefoot!!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #92
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    Everybody has gone back to shoes if they wish to ride their horses.
    Time tested and proven over centuries. Regardless, I am heartened to see the light of comprehension finally emerging from behind the dark clouds of guru dogma. Once again, the cry of "It Depends" rings out.........



  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    ...there is NO boot anywhere (so far) that is not going to significantly change the gait of the horse.
    I'm afraid I don't agree - I don't see any significant gait changes whatsoever with my fairly heavy Cavallo Simples. Additionally, there are a whole lot of very light boots (see easy glue-on for instance) that I'm sure don't weigh more than steel shoes. And the Cavallo Sport is also designed to be light - I have a pair of sports as well but I don't see any difference in gaits between those two.

    Better or worse than shoes? Are you kidding me? A shoe contracts the hoof and doesn't allow it to expand upon contact with the ground and do its job as shock absorption. Hoof boots BOTH allow expansion of the hoof AND have comparatively soft soles. Hoof boots any day for me!
    I'm very interested in the new Norwegian-produced Equine Fusion. They're the first "horse jogging shoes" and have soft and thin soles. The downside is a) durability and b) they aren't studdable, but they seem like the absolute very best option on the market these days.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #94
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    Feb. 19, 2006
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    Sevierville Tn
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    I ride in Renegades as well as barefoot quite often and do not notice any gait difference at all in them. The horse also seems to feel the ground in them as they do barefoot instead of tromping along like some of the clunkier boots do. IMO, if they are fit and adjusted properly, they are the superior boot on the market currently. They are rather light and have never rubbed in hundreds of miles. The only issue I had was spinning on a coon footed horse that walked down hills funky and twisted his fronts. A different set of the same size Renegades seemed to fix that tho so idk. My horses are usually fine barefoot so boots work well for me if and when I need them and are cost effective as well. Certainly viable for some situations.



  15. #95
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    Another interesting article that I've not seen posted on this forum yet is this one published recently in The Horse magazine. It is an actual science based study in favor of "barefoot trimming" techniques in correcting underrun heels.

    I'm not trying to start anything by putting this up other than to share it and say that perhaps there is prejudice from both sides of this argument way too often...fanatics on both sides as the one poster just said. Note also that at no point do they discuss making the feet look like wild horse hooves or any of that...just discuss the trim techniques used..ones I also use and have had success with also.

    http://www.thehorse.com/articles/311...sitive-effects

    I had someone once accuse me of being a horrible horse owner for having my stallion unshod and working. Now this is a Spanish Mustang with excellent feet...no cracks, thick sole, sound on all surfaces...but she chewed me out that I would RIDE a horse without shoes and all the harm it was causing, etc.... I just could not stop laughing at her...Really???

    We all know that is not abuse if the horse is sound and comfortable without shoes for the job you are asking him to do but these people do exist so there are koolaid drinkers on both sides. I truly don't understand why people get so upset about it also. No one is forcing anyone to do anything they don't want with their horses hooves. It's seriously nice to see some balanced article and information being published as well as real studies evaluating this method of hoof care.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #96
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    Jun. 1, 2002
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    Indiana
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    My last horse went in shoes all around and leather pads up front because that's why my farrier said she needed. Current horse goes barefoot because that's what my farrier says she needs. If he starts to notice wear from the work we do, or if I notice soreness then I'll put shoes on.

    However, I'm always confused by the people that say they are barefoot but they glue on "boots" with packing that need to be removed with a screwdriver. Seems awfully close to shoes to me.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #97
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    I truly don't understand why people get so upset about it
    IME only those on the far edges (BOTH far edges, although there are more on one edge than the other) of the bell curve waste their time getting "upset" about this topic.
    Click here before you buy.



  18. #98
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    Oct. 31, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    However, I'm always confused by the people that say they are barefoot but they glue on "boots" with packing that need to be removed with a screwdriver. Seems awfully close to shoes to me.
    I understand how it can seem that way, but the boots do allow the hoof to expand and contract with every hit against the road, which steel shoes don't allow, and there is the additional shock absorption point in that steel is in so many ways bad compared to rubber soles.
    However, I don't like glue-ons, nor do most barefoot gurus I know about. Good old cavallo's for me - the day I can afford it I'll get EqFu's.
    Equine portraits in oil and pencil at www.facebook.com/ecrklaveness



  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post

    However, I'm always confused by the people that say they are barefoot but they glue on "boots" with packing that need to be removed with a screwdriver. Seems awfully close to shoes to me.
    The difference is starting to blur to an extent...we now have plastic horse shoes that work very well that have come along as alternatives to the traditional steel/aluminum shoes. The hoof boots are just another innovation and are really not a new concept but an improvement on an old one. Improvements in technology and materials allow the work a lot better than when the Romans tied "sandals" on their horses' hooves.

    There is a difference in materials and a difference in the way the hoof functions in the glue ons or any hoof boot. For example, they are walking on a boot sole/tread rather than a rim shoe...it's has a different effect on the hoof...more like a bare hoof. The other difference is in how long they are intended to stay on. The glue ons are still temporary protection and only used for competitions as an "edge" per se...you can't keep those on indefinitely. The do a very good job of protecting the whole hoof which one reason why some riders put them on over shoes on those rides. There is less risk of an equipment failure in them also..no gaiter to come loose, etc... If they step one off you can put a spare boot on them that weighs nearly the same as the other hooves and go on and finish the ride.

    I also believe, like the earlier poster stated, that my horses "feel" the ground better in the boots than they did in shoes. I think that is a materials difference and somehow that effects the horse's proprioception as well as just traction on various surfaces. The boots are not as slippery on some surfaces like rocks or pavement as shoes. I have done some mountain riding in the Eponas and while those shoes did a great job of protecting their hooves in bad rocks, they did not seem to have the same level of carefulness and surefootedness as they did in the boots.

    It would be nice to see more studies done by non biased sources like in that Horse article on the hoof boots and such as all we have to go on now is our own experiences and that of others.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  20. #100
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    erckle why doesn't steel shoe allow expansion?

    Since it seems I am a little new to this topic perhaps you could explain?

    I have seen the 'wear marks' on used steel shoes that shoe expansion...not to mention a good farrier would never nail past the quarters to the foot is pretty free in the back half. It seems a lot freer than a hoof cast even!

    It seems to me there is a tool with a different purpose and it is a matter of finding the correct tool?

    As far as boots-if they work for the owner's intended purpose and the horse does not suffer, then by all means...

    however I would not be fooled into believing there is no change in movement. In the same way a horse has a change in movement with a shoe or a cast or a different trim.

    Change the foot and the influence on it and you change the movement. It is not a judgment just an observation of simple...what...physics? Where is Bloomer with his vector drawings when you need him.

    Not saying anyone is bad for using boots, just trying to keep it real.



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