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  1. #1
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Default why do shoes make a horse go sound over rocks?

    Actually this is a question I have always wondered about...why is it that if shoes do not cause some typ of numbness that a horse moves so well over rocks..it's not like a shoe is 3 inches thick so keeps them off the rocks...their sole is still hitting rocks yet they move sound (sometimes) with shoes but not barefoot..why is this? Convince me this isnt the case.
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  2. #2
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    Jan. 23, 2004
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    Default

    Frog is up off the ground so less blood flow to the hoof, hence, less feeling. Stones still touch their soles -- they just don't know it.

    Horses aren't SUPPOSED to never take a careful step over rocks. Why would we want them to not feel what they're stepping on? They're supposed to be pick their way through rocky areas to protect themselves and US!



  3. #3
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    I actually talked with a farrier about this once a few years ago! I said it was weird how my horse just trotted right over the big stones even though I KNEW they were hitting the soles beause the shoe is only 1/4 inch thick! He did mention that there's theories that the blood supply is greatly reduced with shoes on though he didn't know if it was ever proven. But that's all I know. (and it ain't much. lol)

    I also noticed my mare had a nasty stone bruise on a sole but she never took a sore step on that foot. I kind of wondered why. Obviously a stone had pressed hard into the sole and made the bruise but she never seemed to notice it.



  4. #4
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Default

    Ok exactly what I always thought just through common sense and later intesive study of the hoof due to a foundered mare I had bought; and the shoe nazis laugh about it (not that all shoe people are shoe nazis), but can never give any other good reason why. I always figured it cut down hoof circulation and made it more numb. thanks
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  5. #5
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    Mar. 23, 2005
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Default

    The whole premise depends on the horse...my TB doesn't like going over rocks whether he's shod or not. He's always been a bit of a wimp about it, and shoes make no difference (pads, yes - obviously - but shoes, no). (I'm talking about gravel-type rocks, not big flattish rocks.) Actually, IME most horses that have rock issues barefoot have them with shoes on, though to varying degrees depending on the horse.

    The reason I see for shoeing a horse that will be going in rocky terrain is not to make them care less about the rocks (unless you are adding pads), but rather to prevent excessive wear.

    And yes, I do have a horse with (horrors!) shoes on, and another who is barefoot. The horse with shoes cares far more about rocks than the barefoot horse!
    Proud member of the EDRF



  6. #6
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    Jul. 26, 2006
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    Default

    Forgive me me for my confusion. I do not know how any of you have come to the determination that a shoe makes a horse go better over rocks.

    I do not know of a horse that goes any differently over rough terrain shod or unshod unless trauma or integrity of the hoof has been compromised ( meaning barefoot horses that have worn away to much hoof wall). Trauma in both occurs in the exact same ways.

    I do not agree with your assumption that horses with shoes go better over rocks unless due to the aforementioned reason.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 26, 2006
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    Default

    I should also add that one reason a barefoot horse may get sore going over rocks is due to individual areas of hoof on a particular foot taking more direct stress. IE: a rock is stepped upon and digs into the area between the white line and hoof wall, this one small area recieves more stress than it would if shod and a "prying" effect can result.



  8. #8
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    May. 22, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by It Depends
    Forgive me me for my confusion. I do not know how any of you have come to the determination that a shoe makes a horse go better over rocks.

    I do not know of a horse that goes any differently over rough terrain shod or unshod unless trauma or integrity of the hoof has been compromised ( meaning barefoot horses that have worn away to much hoof wall). Trauma in both occurs in the exact same ways.

    I do not agree with your assumption that horses with shoes go better over rocks unless due to the aforementioned reason.
    I think the many, many, many people who have transitioned horses from shoes to barefoot have had different experiences. MOST seem to have a "transition" period of ouchiness when their shoes are first removed. It's rare that a shod horse would be 100% fine after the shoes were removed.

    Once transitioned, however, without any problems, unshod horses should go just as well over terrain as shod ones... IMHO, if they don't after a transition period, there is a problem with the trim or the horse probably needs shoes.

    My Arab is barefoot and walks and hacks out over all sorts of footing without one bad step - even on gravel. When I first pulled his shoes, though, he had a couple week transition period.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Maine
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    Default

    I come to the determination by what I have seen with my own eyes, over and over and over and over and over and over, etc again..and no these horses dont have thin walls. I soundly blieve and it makes total sense that the shoe cuts down the blood flow and the foot becomes somewhat numb, just makes common sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by It Depends
    Forgive me me for my confusion. I do not know how any of you have come to the determination that a shoe makes a horse go better over rocks.

    I do not know of a horse that goes any differently over rough terrain shod or unshod unless trauma or integrity of the hoof has been compromised ( meaning barefoot horses that have worn away to much hoof wall). Trauma in both occurs in the exact same ways.

    I do not agree with your assumption that horses with shoes go better over rocks unless due to the aforementioned reason.
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
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    AZ
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    Default They don't

    My foundered mares have NB shoes and pads in front, with dental impression material for cushioning, and the younger mare has just NB shoes behind. They live and work on rocks.

    The younger mare went 3 legged lame behind one day. I did an emergency dismount, thinking she had broken her leg, or at least impailed herself on a nail. It was a one inch stone pushed into the cleft of her frog. When I removed it, she was fine.

    Now that doesn't sound like numb feet to me.

    Katy
    Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org



  11. #11
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Default

    Then explain to me why so many horses are ouchy on rocks barefoot but you put a shoe on and he moves over the rocks much sounder if it is not reducing blood flow and causing some numbness? I never said they couldnt feel anything and obviously a rock wedged in beside the frog is a totally different thing then moving over rocks. Sso far no one has answered that just said they have never seen it if a hoof wall is correct and thick which is a crock because I and many other people have seen it time and time again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Watts
    My foundered mares have NB shoes and pads in front, with dental impression material for cushioning, and the younger mare has just NB shoes behind. They live and work on rocks.

    The younger mare went 3 legged lame behind one day. I did an emergency dismount, thinking she had broken her leg, or at least impailed herself on a nail. It was a one inch stone pushed into the cleft of her frog. When I removed it, she was fine.

    Now that doesn't sound like numb feet to me.

    Katy
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  12. #12
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    Default

    Not to be blunt or anything, but the assumption that shoes cause feet to go numb is patently absurd.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 15, 2001
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    Default

    Estelle, I would guess that they are bolder because they have better traction over footing that might otherwise be easy to slide on. The shoes allow them to dig into the footing, rather than tentatively try each step out.

    Add to that It Depends idea of the rocks prying into the hoof wall preventing that traction via pain and I think it's a valid possibility.

    Of course, that's just the Sandbarhorse theory. As far as the numb foot theory, I think Paul Bunyon gave a really detailed explanation of why that's not the case in another thread. Maybe he'll come back and answer this one.
    www.sandbarequinetransport.com

    Proud member of the ILMD[FN]HP and Bull Snap Haters Cliques



  14. #14
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Default

    Well to be blunt and everything...your statement without anything to back it up is totally absurd. I think people just want to tell themselves whatever they need to in order not feel bad about the crap they put thier horses through..shoes are bad for a horse, proven fact, for a myrid of reasons and in this day and age of horse boots and synthetic glue ons I cant think of any good reason to nail a shoe onto a horses foot.

    Quote Originally Posted by LarkspurCO
    Not to be blunt or anything, but the assumption that shoes cause feet to go numb is patently absurd.
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  15. #15
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    Default

    Well, if you want an informed answer, this may link will be useful in answering the OP's question:

    http://www.horseshoes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2028



  16. #16
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    Default

    Im not talking bolder Im talking ouchie...I dont believe that metal shoes give better traction, just the opposite in fact, they slide on rocks, tar, etc. but hey we all have our own thoughts...but I have done some serious homework on feet, talked with master farriers in a few states and what I found scared me off from shoes forever and the worst part was most of it was common sense it's just not the way we have been tought to think about the foot and leg.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sandbarhorse
    Estelle, I would guess that they are bolder because they have better traction over footing that might otherwise be easy to slide on. The shoes allow them to dig into the footing, rather than tentatively try each step out.

    Add to that It Depends idea of the rocks prying into the hoof wall preventing that traction via pain and I think it's a valid possibility.

    Of course, that's just the Sandbarhorse theory. As far as the numb foot theory, I think Paul Bunyon gave a really detailed explanation of why that's not the case in another thread. Maybe he'll come back and answer this one.
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  17. #17
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    Default

    Estelle, did you drink a lot of coffee this morning?



  18. #18
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    Jul. 23, 2003
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    Maine
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    Default

    Nope, nope dont drink coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by LarkspurCO
    Estelle, did you drink a lot of coffee this morning?
    Any man who can render himself unconscious with a pretzel, isn't smart enough to lead the Free World



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    Default Personal Observation - not written in stone...

    My barefoot-when-I-got-him-barefoot-today TWH went camping with me including some 3-4 hour rides over very rocky terrain.
    By day 3 he was definitely footsore. He had been ridden on gravel before with no problem at all, but had been trimmed just a couple days before this trip.
    He was 100% fine when we got home, after a 4h trailer ride, walked off the trailer sound.
    I have to conclude his sole was what was causing the ouchiness and that if he had been shod enough pressure would have been taken off the sole to avoid any lameness.
    Friends who horsecamp regularly and ride for as much as 7 hours at a stretch always have their horses shod before these trips.
    *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
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015



  20. #20
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    Nov. 15, 2001
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    Long Island, NY
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    Default

    ..shoes are bad for a horse, proven fact
    Proven by who and how?

    ...but I have done some serious homework on feet, talked with master farriers in a few states
    Then I have to ask why you don't know the answer to the question? or, were you just looking for someone to argue with you?

    Did you read that post by PB?

    Im not talking bolder Im talking ouchie
    How do you define ouchie (lame, tentative,...)? During or after the ride?

    Shoes do give horse more traction on loose footing, IME, but your's may differ.
    www.sandbarequinetransport.com

    Proud member of the ILMD[FN]HP and Bull Snap Haters Cliques



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