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Shoes for the dressage horse

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
    Yes I read it. And if that were true, then it would be even MORE reason for me to label them 'sketchy.' You know my horse does better extensions with spring loaded shoes, can I use those?

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6967,8070155 The fact that I remember these makes me feel old.....

    I think the rock and roll deal is over the top and starting to get us into the territory of action device as opposed to 'keep horse from getting sore feet.' I am ever so curious to see what the next step down that line is...
    You can think whatever you want, and you can believe in the barefoot dogma and continue to repeat their lies (e.g., living in shoes "throughout the year/their whole lives is ultimately very detrimental"). But it will only be detrimental to your credibility.

    Comment


    • #62
      Another example of full rocker/roller motion type shoe - the Steward clog.

      http://www.hopeforsoundness.com/cms/...ion-guide.html

      This is what my older mare is wearing now, in her case for laminitis.

      It's a variation on a wooden clog that's been in use for years. While designed to treat hoof pathology and not intended for athletic endeavors, some horses are ridden in them. My farrier says he has one client whose horse that runs barrels in them and is pretty much useless without them.

      My mare has been getting around fine in the snow and ice with these. It isn't ideal but it was better than letting her founder. With one crippled hind foot due to an old DDFT injury, she was literally three-legged lame -- as in lame on three of her four legs.

      These clogs were a quick and relatively easy solution.

      Comment


      • #63
        1. Do you ride like this (where your horse never goes off easy footing)? If so:

        My guy is ridden in clay, sand, grass and is turned out in grass/sand. We trail ride in sand/grass, etc.

        2. How many times a week?
        Works 5x a week in arena (clay) or pasture arena (grass). Turn out every night. We show at least once a month. Venues include permaflex, GGT and/or clay mixture.

        3. For how long? At what level are you riding/training?
        Each ride is about 45 minutes, give or take a few, depending on his mood, attitude and acceptance of the tasks at hand. We are showing Training and schooling some First level.

        4. Do you keep shoes on your horse all year round? In front only or all 4?
        He has front shoes. Kept all year round.

        5. If you do keep shoes on, why? Seriously -- what prompted you to make this choice? Reasons could be: tradition, I've been taught to do it this way; vet/farrier/trainer said, 'better safe than sorry'; horse has crappy feet -- I'm lucky he can walk; our footing really isn't THAT good.

        My guy is a clyde/tb cross. He will be 7 this July. I bought him in December, 2011. He came to me with size 7, yes - SIZE 7 feet! He was ALL toe - with clips on the shoes. He barely had a heel. My farrier's comment the first time he saw him..."Where's the &%^$# wagon??" He spent the next 9-12 months backing the toe up and allowing the heel to grow. We are now in size 4 shoes and he is going beautifully! Knock on wood - we have NEVER had a problem. His back feet are great - no need for shoes at this time...and probably won't need them unless we start showing more than once a month on very different surfaces. As long as he is trimmed/reset every 5-6 weeks - he is fantastic.
        Heather
        Green Cove Springs, FL

        Comment


        • #64
          Do you work in this type of footing ("easy")...
          I wish. This is high lava rock based desert and the typical Idaho arena is sand dumped on a flat spot. The lava rocks migrate through the footing and are always turning up in the arena. No carefully constructed properly based arenas around here.

          How many times a week?
          4-5 days

          How long per ride?
          Typically 40-60 minutes. Horse was training 2nd level before having this winter off due to my unsoundness.

          Do you keep shoes on your horse year round?
          No. She is barefoot. BUT...I use boots (on all 4) for schooling and protection from said rocks especially during the hot, dry months (May -- October). She seldom if ever sees the boots in the other months.

          This horse abhors having shoes nailed on her feet.
          I worked hours and hours trying to desensitize her (simulating the process by tapping w/a hammer) but I wasn't driving nails.
          Once the nail starts into her hoof, it is like each hammer strike goes straight to her brain. and no she has never been quicked. So the boots are a compromise to try and control costs (farrier + vet for sedation or just glue ons which may not stay on all that well on a working horse and are $$$). This arrangement has worked just fine for over 4 years now. If I did much trail riding...which I don't currently...I would also use the boots for that. I use Renegade boots and she has no problem with any of the work, including lateral work and flying changes (just dabbling with those). A set of front boots lasts at least a year. The rear boots last at least two. If she wasn't so nail phobic, I would probably have her in shoes (all 4) May to October and bare the rest of the time.

          So, I can't say my horse is truly barefoot but this seems to be working. I have taken her to local showing venues and she has had no problem with the footing which is nicer than what is at my barn. For her 1st level work, she has been scoring in the mid to upper 60's. Due to my physical problem which did not allow me to sit the trot, we haven't debuted at 2nd level yet.

          Susan

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #65
            I love reading all the replies; as a breeder it seems to emphasize the need to not neglect hoof quality when choosing stallions (both my mares have good feet, but neither are in work at this time).

            I went to hoof clinic given by a top endurance vet & farrier afew years ago. The endurance people have really been at the forefront of this "barefoot" movement, although it's abit of a misnomer, because most of the horses are NOT truly barefoot...they just don't have shoes.

            Anyway, again, the take home message was as always: "Do what the horse needs", but the funny part was when he said that a horse with good feet will tolerate having shoes on 365 days a year his whole life, whereas a horse with hoof issues is more liable to struggle because his hoof can't hold a shoe.

            That was counter-intutive -- at least to me.

            It would be wonderful to do an actual survey on horse care with USDF members. Have any of you ever received such a thing?

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
              I went to hoof clinic given by a top endurance vet & farrier afew years ago. The endurance people have really been at the forefront of this "barefoot" movement, although it's abit of a misnomer, because most of the horses are NOT truly barefoot...they just don't have shoes.
              Yes my favorite notion is "hoof boots ARE the new horseshoe." Protection for the foot without destruction of the foot. I have several unshod horses and I cannot deny it can be more work on a daily basis. Boots, durasole, etc it's all a hassle. But I love when it's muddy out now and I don't have to worry about anyone pulling a shoe!!
              "Friend" me !

              http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                Protection for the foot without destruction of the foot.
                Destruction???

                Your horses are trimmed regularly I hope?
                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                Originally posted by LauraKY
                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                HORSING mobile training app

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #68
                  Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                  Destruction???

                  Your horses are trimmed regularly I hope?
                  The whole basis for using boots or other shoe "substitutes" is making sure the horse's feet are trimmed every 4-6 wks, year 'round.

                  As for "destruction", I may be misunderstanding you, but you seem to question that long term use of nail-on shoes can cause "destruction" of the hoof? While I might argue with the choice of the word "destruction", it's not new news that (ideally) horses should spend part of the year without shoes to let the feet "recover".

                  Heck, they were doing this 40 yrs ago when I worked on the track. If a horse was on long term lay-up or even being given a rest -- as long as they weren't going to be ridden -- the shoes were pulled unless there was a medical reason not to.

                  And even my "old-timey" cowboy farrier says the same. Here where we have a serious winter most of the horses have their shoes pulled for winter.

                  So I don't think anyone questions that a horse would be better off without a nail-on shoe ideally. But many horses simply don't have the foot for it and in many sports they don't have the right boot to replace a metal shoe.

                  Plus several people have made the point that regular work in a sand arena can cause enough abrasion that a horse could easily need extra protection...something I'm embarrassed to say I really hadn't thought of...

                  I'd be very curious to know what is the "trend" in the European dressage world.

                  I know that the sire of one of my mares (Rubino Bellisimo) did his entire 11 mos Celle testing barefoot and that was about 15yrs ago. But once he came here and started regular competition they put him in shoes x4! Maybe he had problems, but I really don't know.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    Yes my favorite notion is "hoof boots ARE the new horseshoe." Protection for the foot without destruction of the foot. I have several unshod horses and I cannot deny it can be more work on a daily basis. Boots, durasole, etc it's all a hassle. But I love when it's muddy out now and I don't have to worry about anyone pulling a shoe!!
                    Hoof boots can be problematical for anyone not riding on carefully prepared surfaces. They can, and will, fill up with water, debris, sand, etc. I've seen some really bad galling of bulbs when fitting is not very well done. They are largely unsuited to pasture use for these reasons.

                    The "counter-intuitive" observation of the farrier is grossly misleading. In the vast majority of cases a horse in shoes is simply more useful than one without them. My proof is in any sport where real athletic effort is required.

                    As for the "endurance connection," I remember a few years back when a Name was all over the internet prostelytizing for "barefoot horses." Then she showed up at an event in New England (where a personal friend of mine was one of the ride vets) in a horse shod all 'round. Her explanation: she'd been training in Texas and New England was much more rocky. Note that her prior assertions followed the "all horses can go barefoot anywhere as long as they are properly maintained." Well, I guess not.

                    The iron/steel shoe has been around for 2000 years or so and has given good service when correctly used. Sometimes there is wisdom in history.

                    G.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      It seems to me that needing to pull shoes to allow the feet to recover is a serious indication of sub standard farrier work.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                        As for the "endurance connection," I remember a few years back when a Name was all over the internet prostelytizing for "barefoot horses." Then she showed up at an event in New England (where a personal friend of mine was one of the ride vets) in a horse shod all 'round. Her explanation: she'd been training in Texas and New England was much more rocky. Note that her prior assertions followed the "all horses can go barefoot anywhere as long as they are properly maintained." Well, I guess not.
                        G.
                        Exactly what happened to my horse. She was in Maryland (Boyds area) and barefoot until a few months after I got her; I'd kept her barefoot but the New England rocks did a number on her front hooves so she went into front shoes. Rear shoes were added primarily for support after her suspensory surgery. If we only worked on good -- not deep -- footing, I'd try to keep her barefoot.

                        (Speaking of which -- has anyone out there ever had a horse in shoes behind, but barefoot up front?)

                        That said, I know many horses kept barefoot in New England with no problems at all. They tend to be breeds known for tough hooves -- ponies, Morgans, Arabs etc.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by SaddleFitterVA View Post
                          It seems to me that needing to pull shoes to allow the feet to recover is a serious indication of sub standard farrier work.
                          Once again I find myself agreeing with SaddleFitterVA.

                          My horse has worn shoes continuously since 2005 and the only time a problem developed it was due to poor farrier work. Although I did pull the shoes, he only stayed barefoot until I could get him re-shod properly, after which he and his hooves recovered.

                          As for the shoes "destroying" the hoof, that is just the same tired old hooey dispensed by the barefooter brigade. To say that a horseshoe nail destroys the hoof is sort of like saying that a carpenter's nail destroys a 2x4. Living in a wood-frame house, I am fairly certain that is not the case.

                          What you get when you nail a horseshoe to a hoof is generally a stronger hoof. If the hoof can't take the nail then it probably wasn't a very healthy hoof to begin with or it wasn't shod correctly.

                          As for my older laminitic mare who was wearing the clogs, I pulled them off last week and she is doing fine again barefoot -- nail holes are almost grown out. She was completely feral when I got her (she was about 10), had never been trimmed and had some pretty crappy feet. All that running around on open pasture, freely and naturally, did diddly for her hooves.

                          All this from someone who used hoof boots as recently as this December -- Soft-Rides I bought when my younger mare foundered. I also have a box full of other useless hoof boots and the hemorrhoids to prove that I attempted to use them.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                            Hoof boots can be problematical for anyone not riding on carefully prepared surfaces. They can, and will, fill up with water, debris, sand, etc. I've seen some really bad galling of bulbs when fitting is not very well done. They are largely unsuited to pasture use for these reasons.
                            Nonsense. I use them in the 'pasture' (such as we have in NJ...) all the time.

                            I think what you really mean is that they require competence.... yes. They require work. An increase in knowledge. A willingness to experiment (which boot is gonna work????) A willingness to bend over, grunt, and strain. BUT it is also a heck of a lot cheaper.

                            I don't know what shoes cost in your area, but they cost $300/4plain, $200/2 w/pad. That's a lotta moola folks!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$

                            I don't doubt that someone who works another job and boards their horse could have a hard time pulling it off. But for full time horsefolks with all day access to their charges it is plenty doable. But it does require a learning curve. Most folks are not interested in the struggle.

                            Then again, most folks are not interested int the 'struggle' to eat right, exercise, have patience in horse training, etc.
                            "Friend" me !

                            http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post

                              I think what you really mean is that they require competence.... yes....

                              I don't doubt that someone who works another job and boards their horse could have a hard time pulling it off. But for full time horsefolks with all day access to their charges it is plenty doable. But it does require a learning curve. Most folks are not interested in the struggle.

                              Then again, most folks are not interested int the 'struggle' to eat right, exercise, have patience in horse training, etc.
                              Too bad everyone can't be like you.
                              A helmet saved my life.

                              2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                As for "destruction", I may be misunderstanding you, but you seem to question that long term use of nail-on shoes can cause "destruction" of the hoof? While I might argue with the choice of the word "destruction", it's not new news that (ideally) horses should spend part of the year without shoes to let the feet "recover".
                                Well, I do question the 'belief' that horses need to recover from their shoes, and that nails can cause the destruction of a hoof.

                                Heck, they were doing this 40 yrs ago when I worked on the track. If a horse was on long term lay-up or even being given a rest -- as long as they weren't going to be ridden -- the shoes were pulled unless there was a medical reason not to.
                                Their feet didn't needed to recover from the shoes, but from their racing work.
                                The horses were on pasture vacation, they don't needed the shoes.
                                And it is less expensive and less dangerous if they're in a herd.

                                And even my "old-timey" cowboy farrier says the same. Here where we have a serious winter most of the horses have their shoes pulled for winte.
                                Also because lots of riders take it easy in the winter time or don't ride.

                                So I don't think anyone questions that a horse would be better off without a nail-on shoe ideally.
                                Well, I do. Ideally? You do what you need to do for the welfare of the horse.

                                My current mare has really nice hard feet (large frog and all) and she certainly doesn't need her shoes off. 16'2 and she wears size between 3 or 4, it conforms to her feet.

                                Boots; you cannot conform them to the feet. You have to trim the feet to kinda fit the boot. Since it is not molded, it will never fit perfectly.
                                ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                                Originally posted by LauraKY
                                I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                                HORSING mobile training app

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Please stop posting myth and dis-information as fact.

                                  Note: My reply in quotes. On a mobile device with limited keyboard

                                  Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                  The whole basis for using boots or other shoe "substitutes" is making sure the horse's feet are trimmed every 4-6 wks, year 'round.

                                  "Tyros trim by calendar. Horsemen do it based upon the growth of the foot.

                                  Why do feet grow faster at some times the year than other? Report back when you fid the answer."

                                  As for "destruction", I may be misunderstanding you, but you seem to question that long term use of nail-on shoes can cause "destruction" of the hoof? While I might argue with the choice of the word "destruction", it's not new news that (ideally) horses should spend part of the year without shoes to let the feet "recover".

                                  Heck, they were doing this 40 yrs ago when I worked on the track. If a horse was on long term lay-up or even being given a rest -- as long as they weren't going to be ridden -- the shoes were pulled unless there was a medical reason not to.

                                  And even my "old-timey" cowboy farrier says the same. Here where we have a serious winter most of the horses have their shoes pulled for winter.

                                  "Shoes are pulled in the winter, when horses are not WORKING to save on farrier costs. It's about MONEY not RECOVERY"

                                  So I don't think anyone questions that a horse would be better off without a nail-on shoe ideally. But many horses simply don't have the foot for it and in many sports they don't have the right boot to replace a metal shoe.

                                  "I question the assumption; ergo, it's not universal."

                                  Plus several people have made the point that regular work in a sand arena can cause enough abrasion that a horse could easily need extra protection...something I'm embarrassed to say I really hadn't thought of...

                                  I'd be very curious to know what is the "trend" in the European dressage world.

                                  "Who cares? My horses don't live in Europe."

                                  I know that the sire of one of my mares (Rubino Bellisimo) did his entire 11 mos Celle testing barefoot and that was about 15yrs ago. But once he came here and started regular competition they put him in shoes x4! Maybe he had problems, but I really don't know.
                                  Why don't you find out?

                                  Some horses need shoes, some don't.

                                  G
                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                                    Nonsense. I use them in the 'pasture' (such as we have in NJ...) all the time.

                                    I think what you really mean is that they require competence.... yes. They require work. An increase in knowledge. A willingness to experiment (which boot is gonna work????) A willingness to bend over, grunt, and strain. BUT it is also a heck of a lot cheaper.

                                    I don't know what shoes cost in your area, but they cost $300/4plain, $200/2 w/pad. That's a lotta moola folks!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$$

                                    I don't doubt that someone who works another job and boards their horse could have a hard time pulling it off. But for full time horsefolks with all day access to their charges it is plenty doable. But it does require a learning curve. Most folks are not interested in the struggle.

                                    Then again, most folks are not interested int the 'struggle' to eat right, exercise, have patience in horse training, etc.
                                    I know you don't like to respond to any of my questions, but I got to thinking about this last night and then I remembered the videos you posted recently, so I went back and had a look.

                                    I am wondering if you consider this horse sound. If you do think he is sound, how do you explain the consistent head-bobbing? Because in my book, head-bobbing indicates lameness, and this horse is obviously lame in the front end.

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP8zJ...6DSSrQ&index=5

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqVSO...6DSSrQ&index=3

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vHHR...6DSSrQ&index=4[/QUOTE]


                                    If you choose not to respond, then so be it. At least this is available for others to consider when they weigh your assertion about a whole string of shod horses suddenly moving better after having their shoes pulled.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      I really think it's a very individual thing. My last horse was App/TB. Now Apps generally have good feet, but while his were well shaped (round, good heels) they were small and thin walled. He needed shoes. At one point he chipped a coffin bone and had corrective shoes, then egg bars and it was about three years before he went back to regular shoes, and then with pads. I did trail ride him a LOT, but he was primarily ridden in the arena in his early years and I kept him shod because, yup, crappy feet w/o shoes.

                                      Now my present horse (Appy/Arab): Ah. FEET LIKE IRON. Barefoot his entire life. If he wore shoes, they'd be 3s. He's not a very good trail horse, though I would like him to be and I am working on it. I have Old Mac boots for his front feet when we go on our occasional trail rides (when I feel up to dealing with his issues. Sigh.) 90% of the time, however (sadly), he is working either in our indoor arena (average footing), our outdoor (slightly better), at my instructor's barn (WONDERFUL footing) or at a show (usually pretty good footing). If the ground is not rocky, I will do short trail rides sans the Old Macs. He's done fine with that.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        I think most horses doing beyond anything basic (more than 1st level) do better with shoes. It has little to do with the quality (or lack) of their feet and more to do with dressage.

                                        We ask horse to move in a manner that is unnatural for them with weight on their backs while maintaining balance. Compare it to playing basketball. You can play basketball barefoot, but why would you and how good will you be at it?

                                        No matter the condition of their feet, dressage horses benefit from the additional support they get from wearing shoes. Done properly shoeing absolutely makes a positive contribution to long term soundness.

                                        But if I were going to skip shoes for a dressage horse anywhere, it would be on the front feet.
                                        See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          Most of the horses at the barn where I ride fit the original description, or are a bit more active in dressage (i.e. work 2 - 6 times per week, 2 - 8 shows per summer, almost exclusively dressage work. There are no trails at the barn and very few owners trailer out for anything except dressage shows/clinics.)
                                          I see every combination of shoes/no shoes/front only/competition season only, etc. and really can't say that I see any pattern of one working better than another.
                                          Originally, I had shoes on front only year-round because that's what the previous owner was doing and it seemed to work. Then, I was dealing with some "mystery lameness" in the right hind for about 8 weeks. A series of very thourough (and expensive) work-ups found nothing on ultra-sound, or hoof testing. X-rays showed a very minimal arthritis in the fetlock, which was probably an unrelated finding, but none-the-less caused a lot of worry and discussion. A couple attempts at nerve blocks yeided conflicting and unclear results (and a very annoyed horse). The trainer and vet both felt that the horse "twisted" on his hocks a lot, and had weak, upright rear-end conformation. They thought he would be better off in rear shoes to offer more "support", and also recommended a long heal to give the outside of the hoof ore support because of the twisting.
                                          I took their recommendations and started shoeing all 4 feet. The horse eventually did get sound, but due to the timing, I don't think the shoes had anything to do with it. At his second shoeing after he was back in full work, the farrier (who was a new farrier to me) asked if the horse had been lame recently???? He found an obvious hole from an old abcess that had now dried up on it's own and was growing out. It had apparently been missed on the hoof-testing because it was far back in the heel, which can be a hard place to get a good grip with the hoof testers.
                                          I have noticed absolutly no difference in my horse with the rear shoes. But, I keep putting them on because I know that his conformation is im-perfect. He is likely to get arthritis or go lame someday from his conformation. I'm not sure whether the shoes do anything to keep him sound. But if/when he does go lame, I won't have to listen to my trainer say "I told you that horse should be wearing shoes".

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