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Barefoot experts -- Is there ever a horse who shouldn't go barefoot?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
    Honestly, you sound like a blind follower of Rique.

    What forums have you been reading??
    I can asure you there is no BLIND following here. We may have very differant views on the hoof but that is what makes the world an interesting place to live. No matter what....do the best you can.....with what you have, ( or don't have)
    Charlie Piccione
    Natural Performance Hoof Care

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    • #42
      ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!

      A drama llama (not you, Charlie) with a sense of humor. Rare indeed these days..............

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      • #43
        Originally posted by ljc View Post
        Having started this thread, I have to ask -- are you really calling me stupid and/or ignorant?
        Yes, that is what he does.
        "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

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        • #44
          Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
          Yes, that is what he does.
          A day late and a dollar short...... But, if you find that the shoe fits,.............

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          • #45
            Originally posted by ljc View Post
            And along those same lines, why would I not use a barefoot trimmer who specializes in doing exactly what I'm considering trying ... versus a performance-horse shoer who spends 95% of his time dealing with shoes and maybe 5% with barefoot horses.
            Are you saying that the farrier is not as qualified if not more so, to trim for barefoot as is the barefoot only trimmer?
            The other farrier I use (for my barefoot horses) is probably 50/50 shoes and barefoot.
            For a true professional, that is or should be, irrelevant.
            He's great -- but I've never believed in putting all my eggs in one basket and have always split my business between farriers, choosing which person is best suited for which horse (e.g., farrier with really bad back does not trim my miniature horses!).
            So who does(trim the mini's that is)? IMO/E, someday, your split loyalties are going to come back to haunt you.

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            • #46
              Yes, I think there are horses that shouldn't be barefoot. I think that horses are best off if barefoot, and leave them that way if I can keep them comfortable that way. With that said, 2 of my 3 have shoes on.

              The biggest question I would ask if you are going to "try" going barefoot is if you could LOSE ground in the process. If there's a chance that you can take things from a pretty decent status quo to soreness or damage that won't quickly be fixed by putting shoes back on, I would not advise trying it.
              As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

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              • #47
                I will try to answer with a straight face. Of course there are horses that shouldn't go barefoot. My 25-year-old mare used to be one of those. She was shod when I got her at 3 though it was very unusual for her seller to put shoes on a baby horse. (IME most people will try barefoot first.) About five years ago, with the help of a good farrier (the regular kind, not a barefoot "expert"), I decided to try barefoot. I expected a short adjustment period, but she was sound from Day 1.

                My younger horse was barefoot when I got her, but after about a year she let me know she needed shoes. She now has front shoes only.

                There is another boarder at my barn who decided to try barefoot about 6 - 7 months ago with the help of a barefoot "guru." Her horse has been lame ever since. She's no longer working with a trainer, and several people have suggested she consult a vet. I sometimes think that subconsciously some people don't want to ride

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by Rick Burten View Post
                  Are you saying that the farrier is not as qualified if not more so, to trim for barefoot as is the barefoot only trimmer?. . .
                  A farrier is a barefoot expert with no excuse to keep a horse barefoot if it doesn't work.

                  A trimmer is not qualified to replace shoes once they have pulled them, but they have "expert excuses" to keep a horse barefoot if it doesn't work.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
                    I have a number of horses without shoes. I have also done shoes/no shoes when that worked. I have also had a string of horses go from all shod to all barefoot suddenly. (It's an odd combination of circumstances but it happened....)

                    Any hoo, IF you have the time, the access, and the wiliingness to sweat, then 99% of horses could go without having a shoe nailed to their feet continually.

                    By which I mean that IF you have the time to put durasole on them 6x/day and if you have the access to put on/take off hoof boots, and if you can be patient enough through trying out many different boots/foot coverings (casting tape, custom hoof boots,etc) until you find a hoof covering that works and if you want to learn to trim your own horse, then yes you have a situation that you can work it out with most horses most of the time.
                    Does this include the horse "Toska" that is head-bobbing lame in your videos? The ones you posted in the dressage forum?

                    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

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by wendy View Post
                      maybe you should take it real slow- see if you can move him to a regular shoe with no wedge and no pad first, and if he's fine there, then try the move to barefoot?
                      If he's been wearing pads and wedges for years, his feet are going to need a lot of time to toughen up, and his legs will have to re-adjust to going without the wedges.
                      This.

                      After consulting with my vet and the barefoot trimmer and the farrier who does Benjamin, I've decided to table the whole barefoot idea for now and instead see if we can slowly work on "simplifying" (for want of a better term) his current shoe, beginning with gradually reducing the degree of wedge pad that he wears.

                      I will go to my grave saying a wise horse owner matches the correct professional to each horse's needs. That is what I meant by not putting all my eggs in one basket.
                      R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

                      Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
                        A trimmer is not qualified to replace shoes once they have pulled them, but they have "expert excuses" to keep a horse barefoot if it doesn't work.
                        I take exception to that statement. I've trimmed my own horses since 1999, learned how from a farrier friend of mine. Been known to trim for others now and then.....but mostly mine.

                        The big girl doesn't need shoes. If I ever thought we needed to try them, I'd find a farrier pronto. No excuses needed to keep her barefoot for the hell of it.

                        I'm sure your experience with the barefoot crazies is behind your statement, but just because someone knows how to trim and not also shoe, doesn't mean they are not open to the services of a farrier.

                        Trimming is so simple, I cannot for the life of me understand why more owners don't learn how to do it.

                        That would put the barefoot trimmers out of business though, wouldn't it?
                        http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                        http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by ptownevt View Post
                          If it is a case of a horse being tender on gravel or rocky ground or something specific like that I wouldn't call that unable to go without shoes. That may be part of the transition period for many horses while a new hoof grows in with concavity to lift the sole up off the rocks. Remember that it takes 6 months to a year for a new hoof to grow in. Boots are very helpful during this time. The critical element is a very accurately balanced trim done regularly.
                          Is that what's supposed to happen? The hoof becomes concave enough to lift the sole?

                          I'm honestly asking, not trying to start a fuss.

                          I have a horse who's been trimmed every 4 to 5 wks for years, but I'm considering putting shoes on him. If I do, I'll need to switch from my trimmer, so it's no small decision.

                          If by now his feet should have developed enough concavity to lift his soles off the rocks, then I'd say barefoot hasn't worked for him and I may do shoes after all.

                          I thought maybe I just hadn't given his feet a chance to toughen up since I usually put boots on him outside the ring. Our unpaved roads are covered in coquina (sharp-edged little rocks scattered loose over the road) which cause him to limp pitifully without boots.
                          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Daatje View Post
                            Trimming is so simple, I cannot for the life of me understand why more owners don't learn how to do it.
                            The other side of this coin is the people who insist trimming is so easy and they are not aware of what a crappy job they are doing.
                            I think of the people I know that do their own trimming it is about 50/50 those that do a great job and those that clearly are clueless and think they know what they are doing.

                            Not saying you do not know what you are doing, Daatje. All the photos I have seen of your mare her feet have looked fine. I am just saying that it is not always easy and suggesting it is so easy is making a whole boat load of horses suffer.

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                            • #54
                              OP: I'm glad you are starting with different changes and are doing what's best for the horse vs following someone's Internet opinion or anything. (I've seen it happen!)

                              My gelding is the "NOT BAREFOOT!" unless it's middle of winter and he's in mud. Earlier this year my BO called and said he was acting a little lame, he had been due for his shot and I had been sick so it took me 2 weeks to get up there. I realized that he was NOT doing well barefoot, and called my farrier who couldn't get out for 2 weeks despite my urgency. Of course he was perfectly sound as soon as he got shoes on, he went from head bob lame to sound, and the farrier was like "wow, he did need shoes back on" well yes. If I could avoid $100/shoeing and do $45 barefoot everytime, I would.

                              So, after 4 weeks, my gelding didn't do ANY better, he's in the "need shoes" camp.

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                              • #55
                                Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                Is that what's supposed to happen? The hoof becomes concave enough to lift the sole?
                                That is my understanding but the hoof needs to be kept trimmed very well. By that I mean by someone who is proficient at trimming the hoof correctly with excellent balance. If the trimming is not correct the hoof may not ever develop a healthy shape which includes concavity in the sole and the horse will continue to be sore or unsound. So, I think the actual answer to the original question depends on the skills of the trimmer or farrier. I do not agree that all farriers are barefoot experts who can also shoe. Expert trimming to maintain a sound barefoot horse depends upon the individual professional's training, knowledge and skills which, IMHO, can vary significantly from one to another. I would suspect that some of the horses who remain sore or "ouchy" may not be trimmed correctly. In those cases a shoe can provide a level of comfort.

                                The farrier I use for my horses really believes that barefoot is better for the horse. That said she attended formal training and shoes many horses. One of mine wears shoes because his feet wear too fast on the sand he is ridden on daily. The other 3 are barefoot.
                                "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

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                  The other side of this coin is the people who insist trimming is so easy and they are not aware of what a crappy job they are doing.
                                  I think of the people I know that do their own trimming it is about 50/50 those that do a great job and those that clearly are clueless and think they know what they are doing.

                                  Not saying you do not know what you are doing, Daatje. All the photos I have seen of your mare her feet have looked fine. I am just saying that it is not always easy and suggesting it is so easy is making a whole boat load of horses suffer.
                                  True enough. Although to split hairs, I said it was "simple", not "easy". According to my old dressage instructor, there is a distinct difference.

                                  I can see where they could be misinterpreted though.

                                  I was farrier-taught, my vet approves and my horses are (knock on wood) sound, so I'm confident in my ability to trim, no worries there.

                                  I did not intend to imply trimming was easy. Heck, my old dressage instructor was referring to teaching piaffe when she told me it was simple. She must have seen my googly eyes because she followed that up with "I never said it was easy!"

                                  You don't see the average dressage rider going around teaching piaffe to everything with 4 legs, so perhaps you're right and not everyone has what it takes to learn to trim their own horses.
                                  http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                  http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    When I have a horse who *can* go barefoot, I will learn to trim What I am going through with my mare is giving me a good eye for a good trim, even if I don't (yet) know how to do such a trim.

                                    Heck, it was a woman who trims her own horse -- who events barefoot at Preliminary level and does fine, BTW -- who first actually explained to me all the problems the last farrier was causing/missing.

                                    My mare's breeders do most of their own trimming on their herd of 10 to 15 horses, with a farrier coming in every few months to check the horses and make recommendations. Of course, all but one are Morgans, so they mostly have good feet to start with All are barefoot, and the horses they've sold who have stayed local (Maryland) are mostly still barefoot, too.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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

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                                    • #58
                                      I wouldn't try to trim my own mare, she's got some funky feet. She's stumped a couple farriers/trimmers, but the gal we have now seems to have her figured out!

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by ljc View Post
                                        I'm consulting with a barefoot trimmer tomorrow (Sossity Garagiulo, for those of you who know her) about the possibility of my 25-year-old retired TB hunter going barefoot. Keeping him sound during his long showing career was a challenge, as was keeping him happy during the last six years of semi-retirement. He's now home with me, going out into a two-acre field during the day and coming into a stall/paddock at night. He's barefoot behind.

                                        He has typical OTTB feet - thin-walled and low heels. His coffin bones have always been an issue and he's had coffin-bone injections for the last ten years. He wore bar shoes and wedged pads during his showing days; now he wears a beveled-toe, wide steel shoe with wedged pads. I've had his feet x-rayed annually and minor adjustments have been made to the pads as the coffin bone changes have taken place.

                                        I have NO problem with keeping him shod for the rest of his days -- whatever is best for him -- but I have all my other horses barefoot now and if there's any way for Benjamin to do so, I'd love it.

                                        Any thoughts? What questions should I be asking the trimmer?
                                        Based on your descriptions, I would get some new x-rays of the fronts to see what shape the coffin bones (et all) are in. Can the trimmer show you pics of of her trims? With your horse's low heels it could be finesse trimming of the quarters and bars that will help the horse be comfortable with being barefoot. If there's been much deterioration of the coffin bone, he may not be comfortable with being bare.

                                        Just a thought!

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Daatje View Post
                                          I take exception to that statement.
                                          Why? Does it contain any untruths? If so, what are they?
                                          I've trimmed my own horses since 1999, learned how from a farrier friend of mine. Been known to trim for others now and then.....but mostly mine.
                                          So what? Are you qualified and have the skill knowledge, ability, materials and tools to fabricate or modify shoes and correctly set them on a horse?

                                          The big girl doesn't need shoes. If I ever thought we needed to try them, I'd find a farrier pronto. No excuses needed to keep her barefoot for the hell of it.
                                          Do you trim horses for a living? No? Then the statement Bro Bloomer made is not necessarily relevant to you, is it?

                                          Tell me, do you hear more excuses from farriers or from barefoot-only trimmers?

                                          I'm sure your experience with the barefoot crazies is behind your statement, but just because someone knows how to trim and not also shoe, doesn't mean they are not open to the services of a farrier.

                                          Trimming is so simple, I cannot for the life of me understand why more owners don't learn how to do it.

                                          That would put the barefoot trimmers out of business though, wouldn't it? [/QUOTE]

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