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semi-private turnout with hind shoes

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  • semi-private turnout with hind shoes

    How many of you have horses with hind shoes that get turned out with other horses? Or have a horse that is turned out with others that have hind shoes?

    I have a youngster that needs hind shoes for the foreseeable future and he is regularly turned out with my old retired guy. They are buddies, but the youngster is regularly running circles around the old guy. I'm pretty sure all my horses have been turned out with others with hind shoes and it's never been a problem, but now that I'm in control (I keep them at home), I'm giving pause. Thoughts, experiences with a horse that was kicked in a pasture by another with hind shoes?

  • #2
    Many of our horses are turned out with others that have hind shoes. We have had kicks over the years,only one that was serious, but in general I think the horses are happier with a buddy so it works for us.


    • #3
      Always had my horses who were shod behind turned out with horses who were barefoot, and when mine were barefoot, they were out with horses who were shod. A few kicks, sure, but I don't remember anything that was a problem. A bare foot can do a lot of damage, as can a shod foot.


      • #4
        I would never turn out horses together that had hind shoes on. Mine got kicked in the shoulder and the vet said if it had been 1 inch higher, he would have been crippled. This was THROUGH his blanket! Yes, a bare foot can do damage, but a shod foot can do a lot more!
        Not my monkeys, not my circus.


        • #5
          Considering the force behind a horse's kick, a few ounces of metal aren't going to make much of a difference. Now studs would be a different story.... Even so, I turn my gelding out with my two mares with drive-ins. He's the alpha, but not a kicker.
          Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
          Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
          Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


          • #6
            I may turn out a passive horse that has hind shoes on out with another horse, but with the understanding that there is additional risk.

            A horse at the city owned stable died after being kicked in the head by a shod horse. The one horse was grazing, and the other horse kicked out (apparently at the bugs) with tragic results. They no longer allow hind shod horses in group turn out.
            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


            • #7
              Honestly have never seen a difference between shod and non shod kicks, my horse has always had 4 shoes and been turned out with others who had hind shoes too. I know of one horrible kick (broke the ponies shoulder) and none of the other horses in the pasture had hind shoes.


              • #8
                I'm amazed that so many people don't turnout in groups if there are hind shoes. Do they just have a lot of turnout available, or do they not turn out their horses much?

                I've always boarded at places that do group turnout and don't really pay attention to whether there are hind shoes on any of the horses. Really shouldn't be a huge issue if the horses are well-matched. And if the horse is worth that much that you are worried about it, I would probably do semi-private turnout with a little pony or submissive oldster. But in that case I'd be worried about any kick, rather than a kick with shoes.


                • #9
                  I worry much more about appropriate pairings than hind shoes or not. That's not even on my radar. I saw a horse get kicked so badly in the ribs by another that it had to be put down a few days later- no shoes. One of my horses got kicked in the face by a barefoot horse, which fractured his cheekbone.
                  You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CHT View Post
                    I may turn out a passive horse that has hind shoes on out with another horse, but with the understanding that there is additional risk.

                    A horse at the city owned stable died after being kicked in the head by a shod horse. The one horse was grazing, and the other horse kicked out (apparently at the bugs) with tragic results. They no longer allow hind shod horses in group turn out.
                    We lost a pony in exactly the same way minus the shoes. The kick, its placement and its force is much more significant then the shoes.

                    Both ponies were grazing one kicked out at a fly it landed onto the temple of the pony behind and the 2nd pony dropped like a stone. The ponies were long time pasture mates ...no aggression between them at all ate out of the same pile of hay same bucket if you'd let hem. Just un lucky
                    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                    • #11
                      I agree with those that say that pairings matter. But more than that, I consider who has the hind shoes on. I have had a horse with a broken leg from what we suspect was a kick by a shod horse, and I've had several kick wounds from unshod feet over the years that weren't serious. But I think the injury potential has more to do with what the horse is trying to do (an errant kick may not have the same force as a horse trying to kick another horse), though I agree that a kick can do a lot of damage whether the foot is shod or not.

                      My alpha mare kicked my young gelding in the point of the shoulder (with shoes) last summer during an over-the-fence interaction with another horse (he ended up with only a minor wound). I promptly pulled her hinds and she's now only shod up front. The young gelding also has hind shoes, but I've never seen him use his hind end for ANYTHING in the pasture. He's a biter and a bit of a pest, but it's just not in his nature to kick. So he's out with the girls with hind shoes on.

                      My other gelding lives on his own because his go-to move is a side kick/buck (he doesn't kick *at* things, but I don't think he's very aware of what's around him or where his legs go). I don't think I'd turn him out with other horses even if he was barefoot behind.
                      Flying F Sport Horses
                      Horses in the NW


                      • #12
                        For what it is worth, back in the day when there was a mounted force, the United States Cavalry would give a dishonorable discharge to the soldier who turned out a horse with hind shoes with others.

                        I have not done it myself but I had lots of turnout and big fields at the time.
                        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                        • #13
                          Had a 30yr old (barefoot) that was turned out with an exuberant youngster (with shoes). The youngster was bucking and playing and the old guy didn't duck fast enough. My much loved senior was kicked, and his jaw was broken. I won't ever let my horses be put out with a horse with hind shoes again


                          • #14
                            Both of mine have hind shoes and are turned out together. They buck and play, but the herd heirarchy is clearly established and I rarely find so much as bumps or knicks.

                            I would not turn my horse out with another who was prone to kicking and making contact, with or without shoes.


                            • #15
                              My horse fractured it's radius being kicked most likely by an unshod hoof (unshod horse was aggressive and was returned to it's owner shortly after due to aggressive behaviour).
                              My boy is out with another horse that has hind shoes right now (my horse is top of the totem pole currently) and he will be having shoes put on next summer for show season.
                              Maybe there is a slightly higher likelihood of greater injury with shod vs unshod, but I don't know any pastures that place horses due to being shod or unshod.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks for the opinions! It seems to be pretty split! We suspect my oldest kicked his younger (though still old) brother a few years back and caused significant damage (5 months of a hospital stay and thousands of dollars). Everyone was barefoot. I just don't know if I've ever heard of a known kick by a shod horse and was curious if it causes that much difference. As many have said, I think it's far more about the location/force of the kick rather than shoes vs. no shoes.


                                • #17
                                  I've always turned shod horses out together, but, like others have mentioned, herd dynamics are what I consider, not shoeing needs. If the dynamics are right, there should be very little worry. My horse is currently turned out with a 4 star event horse. Both are shod all the way around. They play and goof off and may make snarky-bitey faces at each other when I come to say hi, but they don't kick, and no one worries about it since they are a good pair.

                                  I've seen a lot of damage done with bare feet (including to myself). And I've seen horses walk away from some pretty vicious kicks from shod feet with no more than wounded pride. I don't think it makes a difference (though, I would avoid studs if I can or be VERY careful with the dynamics!).


                                  • #18
                                    The worst things I saw in group turnout were 2 hormonal barefoot mares turn butt to butt and start pummeling each other. And yes, that was a mare-only group, with lots of room, 2 mares who were normally quite friendly, and they just had "a moment"

                                    I boarded with upwards of 30 horses at a time. Turnout was gender-based, not shoe-based. Many horses were fully shod. It was never a big deal. I'm SURE some horses got kicked, but the bigger factor should be how well the horses get along in relation to how much space they have, rather than whether there are shoes on.
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                    • #19
                                      I have never understood strict gender-based turnout -- do those barns also consider personality? I've seen some nasty aggressive geldings and some meek mares, I just haven't found the gender turnout system to work for me. I do personalities. My current herd leader is a gelding and is a good, kind boss, mare is in the middle and a peach, lowest is a gelding and totally submissive. Peaceable kingdom here right now.

                                      None of my current horses kick to hurt -- if anyone was to get hurt, it would be by accident/someone got in the way. They might kick out occasionally, but not in order to make contact. I also try not to have more than 2-3 horses in a field at a time. I find that really reduces accidents -- it is easier for them to be aware of where all the hooves in the field are at any given time. When I have 4 here, I tend to split them up 2 and 2. I shoe according to the needs of their hooves, not turnout arrangements.


                                      • #20
                                        Ford- yes, this barn DID consider personalities. There are quite a few barns I know of that do gender-based turnout groups. The mare band was small. The geldings were turned out in several groups, and shifted around based on getting along. But again, with 15+ acres or so to roam, even slight disagreements were easily resolved when it was only usually 4-6 horses at a time or so. I think the biggest group was maybe 8-9 at one time
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET