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barefoot vs. shoes

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    barefoot vs. shoes

    I know this has been discussed before but, I would like some imput from COTHers on my situation. I keep my horses at home and I try to go for lessons about once a month. About 3-4 times a year I end up at the lesson with a horse that is a little sore - not out right lame just not quite right. Usually it seems to just be sore or bruised hooves. I am considering just putting shoes on the front of my Thb to help prevent this. Right now I think the soreness comes from the fact that our pastures are SOOO dry that the ground is very hard and I can't get the bruising to heal.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Bopper

    #2
    Originally posted by Bopper View Post
    I know this has been discussed before but, I would like some imput from COTHers on my situation. I keep my horses at home and I try to go for lessons about once a month. About 3-4 times a year I end up at the lesson with a horse that is a little sore - not out right lame just not quite right. Usually it seems to just be sore or bruised hooves. I am considering just putting shoes on the front of my Thb to help prevent this. Right now I think the soreness comes from the fact that our pastures are SOOO dry that the ground is very hard and I can't get the bruising to heal.

    \
    There are three reasons to shoe: Traction, protection, therapeutic change in movement.

    Looks like you need the protection. Just to make your life (more) expensive, consider that if the fronts are sore, the backs probably are too, and when you protect the fronts he may move more onto the forehand to do his best to protect the naked rears.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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      #3
      Few tbs go comfortably without shoes. Could you perform well if your feet hurt? It's worth the extra dollars to have the piece of mind. Also, if he needs the support of shoes, there is other internal foot damage that can occur.

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        #4
        I've never, ever, had to put hind shoes on simply because of the horse being given front shoes.

        It's very common to shoe just in front, and can make a world of difference to a horse that is carrying a rider over hard ground.

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          #5
          I'd at least stick front shoes on, I know when the ground was hard this summer we used some wider ones on my TB and they really seemed to help. I'd just ask the farriers opinion regarding hind shoes, he should be able to tell you if you need them or not...

          Comment


            #6
            I'd have to agree with the shoes... Try them on front first and if you still have issues then go with rear ones a well... one step at at time!

            Good luck!
            www.CastleHeartFarms.com
            Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation and Ponies
            Don't practice until you do it right, practice until you can't do it wrong!

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              #7
              I find that shoeing four is a better end result than just front if the horse has ever shown signs of soreness because they do typically compensate by being heavier on the forehand. If it's just a preventative based on expected concussion, front is probably fine.

              On the 4 vs. 2 argument, you're changing angles, even if it's slightly, by only shoeing in the front. You would never shoe "just the left side" because it seems like common sense. Why is it okay front to back? Walk around in just one shoe, even if it is a tiny sole - you definitely feel it. I don't have a lick of proof to back up what I'm saying, it just seems like by changing those angles slightly you are increasing stress on tendons/ligaments.

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with the above. TBs do not generally do well without shoes. Do up the fronts, and see if you need the rears.
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  This subject has always interested me a great deal, while I am not advocating one way or another there seems to be significant research that indicates that shoeing may not be the best solution, or let me qualify this statement; that traditional iron/aluminum shoeing may be less than beneficial.

                  I think the real reason we came to shoe horses was the direct result of the way we manage horses. Simply putting them in stalls has led to many, many different ills that ultimately shoeing was the best answer for at the time of it's creation. Ammonia build up, lack of foot circulation are detrimental to hoof health.

                  I do remember reading Xenophlon, which of course was a gazillion years ago, who spoke of horse living, on average, 40-50 years, and he never mentioned any type of shoe. It seems to me that one of the biggest cause of what would be considered a natural death, relates to a horses feet, or other factors that are no doubt related to the feet in some way. I am not a vet, and I do not claim to know anymore than the average horseman, and I am not reciting statistics, it just seems to me that this is the case. Perhaps a lot of the problems we see today are the result of horses wearing shoes all the time, not walking as they would in the wild for miles, which of course exercise their small heart.

                  I completely understand your dilemma, if your horse is sore being out in the pasture, then being barefoot is not working so well, but if he is only taking a lesson every once in awhile, perhaps trying boots may work for him. I know with my horses, and I mean all of them, regardless of the talent or ability, they do not wear shoes non-stop. If they are not showing the shoes come off period, and we deal with the soreness issues as they arise.

                  It's a tough call, perhaps talk to someone who rides endurance, as I know a lot of them are true barefoot believers, and the proof is kind of in the pudding, if a horse can go twenty miles a day on rough terrain with no shoes, they must know something, and would probably be better able to give you options that we hunter/jumper People do not have experience with.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    i disagree. the reason we have to shoe horses more often now, is due to breeding for looks and not for quality. We have bred these horses into bad feet.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      half and half isnt helping your horse as he will be unbalanced

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hauwse in gray, deletia

                        This subject has always interested me a great deal, while I am not advocating one way or another there seems to be significant research that indicates that shoeing may not be the best solution, or let me qualify this statement; that traditional iron/aluminum shoeing may be less than beneficial.


                        Whatever gave you such a silly idea?

                        It seems to me that one of the biggest cause of what would be considered a natural death, relates to a horses feet, or other factors that are no doubt related to the feet in some way
                        .

                        If you'll do bit of research, you'll find that pathologies associated with digestive disturbances are the greatest killers of domestic horses - which means the primary cause of death from other than natural causes is husbandry, not metal shoes.

                        I am not a vet, and I do not claim to know anymore than the average horseman, and I am not reciting statistics, it just seems to me that this is the case.

                        Personal incredulity is not a very good basis for argument, it's just another way of saying, "My mind's made up, don't bother me with facts."

                        Perhaps a lot of the problems we see today are the result of horses wearing shoes all the time, not walking as they would in the wild for miles, which of course exercise their small heart.

                        With similar logic and exactly as much scientific support, you could claim horses' problems are the result of the moon's being made from green cheese.

                        I completely understand your dilemma, if your horse is sore being out in the pasture, then being barefoot is not working so well, but if he is only taking a lesson every once in awhile, perhaps trying boots may work for him.

                        It appears the OP's horse has demonstrated a need (protection) for shoes - and boots are never an acceptable substitute for shoes.

                        I know with my horses, and I mean all of them, regardless of the talent or ability, they do not wear shoes non-stop. If they are not showing the shoes come off period, and we deal with the soreness issues as they arise.

                        You appear to be saying that your unfounded prejudice is of greater importance to you than the physical well being of your horses. It doesn't work that way at my camp: I like horses too much to allow them to become sore when I have the means at hand to keep them sound.

                        It's a tough call, perhaps talk to someone who rides endurance, as I know a lot of them are true barefoot believers, and the proof is kind of in the pudding, if a horse can go twenty miles a day on rough terrain with no shoes, they must know something, and would probably be better able to give you options that we hunter/jumper People do not have experience with.

                        Before you play the endurance card, you might want to have a look at the logo of the outfit that sponsors the Tevis. When you do, you might ask yourself what that logo and the winners of every Tevis in recent memory have in common.
                        Tom Stovall, CJF
                        No me preguntes cualquier preguntas, yo te dir no mentiras.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My OTTB is barefoot and doing great. As a matter of fact, he's doing better barefoot that he was with shoes.
                          But not all horses are alike.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My TB came to me 5 years ago with front shoes only, and I've kept her that way. My farrier thinks she has great feet, however if at any point she needs hind shoes she will get them. So far, it hasn't been necessary. She's happy and if she's happy, I'm happy.
                            She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My suggestion is simple.
                              discuss this with your farrier.
                              It's quite amazing I know - however they generally do have the welfare of your horse at heart if you have a good farrier.
                              I have horses - some wear shoes, some don't.
                              It all depends on the individual horse, it's needs and work habits.

                              @the deletia person who marks posts strangely

                              As a complete aside, -I- have endurance horses.

                              Other than shoeing, I also do my own farrier work. However always with checks from my farrier in case I've overlooked something.

                              Only 2 compete 50 milers plus barefoot. And when I say barefoot, I mean no boots.
                              My other 2 endurance horses are shod, because both my farrier and I feel that due to their conformation and lack of truly 'great' feet they need to be shod to perform competently and stay sound and happy. Personally I doubt these two specific horses will ever be top endurance horses anyhow, but that is a complete aside.

                              the main point being - barefoot /shod camps & their mouth foaming fanaticism aside.
                              Be responsible & do what's best for your horse.
                              If he needs shoes- then shoe him!
                              Originally posted by ExJumper
                              Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I have a barefoot TB that was in 2* wedges before converting. BAREFOOT has made him the most comfortable, the most confident, and the most sound.
                                Is barefoot for everyone, heck NO! it takes far more commitment to your horse, more <owner> attention to their feet, and can in some ways create a lull in your riding schedule while your horse is being rehabbed.
                                Do I think shoes are the devil? nope, but if willing to do the research, find the right hoof care professional, and be dedicated barefoot is so worth it!

                                If i were you, i'd but a pair of hoof boots (i use easyboot epics for rough terrain) and save yourself the extra cost of shoes and the circulation loss to your horse.
                                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                                chaque pas est fait ensemble

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Tom, you'll now be known as the "delitia person"! Congrats at having a new title.

                                  Rick is the "It depends person", rainechyldes.

                                  If the horse is sore, getting a set of four shoes from a good quality farrier is a good direction to go in. Most people who are applying shoes for protection will find the horse benefits more from a full set than just fronts. Making the fronts comfortable and ignoring the needs of the hinds isn't a great way to encourage a horse to have more engagement. Danvers Child often commented that you should shoe all the feet you plan on taking along on the ride.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                                    Is barefoot for everyone, heck NO! it takes far more commitment to your horse, more <owner> attention to their feet, and can in some ways create a lull in your riding schedule while your horse is being rehabbed.

                                    That right there - is an implication that the OP would be a bad horse owner if she chose to shoe her horse.

                                    A ridiculous statement.

                                    @Kaydence - I'll admit, I couldn't remember his name while I was writing my post. I find the light grey hard on my poor old eyes to read clearly.
                                    Originally posted by ExJumper
                                    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                                      If i were you, i'd but a pair of hoof boots (i use easyboot epics for rough terrain) and save yourself the extra cost of shoes and the circulation loss to your horse.
                                      If the boots are causing a loss of circulation, you aren't fitting them correctly.

                                      There is no loss of circulation to a properly trimmed hoof with a properly applied shoe added to it. I think there are many threads you could find on the lack of science behind the claim.

                                      As a friend of mine, with horses who are kept barefoot the majority of the time, says, she trims her horses because she is cheap but when they need shoes, she shoes her horses because she is cheap. A horse is an awfully expensive pet to have sitting around while it can't be used.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Hauwse View Post
                                        I do remember reading Xenophlon, which of course was a gazillion years ago, who spoke of horse living, on average, 40-50 years, and he never mentioned any type of shoe.
                                        Well of course Xenophon did not mention horseshoes in 300 or 400 BC as they had not been invented yet.

                                        He did not mention 40-50 year old horses either, because they had not been invented either. Extraordinarily old horses were probably even rarer then than now and record keeping was not as organized.

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