View Full Version : Stay barefoot or get front shoes?
20th September 2009, 09:53 PM
Was hoping to keep Neo barefoot. His hooves are holding up fine to the light hacking we're doing, they're nice and hard and have hardly worn at all. I have noticed he's definitley sensitive going over stones. On the way out of the yard the track is rather stoney and if we walk on it he does sometimes hobble as he stands on the stones. He'll also head over to the grassy bit. When we're out he's the same where its stony. He's fine on the road though.
He's due a trim soon and was wondering if I should at least get some front shoes put on him? I've known shod horses still feeling stoney ground so I'm not sure it would make much difference? We're also likely to be moving in the next few months so the hacking conditions could be quite different.
Any thoughts on if shoes would make much difference?
20th September 2009, 09:55 PM
If you really wanted to keep him barefoot, you could always get those boots that protect them from stony ground and prevent them getting footsore. Sorry I don't know the name of them, someone might be able to help you out instead!
I remember The Moog getting some for her horse Mallow though and she really recommended them.
20th September 2009, 10:03 PM
I was wondering about those boots too. But with his habit of not concentrating on his feet as it is I wonder if he'd be more likely to trip with boots on?!
20th September 2009, 10:06 PM
Hmmm I'm not sure, I suppose it could be a possibility. You might have to start slow if you did use them, just so he knows what to do with them on!
It'd be a shame to shoe him though if you were hoping to keep him barefoot. I suppose you could try them out and if they aren't suitable, chuck them back on Ebay!! :lol:
My Crazy Clan
20th September 2009, 10:11 PM
I would stay barefoot, using shoes doesn't always stop them from feeling stoney.
Using boots he will probably be more aware of lifting his legs up because they will feel heavier.
20th September 2009, 10:14 PM
Chip is exactly the same on stoney tracks and gravel and I use Cavallo simple boots on the fronts. I've been going through the same dilema about whether or not to shoe the fronts but I feel it would be a huge setback to go back to shoes unless its the absolute final resort. The problem is that he's footy on the backs too so shoeing the fronts wouldn't help. I'm considering getting boots for the back feet too.
Interestingly, one other horse that I hack out with is shod and he also struggles on gravel !
20th September 2009, 10:19 PM
I think I'll stick with the barefoot. He's only just started ridden work this year and has never had shoes. Vet commented on how nice and hard his hooves are! Just got farrier trimming him at the moment, but may see about getting a proper barefoot specialist to have a look at him.
My Crazy Clan
20th September 2009, 10:31 PM
Good choice, just see how hes goes I'm sure he will be fine and your vets said he had good feet anyway.
20th September 2009, 11:40 PM
id keep him barefoot. all the horses who are shod that i know are a bit touchy on stones too.
if you want to - you could give keratex a try - that really does harden the soles.
also - a tip for you - your farrier may cut away neos sole.. tell him to leave it and NOT to touch it - hes cutting away the hardening sole and thinning it again, just tell him to cut and rasp the edges and balance the feet. :cheekywink:
21st September 2009, 08:28 AM
Barefoot all the way. I would rather them a little sensitive on rocky areas then to have nails put through their feet.
I use boa boots and they definatly do the trick and make a big difference, never had a tripping problem...But i got mine years ago and there are better and more efficient makes on the market now. I think the best are the Old Macs mrk 2 according to the big endurance peeps anyway. My boas are awkward to get on and off, and did rub Hazel coronet band but were fine for Riff.
21st September 2009, 08:35 AM
How long has he been barefoot? Has he ever had shoes on? Id persevere, as suggested you could always look at getting him boots.
I was going to get boots for Turk but have decided to retire him. I think the secret is to measure your horses feet correctly for the boots as if they are too big in any way you will gave problems with them.
21st September 2009, 11:20 AM
Are you giving him any extra feeds? There are a number of feeds we give horses that definitely make their feet more tender (some of the Bailey's ones, for some reason, for example, others too). This sometimes doesn't show so obviously if there are shoes nailed on - they stop the hoof making contact with the ground so disguise the tenderness, then when the shoes come off people blame the loss of the shoes, when in fact all that is happening is that we are seeing the problem that was there all along.
And as you've observed, shod horses can still dislike stony ground, which just proves that shoeing them is not the answer.
It would be a great pity to start shoeing a horse that hasn't been shod before, sorry but I am so passionate about this I do tend to go on!
21st September 2009, 03:33 PM
They're def going to stay off now. I'm going to look at getting an EP to do his feet rather than the farrier too.
21st September 2009, 05:33 PM
I'd stick to barefoot personally. I think sometimes putting shoes on their fronts alone can make them unbalanced. I think shoes should be all four or none at all. Both Kiz and Bert are barefoot with really hard tough little feet, but they're not keen on stoney ground, so if it is stoney I keep them to grass wherever possible.
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