are your horses shod or shoeless and what do you do with them?

amandaco2

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Just curious.
I had 4 shoeless. Lost 2 last year (oldest one to colic, next oldest due to neuro compression)
Now the two I have left in thinking of shoes.
One was shod when I got her.she had very thin soles. Took ages to get her ok out of shoes on most surfaces. She's coped really well but we've never had to go on much stones before. Now she's hacking daily and our lane and drive is very stoney. I think this combined with sodden fields has made her feel them more. To and from stable was an issue. So shoes went on in front. Instantly fine. However she has got bruising on hinds now so I'm thinking shoes all round? The boots I've tried seem to rub her.

Mare two has never ever been shod always been fine on surfaces. However she is feeling the stones on the lane too. Ivd been booting her up but she really doesn't like the hind ones, she brings her feet up as if it travel boots. Hooves look same as they always have

Both compete and a lot of venues have very stoney car parks.
They also slip in boots which makes me anxious as I do a lot on hill work with them....and I school on grass but atm hack down the stoney lane to use our driest field....


They are out 12hrs daily muzzled. In rest of time on double soaked hay.(12 hrs in free water x2) Fed copra plus pro balance and salt and vet e and magox and micronized linseed.
Weights are fine, horse 1 is underweight as she had lami last year for first time so I prefer her ribby in spring.

I am a bit disappointed in having to shoe after years and years without but I cant see another way?

So I guess I'm trying to see if anyone else has done similar? Or what everyone else does with their horses.....
 

HufflyPuffly

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I think do what you think is best :).

Mine are as follows.

Doodle, shod in front for the past ten years at least (longer than that as she was shod before I bought her). Now transitioning to barefoot due to a vairety of reasons and her feet are growing in very well but still footy on stones. She is a semi-retired hack so I can be picky about where she goes and we boot to ride but only need fronts. Had an issue with rubbing but bought some pastern wraps which have solved the issue so far.

Topaz, shod all round when bought but clearly had been shod to sell as no previous nail holes, took backs off on first shoeing cycle. We periodically took her fronts off as her feet were so good, but shod her in summer as we used studs to jump on grass. Only do dressage competively now so bare again and doubt we will want to shoe her again, stoney carparks are rubbish though! She's definitely felt her feet coming out of winter this time, far more than previous years though is getting back to rock crunching again.

Skylla as a four year old this year has never been shod, and is still a little weary of the farrier. Absolutely perfect on all terrains and I will hope to keep her shoeless.

After my issues with Doodle it's made me think twice about ever putting shoes back on, but if I did want to stud again I would do but only for the time I needed the studs for as I would want to give their feet a break every now and again.
 

stencilface

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Bf being brought back into work after rockley.

Someone on here has said that cutting out linseed stopped their horses being footy? Worth a shot?
 

HufflyPuffly

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^ Agree with SF, if Topaz hadn't improved we would have started cutting out what little hard feed she has to see if it helped, but in our case I think it was just the very wet weather making her feet softer than normal.
 

serenityjane

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Two riding horses-both shod, two non-riding horses (broodmare and yearling) unshod.
If I lived in an area with open access to miles of dry sandy tracks I would not shoe my riding horses as shoeing undoubtedly increases concussion. But I don't, and in order to be able to ride my horses where and when I want, and to get them fit for that ridden work then I need to ride on roads with rough stoney tarmac which literally wears the feet away-so I shoe. Neither horse is compromised or footsore, both have a sugar free and mineral rich diet and minimal hard feed, both have good hard hooves.
 

alliwantforchristmas

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unshod and have been for the last 17 years, all horses, nine in total (currently have seven). But riding is straight onto open mountain and miles of grassy tracks, no roadwork, hours of riding and I don't feel the need to travel/ride anywhere else, so easy choice for me. all horses feet look great, I think have only had three abscesses in the 17 years we have been here. They have 24/7 access to fields, over 37 acres in the winter, less in the summer, and also barns - fields very wet obviously so good for them to come and stand in dry when they want to. fed hay and straw. all at the stage where you can just feel ribs. if i needed to protect feet i would really work hard to make boots work and/or look at Rockley farm stuff before shoeing. Farrier comes every six weeks or so, basic trim, happy with all the feet.
 

nikkimariet

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Barefoot, competing AM dressage and schooling PSG+

He's fine on all surfaces and can hack for up to an hour no probs.

Commercial diet incl ex dairy grass, haylage and slobbermash. I'm very lucky he's so hardy (esp for an OTTB!).
 

GemG

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Barefoot all his life, now 22 years old (still ridden) and has done all sorts. BS, unaff dress, showing, hunter trials, unaff ODE, pony club type stuff, beach hacks, all day hacks! Roadwork etc.

Only time it slows us down is I have to be careful on gravel type tracks and let him pick his way through. Everything else is fair game. I'm lucky he has very hard feet and never an abscess or anything (touches wood). He is still ridden and I'm wanting to try some BD before he gets ancient if I get the chance. I've never had problems with footing when jumping on grass (albeit that was only up to 1.10m, I don't know if bigger tracks etc would become silly without studs ?).

Never slips on the road.

Youngster (by him) is obviously barefoot so far - will probably try to keep her that way if she stands up to work when the time comes. Her feet look great so far.

OP - I think the sheer wetness has softened most horses hoof horn and if your girl has thin soles, she is bound to feel it. Maybe the drier weather coming will help, if you can afford to wait?? Luckily mine don't seem to have thin soles at all.

I've often looked at the boots, but never took the plunge with them. Thought they might be good for 'gravel' stoney tracks etc. But I just don't think I need them. But I'm interested in how they perform.
 
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Hannahgb

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The two I lost last year were both shod in front for various reasons.

Current two are both barefoot- one off with an injury and one 4 yr old. I have no intentions of putting shoes on either.
 

Shadowdancing

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Unshod her whole life as I've had her since she was three, I've hacked her out on pleasure rides and roads for hours and never given it a second thought, her feet are excellent as attested to by farrier and she's rarely if ever footy except on very rough rocky ground. I just give her time to pick her way though and we're fine.
 

amandaco2

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I already shod mare 1 in front as she was footy to and from field starting in December....booting not option for this as too muddy and impractical to boot....
Mare 2 I'm reluctant to shoe as hooves always been so tough!
 

Gloi

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1. Old Icelandic gelding. Been shoeless about 5 years now. Feet better than they used to be but heels still rather contracted and frog underdeveloped. Have tried multitude of supplement to no avail. Sound on roads for light hacking but any more and I need to boot him. Have given up trying to go bare and boot for anything apart from very short hacks.
2. 4yo black cob. Never been shod. No feed or supplements except grass and hay and a few high fibre cubes when he comes in. Living out. Hacking most days. Copes with all surfaces without any problem, including very stony tracks. Wish all horses were as easy!
 

ihatework

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Young event horse - shod all round
Dressage horse - was shod in front and unshod behind when competing, now unshod as just about to drop a foal.
Retired TB - unshod over winter, shod in front spring/summer/autumn as too footy otherwise
Semi-retired mongrel horse out on loan - not sure as haven't seen him in a while!
 
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MagicMelon

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I keep mine barefoot and only shoe unless I really need to (only reason so far has been due to slipping at a certain level eventing). Of my current ones - 1 was shod his whole life until I got him, he's now been barefoot successfully for 2 years and his hooves have never looked better, 1 was shod only during eventing season and I took his shoes off over the winter every year but now retired so barefoot, of my 2 mares - 1 I compete in most disiplines on grass and on a surface (eventing, SJ etc.) and she's been great so far barefoot but she's not competing at a particularily good level yet (1m), she also hacks regularly on the road and on stoney tracks fine and the other mare is my sons little Dartmoor so she doesn't need shoes.
 

sjp1

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I tried unshod - when he was out of work due to tendon injury. Put him on Pro Hoof, cut out all sugar in diet, soaked hay, but had to boot him when walking up the drive to the yard. He became so sore, he had all sorts of muscle issues where he was holding himself.

Finally had to bite the bullet and shoe. He is back in work and much happier. Still has softish soles - would have loved to have been shoeless, but just couldn't get it right for him.
 

spookypony

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All of mine live in a muddy field.

1. 1 companion pony, wanders around field, barehoof.
2. 1 mare, doing low-level dressage and hacking, barehoof. Hacking tends to be slow, not more than 2 hours, over all surfaces.
3. 1 gelding, doing medium-distance Endurance (up to 80km classes), barehoof. Goes bare much of the time for slow hill-work and road work, wears boots (Renegades) on fronts or all round for competing/faster or longer training, depending on terrain. He's metabolic.

I'd say, don't give up on the boots yet; there are SO many models available now, and some really competent dealers/fitters to get you sorted out. What are you currently using?
 

Clannad48

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Barefoot, bitless, currently competing at endurance but also done dressage, showjumping and crosscountry - Barefoot for nearly 8 years, bitless for less than a year.
 

charterline

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I have one who is shod in front, had backs off nearly two years. Not footy behind and pays no attention to stoney tracks. I wish he would though as it would help him slow down!
 

amandaco2

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Im using cavellos. Tried them on hinds on thin soled mare tonight and she slipped badly twice cantering up the hill.... shes ok trotting on lane though in them.
i tried old macs but they rubbed her.

Never shod mare seemed a bit better on fronts.......booted her for riding though. Cant see the hind feet will improve, they are very nice on heels, frogs etc....
 

rachk89

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Mine came to me unshod but i moved him from a sandy area to a very rocky area and his hooves couldn't handle it. So he has front shoes on.

He might be ok now that he is back around the more sandy area but I go for hacks more now and that is on roads mainly so i am not risking his hooves. He has good hooves otherwise.
 

FfionWinnie

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No shoes on any of my 6 and do everything and anything with them.

I don't like boots really so in your situation I would probably have to shoe as well but it would really annoy me.

Perhaps there is an imbalance diet or mineral wise causing the issue. Strange you are having troubles with both.
 

sydney02

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Barefoot. Hacking, schooling, roadwork, dressage and a little jumping.
Have to go slowly on the really stony ground, but never had any problems with being barefoot so probably wouldn't go back to shod again.
 

Kat

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Mine is barefoot, we school, hack, do RC dressage, jump a bit and hunt. We have hoof boots for any times we need them, just Cavallo simples that go on if she is doing more hacking than usual or if the ground is likely to be challenging.

I had her shoes off because she had horribly thin soles and was bruised. Managing her diet and exercise barefoot has been very beneficial and she has been sounder since going barefoot.
 

Lintel

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Shod unfortunely.
Would love to be barefoot as my boy has solid feet but due to a bout of lami making his feet quite sensitive. He had fronts put on as we were negotiating very rocky roads each day.
Moved yard and thought we'd get to be barefoot, but it's constant tarmac hacking and the school is sand- which we also use for turnout in the winter so he then needed back shoes too!
I dream one day of being barefoot again!
 

FfionWinnie

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Cavallos are in my opinion rubbish in terms of grip, clumpiness and rubbing so you might find something better (renegades or gloves would be my choice if I had no other choice but to use boots!).
 

Meowy Catkin

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I go for hacks more now and that is on roads mainly so i am not risking his hooves.

Tarmac is brilliant for unshod hooves. How much roadwork are you doing? I built up slowly and at one point was doing 2 - 3 1/2 hours five days a week with CM and I still didn't reach the point of self trimming. All the horses have had the winter off, so I'll have to build them up again starting with being led out in-hand, but I don't mind, it's worth it.

Moved yard and thought we'd get to be barefoot, but it's constant tarmac hacking and the school is sand- which we also use for turnout in the winter so he then needed back shoes too!
I'd be quite concerned that sand was an issue. I've had a similar situation in the past when mine were in the sand school 24/7 (bar exercise on tarmac) and sand is an 'easy' surface for them.

To answer the OP's question I have three unshod/BF horses. Two have never been shod and number three was shod, but was given a new lease of life (literally, as she was on the verge of PTS) with a BF rehab.
 

rachk89

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Tarmac is brilliant for unshod hooves. How much roadwork are you doing? I built up slowly and at one point was doing 2 - 3 1/2 hours five days a week with CM and I still didn't reach the point of self trimming. All the horses have had the winter off, so I'll have to build them up again starting with being led out in-hand, but I don't mind, it's worth it.

Do maybe an hour on the roads once a week. Some off road bits but not for long. I don't think I will be risking it I don't want to see him hobbling across a hard surface again just to have him barefoot. He doesn't limp badly without shoes but it's enough to depress him and I hate seeing that look on his face.

We could probably get the back ones looking a bit nicer the front ones look amazing after almost a year with shoes on but he doesn't get sore on the back ones for some reason so just leaving him be. He is happy so i am too. If he shows any signs they will go on too.
 
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