Hoof boots v shoeing for grip

flyingfeet

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 March 2006
Messages
8,073
Location
South West
So riding out this morning was very hairy

Slippery frosty wet grass, and an unshod horse with fairly well worn feet, so not much of a 'cut'. Think the hooves have been worn down from being on concrete, but gave no grip at all and felt very dodgy!

So any thoughts on whether hoof boots would help, or should I be looking to shoe him?

I would be fairly confident that he has never been shod in his life and is 9 years old, not foot sore, just felt like being on roller skates and I was worried about him falling over.

Also he has been tripping when out and getting tired (may be unrelated, but thought I'd mention it)

Edited to add: work wise, dressage or jumping on a surface and rarely hacking out, but I take him round our fields.
 
Last edited:

Morgan123

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 January 2008
Messages
1,383
Some hoof boots do have good grip, like Old Macs - like wearing a pair of trainers. However, any horse, shod or not, would be a bit slippy on frosty ground. As you school and jump on a surface, I'd stick with barefoot if I were you, since he's been barefoot for so long. If you put shoes on then decide you don't want them anymore that's a massssive hassle getting him used to being barefoot again, and you'd only need it for the frosty times - you'll be fine again when it's not frosty!

If you're worried, I'd just get some hoof boots and keep them for frosty days.
 

LucyPriory

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 October 2008
Messages
1,421
OP - I couldn't help but notice the comment re tripping and getting tired. Could you post some photos of his feet? Side and bottom of fores would be great.
 

viola

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 August 2005
Messages
1,887
Location
UK & Europe
Having ridden shod, booted and barefoot horses I would say that unless you stud up on all 4s the shod horse will slip the most of the three.
If I were you I would have his feet evaluated in terms of balance as tripping might mean something needs attention. I would also stay in the arena/other safe surface when it's frosty for the time being.

Regarding whether to shoe...if his feet need to strengthen putting shoes on will weaken them so this would be my last option.
 

maccachic

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 September 2012
Messages
1,217
Location
New Zealand
I agree re the balance of the hoof.

My guy when first transitioning use to slip a lot once his feet started to come right under the correct trim things improved heaps. I personally feel safer Bf these days than with boots.
 

LucyPriory

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 October 2008
Messages
1,421
Also second the comment re least slip from BF. TBH I now find riding a shod horse terrifying.

Grip doesn't come from long hoof wall (assuming this is what you meant by 'cut'). It comes from a good caudal hoof and this comes with a strong healthy, well worked hoof.

Viola has it spot on
 

flyingfeet

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 March 2006
Messages
8,073
Location
South West
Interesting comments - will try and take some photos if I get chance in the daylight!

I think the tripping was tiredness, as it was his first outing to a competition (ever), and he lost all the petrol in the tank, as not terribly fit. He doesn't tend to trip at home unless he gets in a pickle.
 
Top