Shoeing horses - what's the point?

Shilasdair

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If horses were meant to wear heavy metal shoes on their lower limbs, they'd be born with them!

I don't understand why people think horses need shod - after all, they have much better grip, much better circulation, and it's cheaper not to shoe them at all.

Look at mustangs, Camargue horses, etc.

Barefoot trimmers are much cheaper than farriers, and horses should go sound after only a year or two without shoes.

Your thoughts?

S
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hellybelly6

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In an ideal world yes, but today's horses are artificially created and would not survive in the wild to begin with.

Humans breed horse to jump or do dressage or x-country etc, they are not bred for hoof quality, therefore shoes are needed.

Mustangs and camargue horses, although not strictly wild, live as nature intended and those with bad feet do not survive.

Not only that, wild living horses, do not have to put up with wet boggy fields in winter as they have a choice to avoid muddy ground and their feet are not exposed to urine soaked bedding and bedding which dehydrates the hoof.

I hope this makes sense!

My horse was barefoot for 9 months, but was lame as the ground dried out and hardened and he had to have his shoes put back on.
 

megwan1

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[ QUOTE ]

Barefoot trimmers are much cheaper than farriers, and horses should go sound after only a year or two without shoes.

Your thoughts?

S
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well my horse is sound now with shoes on so i dont really feel like sending her sore for a year or 2 just to save a bit of cash.
wen i had an unshod pony my farrier charged£10 for a trim...
she had alot of road work to do so she had to be shod cos he feet couldnt cope.
thats why mine are shod!
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Tiarella

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Doug wasnt shod until I had him. He now just has front shoes on as we do lots of roadwork. Might have back ones put on soon as he seems to be sore on his feet.
 

welshied

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Horses didn't use to be riddden on hard road surfaces either with someone on there backs, so their feet didn't crack
 

brightmount

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Not really wanting to rise to the OP's p!sstake, however if shoeing can be avoided it is healthier long term for the hoof.

Conditions such as underrun and collapsed heels, weakened walls, boxy and contracted hooves and navicular can result directly from shoeing.

My horse that had navicular and was going to be PTS was successfully rehabilitated by going barefoot and now competes and treks over all terrains and roads, in other words does all the things barefoot that horses are deemed to require shoes for. And as the OP knows, a barefoot trimmer isn't cheaper than a farrier if you are just talking trimming, although they are cheaper than shoeing. A barefoot trimmer will oversee a programme of rehabilitation between trims though and there will be ongoing support that I have yet to find from any farrier.

An unshod hoof requires trimming as regularly as you would shoe, in other words every 6 weeks. Kept trimmed and balanced, an unshod hoof is less likely to crack and split than a shod hoof. A horse that is transitioning shouldn't be sore and uncomfortable as boots are available for the initial stages.
 

foxviewstud

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all of mine are barefoot, but this yr their feet seem to be rubbish, growing really quick un breaking off, they are trimmed regular but i think its the on off weather thats causing it so im now feeding biotin in thier feed un rubbing cornacresine into the hooves to try and strengthen them
 

GT_02

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I agree with the poster who said that todays horses aren't bred for hoof quality. Certain characteristics important for survival in the wild, such as strong hooves and good jaw conformation are not considered as important as temperament and ability. We can cope with these deficiencies by shoeing and rasping so are prepared to put up with them. I would only shoe a horse if I considered it necessary for the well-being of the horse and safety in performance (using studs for example). I have 3 horses at the moment; one is shod, one is unshod and one just has front shoes on, because that is what suits each particular horse.
 

Fairynuff

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Are you testing out the 'troll' waters before you take the plunge? OMG, Shilasdair is a 'trollette'
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. Okay, scenario, no shoes= no hot blacksmiths to have lunchtime fantasies over
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. Is there another reason to have your horse shod
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M.x
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Tnavas

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Wild horses generally walk everywhere - they only go fast if danger threatens.

We ask them to do many things that wear their feet faster than they can grow.

Who wants to spend two years waiting for their horse to come sound barefoot.

Barefoot farriers are generally not qualified.

They often cause a lot of damage to feet by over trimming - I let one near my foal a few weeks ago - she was lame for two weeks and missed the show we had been preparing for for several weeks.

Give me a qualified farrier and day of the week, one that has spent 4yrs 2mths training and passed internationally recognised exams.
 

IWTO

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Never mind shoes, why aren't horses born with tack and rugs? Would save me a fortune!!
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Love it!!
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MrsMozart

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Never mind shoes, why aren't horses born with tack and rugs? Would save me a fortune!!
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Love it!!
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ROFL - could they also do rugs and boots, et al?
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I would luuuuuuuuuuuuuurve mine to be all barefooted and twindly toed. As it is, Little Cob is naked, Little Lad semi-naked, and the Dizzy one fully covered (tried it otherwise, and she goes 'Ow, ooh, ouch!'.
 

JoBo

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Because the ruddy council decided to stone our bridleways!
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Bodey was barefoot up till earlier this year but now I’m doing more jumping and XC need stud holes.
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FestiveSpirit

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Cos my ickle sensitive TB is neither a mustang nor a Carmargue horse and would no doubt bruise his little footsies within about 5 seconds if I rode him barefoot
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And he is too bloody expensive to keep as a lame horse whilst his little footsies decide they can cope
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