TB Barefoot?

Laurynb

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20 November 2018
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Hi everyone,

I'm just looking for some advice or experience anyone may have of a barefoot TB.

My boy is a 5yo ex racer and his feet seem to be quite soft. He also manages to get the shoes off quite frequently taking chunks of hoof with them!:rolleyes: His field is pretty flat and nothing major that he could be catching the shoe on etc but when he gets them off he is sore and unbalanced, the farrier can take anywhere between a day and 2 weeks to get back to me meaning no riding so we are struggling to progress being stuck in this circle!

Any advice is greatly appreciated!:)
 

ycbm

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I've taken several TBs barefoot and some do it more readily than others. My current one had the shoes off six or eight weeks ago and has never much cared, even though his previous owners told me he would be crippled.

You would be well advised to get all added sugars out of his diet and get him onto a supplement which has no iron or manganese in it but is high in copper and zinc. There are three, sold by Progressive Earth, Forage Plus, and Equimins.

He may need boots to start with, he may not.

You don't sound as if you have much to lose by trying.
 

paddy555

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i can't see you have much to lose but I would be prepared to boot from the onset. If you are struggling with riding waiting for the farrier you may well be left struggling for him to not be sore if he is barefoot and I very much doubt from your description that he is going to have his shoes off and be able to carry on with the riding you want. If you leave him bootless he may well be restricted in riding for a while or even longer. If the shoes are taken off make sure the farrier does as little as possible and doesn't touch the sole and probably not the frog. Make sure you have no infection in the frog. You could consider hoof armour. There is a good choice of nice riding boots available for TB sized feet. Boots are not cheap but many makes have a good resale value when you need to sell as his feet will undoubtedly change size after a while.
 

Carrottom

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8 February 2018
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I would take the hinds off first and see how you get on. You could also try putting over reach boots on the fronts if he is stepping on the clenches to remove the shoe.
 

nikkimariet

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Fig was fine barefoot up until he was competing inter 1, then he just didn't grow enough foot to avoid becoming sore.

He did 8 years of racing and was unshod 2012-2018 with no probs.
 
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I've had a tb unshod for several years, he was fine. When the shoes first came off he was avoiding hard ground in the paddock, but in time his feet toughened up. Maybe just try him and see how he goes. You can always go back to shoeing him if he doesn't cope barefoot.
 

Goldenstar

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I took J bf not long after I bought him ,his feet where a mess and he was sore after every shoeing .
The first four months where a slog but after that he did well if I had only wanted him for dressage and hacking he would never have been shod again .
But he did not enjoy jumping on grass shoeless so after eighteen months I shod him again although he had a period every year without shoes .
 
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My tb had-naff feet when got him 10+ years ago. Much much better now and now he is retired I thought I would try him without shoes. There is about 15 meters of concrete from his stable to a non- stony field but he still couldn't cope without the shoes.

I imagine that all horses are different but I just wanted to say that he was absolutely fine when I put shoes back on so why not give it a try, worst case scenario you put shoes back on but at least you have tried.
 

Goldenstar

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J would not leave the stable when his shoes came off four months later he was hacking about on the road perfectly happy .
 

Gloi

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Boots have come on so much in recent years. There is no reason not having shoes on should stop you doing things. Go for it.
 

PoppyAnderson

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It's a myth that tbs can't go barefoot. Give them the right diet, environment, exercise and time to transition and they're like every other horse. Some manage it quicker than others but then, some cobs take longer than others too.
 
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Mines very recently gone bare foot as he was removing shoes. He has been quite foot sore so I’ve booted him when needs be and now he’s happy. I still boot him to hack but it’s only been a couple of months.
 
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My TB has been barefoot for 10 years now, since he was four and came off the track. Couldn't keep his shoes on. TBs will always have thinner soles, so get a set of boots for all hacking work. Working in a school will be fine. Expect the hoof to be unstable for a while after shoes come off. If you can, get an Equine Podiatrist to help him transition. Wouldn't shoe any of mine again. My TB can hack out barefoot but he'll wear his hoof wall down if I keep doing it, so I use the boots if we are doing lots. He has never been lame :)
 
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I was speaking to a vet in Newmarket recently and she says most of the yards are now keeping the race horses barefoot as much as possible as its better for leg function, they are only using racing plates (shoes) when they have to.
 

ycbm

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My TB has been barefoot for 10 years now, since he was four and came off the track. Couldn't keep his shoes on. TBs will always have thinner soles, so get a set of boots for all hacking work. Working in a school will be fine. Expect the hoof to be unstable for a while after shoes come off. If you can, get an Equine Podiatrist to help him transition. Wouldn't shoe any of mine again. My TB can hack out barefoot but he'll wear his hoof wall down if I keep doing it, so I use the boots if we are doing lots. He has never been lame :)

Some of this isn't right Santi, sorry. I've had several barefoot TBs.

Not all TBs will have thin soles and need boots for hacking. I would agree that more TBs than other types of horses are likely to need boots but there are plenty which don't. I have evented one, hacked another, and my current one is hacking happily on tarmac but just feeling some stones, though as he has only been out of shoes for three months and was fine until the spring grass came through, I hope to change that.
 

ycbm

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I was speaking to a vet in Newmarket recently and she says most of the yards are now keeping the race horses barefoot as much as possible as its better for leg function, they are only using racing plates (shoes) when they have to.

I would love this to be true but I've never heard it before and word spreads quite fast in barefoot circles and this would be a truly momentous change. Has anyone else heard this?
 

EKW

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I would love this to be true but I've never heard it before and word spreads quite fast in barefoot circles and this would be a truly momentous change. Has anyone else heard this?
Nope never heard of it. There was a debate a few weeks back about the BHA insisting that all horses wear back shoes to race. They were immediately shot down by a number of trainers - flat and NH. But I doubt anyone would routinely train without shoes and put them on just for racing. Many racehorses get a bit footsore when just shod so you would need to be putting the shoes on 10 days in advance which then defeats the purpose of not wearing them ...

Both of my tbs are barefoot (not the stupid ancy nancy way they simply don't wear shoes!) And they are fine. A flat footed tb probably wouldn't cope as well nor would some of these stupid boxy footed crocks thst flat racing seems to produce these days!
 
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