Who takes shoes off over winter?

ApolloStorm

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After pulling a shoe a week ago, my farrier suggested taking my boys shoes off over winter to give him a break. For now we are giving him the benefit of the doubt- he is barefoot on the back anyway, so transition wouldn't be too difficult. Farrier is back in 3 weeks for our regular shoeing time anyway so may decide to pull them off then
He doesn't do much work over winter maybe schooling 4 times a week. Little to no Hacking.
How many of you do this?
And how many of you have done this and not gone back to shoes!
 

kassieg

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I always used to take my mares off over winter. She had a full set to event then all off over winter. She would happily hack on roads etc but she had fantastic feet :)
 

RubysGold

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My horse had front shoes on for the first time this summer to help him cope with the hacking
But he lost a shoe a couple of times which I found annoying. so I asked the farrier to take them off for the winter. I really don't want to put them back on but may have to next spring
 

Enfys

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I do, I only have shoes on her because I do so much roadwork and she gets a bit footy. In winter there will be snow on the ground and she won't be ridden so much anyway when it gets a bit nippy.
 

rachk89

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I won't be. The ground here is quite rocky and he got sore feet because of it so will be keeping them on but he only has front shoes. I tried to keep him barefoot but it wasn't gonna happen.
 

shannonandtay

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Yes I do this, have tried to keep him barefoot but doesn't work for us as when his work is upped in the summer he gets sore but he sails through the winter barefoot, we just whip them off and carry on as normal and his fine, we put them back on in May.
 

Celtic Fringe

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When my son was eventing we always took his horse's shoes off in the winter. He hacked, schooled and hunted without problems. We really only put shoes and studs on for eventing as he sometimes slipped on wet dressage arenas. This spring he decided not to affiliate again so the shoes stayed off. They have completed hunter trials and dressage this year and I've also done some TREC with the horse without major problems. However, if we do more TREC next year I'll get him some front hoof boots as he was a little footy on very rough stoney ground.
 

supsup

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I went the other way - started off barefoot for a few years, but always needed boots. So I've been shoeing the past few summers, going back to bare/booted in winter. Dealing with the boots in winter is admittedly a pain in the backside, but definitely benefits the hooves. Main issue for me is that horse has very ground-skimming action and starts catching is toes/stumbling if his toes are a smidgen too long in shoes. By the end of the summer season, his hooves have started to run forward just the tiniest bit, but it's enough to start him stumbling by the third week of each shoeing cycle. He doesn't stumble when bare, even in boots. Don't know why. A couple of months bare and his heels and toes come right back under. And by the end of the mud-season I'm usually ready to have shoes back on and not faff with boots!
Going completely bare isn't an option, unfortunately, as most of our hacking is rough gravel, and we don't have a school.
 

DD

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I feel your pain. no school here either and stoney tracks and tarmac and muddy lanes. My horses now have their shoes off and am considering not putting them back on. I am coming to the conclusion that I will spend most of my riding time just walking with the odd trot or canter on any verges we meet. Shoeing is very expensive as are boots, a trom 3 or 4 times a year will be so much cheaper and I wont feel the need to ride just to get my moneys worth when the shoes are on. takes off the pressure. So if leisurely hacks are your thing its ok.
My horses shoes come off end of October to April always anyway.
 

ApolloStorm

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Brilliant! sounds like Ill be doing this then, I never have before- because the yard we were on had very stony ground and he went very sore after 2 days. but now the yard we are on now is mostly mud and concrete! he had this pulled shoe for a week and didn't look sore at all.
 

picolenicole

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I went the other way - started off barefoot for a few years, but always needed boots. So I've been shoeing the past few summers, going back to bare/booted in winter. Dealing with the boots in winter is admittedly a pain in the backside, but definitely benefits the hooves.
I did the same for about 4 years pony was barefoot, but as his work load increased and we did more "off road" hacking he couldn't manage and became very footie. So I shoe in late spring and he will be having his off on the 12th November, I work full time and he's not one for just weekend or the odd day riding, he's either in work or he's not. I've had him 6 years and tried all sorts but it suites him best to turn away in winter then come back in spring. Does his hooves fab having time off from shoes, we have hoof boots but can't go any faster than trot in them or he pulls them off (rips them to bits) by being an idiot!!
 

millikins

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7 March 2011
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We've just taken shoes off one of ours, mainly because daughter has a new horse and we don't have daylight to keep 4 in work. He lives out so shouldn't lose fitness completely if no/very little work and it will be nice to have something that can be ridden if it snows.
 
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