From the article: Shoeing FAQ - Is Barefoot Better - Barefoot Trims?
Should horses be shod or go barefoot? Why leave a horse barefoot? What is the deciding factor for putting shoes on your horse? Which is healthier or which is harmful? What is your opinion? Share Your Opinions
Shod or Barefoot
- We worked a one million acre cattle station in Central Australia with a 70 horse working plant. Only one of them was shod and this despite a lot of their work being in sand dune country. We did however have a designated horse paddock that was largely rocky and so kept their feet naturally trimmed as they were spelled.
- —Guest Jim
- I've just realized that horses have to be shod to survive the pleasures of people who state they love them but want then to do things that are not natural for them. That require them to need supports to help their hooves from deteriorating. Why have we always forced animals to do things they were not meant to do :( :( and not have a horse just to enjoy its friendship. I imagine making money is the main reason. How tragic.
- —Guest D
Depends on horse
- I think it depends on the horse. I have an old-fashioned TWH that has never worn shoes. Her trimmer comes in every 6 weeks and maintains her "mustang roll". I live in Colorado and we trail ride 4-5x a week. Her pasture is very rocky and dry, so her feet are tough. Maybe if she was stalled and then only had to do arena work, I'd have to shoe her. Anyway, my paint gelding has to have shoes on his front feet. His last owner left him barefoot, but never trimmed him and that caused all kinds of problems (big split in his hoof, for one). I would prefer him to be barefoot, but he's just not comfortable like that, so he gets his front shoes. Since other people are discussing bits, I will add that both my horses are ridden in rope halters. My TWH has never had a bit in her mouth. At any rate, let's remember that there are extremists in every group when there's a debate about anything.
- —Guest nikki
Barefoot or Shoes
- I don't think that putting shoes on a horse inhibits the horse at all. A good farrier will put a larger size shoe on a horse so that the hoof can and does flex properly. If shoes cut off circulation as someone stated, then the horse couldn't even walk much less travel or compete in shows. That being said, I have had horses both with and without shoes. Needless to say, whether they were shoeless or shod they did very well. None of my horses had issues of lameness, or bruising without shoes, and the horses that had shoes had no problems either. I rode the barefoot horses all over the place on gravel, asphalt and they did fine. My shod horses rode on gravel, asphalt, the highway and did well, also. It's a matter of what is best for the horse as some others have stated. But I think going barefoot or shod are equal, unless the horse is having some kind of soreness or lameness issues then you get at the bottom of what is making the hoof sore and change it.
Barefoot means blood can circulate
- When a horse is barefoot his hoof can flex as he moves thus causing blood to circulate in his hooves. The more circulation the healthier the hoof. Steel shoes keep the hoof from flexing thus impeding circulation. It has taken years for me to see the light but once convinced by seeing the difference in my own horses (who both trail ride and compete in Hunter over Fences) I would not go back to steel shoes. Take a look at Happy Hoofware if you feel your horse MUST have shoes on.
- —Guest Jeaniene Jones
- My horse is 4 and I have been trying to ride him barefoot. He looks like he is dying and crab walks no matter how hard I push him to get of the gravel. Its is painfull for both of us not to mention branches getting caught in my stirrups trying to avoid gravel and walking in ditches or high grassy areas. I am so confused as what to do. My horse is just starting to trust me. Does it make sense to force him to do what hurts ?
- —Guest Angelina
I think their fine barefoot
- Because I have 8 horses and all of them are bare foot ...and are checked up on monthly
- —Guest Chevyhead3
- Well, it depends on the horse… my horse is and Arabian Morgan cross and he is VERY hard hooved, but I ride on paved roads often and I just want to be sure that he is protected,so I shoe him on all of his hooves. If u ride on pasture then your horse probably won't need shoes… it just depends on the hooves and what you are using the horse for
- —Guest Keegan
- It depends on the horse, but I would suggest that if you could, keep your horse barefoot. Now if the ground is very hard, or rocky, shoes might be best. But again, if you can avoid most rocks or your horses feet are rock solid, leave them barefoot. That's how it was in the wild and they were made for their feet to toughen up and not need shoes, ever. :)
- —Guest LilyBoo7
Horses in action, with BAREFEET
- you wanted proof of high endurance horses doing it all natural. Here you go. click the lick and chooses which endurance sport you would like to see done all natural. it CAN be done. http://www.tribeequus.com/action3.html#hunter
- —Guest Adrienne
- It depends on the horse, and it depends on the age, injuries. My 28 yrs old QH has to have shoes, or he cant walk. The other three horses go barefoot and natural, and do just fine.
- —Guest Bev
- I live in BAJA MX. I have an 11yr. old MUSTANG, that had NO SHOE'S when I got him, and the MEXICAN FARRIER say's NO SHOE'S...I live in the DESERT, and on the BEACH and THE SAND will HELP to KEEP them SHAVED? NOW, 2 yrs. later, I just put 4 WRKING SHOE'S on him His CORRAL is ALL SAND, and when I RIDE, the LITTLE BITTY STONE'S kinda HURT HIM! The MX. FARRIER'S are VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE about HORSE'S, they are USED EVERY WHERE here? It's a WAY of LIFE! Well, that's MY DEAL!
- —Guest Paula Paro
- It depends on your horse, the work its doing, and where you live. My trainer doesn't shoe her horses because the area we ride in is mostly dirt and soft ground but her show-horses have shoes because they need them when in riding in the arenas.
- —Guest Cici
depends...but I recommend barefoot
- I own a mustang that was shod by his previous owner. He wasn't caught until he was 8 so he was used to barefoot and shoes made him moody so once I bought him, I pulled his shoes and he is so much happier and he does great on all kinds of terrain. I am against any mustang being shod. All it does is cause problems then excuses on why your horse "needs" shoes.
- —Guest Clint
Do what your horse tell you he needs
- I took my horses shoes off and he was in massive pain so I had him shod in front and I hope he recovers because his whole personality changed when he was in pain and couldn't tell me! Listen to what your horse is telling you !
- —Guest Gorky mat
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