Horse people...Oppinion on shoes/weather /riding ?$$$$

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bkreugar, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Okay here is my question/delima. In April i bought my mare.She is 1/2 Arab 1/2 paint.Prior to that I had many many straight arabs and NEVER EVER had to do shoes.Occasionally I would get another breed of horse and thye would need fronts.But my full arab guys ...NEVER.

    So I buy said mare (adore her) and she wasbarefoot but soon realixe i will HAVE to get shoes on her as she is SOOO ouchy on the rocks.More than any horse I had ever ridden.We were trail riding about 10 hours a week over summer and fall.Shoes on the front she is a solid dream on the trail.

    She doesn;t much like riding in the ring (gets bored unless I really work on figures etc) and she is very well broke. My ring is the lowest point of our property and not rocky but in the winter/spring it is mostly too wet to ride in often.DD 11 is my riding partner.

    So at dinner last nite we were talking about daylight savings time, which starts next weekend.Here in NC that means all the trail riding we had done during the week will end. We had got some ride time in my tacking up at 4;30 and leaving by 5 to b home by 7-7:30.

    We rode last week and got home at 7 sharp and it was almost full dark.SO i don't think we will be able to ride but on the weekends after daylight savings, unless we ride in ring.So I am debating the shoes.She got her last shoes on Oct 3 and they last a good 8 weeks.SO I am thinking I will have them pulled 1st week of Dec, and not get them done again till late March.

    Shoes on front cost me 65.00 so it would only save me 130.00 for the 4 months.I am kinda hoping with it being wet(ter) rocks won't bother her as bad.Am I delusional? Seems like a lot to just be able to ride 2x aweek. But maybe I am looking at this from the wrong angle and the shoes just make her more comfortable everywhere all the way round.

    My situation now is different then in the past where we mostly rode in a ring.Now our lifestyle is such that we mostly trail ride.So this is a new area for me.I have MILES AND MILES of trails .5 mile down the road and we LOVE it and ride for HOURS.My mare is rock solid and adores going out.

    Any thoughts?
  2. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    This is a question to ask your farrier. Maybe your horse has bad feet/bad angles; mine does.

    I have to put shoes on his fronts every spring right away before I start working him or he will come up lame.

    I'd rather shell out some money to the farrier, than not be able to use the horse at all.
  3. Grace

    Grace Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    I agree about consulting your farrier. I'm a farrier and I suggest never pulling shoes on trail horses, unless you use boots. Have you thought about getting her some boots? That is what I have suggested to clients who want to save money during the "off" season. The fact that she is ouchy on rocks makes me think she has flat feet with little or no concavity. You risk brusing her soles and causing abscesses. You should chat to your farrier he/she should be able to advise on what to do. As pips and peeps said it is way better to shell out some money than not be able to ride or have vet bills.
    Hope this helped. [​IMG]
  4. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    I HAVE thought of the boots... A LOT. But it seems everywhere I ask I get a big thumbs down regarding fit (they seem to cause rubbing/sores) staying on (they come off in water) adn just people generally not being happy.

    Does ANYONE have anything good to say about them?
  5. trilyn

    trilyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    I've got the older style of easyboots, have had them for years. I use them on my gelding who has the same problem. I hate to spend money on shoes during the muddy season on the off chance they come off when I ride. I've never lost a shoe and don't plan to ever start! I've never had any problems with them, but I don't leave them on 24/7 either. When I got them home, I trimmed the backs to fit the horse, and I've never had a rubbing/sore issue. When I get done riding, I pull them off, clean/rinse out the hoof depending on the mud factor and turn his butt back out. Works for me, I trail ride and have never lost a boot, but I also don't run him at a full gallop with them on either-I take it easy and we have a nice ride. Save the galloping for the shoes! lol Good luck! [​IMG]
  6. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    My horse's feet are much more tender when it is wet. She didn't need them all year, but we've had a lot of rain since July-ish and they have softened and become more sensitive.
  7. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    Been a horse owner almost 25 years, and had bought and sold (and kept) about 33 horses in that time. The ONLY time I shoe is when we take our horses to the Rockies or the Black Hills and I know that the 50-100 mile/week rides will wear their hooves down too much. My arab, (Corporal, RIP, June 2009) had perfect feet--every farrier I've had said the same. I STILL shod him for these trips. Unless your horse(s) have a hoof problem or a gait problem that can be corrected with shoes, keep 'em barefoot. Do you know that the horses' hoof is so flexible between the time you trim a hoof and the horse puts his foot down, the hoof can change? Also, they grip like a claw when they climb. Putting a piece of metal on is a compromise. That's also why it's important that your farrier fit the shoe to the horse, and not the other way around. Horseshoes can cause your horse to slip on icy footing, too. Basic, everyday horse hoof care is more important than shoeing. I've even seen horses that lift their feet on verbal command. Mine aren't THAT good, but they're pretty good with their feet.

    BTW, if you have your horses long enough you'll see your farrier quit. I FINALLY found an Amish farrier, because I was tired of looking for a new one. I even saw him shoe two Belgians that had to be worked on in stocks to handle their feet! I wish I had had my camera. He trimmed MY two after these two--it must have been a relief, because even my 3 year old has good foot manners!

    One more thing: But yourself a small, portable hoof pick that you can take with you on trail rides, in cause your horse picks up a stone. I have a brass one where the pick folds up inside and I have it attached to a key ring, so I can put it in my pocket.
  8. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Quote:Ain't that the truth! Moved my horses to UT five years ago... every time I get a good farrier they end up quitting because of their back. [​IMG]

    When I retired my barrel horse, I pulled her shoes off thinking I'd save money. I didn't, she came up pretty lame. I'd definitely talk to your farrier and see what they have to say.
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Try boots. They're great because you can take them off and reuse.

    I do endurance and my horse goes barefoot (1/2 Arab, 1/2 Saddlebred) but I usually carry a pair of easy-boots with me in my cantle bag in case we have to go down a stretch of rough gravel road or over a lot of rocks.

    Speak with your farrier about angles and hoof sole (some horses are just flat-footed like some people and will always have issues) and things you can do to "toughen up the feet" and get a pair of easy-boots for occasional use. However, if the feet are a little bit clubby, the shoes will go flying at a trot.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Boots are a little bit of a gamble, especially Easyboots that have to be cut to fit (remember there are other brands on the market now, with somewhat different design, of which I have heard very good things but have no personal experience)... HOWEVER to me they sound worth trying. You could always resell them for maybe half price if they just don't work out for you, and recoup *some* of the cost, right? But if her feet are reasonably Arab-y (not real low in the heel or plattery - but if they *are*, then that may be your problem right *there*) then the chances are really pretty good that you can get boots to fit.

    Venice turpentine, painted onto a clean sole (NOT the frog, not the wall, not anywhere else, just the sole itself) once or twice a week for 1-2 weeks will help toughen up a sole IME, but I would talk with your farrier first and don't do it right before a trim.

    I agree that you need to fix or protect her feet one way or another, though. And if you are going to ride on ground that makes her ouchy, then if it should happen that you *can't* fix or protect her feet by other means available to you, then shoes are better than lameness.

    Oddly nobody has said so yet on this thread but I will warn you that there is one school of thought out there, that you may hear from elsewhere, that represents the 'dark side' of the barefoot trim movement, when people say "oh it's ok for her to be sore for six months or a year or two, just keep riding her, it will turn out ok in the end". This is a *bad idea*, and aside from being unfair and painful for the horse can cause permanent damage. In particular bear in mind that most if not all horses that are very tenderfooted on rocky or lumpy ground have a *biological reason* for it, often a lurking problem that can become more serious and unfixable if ignored and exacerbated. I am not at all against good barefoot trimmers of course; I am just warning you what SOME people will tell you in a wellmeaning but illfated way.

    I would betcha though that if her feet came mostly from the Arab side of her parentage, she'll fit into Easyboots or other boots; and if her feet don't, then it is quite possibly a farrier project (could be easy to fix, could be difficult to ever make much difference in, it depends) in which one would *hope* that some adjustments in trimming would do the trick but it is concievable that she may "require" shoes for trail riding (in any practical sense of the word "require", as in, you have access to a finite number of farriers/trimmers with finite skills)

    Good luck, have fun,


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