Hoof care: to shoe or not to shoe.

This video is so important I think I should put it here as well as on Facebook.  My biggest problem is, if I buy into this (and I think I do), what do I do  about The Boyos and the miles and miles of gravel they will face this summer?  Boots?

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4 thoughts on “Hoof care: to shoe or not to shoe.

  1. Our horses don’t have shoes but we don’t ride them for miles every week. The last sentence on the Swedish Hoof School’s “About” page sums it up: “To be completely honest a horse doesn’t even need hoof care provided by humans if the environment and the feeding are 100% natural. Just look at the Zebras in Africa. Who is trimming them? ”

    Riding and wagon pulling are far from 100% natural experiences for Zebras who spend all their time running around the grass lands of Africa. Their activities match their hoof growth so no trimming is needed and if something goes wrong the Lions will fix it.

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    • *grinning at John’s last comment*

      My horses don’t have shoes either, unless they are going on the Wild Pink Yonder. And even there, you gotta wonder. In year two, we had Fern and Trooper. Fern wore shoes, but Trooper never did — not for one day, and Fern was a Longrider that year. (Does that make Trooper a “Longhorse”? *grin*) Mind you, when The Boyos were hot footin’ it down the gravel, Fern would take Trooper over and into the ditch … but still. Trooper logged a LOT of barefoot miles.

      I recently got a new farrier, who in his off hours raises warmbloods. He tells me that his horses get trimmed a couple of times a year. That’s it. And he, too, says that in all honesty, they probably don’t need it ever, and he points out the wild horses, wondering who trims for them. I guess in the USA it would be those awful Canadian wolves! (I’m still mad about that.)

      The difference between a wild horse and a riding horse is that a wild horse will not put on many miles in a day. Unless a predator is after them, they pretty much mosey along with their muzzles in the grass, eating. That doesn’t put a lot of shock on their feet. On the other hand, we’re told that pressure on the frog is integral to getting the horse’s blood to pump back UP his leg. So, how does it pump when he’s wearing shoes? (There was no swelling from lack of circulation in The Boyos’ legs after their 350 mile treks.)

      It’s all rather confusing, isn’t it? I think I’m going to try boots when I want to drive around here and stick with borium shoes for the trek. Three weeks of shoes can’t be THAT bad for them … can it?

      So what’s the answer? Boots? But, would boots give the protection needed for the soles on a 350 mile gravelly trek?

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  2. We do use boots if we are going to ride on rocky trails or gravel roads. Tor has Easyboot Epics with gaiters and Zorro wears Cavallos. Neither impedes their paso fino gaits. I find the Cavallos easier to put on and take off but they do look clunkier.

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    • We’re in the process of trying to find boots to fit The Boyos. It has not worked anywhere NEAR as easily as the Easyboot box says! We had the farrier measure and we bought, and they were the wrong size. Measured ourselves. Still got it wrong. Now I have taken a tracing of their not-so-little footies and we’re going to take THOSE down and try to get a fit. If THAT doesn’t work, I’m putting Bror and Troll in the trailer and we’re taking their footies in for a personal fitting! (Expensive little critters, those Easyboots! We’re trying just the fronts for starters. See how that goes.)

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