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Gnasher
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12-12-2015, 05:33 PM

Barefoot Horses

Are there any horsey people on here whose equines go barefoot? Before my horse was killed in an RTA 12 years ago, I had just started her on a barefoot regimen. She was a TB cross New Forest, and thanks to the TB element she had very flat feet and constantly suffered from lameness. Once I took those shoes off and rode her barefoot, things greatly improved. Because I did virtually no roadwork on her, I thought it was worth a trial and although she was only barefoot for 6 or so months before her death, it went very well indeed. However, had we done virtually all roadwork I would not have taken her shoes off - but now I am reading about a police horse in the States called Charlotte who was sadly killed by a refuse truck running into the back of her. The article mentioned that this particular Police Force in the States followed a routine of natural horsemanship including a policy of no shoeing. Presumably police horses spend most of their time on roads, and presumably this particular police force's horses had suffered no ill effects, otherwise they wouldn't have followed such a regimen.

What are other people's feelings on this topic vis a vis a lot of roadwork? I am hoping to get another horse when I retire in a couple of years time and depending on where we are living, may have to rely mostly on road riding.
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tawneywolf
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12-12-2015, 05:40 PM
Dunno Nikki, I have a friend with a Dales x Shire and she goes barefoot, but they do little or no roadwork and she has very hard feet.
I think if they have the hard black hooves they'll be fine, but would imagine if they have the white flakey hooves then shoeing will be needed
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Jackie
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12-12-2015, 07:05 PM
I know a few people who have their horses go barefoot, there is a lot of thought goes into this, diet is important ,but most importantly the horse has got to have good feet to start with.

They also compete in all disciplines.
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Gnasher
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12-12-2015, 07:38 PM
Thank you guys - my Gemma did not have particularly good feet, but once I had taken the shoes off it really did seem to make a radical difference. I noticed that she slipped and tripped a lot less in particular, not that she was particularly clumsy. I just always thought that a horse who did a lot of road work would need to be shod, but apparently not if Charlotte is anything to go by!. When the time comes I will see what happens - my choice of horse is going to be a Welsh Section D, but a cross such as a Shire x Dales sounds wonderful. I guess what will be will be when the time comes, but as sure as eggs are eggs I will experiment with a period of no shoes - thanx for your input.
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tawneywolf
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12-12-2015, 07:44 PM
I know the farrier is a good place to start if you want your horse to go barefoot, they can prepare the hoof in a specific way
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brenda1
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12-12-2015, 07:58 PM
A Barefoot journey by Linda Chamberlain. Fascinating subject.
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Gnasher
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13-12-2015, 10:51 AM
Thanx guys - will google that Brenda.
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lotsforus
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31-12-2015, 01:34 PM
My horse is bare foot I do alot of roadwork and she has lovely hard feet rather than a farrier get in touch with a barefoot trimmer. I think given the time and right diet all horses could be barefoot.
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Gnasher
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02-01-2016, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by lotsforus View Post
My horse is bare foot I do alot of roadwork and she has lovely hard feet rather than a farrier get in touch with a barefoot trimmer. I think given the time and right diet all horses could be barefoot.
That's very interesting, thanks for that Lotsforus. When I do get another horse, it will certainly be something I will be trialling. Our local farrier is a supporter of going barefoot, and he was working with Gemma when the poor darling was killed. Certainly the few weeks she went shoeless, there were never any problems, just the opposite.
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halfpenny
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13-01-2016, 10:05 PM
I would never let anybody other than a qualified farrier near my horses feet, be it for a trim or shoeing.
None of the horses are shod at the moment, but of our own 2 ( not sanctuary horses) who can be ridden, my own horse would probably cope without shoes unless doing lots of road work, compared to Bumble ( Mike's horse) who doesn't have great confirmation, if she was doing a lot of work I would shoe her fronts, otherwise she gets footy!
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