Post by treacletart on Dec 15, 2011 18:53:04 GMT 1
I have a healthy new forest who is shod in front for the simple reason, we do a lot of miles each week, quite a bit on roads before we get to bridlepaths. She has been shod for about four and a half years.
Now, if I go down the route of removing front shoes this winter when it snows and am unable to ride, (and also to prevent snow balling up), what should I be thinking about for keeping shoees off?
Where does diet come into this? Hoof boot recommendations would be good, if I do this I have got to get it right for mine and ponys sanity, (and for the bank balance ) What other suggestions do you have? Are there any good threads on here about the transition from shod to unshod?
I would do as much swatting up as you can, i think barefoot is a life style choice for you and the horse, i dont keep my horses anywhere near to how i used to, www.performancebarefoot.co.uk , if you did take the shoes off, id make sure before you do you get as close as you can to a sugar free/low, diet as you can, swat up and be prepared to choose your trimmer carefully, and disinfect the nails holes and feet everyday ,thats just part of good hygeine to me, hoof boots would be tricky as the foot will either spread or contract , cheap second hand boots might be an idea for a while, boots come in many shapes and sizes so its hard to say, good luck and post some pics
Tbh once your pony is conditioned little and often on hard ground and gradually built up then there is no reason why he would not manage the hacking on roads barefoot. Personally i would not bother with boots to begin with because you may not need them. A good hi fibre diet with a supplement. Avoid mollasses. Heavy magnesium daily is also a good supplement for barefoot. All of my barefoot endurance buddies swear by magnesium as i do. good luck and listen to your pony.
Ishcol Charisse and Chardyll. The Arabian. Beauty at its best.
Definitely listen to your pony, and don't be tempted to push them on if they show definite signs of struggling at any point, because it won't help. That's when boots are a good idea, and there are plenty of options out there now which will allow you to keep going when the feet need a bit of support.
Cavallo boots are pretty good, easy to put on and they stay on and don't rub. Which boots work depend on the shape of the feet. I've always avoided boots as much as possible but quite like Roxy's trainers since having been forced to use them for a while this year. It's so easy to just pop boots on and get on with it, though TBH I wouldn't have been saying that before trying the Cavallos, toys have been right out the pram (me not the pony) several times with boots in the past
Special diet isn't always necessary. I faffed a lot with diet and have ended up right back at what I fed years ago before barefooting. One rock crushing sound and the other pretty good considering past history of rubbish feet in shoes, the fanciest foot supplement they get is NAF Biotin and they even get to eat a bit of mix and have grass in summer Some horses are more sensitive than others to diet.
Getting someone good to trim and give advice is important. Some farriers are great, some do unhelpful things like trim the sole too much. Do lots of reading as well and get to know what's good and what you do need to worry about. I've known a lot of people get very worried and cause themselves unnecessary stress over something like minor chipping which didn't need to be worried about.
I got my horse old mac g2s when I took his shoes off about 4 years ago, his feet were shockingly bad! I hardly ever use them now tbh. They were certainly helpful in the transition stage and I always like to keep them handy if any footsore behaviours appear or if I need to keep a poultice on but still want to turn out!
Roadwork is ideal for conditioning barefoot horses as the hoof gets best stimulation for new growth. The surface you are most likely to struggle on is stony tracks while the sole toughens, you may need hoofboots for this.
When I made the decision to have front shoes on, it was because she got a bit footsore one winter when i couldnt ride in her field and needed to get her out and educated further.
My main concern would be the mileage we do on roads but I dont suppose I will know until I try it.
Her diet is good grass and a mineral block all year, with hay and grass cubes this time of year. She has good feet, not perfect conformation, but does have a very good farrier. He will be with us this morning.
I'll read the info you have all posted (and any more which appears ) and keep you up to date with what iam thinking and what I do. Off to take pics today of being shod for 6wks and how the shoes are worn, without shoes, and hmmm whether she has any back on or not remains to be seen. As I say, its the amount of roadwork wich worries me, but maybe I will have this winter with reduced mileage to introduce her nicely.
It's probably worth pointing out that it isn't always just a case of simply pulling the shoes, doing the right things and giving it enough time. Some horses never get to the stage of being consistently comfortable over all ground as they are in shoes, and there are all sorts of reasons why that might be the case. Drastic changes in lifestyle might be the answer but if you're unwilling or unable to make them then boots or maybe part time shoes or both might be the way to go depending on what works for you. It's important to have realistic expectations and be armed with as much knowledge as possible.
Mine hack for hours on the roads. Blaze does 7+ hr hacks in the summer, she has been bf for 3 years. My youngster, 5 yrs, does a couple of hrs at a time on the roads. They are both 100% on all surfaces, out 24/7, low sugar/starch diet (when on hard feed, not atm) and on MagOx. I'm lucky. neither have needed boots, but roads have never been a problem. Good luck on your bf journey. Lots of knowledgeable bf people on here to help if you need it. xxx
Well, shoes are off. (No photos as camera not yet charged up- sorry). Nail holes had tea tree in them.
She sounded strange padding down the street to her field yesterday, but think we can have some fun by creeping up on freinds, hehe.
Farrier back in village first week of Jan, he said he will have a look at her for me, to see how she is doing.
We have tarmac to the yard gate, then gravel, not pea gravel, (3mm?) not large gravel, then the field. I have given her last week off from being ridden as I was really busy and think I may do the same this week but may take her out for a few in hand outings round the village.
Be prepared it took mine nearly 18months but well worth it. I pay £40 for a trim usually every 6 weeks in summer but 12 weeks in winter. I use Marquis boots which are brilliant as every single part is interchangeable making them a cheap longer term product. I keep the sugars down but always have as there is a lot of laminitis in my area. I use a rocky 5* mineral lick.
You shouldn't need the boots on tarmac but each horse is different. I started off with the boots on her front feet nothing on the back as she was never shod on the back. It took a little time for her to get used to them and I just built up slowly but after a few weeks she was fine with them. I chose bare foot as farriers are like hens teeth where I live and you can wait 2 plus weeks if you loose a shoe to get it replaced, no good for my job and too much faffing around. It has worked fine for me but not all horses are suited to it especially those breeds who have thinner soles.
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