Is there anyone who used to be anti barefoot who changed their minds?

Bay Mare

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Just wondering because I was never anti barefoot, I had just not really come across it.

There are some pretty strong views on barefoot, some people very pro, some very anti. So is there anyone who has their horses barefoot now who was previously against it?

What made you change your mind? Is there anything anyone could have said back then that would have helped you to make your decision sooner than you did? Did you have experience of barefoot horses before you changed your mind?

Ta x
 

MelanieD

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I wasn't ever really anti but about 3 years ago I was in the 'nice idea but doesn't work for every horse and mine needs shoes' camp. I thought either they needed shoes or they didn't and since mine had cracks she needed shoes to support them. I've since learnt quite a lot about how to turn cr*p feet that need shoes into ones that don't and how to get rid of cracks and she who 'needed shoes' is unlikely to have them anywhere near her again and is doing more work now barefoot than she ever managed when shod :D
 

martini55

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I have never been against it, just influenced by the usual school of thought that horses in work need shoes :rolleyes:. I honestly can't remember coming across a barefoot horse. I am the type of person that, if I see something unusual or different I go off and look into it. It wasn't until I came on here that I began to think about it and if it wasn't for the likes of MelanieD etc (thank you btw), then I probably never would have done it! For me it was very daunting removing shoes from a laminitic, I ummed and ahhed about it for a few months. After reading of success stories and advice from people on here I took the plunge and went for it. I was surprised that my farrier was open to the idea too. And so far I am pleased and have seen such an improvement in a short period of time :)
 

Wally

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I was riding competetively in 50 mile endurance rides in 70's bare foot.....without any fancy trims!

I am not anti barefoot. I am fully aware of its limitations though.

What I object to is evangelical folk who have just discovered they can ride barefoot in limited conditions and then tell me, personally, that my ponies, who they have never met, or seen the work they do or the conditions they live in, can go barefoot if I do some fancy trim no matter what.

My horses do go barefoot half the year. BUT they cannot do the hard work required of them in summer without shoes.

barefoot is not the answer neither are shoes.

I have a newspaper clipping somewhere, from 1980, when they thought we were some kind of weirdos riding without shoes!
 

Gimp

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I was never anti either... I just always have shod as it was the done thing if horses in work..

Have learnt so much recently, and Kai has good feet so trying him out barefoot at the moment, Keeping fingers crossed, but I worry everyday about them!! :rolleyes:
edited to add .. hes always been barefoot but never been worked until now
 

artemis

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Wally I agree with all that you have said. It's the folks that go into it with religious - type zeal that get my goat.:mad: I'm sure it has it's place, but when I am told why I should do it, then in the next breath, "But I can't ride today she's a bit sore", I see red.
 

cc rider

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my 18 yr old ex RS cob lizzie hasnt has back shoes for over a year. we do very little road work and i ride 2 to 3 times a week hacking and one half hour lesson in the school. i had her back shoes removed to go to a friends yard and was told it was safer if any argy bargy went on in the field. the RS owner i bought lizzie from said she would be lame for a year without back shoes....but she has been fine.
we are now at a big yard with concrete and she is still fine. i am glad for, as a new horse owner, i have saved a bit of money but if she really needed back shoes i would have them. i sometimes wonder if i should remove the fronts but i still follow the rule that if it aint broke dont fix it.
 

Trewsers

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I didn't realise (blushes) that horses could manage in work without shoes - until I bought Storm. Her previous owner just took them off (she said it would save on farriers bills!!!!) but she still worked her - and had the farrier come and trim her regularly. She has such good feet (according to our farrier) it seemed a shame to put shoes on her - so when I took over her ownership two years ago I just carried on without. Recently since moving her home to live our hacking is very stoney and I was concerned at first, tho she seems to be coping ok. I will be seeing the farrier in the next two weeks and I'm sure he'll advise me accordingly. Joe on the other hand is a walking disaster, his feet are not the best and has to have shoes - he's no choice at 16 years old - with crumbly back hooves and bad conformation (poor lad). I think barefoot is a splendid option - just wish it weren't too late for Joe. but there you go - vet and farrier both tell me he's better with them on and I'm inclined to agree.
 

Shadowlark

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What I object to is evangelical folk who have just discovered they can ride barefoot in limited conditions and then tell me, personally, that my ponies, who they have never met, or seen the work they do or the conditions they live in, can go barefoot if I do some fancy trim no matter what.

!


I object the same the other way. The there is no possible way my horse could go barefoot because... is something I hear a lot. Shoeing horses just because that's what's done you have a horse.. it must have shoes. Or the only way to fix X probllem is corrective shoeing. It saddens me to watch horses suffer shod, with all the bells and whistles glued to their feet to try and get them a LITTLE sounder.. Splash was lame more then 2 years because of this attitude - in under a month with his shoes off he was sound This isn't to say I don't believe in corrective shoeing but is simply an example of closed mindedness.

Barefoot works for me, my horses live on a large natural pasture, they get loads of gravel road work and have good healthy feet. They never have sore days If that wern't the case, then I would immediatly start looking to other options.

As with so many things in the horse world, it's going forward with an open mind and trying to find what works best for you and your horse not simply shutting out others ideas or methods on principal
 
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KarinUS

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So is there anyone who has their horses barefoot now who was previously against it?
I didn't walk the picket lines with 'down with barefoot' signs but I definitely considered shoeing part of responsible horse ownership and since my horse (OTTB) had special needs /difficult feet I would have really considered myself neglectful if I hadn't had him in shoes.

What made you change your mind?
My much loved farrier quit. We bought a second horse that came to us barefoot. I started reading up on barefoot.

Is there anything anyone could have said back then that would have helped you to make your decision sooner than you did?
Nope. NOTHING would have changed my mind. I was completely convinced that he would be maimed for life if his shoes came off. LOL. I was totally commited to whatever special shoeing job my farrier had to offer. ;)
So often now when I read posts of others that are pro-shoeing and thinking their horse has the worst feet and could never go barefoot I feel kind of amused and sad at the same time because it reminds me of how I used to think and also of how convinced I was that I was right and the 'barefooters' just didn't understand how special needs my horse was. :eek:
It makes me sad because it has done so much good for us but without a few coincidences coming together we would have never taken the plunge and many others never will, missing out on so much.

Did you have experience of barefoot horses before you changed your mind?
Yes. Lots of things changed when we got our little wild child Bixby.
 
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Gracie

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Cherry is currently barefoot, and I only shoe him in the warm dry summer months when his feet tend to crack, and we ride on the road.

In the winter, he does arena work and his feet have never been a problem.

I think what works best for your horse is the best option, just like if you do lots of jogging you as a human may need a special shoe, but if not, you may not...
 

KarinUS

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just like if you do lots of jogging you as a human may need a special shoe, but if not, you may not...

Oh what a great analogy. And one that's actually very pro-barefoot! ;)
Made me think of lots of things. Here's one link just for interest: Barefoot Runner. I especially loved his FAQ page. :D

But back to your analogy. Yes! Some situations require me to wear supportive and protective footwear. But would I want it affixed permanently to my foot? Do I want to sleep in my running shoes? Take a bath in them? Watch TV in them? No! In fact as soon as I am back home and done jogging I love to take them off and wiggle my toes.
I think the jogging analogy may actually fit hoof boots much better than nailed on shoes: Wear them when you need them. Take them off when you don't.

Just a thought and not trying to be evangelical. :p I just really liked the jogging idea. :)
 
Y

Yann

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And for horses (like Tess) who are ridden out exclusively in hoof boots, they can be considered as superior hoof protection in almost every way compared to shoes :)
 

Gracie

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Another question somewhat related to this thread, somewhat not...
Are horses feet senstive to hot or cold?
I've never noticed a horse to mind the snow in their hoof other then it can make them a bit lop sided if too much gets in.. but other then that??
 

eml

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A bit like Wally I use both, I take my farriers view on new horses and he is usually right. Most are shoeless, some have fronts , some allround. I have been like that for years, even back in the 60's (OK history :D ) my SJ pony had front shoes and later horse none.

Not evengelical just practical, some horses do need them, some don't.
 

Cochise

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I just kind of fell in to it with Cheeky, I just took his shoes off one day! I'd always just gone along with shoeing horses because that's just what was done. I took Cheek's shoes off as I had pretty much turned him out over winter, but still rode a little at weekends. His shoes just never went back on after that! He hasn't worn shoes since... April 2005! Wow, 2 years! Now he really is having a year long holiday while I'm here. But his regular farrier is still attending to his feet while I'm here. :)
 

MelanieD

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There's nothing at all new with the idea of working horses without shoes, just seems that some people have forgotten it and started to think every pony that does a half hour plod every week needs a full set :rolleyes:. The new thing is that we now know a lot more about how to turn cr*ppy horrible feet that need shoes or aren't even sound in shoes into nice sound barefoot feet :D
 
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