Saturday, February 27, 2010
Bare Foot vs. Shod
I always have this a feeling that if you want to stir up trouble with horse people discuss horses hooves. Just like anything people have their own opinion and some are pretty adamant that their way is the "right way."
Personally, (as in my opinion) I think it's great to be able to keep your horse's feet natural, but you need to do what is best for your horse. It always drives me crazy when people tell me that TB's have horrible feet and they need to have shoes on all 4's. My first farrier put shoes on all 4 of Denali's feet because she had "horrible" feet. Yes, they were not great, and I didn't know any better.
Just because your horse is a TB does NOT mean that they have horrible feet. I'm betting (and can't be for sure) but racing TB's are feed a diet to give them the energy that they need to be able to run over long distances. The feet are shod, and are not given much thought. Denali's feet were horrible when I got her, splintered, cracked, dried. After two years her feet look so much better. It's amazing what a healthy diet can do. I do think that there are some horses that just proned to bad feet, but again, a TB does not mean that you automatically have bad feet.
After that ramble, I'm not going to lie. Denali has shoes on her fronts. Her back feet look great, and Denali's front look good, but without shoes, with in days they are pancaked. I realize that it's hard for the hoof to get healthy with shoes on, but I trust her farrier. He does a great job, and always, ALWAYS watches her move, checks out the health of the foot, and always asks me questions and answers my questions. He does his trims based on the wild mustangs. I think it's called a Mustang Trim. He rolls her toes. I could be wrong. Don't quote me.
Where Denali lives she doesn't have any place that would help harden her soles. I tried going barefoot with her once (see bad farrier) so even a year later I'm nervous. My goal is to get her barefoot and keep her barefoot. Someday.
I have a few friends who have their horses barefoot. They have their property set up in a way that helps keep the foot healthy. Their feet look great! A few years ago I met the most amazing lady. Pat Wagner, she is amazing and really knows her stuff. Before I met her I thought that shoes were just the ways it should be. I didn't know. She taught me a lot through e-mails, and conversations we had about Denali's horrible farrier care.
Last week I was thinking about Laz, and my heart was breaking... I couldn't imagine what Kristen was going through, when I thought of Pat. Pat lives in WA, but she knows her stuff. I've seen her take horses with horrible hoof conditions, and save their life. I passed her info on to Kristen, and Kristen contacted her. Long story short, Pat gave Kristen another natural hoof care provider in her area. As I write this he's there...with Kristen and Laz, and I'm just dying to know what she finds out!!
What are your thoughts on keeping your horses feet? Do you feel strongly one way or another? I think personally, that you should do what's best for your horse, but WOW there are some horrible farriers out there... for both natural and shod horses. I've seen some amazing (NOT) horses feet. They didn't look healthy at all.
written by Brooke (FBX Adventures - In Parenting) at 10:06 AM