When is the right time to shoe?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Louie_, May 18, 2017.

  1. Louie_

    Louie_ Registered

    May 8, 2017
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    My three year five month old gelding has been lightly backed to be a trail horse for the summer months. He's been out on the trails since he was about 2 years old. But as he's gotten older, he's been out a lot more. Half way through he gets foot sore, and is sore for a few days after. I've tried taking him out one every two weeks. I've tried daily to "toughen" up his feet but nothing seems to be helping.
    He's fine on the back, his fronts seem to wear down a lot more.

    Is it too soon to get him shod?

    My farrier has agreed to do it if he needs them. He's just warned me that the downside of it is he may need them for the rest of his life since he'll have them on so long.

    He isn't taken on the trails in winter, so he'll probably have them taken off in winter while he's just ridden in the schools if he can cope and have them on during the summer months?

    Do I wait it out and see if his feet toughen up or shod him?

    He was trailed every other day but I've had to stop it due to him being sore.
  2. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2013
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    ginster likes this.
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    You don't go by age, you go buy what surface the horse is expected to work over. You have stones out on trail and if the horse is getting foot sore, put shoes and pads on him for the season. Pull them when it snows and you can't ride him. If you live where it doesn't snow, pull them in the height of summer to rest his feet from them for a while.

    Of course you could use hoof boots. To me, unless the horse's hoof won't hold a shoe, I go with the less complicated cure of shoeing.
    RG NIGHT HEIR, JStorry and AmyK like this.
  4. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    It is time for shoes when he is getting sore barefooted. If he cannot comfortably and soundly navigate the trails you are taking him on, he needs shoes.
    Many people shoe only the front, some use boots rather than shoes. As has been suggested, investigate the trim to make sure that is not the problem and go from there.
    JStorry likes this.
  5. gaitedboomer

    gaitedboomer Senior Member

    Jan 26, 2009
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    I have had horses that never needed shoes to ride the same terrain my horses that DID need shoes.

    While proper & frequent trimming, and good diet is important, the hooves either have it to be ridden barefoot or they don't.

    Either shoe him seasonally, or put boots on him, but don't keep soring him up by trying to toughen up his hooves. I have owned too many naturally gifted barefoot hooves, to believe all hooves can be made tough.

    I have also owned my share of hooves that I tried to toughen up and thought I "done good", until I got one horse in the rock hills and had to get off and hand walk him the last four or so miles home --- with breaks.
    equinitis likes this.

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