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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > Welcome and Introductions > boots for barefoot horses

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barbaradrysdale

Joined:

Sep 05

Posts: 4

boots for barefoot horses

advice please!!

I  have just made the decision to remove the front shoes from my 6 year old thoroughbred. he has been shoeless behind for about a year. He goes lame on hard/stony ground in the summer months and as shoes on the front don't stop this, they seem a little pointless. My farrier (who has trimmed/shod him since he was 6 months old) is fully supportive of this and had suggested we use boots on the front feet while his feet adjust to this change. In order to be able to keep riding he will need something - any suggestions what sort of boots to go for??? I intend them to be for riding only - he is sound on grass while ambling around the field - so they need to be a riding boot. we don't do lots of crazy stunts, but do ride on a real mix of terriain - lots of tracks/bridleways and some road work. I also school/jump once a week and do monthly pleasure rides of around 10 miles.

The boots that i have researched so far that seem to sound right for him are the  Easyboot Glove and Renegade  - anyone any experience/advice or tips?????

My boy lives out 24/7 in a mixed herd with ad lib hay in winter and a feed balancer all year round so i think  all of the husbandry issues are covered. Our soil is a clay mix so can get boggy, but the winter fields are good old fashioned ridge/furrow so his feet can generally stay dry most of the year round.

 

Many thanks for any feedback! 

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msg_minx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 396

msg_minx says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

http://www.thesaddleryshop.co.uk/D/Hoof_Boots-%28Hoof_Boots%29.aspx

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Micki

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 3567

Micki says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

The make of boot really depends on your horses foot shape. I use cavallo hoof boots and they are great. Very easy to put on and take off, important on a cold winters day. I have never lost one when out riding. I have also used Boa hoof boots but they are a bit fiddly to put on/take off and i have had the lace come out of he screw that holds it into the dial and i have had to get a new dial cap as i lost one when i wasn't using them.

I like the look of the renegades but they don't do the size i need and the epic gloves are the wrong shape for my horses feet, all my horses have round feet.

Hopefully if you have the diet right then you wont need them for too long, i don't need to use them anymore.

. .A horse is a thing of such beauty. . .none will tire of looking at him as long as he displays himself in his splendor. ~Xenophon https://www.facebook.com/browbandsandbracelets

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kezza81

Joined:

Mar 12

Posts: 148

kezza81 says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

 i second cavallo boots for ease of use, they now do quite a range of szies and shapes too. i have also used easy boot bares which are fabulous but take a lot of practise to get on and off

a pony is a child's dream and an adult's treasure.

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equi

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2806

equi says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

 My TB is lame on the front without shoes, but ok with shoes and he is VERY sensitive. If your horse is lame WITH shoes, then i dont know why you want to take them off it sounds a litle lazy.

 

My advice would be to not take him that route.

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barbaradrysdale

Joined:

Sep 05

Posts: 4

Re: boots for barefoot horses

not sure what you are suggesting really??!! I am taking his shoes off because shoes do not stop him getting foot sore. As they are achieving nothing them continuing to put shoes on, which as all farriers will tell you, weaken the hoof over time, seems detrimental to his feet. As his hinds do really well with no shoes it seemed to both me and my farrier that we could improve his hoof condition in the front by doing the same.

i am not sure in what way this is lazy? having looked into the process of  hoof recovery by taking off his shoes Iappear to be in for a lot of hard work, and having to think about how and where i ride over the nest few months - i am creating a lot of work for myself.

If you have a useful contribution to make (i.e. any constructive suggestions) of how he coul dbe managed differently then I am all ears. I will do whatever Ican to keep him happy and sound over the summer.

 

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greyandbay

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 3349

greyandbay says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

I'll be interested to hear what boots you go for and how you get on with them - we have a barefoot loan gelding, Monty, who came from a rescue centre as unrideable due to arthritis, but they thought he may be able to hack gently, as did our vet when he saw him, but due to other problems with his feet over the last year we haven't tried.

He's now coming up to being reasonably sound, but he has quite flat soles, and if we did take him out on the roads then rather than getting him shod on his fronts I'd rather buy him boots, so if you try any, as I said, I'd be interested.

The Cavallo ones sound the favourite from reading through this lot......

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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Cocosmom

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2544

Cocosmom says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

I used Old Mac G2's on Coco when I went barefot with him. They are manufactured by Easyboot or Easycare (I think) and they have a brilliant website/fitting guide which tells you the range of boots available, what boot is best for what work you plan to do, your horses foot shape and how to measure up for boots. 

 

All horses will be footsore when you 1st take shoes off, even on the field, similarly if we took our shoes off and started walking around barefoot, it takes a while for the foot to harden up and change back to its natural concave shape but dont let this put you off, horses weren't born with shoes and their feet will change and adapt but it does take a while to transition. I used Keratex (advised by my farrier) on the soles and around the nail holes intensively for the 1st couple of weeks and then 2 - 3 times a week for 6 ish months (as advised on the bottle) whcih worked well with Coco.  After about 18 months Coco's feet were so hard he often didn't need any boots on at all (my farrier used to joke that he hoped Coco never got a foot abcess as he wouldn't want to cut through his hoof it was so hard) but used them on an off in the summer as we do a lot of road work so it was more to protect his feet from being overly worn down on the sole. The boots lasted 12 - 18 months so although expensive (approx £130 a pair) they are long lasting. You can also get comfort pads to put in them if your horse is feeling it at first but in general a horse with hoof boots should be just as comfortable as a horse with shoes on as the boot protects the sole and much better for concussion on hard surfaces too.

 

The Old Macs do look bulky and seem heavy but Coco never had a probelm with them and we jumped and cantered whilst out hacking on bridleways and through woods no problem, often through mud and they were great.

 

If you are wondering why I now have Coco's front shoes on it is because we discovered a hoof imbalance as the outer edge of his front feet just does not grow and his near fore is (and always has been) significantly smaller than his off fore and he has needed some extensive remedial shoeing with a lateral extension to correct this issue. This was not caused by being barefoot is just an odd'ment about him and if I could I wouldn't think twice about going barefoot again.

 

Good luck with it!

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Cocosmom

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2544

Cocosmom says:

Re: boots for barefoot horses

Oh one other thing, if you do buy hoof boots I would advise trying Atlantic Equine website. They are considerably cheaper than anywhere else I could find and their service was brilliant, couldn't fault them!

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barbaradrysdale

Joined:

Sep 05

Posts: 4

Re: boots for barefoot horses

thank you everyone for your comments/advice. I have just ordered a pair of cavallo boots - fingers crossed with my measurements - he was lying down when i did them and i didn't like to wake him!!

I'll keep you all posted with how we get on - i am looking forward to being back on board - he has had the last 2 weeks off and now he also has the boot delivery time -then i get  to be back on board!! he timed his bruised sole well with easter holidays at least , its always harder to ride as much with kids off school.

thanks again everyone!

barb

 

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