TBs..shoes on or off??

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by teddy2shoes, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. teddy2shoes

    teddy2shoes Well-known Member

    How many of you out there have competition tbs without shoes/front only???
    I ask because I've just taken the plunge and had removed our new tbs shoes..he's always had them on apparently but seems very sound after his first barefoot ride.
    He is used for dressage, eventing, sj and generally having fun!!!!

    Tbs have a bad rep for having crappy feet.. ????

    T2S's mum
  2. MyShadowfax

    MyShadowfax Well-known Member

    Has your TB ever raced? My understanding is that TB's that have raced have poor feet due to the strain that racing puts on them but if they have never raced their feet can be ok?

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong though as I don't know a terrible lot about TB's!

    I know someone who owned a OTTB who was shod as he had poor feet, all their other horses were barefoot and they tried doing this with him (extensive farrier work over months and months) but in the end their farrier advised that they were just better off shoeing him.

    Every horse is different though and I think barefoot is always worth a try!
  3. teddy2shoes

    teddy2shoes Well-known Member

    He's raced but not much and not very successfully MSF so I understand. He's 11.
  4. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    Feet are very genetic they either have good feet or crap feet you can improve feet to a certain extent with farriering & supplements. I don't think generally racing wrecks feet usually the horses that have crapy feet after racing had crappy feet before racing.
    A lot of Tb's have rubbish feet that said some don't and are well capable of going through life without shoes play it by ear if he seems fine he probably is.
  5. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    The few tb;s I have had (that have raced) I have had their shoes pulled and they have been great without shoes...once they get past the first ouchy stage when being ridden over gravel.

    I was recently told you either have a full set of shoes all around or none at all...as it makes the horse unbalanced to only have fronts on. I have always shod the frontsof my young horses
  6. Animosity

    Animosity Well-known Member

    I have full shoes on at the moment but next week it will only be fronts. Her fronts just don't seem to hold up well like her backs and I'm possibly having heavier (slightly) fronts to try reduce overreaching.

    I've tried barefoot but just didn't seem to work out, may have been farrier? Not sure, though I'd like to try again - so much cheaper too!
  7. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I have been bare foot trimming my TB mare for a year now.

    She had terrible feet when I got her as she had been a broodie for 4 years and had poor foot care.

    What I ahve noticed is that barefoot her feet have improved out of sight ut only because I keep them very very short.

    If for some reason I get a little slack and she gets any length at all on her hoof wall she fractures it and it rips outward. Now I am not talking a lot. She wouldn't even have a centimetre of length before this splitting and cracking happens.

    So for my girl she is happy barefoot and works well that way but it is a constant chore to keep them in good condition. I dont think she could go barefoot and only see a trimmer every 4 weeks
  8. Eventer4Ever

    Eventer4Ever Well-known Member

    Mocha is :D :D
    Hahah Mocha had shoes on when we bought him but we pulled them off to see how he would go.
    Now he doesn't have amazing feet and is a bit ouchies on gravel but overall he does very well.
    We put shoes on him for about 3 months this year for some of the more gravelly events and we didn't notice any difference except that after we took his shoes off again, it took us AGES to get the cracks from the nails out.

    So yeah, it all depends on the horse. Bailey should be fine :) and if he seems like he's not coping well it's all too easy to just get shoes chucked back on :)
  9. Bon & Ted

    Bon & Ted Guest

    it's not necesarily a genetic thing, it's a bit of a mis conception

    The reason most TB’s feet are so crappy is that they have had the worst possible start to their life (feet wise) they are shod way too young – when still growing, are kept confined etc.

    I am firmly a believer in going without shoes, I personally believe that all horses can and should go without shoes, it is just the owner that may not be able to do it :p
  10. Eventer4Ever

    Eventer4Ever Well-known Member

    B & T, I don't want to make this a heated discussion or anything because I know that this topic has been done to death. :p
    However, what about the horses that do honestly have VERY bad feet.
    I know for example that Zendor's gelding George has HORRIBLE feet, absolutely horrible feet and although they are getting better, he will never be able to comfortably go barefoot.
    Do you think that they should just send him barefoot and wait it out to see if he ever is sound again
    or are they better off just leaving him with correctly fitted shoes that allow him comfort??

    Haha sorry, it sounds like I'm taking a dig at you but I swear I'm not! I just think that some horses do have to have shoes on to be comfortable.

    Of course it's better for them in the long run to stay barefoot but if it's a decision between the horse's comfort, and the owner's want for the horse to be living naturally. Then I think it's only fair that the horse is given the best option :)
  11. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    Yep have to disagree with you Bon seen too many horses that prove that theory wrong and we treat them all the same and we don't shoe our young stock unless they need it. One thing that does help is good ground, sand creates cracks and pushes up into them. So if you live on clay your horse will have better feet.

    Also funny when you breed horses and you see the same feet again and agian from the same stallion, and different ones from a differnet stallion genetics is definiatly stepping in.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  12. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member

    Bad feet

    Genetics do play a part to a degree but its our environment, shoeing young, workload, bad trimming/shoeing, neglect, diet etc that makes a foot 'bad'.

    TB's have a reputation for having bad feet, the main reason for this comes from racing. They are shod young and tend to be shod with long toes which leads to under run heels. The longer they race the worse their feet get.

    When they finally get rehomed the rehab process is a long one and the problems are difficult to fix but not impossible.

    I see TB's all the time that have never seen a shoe and have well blanced feet in good environments their feet are beautiful.

    Its not always the easy option and takes time and owner commitment but the benefits are good.

    Its a personnal choice and there are plenty of TB's that do very well. My own horse back in the UK was unshod (never raced) but she was shod for around 5/6 years. Never had a day off due to her feet and we went over harsh terrains and jumped unbooted.

    Just be very careful what level of work you do with him to start with his structures will be weak and unable to cope with his normal workload. Treat him like he is being restarted, from the ground up gradually increasing his work.
  13. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    It's interesting the racing thing the best footed horse I ever had (bar ponies*#) ) raced till he was ten years old.
  14. HorseSlave

    HorseSlave Well-known Member

    Boots are also a comparable option to shoes - there's a whole range of different types of boots out there - Easyboot Gloves, Marquis Supergrip, Old Macs, Renegades, Boas, Cavallos, Swiss etc etc etc. Boots have come a long way in the past 5 years.

    Some people seem to baulk at the price of boots, as most cost around $180 to $290 a pair. However, I've had boots last me a few years, so its FAR cheaper than shoeing. Another expense would be going to a course and learning to trim, but at a few hundred dollars for that too, it's still FAR cheaper than shoeing.

    Learning to trim helps put the responsibility for your horses welfare in your hands: "Oh no! Trigger has a chip in his hoof,.... if I don't get the farrier out he'll lose a chunk of his foot" OR "Trigger has a chip in his hoof - time to pull out the file and trim and bevel his feet".

    Your choice :)
  15. teddy2shoes

    teddy2shoes Well-known Member

    What about when eventing or sj in the winter to improve grip????? I was chatting to someone about it last night and she said they put shoes on for the winter for this reason????

    Our pony was shod for 2 years fronts only as he had bad seedy toe unbeknown to us when we got him and lost a big chunk of hoof in the repair process. Never seemed unbalanced LOL. He's like a cat...always been incredibly able and agile.
  16. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    unless you use studs your horse will have better grip with out shoes.
  17. chick_with_a_chainsaw

    chick_with_a_chainsaw Gold Member

    after over 6 months of trying to have my mums tb barefoot it wasnt worth it.

    she was unrideable, always sore apart from in her sand yard.

    mum and the non barefoot farrier (who screwed up my own ponies feet who was already barefoot mind you and had never been bruised or lame since i had bought her. was then becoming bruised etc within weeks of the first barefoot visit)

    mum decided for what she wanted to do with her mare she would rather have shoes on her and have fun/not have to worry about the mare pulling up sore
  18. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    My wonderful departed TB only ever had fronts on and was quite successful at low level dressage, jumping and eventing and brilliant at games, in particular the barrels.
  19. Big Bay Booga

    Big Bay Booga Well-known Member

    Hi Ted,
    He should hold up alright but the main thing that would concern me is winter time with the long grass, his feet will be constantly wet which will make them softer, just look at "S", now he has bad feet!
    Seeya on the weekend!
  20. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Jed was fully shod when I first got him a year ago. I wanted him to have a wind down, so took off the shoes and let him veg out.
    The farrier said he'd make a good barefoot horse, but this is when I first noticed the paddling. My farrier suggested re-shoeing him to see if it helped. It did to a degree, but now we're stuck with the paddling.

    He only has fronts on now.
    Claireb - from a professional point of view regardling paddling, I've had 2 people suggest that getting a barefoot trimmer would help him. He had an injury to the knee about 2 yrs ago.

    When Jed has his next break, I might try him barefoot. Not sure yet tho.

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