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Re: [RC] Question(s) for the Shoers (already heard from the barefoot people =) - Jody Rogers-Buttram

Ok....Michelle, I'll go for it.
  1. If you think the farrier is cutting too much out, let them know. The only thing that needs to be removed is the loose, dead sole (or enough to relieve any sole pressure when the shoe is applied) and loose, shedding frog.  Those structures are there for a reason, to provide proper hoof function and protection.  Also don't go and cut away all of the bars, they also have a purpose.  As far as removing toe, if you are talking about thinning the  sole at the toe, that could be a no-no and cause soreness.  If you are talking about shortening the toe, it should be keep short, not back into the whiteline, but it can go very close on most horses with no problems. And even farther on some others.
  2. If your horse has great feet (and it sounds like she/he does) perhaps you are just riding more and therefore causing the soreness in combination with the above.  The more you ride, the more wear and tear the hoof receives and therefore the need for shoe or hoof protection.  Think about this:  Just because you think you need shoes is not a bad thing.  If you need shoes and you DON''T provide them, then you are doing a bad thing.  The majority of the top horses are in shoes, four of them.  The majority of long mileage horses are in shoes, all four of them.  Shoes are not the true evil, mis-use and crappy skills are.  There are good things that can be said for the barefoot trims, and good things for the shoes.  I personally perfer a combination of the two.
  So, there are my thoughts.  I am sure someone else will have something else to go along with or against what I said.  And like you said, you never know the reaction on this board  !!!
(and I am a farrier) :))

--- On Thu, 4/2/09, Michelle Aquilino <michelle.antoinette@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
From: Michelle Aquilino <michelle.antoinette@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC] Question(s) for the Shoers (already heard from the barefoot people =)
To: "ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2009, 10:33 AM

I know there's probably no way for you guys to know the "answer", but I figured I'd get thoughts...
My horse has always had tought feet, never been sore, even barefoot over a good deal of gravel/rocks.  Well, until now.  I don't want to make her sore, so am trying to problem solve.  I am thinking/wondering if it's how the farrier is trimming (too much toe trimmed off?), the particularly wet winter we had, too much frog trimmed off (I really have no idea how to tell what's "too" much), or if I simply rode her too much on the gravel this month.
She has mostly had just her fronts shod, but am now thinking about shoeing all four of her feet.  Most of the most local places to ride are at least partially gravel and rocks, and it'd be nice not to have to even further limit where I can go for conditioning rides.  I am worried about whether if I shoe all four of her feet more often, that will soften her feet and make them more sensitive (the use it or lose it thinking).
I am also considering using Durasole, in addition to shoeing her four feet.  Hoping that the combination will make her even more "guarded" against getting sore.
Lastly, I am going to be completely honest (dangerous on this board sometimes, lol).  I am having somewhat of an emotional response to all of this as well (silly maybe).  I am surprised that my horse, who has always had hardy feet, farriers have pretty much always commented on how great her feet looked (and also hold onto shoes like the devil), is looking to "need" four shoes.  I have already processed most of these emotions, and at this point, have told myself that just because an "endurance" horse needs four shoes, doesn't mean they have bad feet, nor does it mean the feet aren't tough, it's just this is a tough sport, involving a lot of miles of training.  I want to do whatever it takes to make her comfortable and enjoy the ride pain-free, that's most important =)
I am sometimes worried about what I will get in response on this board, ha ha, but I am curious to hear the thoughts from people who know significantly more about hoof wear and care than I do.  Thanks!

"Don't breed or buy while shelter animals die"

[RC] Question(s) for the Shoers (already heard from the barefoot people =), Michelle Aquilino