View Full Version : Shoeing & turnout
08-02-2010, 12:20 PM
I would like to turn my gelding out some this fall/winter but I also would like to keep on working on his slow gait and rack. I was wondering if I could put plates on the front and leave his show shoes on in the back and turn him out with other horses safely? He doesn't have a large package on the hind. The other thing I thought about was putting plates up front and maybe a heavier shoe in the back and/or more toe in back (no pads). What are your experiences?
08-02-2010, 12:37 PM
Plates up front, barefoot behind. That's how most of the winter turnouts I know are shod, especially horses that are turned out together for a part of the day. I would be scared to keep even plates on behind and turn horses out together. Too much chance for serious injury from a shod horse IMO.
08-02-2010, 12:42 PM
With plates up font and barefoot behind, you could continue to work on flexion, mouthing, etc. that would ultimately benefit all gaits. I know some horses that aren't worked at the slow gait and rack while shod with plates and barefoot, while others can handle it without getting into bad habits, pacey, etc.
08-02-2010, 01:26 PM
As already mentioned and for those very good reasons, hind shoes and packages are really not the recommended way to go for winter turnout. Actually, trimmed correctly, barefoot all around is the most therapeutic for most horses. Depending on how your horse is geared, it might well be possible to continue slow gaiting and racking with just a bit of help from a strap or chain, if you keep in mind the footing you work on. Regardless, mouthing, flexing etc. will continue to be possible. Just because shoes are pulled or plates are on...don't make it FOR THE WINTER. Continue to have your horse shod or trimmed on a regular basis or there will be consequences in the spring. Done correctly, the "plating" and turnout, will freshen, improve your horse's feet, and insure a sounder and longer lasting career for your horse. When I ran a large training stable (30-40 head) at least half of them were let down in the fall and winter some continued to work lightly, some completely let down. Most importantly, do not forget that getting a horse back in show shape takes much more than 30 days and one shoeing! Good Luck.
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08-02-2010, 06:24 PM
With our ice and snow here in Maine and the rock hard ground I pull everybodies shoes every winter and they get turnout during the day. If we have a thaw and footing I work them barefoot. Doesn't hurt them a bit. They still get trimmed on a regular basis. They always seem to have better hind motion after a winter playing than the rest of the year when I'm working them everyday. Maybe it's all that moving around. They also never get sour.
I agree with Mr. Lavery 100%. I try to get the shoes off my horses as often as possible. I usually go barefoot all around, but have the farrier (and me) look at them regularly. I like to leave bits out of their mouths and do nothing other than let them run and kick or do whatever they want for about 30 days. Then, I work on fundamentals -- just bending and flexing, walking, standing, canter departures, and stuff like that. I have never had a five gaited horse who forgot how to rack, so I just ask once a month for a short distance to reassure myself that the horse still does it. If you get their feet in good shape, the horse get all the kinks out from running out, and they bend both ways, your horse is likely to rack better without any "training" at the rack.
About 75 days before the first show, some sort of shoe goes back on up front with show shoes on about a month before the show (in a perfect world).
If you have plates on, chances are they are going to get knocked off or "sucked off" in the mud and, as others have said, you don't want them on behind (or have your horse out with a horse with shoes on behind) because horses tend to kick at each other and one of them is going to get hurt.
The idea of a plate to "hold" the foot or to keep it from breaking off is highly overrated IMO. I want the foot hitting the ground barefoot so it will spread. There are exceptions to every generality, but I've never had one on this front.
The turnout is "supervised" (at least loosely) and for a short period of time that is gradually lengthened to two or three hours.
08-02-2010, 07:15 PM
Clem Lee has a nice video showing his training a horse to rack barefoot, using easyboots on the back, that might be an option?
08-02-2010, 08:24 PM
Go with what LLavery says he knows best, and when he said a large training barn of 30-40 he forgot to mention many of them were World Champions! And Sit know what he is talking about too.
Both you guys are great! :drool:
08-03-2010, 12:30 PM
LLavery & Sit -
When your horses are barefoot, do you try to keep their feet long or do you trim them up short like a non-ASB would?
Since I never have a long foot to start with, most of the time, we pull the shoes, trim just a little or maybe only rasp (or do nothing) and that's it. If I had a long foot, I'd cut off as much as I could without the horse getting too stingy because, if I didn't, the foot is likely to break off and I'd rather that not happen. Sometimes a horse can be a little ouchy at first, but within a few days, the foot hardens up and they are fine.
If you have "long" feet on your horse, I'll add cutting them down as something that is likely to help your horse rack when you go back to work. I've had several very nice five gaited horses in recent years, and they all have had minimal length of foot and at least two have had plates (no pads) behind. Redd Crabtree won the stud stake at Lexington one year with the horse barefoot up front! And Wing Commander got reset every 21 days to take foot off and wore only the lightest of shoes with one leather. There are exceptions and every horse is different, but you don't want much foot anywhere on a five gaited horse. You might have to add some weight somewhere, but a longer foot runs a risk of injury and stumbling, and at the very least, will slow you down. It is also likely to cause the horse to "wad up" or get out of time. It's hard enough to pick those feet up and put them down one at a time without trying to do it on "stilts."
Keep it simple, stick to the basics, and less is more.
JMO, of course.
08-04-2010, 06:40 AM
As Sit said, leaving a long foot defeats the purpose. Barefoot and short, you are wanting heels to spread, torque on tendons and ligaments reduced and the sole and the frog "bathed" in the mud and the snow that is winter. As mentioned, it is imperative that the barefoot hoof be trimmed correctly before turn out to retard the breaking and chipping
of the hoof wall that can happen when the rims are not rolled. As Martha might say, "Turnout is a Good thing."
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