These Are Not Reasons To Shoe A Horse, Young or Old

horse1Interesting article from The Horse, addressing the question whether older horses need to be shod. I find these to be the most frustrating sort of articles to read. The author comes to the conclusion that some horses ‘just need shoes’ (as so many so often “just” do). But, not only are her ‘reasons’ for shoeing flawed, nothing in them or the article addresses the specific issue of an older horse needing shoes. And think about it – what about an older horse would make his hoofcare needs any different from a younger one’s? (Answer: nothing) Only thing I can think of is that they’re assuming an older horse’s workload is reduced and thus the need for shoeing. But the article doesn’t go into that, discussing active horses.

 

Although he has pretty decent feet for a Thoroughbred, it was pretty clear he needed some extra support to successfully navigate the varied terrain on which eventing takes place, based on his short and choppy stride coupled with the fact that his front hooves started chipping like crazy once he started jumping. Our farrier tacked on a pair of front shoes and things have been going well. Continue reading

Barefoot Children’s Hunter Pony

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  Horse and rider right after a trim.

The mare is classified as a pony but is a QH, with large, horse-sized feet. She had fairly healthy feet to start with, with the exception of some minor flaring that was corrected over the course of the first two trims. This enabled her right lead canter to improve and helped with better lead changes.

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     Slight Medial Flare                      Flare has been corrected

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    Left                                                    Right                                        Left Sole

She and her owner/rider have had a very successful 2007 showing season,  winning Champion in Children’s Hunter Pony Division at the “Big E” Eastern Seaboard Exposition  in MA, a finalist (8th place) in Marshall & Sterling National Finals at HITS in Saugerties NY, and Reserve Champion at Gardnertown Farms in Newburgh NY. They are now (February 2008) competing at HITS in Ocala, FL.

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At the “Big E”                       In a Chronicle of the Horse ad congratulating M&S Finalists

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