To shoe or not? Opinions, advice, please

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MistyMorning

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So I'm taking one of the nags on a trip to the Black Hills this summer, the mare I'm bringing has never been shod, she has never had any problems with her feet. The farrier says she has moderate soft feet, not bad at all. I ride her now on some gravel to get to trails. I'm debating if I should shoe her for the trip, just front ones maybe or get some boots and use them if needed? Has anyone ridden the Black Hills area around Custer? Any advice or opinions even if you haven't ridden there would be appreciated.
 

msscamp

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Are you familiar with the terrain in the Black Hills? If not, my suggestion would be if in doubt - shoe her. Better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. You don't want your trip ruined by a lame horse due to terrain that you are not familiar with.
 

hrstrader

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I have ridden there a few years ago. It was a bit rocky, but nothing horrible. Shoeing would be the best option IMHO. I use cavallo simple boots a lot too. They work well just need to get your used to them for a bit beforehand. A great place ride and pretty scenery.
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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Thanks for the replies, I'm really kinda leaning towards the boots deal, that way I can see how the trails are and than put them on as needed. The good ones are a mite expensive though, but I would hate to have her come up lame and miss out on all the riding, not to mention have a potential for her to have some long term issues with that.
 

3waycross

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If you are going to be based out of "Horse Camp" at Custer State Park. I rode that about 12 years ago and it was plenty rocky. Everything we rode was shod. Also you should make sure that your horse is in one of the corrals there and not picketed for the night. There are a lot of bachelor buffalo bulls(they are huge) that roam the park and come into the campground at night to eat the horse hay. They ocassionally will take a horse with their horns to get to the feed.
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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Vic, we will be staying right outside the park, but riding into and around that area, so your insight is real helpful.

I would shoe her Howdy, but she is housed with another horse as well as cattle and is dominant. Doesn't bug the cows much, but gets pissy with the other mare cause she won't leave well enough alone sometimes.
 

hayray

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I used to live in the Black Hills and rode there alot. Some areas are not that rocky. If this horse has never needed shoes I would look into getting the boots and practicing at home. One issue is that the horse may not hold shoes good either and that can cause more problems then its' worth so if you are gonna shoe then get the horse shod now and get re-shod every 5-6 weeks, when you start going longer then you can loose shoes more easily. Shoes are good insurance policies though as msscamp writes. Soft or hard hoof wall may not be as important as sole thickness is. If going barefoot leave alot of extra hoof wall and don't trim for a long time before going on the trip.
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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hayray":2l0vlfzn said:
I used to live in the Black Hills and rode there alot. Some areas are not that rocky. If this horse has never needed shoes I would look into getting the boots and practicing at home. One issue is that the horse may not hold shoes good either and that can cause more problems then its' worth so if you are gonna shoe then get the horse shod now and get re-shod every 5-6 weeks, when you start going longer then you can loose shoes more easily. Shoes are good insurance policies though as msscamp writes. Soft or hard hoof wall may not be as important as sole thickness is. If going barefoot leave alot of extra hoof wall and don't trim for a long time before going on the trip.

Thanks hayray for the input.

These are the boots I'm considering:

http://www.valleyvet.biz/ct_detail.html ... 23a8bc0434
 

hrstrader

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Link didn't work but no matter what start asap with them to get your horse used to them. I had to send mine back because I didn't measure very well. I usually never shoe in the back and have never had problems with lameness.
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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hrstrader":1syump3u said:
Link didn't work but no matter what start asap with them to get your horse used to them. I had to send mine back because I didn't measure very well. I usually never shoe in the back and have never had problems with lameness.

It's the Easyboot Glove. So I only need one set than? That's good to hear! The farrier will be coming out about 3 weeks before we leave and I will have him get good measurments for me.
 

hrstrader

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3 weeks is not giving you a lot of break in time and room for error. I personally feel that a pair for the fronts would be adquate.
 
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