On shoeing horses

10 07 2008

Really you can write books about this but I’m keeping it personal.
It doesn’t hurt to nail the shoes on, the outer wall of the hoof is literally like a finger-nail, and we don’t hurt either when we clip our nails.
However, you can easily hammer the nail in the wrong part and cause the horse pain and even make him lame. The shoes stay on for about 8 weeks, perhaps 6 because Tarq has thinner shoes than usual, and they were mainly for the trek, and I prefer my horse to go barfoot.

The horse’s hoof is made up of many different parts, and is always flexible. Iron shoes will take away some of the flexibility, and, as the hoof is lifted from the surface the soft inner parts of the sole don’t do anything either.

because of this, many people now opt for not putting shoes on their horses. A horse still needs his hoofs trimmed every eight weeks. There is also a movement that advocates ”natural” trimming. I don’t quite agree with that as ”natural trimming” is based on wild horses, living a ”natural” life, and that can’t be compared to our domestic horses: Tarq is an Arab horse who lives in a large meadow in the Netherlands, he doesn’t trek around all day, he doesn’t experience different terrains, he is ridden (by me ๐Ÿ™‚ ) he walks over concrete, asphalt, and stony roads. So i think ”Natural” doesn’t really apply.
Tarq, being a thoroughbred Arab has hoofs of steel, and no problems. So under normal circumstances, and riding, he doesn’t need horse-shoes. Some horses have problems and do need shoes, some horses have problems because of their shoes, and you need a blacksmith you can trust.
Geert is my fifth blacksmith and by far the best.
That means we see eye to eye as far as horse’s hoofs go! He is interested in his job, charges reasonably, and always takes lots of time to do a good job.

However, as we were advised there were some very stony roads coming up on the trek, and Tarq has very sensitive soles, I decided to have shoes for a couple of weeks. I’ve had problems before when he had bruises on his soles due to stony roads in Germany.
As the front feet carry most of the weight, shoeing the front feet only was enough for now.


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12 responses

10 07 2008
Haleem

Thanks for the answer! very interesting, this. Am going riding soon at a farm nearby, so this is helpful trivia to know (to impress you-know-who!).

10 07 2008
Marahm

Thanks for explaining about the hoof structure. Non-horse people might think shoeing a horse is painful. Granted, improper shoeing might be painful, but your post makes clear that normal, proper shoeing is not only painless, but sometimes desirable.

And welcome back! Will we see photos of your latest trek?

10 07 2008
~W~

Good to know! Thanks!

11 07 2008
Achelois

I’m happy it doesn’t hurt. Thats what I wanted to know

11 07 2008
Aafke

Haleem: this is not ”trivia”! This is major important!
Good luck impressing ”you-know-who” You haven’t been too succesfull lately ๐Ÿ˜‰

Achelois, if it hurt, do you think Tarq would stand there dozing? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or that anybody would come out of it alive? ๐Ÿ˜€
The front ”knee” is really our wrist, and the lower part of the leg is just one digit, and the outer hoof is a nail. Fascinating I always think. You can’t see them, but there are still some very small bones lying flat to the legbone which used to be other digits and toes, one remnant of a toe sole is the leathery spot all horses have on the inside of their legs, they are called ”chestnuts” in english.

Marahm: report on the trek is in progress!

11 07 2008
Checkers

Tarq is so handsome! I love his white “foot.” I wonder what he would look like with corgi legs…?

12 07 2008
Tony

Hmmmm… that answered my lack of horse knowledge question about front shoes only. Very interesting post ๐Ÿ™‚
Corgi legs on a horse… Interesting concept

12 07 2008
Tony

I have discovered a Horgi (Horse with Corgi legs) living right here in Tasmania…
http://pigsflying.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/horgi/

12 07 2008
Shahrzad

What an interesting article. These new shoes are completely fitted on Tarq mashallah. He just need a girl-killer suit and tie. ๐Ÿ˜€

LOL @ Haleem. Why you need to impress her? You’ve already taken her. Shahryar stopped riding since he married me. lol

13 07 2008
delhi4cats

I’m so impressed by how calmly Tarq stands and allows himself to be shoed. I guess I never expected an Arabian horse to appear so calm and patient!

13 07 2008
Aafke

Checkers: You are of course รผbercute, but I am very happy with Tarq’s long beautiful legs!

Tony: thank you for that horror-moment!!!

Shahrzad: yes, nice fit!

Carol: It is a misconception that Arab horses are nervous. They are very full of energy, and fiery, but have very cool heads.
Of course the Tarq was more like in a coma here; that’s something else again.
Tarq’s nickname (one of them) Is ”Sub-Zero” that is because he’s sรณ cool, he’s far below zero.

14 07 2008
Colloquielle

Hehe *SOME* Arabs have cool heads ๐Ÿ˜‰ Some of the ones I’ve known have been the silliest horses I’ve known! But it’s the same as with dogs – so much of it depends on how they’re handled by their humans.

This looks like so much fun – I used to love long rides like that, and camping, with Anzac. He was very much the type to take it all in his stride – and loved having a good swim when we stopped for lunch ๐Ÿ˜€ What does Tarq think of the water?

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