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Does anyone have a draft cross that is "barefoot"?


Barbara Rosensteel
 

I am going to look at a draft cross to buy, a Belgian/TB.  I haven't been to see him yet, but he is big (16.3hh, 1500 lbs).  He is shod all around.  The seller told me that draft horses always need to be shod, at least on the front, because of their large size/weight.   I would really like to have a horse that can be transitioned to"barefoot".  Do any of you have experience with draft crosses and whether they can be transitioned to barefoot?    I am going to use him for dressage (low-level....I have just started learning it in earnest this year), and light trail riding.

Thanks,
Barbara


nevabeta
 

Hi Barbara,
I’ve owned 4 draft crosses over the last 20+ years. My two Shire/TB crosses (halfs) I had from weanlings and were never shod. I had them trimmed every 6 weeks and aside from the occasional abscess, they were never unsound. My current Clyde/TB is also huge (15-1600 lbs 17.2-3, like the others) & has never been shod either. His hind feet have a tendency toward developing a crack on the out/lateral side. The vet who did the PPE said he would never be able to go barefoot, but farrier said if trimmed religiously every 5 weeks he should be ok. Farrier was thankfully correct and horse has never been unsound or had abscess in the 7 years I’ve had him. Newest cross is Percheron/Appendix; he came to me with front shoes which I pulled and he is also fine barefoot.
My horses are used for trail riding a few times a week over semi rocky terrain here in northern NJ. They live out 24/7 on similar footing.
HTH.
Best,
Aimée


Judy and Bugsy
 

My brother-in-law uses Belgians for heavy horse pulls and some of his horses are 2000 lbs + - they don’t need shoes.   My sister has a draft cross (about 1600 lbs) and he’s never had shoes on him his entire life and he is now 20 and just fine barefoot. 


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

No, drafts and draft crosses do NOT have to be in shoes just because they are drafts. If their feet are trimmed correctly, they can be barefoot just like any other breed. The most common issue is that their feet are erroneously allowed to get too flared and overgrown to allow them to be functional.

I have personally had several of them, barefoot, no problem. I trim several others that are also perfectly fine as long as their feet are maintained at their genetically programmed size, not at what we "think" they should be.

--
Lavinia
Jan 2005, RI

Moderator/ECIR Support


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Barbara,

I'm sure Lavinia will have more to say on this but in my experience with work horses (3 Belgians and a Percheron) the large weight/size reason for shoeing is not true.  Our guys were barefoot and we did all our field work with them (living history farm) with no issues.  However, we had a farrier who didn't believe that all draft horse feet should be dinner plates and flare and crack all over.  He kept the boys trimmed properly and we didn't have any issues with them that I can recall.  If you can share pictures of the trim we can offer you more advice on this specific horse. 
--
Sherry and Scutch (and Scarlet over the bridge)
EC Primary Response 
PA 2014
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Sherry%20and%20Scutch_Scarlet 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78891


Anne Coull
 

Agreed. I have all my draught and draught cross horses barefoot. It is much better for the horse.
You will have a happier, healthier horse if you keep their hooves tidy with regular trimming; and manage their diet so it is high fiber and low GI.

Kind regards
Anne

On 18 Dec 2020, at 4:51 am, Lavinia Fiscaletti <shilohmom@...> wrote:

No, drafts and draft crosses do NOT have to be in shoes just because they are drafts. If their feet are trimmed correctly, they can be barefoot just like any other breed. The most common issue is that their feet are erroneously allowed to get too flared and overgrown to allow them to be functional.

I have personally had several of them, barefoot, no problem. I trim several others that are also perfectly fine as long as their feet are maintained at their genetically programmed size, not at what we "think" they should be.

--
Lavinia
Jan 2005, RI

Moderator/ECIR Support


Barbara Rosensteel
 

Thank you everyone for your responses.  It is as I thought but I am glad to have it reinforced with your own experiences.   It is fortunate that there is a good barefoot trimmer working in this area. 
I can't share photos because I have not bought the horse yet.  Actually haven't even met him yet, but hope to this week.

Thanks,

Barbara


Cindy Giovanetti
 

I do see a lot of drafts with terrible feet.  It may be that they learn to use their weight against their handlers (due to poor handling) making it difficult to keep their feet done.  Or it may be that farriers charge more to do drafts, and so owners put trims off too long.  Or it may be that it is difficult/expensive to get the necessary nutrients into them (because they would need more supplements than a smaller horse).  I don’t know.  But you do see a lot of bad feet on drafts.

 

Cindy


--
Cindy
Denton, Texas
Joined 2/19, but I was a member of the old Yahoo group
Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Cindy%20and%20Oden/Oden%20case%20history%20%287%29%20%281%29.doc
Photos:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=91125


 

Not personally but here in Wisconsin draft crosses are common and barefoot is also very common.

Tania Wadzinski
Wi