Yes, Thoroughbreds Can Be Barefoot…

So both Gen and Lucky got their feet done yesterday. I felt bad for the trimmer because it is so freaking muddy out that he must be going through rasps like most people go through tissues this time of year. I am trying (not very well mind you) to relax a little about horse care. For the past several years I have had Gen on a 4-5 week foot care schedule. Sure, it was pricey when he had shoes on, but after my farrier went MIA Gen’s feet got scary long I was a little traumatized about hoof care.

So enter myself as the hyper-vigilant crazy horse owner. My poor trimmer came in at my highest level of anxiety about Gen’s feet. Gen’s were cracking and falling apart and giving me nightmares. Literal wake up in the middle of the night nightmares. Gen’s trimmer is a very, very nice guy and told me that with time it would all be okay. I know you will never believe this about me, but I may be a touch panicky when I feel that something isn’t right with Gen. So the answer of time was not something I was happy with. I had him out every month to trim Gen and during our first year together I had him put glue on shoes on not once, but twice. I kept with it though because I trust Gen’s trimmer and he told me that a time would come when Gen would have good feet again.

Well, it has taken a while, but he was right. Gen’s feet have been good for a year now. The trimmer has been working with me about backing off from so many trims. He is always in the area and he really will come out any time I call him, even if it is just to deal with a little chip that I am to much of a baby to deal with on my own. So I am proud to say that I made it 7 weeks between trims because both horses feet were in such good shape. My anxiety level was pretty high by week 6 so I think that is my new normal, but it is really great to know that both horses have great feet and can stay mostly balanced for so long!!

So why this post? Someone left a comment on the amazing Dom’s blog that Thoroughbred’s can’t be barefoot. My trimmer actually made a comment yesterday that he should take a picture of Gen’s feet since he hears all the time that Thoroughbreds can’t be barefoot. I told someone recently that Gen was barefoot and they told me that was only because he was retired. A Thoroughbred in work can’t possible be barefoot. When I told said person about Lucky they didn’t have an answer.

This person, like many others, really thinks that shoes are a must for OTTBs. I don’t think so. I am not saying that every horse can be barefoot, but I am saying that with time most CAN go shoeless. Lucky used to wear these terrible points in to front feet because of poor conformation. Now, even with 7 weeks between a trim, you can barely tell that her feet are not perfectly round. Good hoof care is good hoof care and sometimes all it takes is time.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but it is seriously muddy out still. Maybe this weekend I will make Lucky and Gen model their fabulous feet!

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6 thoughts on “Yes, Thoroughbreds Can Be Barefoot…

  1. I was thinking, “Gee, how convenient that you made this post.” Then I got to the shout out 😉 I need to get before/after photos of my new horse after with our trimmer working on him. Hehe. I’m excited. Also, my friend Tor has a TB (Cola). She picked a trimmer based on our guy’s recommendation (she’s out of our trimmer’s range) and HER horse does 15 mile trail rides over rocky terrain completely barefoot. AND he jumps. I WISH I got pictures of JR’s feet when I got him. They were a hot mess. Now he’s got text book foofies.

  2. Four thoroughbred hooves raised over here – 4.5 years and counting barefoot. Worked. Jumps. Hacks out (over stones too!). The most consistently sound horse in his entire barn – of shod Quarter Horses.

    He’s also had a new trimmer working on him since October, who is completely amazing, not even the fact that he’s British and his name is Felson.

    We need to find that old link from SWEquine’s blog featuring great thoroughbred bare feet – Ace’s and Gen’s of course!

  3. My OTTB is currently in boot camp with a trainer whose horses are all barefoot. We’d been discussing taking him barefoot, which I had been thinking of beforehand as there were some things I was unhappy about with him shod as far as his hooves went. I didn’t know how to make the transition work, though, so I was starting to learn. My biggest concern was that our footing, while consistent and relatively soft, wore down his hooves when he was barefoot behind before. Learning about using boots if needed has helped me feel better about that concern. I had some questions to ask the trainer and got the DT issue which answered most of those questions. Yesterday he had his shoes pulled, and hopefully he adapts quickly. It’s totally possible, though not always for every horse… here’s hoping it is for my TB! (My other three are all barefoot and haven’t ever had shoes.)

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