If trail riding horses are part of your practice, what is your toughest hoof-care challenge with these horses?

The biggest challenge is convincing some riders that shoeing the horse correctly is better than shoeing the horse too tight and short.
—Esco Buff, PhD, APF, CF

I wish owners could see what a difference my bigger shoes make, versus the too-small, too-tight shoes I find on most horses. Mine DO stay on! I'm glad they're faithful to their shoers, but I wish they'd find better ones...


While a lot of our educated clients follow a wonderful hoof care regimen, balanced nutrition and training program, sometimes the perception of a trail horse is low-needs maintenance and training. Trail horses need a balanced nutrition, more than all-you-can eat hay or pasture so without balanced nutrition it is difficult to maintain healthy hooves susceptible to laminae stretching and disconnection from high fructan levels in the forage, with the horse over-consuming forage to try to meet their protein needs. The other thing we see is the perception that the trail horse doesn't need a lot of training other than being trail safe- so without attention to self-carriage, some of these horses travel heavily on their fore-hand which overloads the front end and adds excessive concussion to the fore-feet, eventually breaking down hoof integrity.
—Sylvia Kornherr, E.P.T.

In my area folks sometimes need to ride through streets to get to the park trails I have found that up to size 3 an eventer shoe works very well Beyond 3 I use a etter supporting shoe and some sort of traction
—Jerry J

My biggest issues re getting the owners to stay on a schedule, and $45 shoers. Many local trail riders are novice owners, and as such, may not understand the importance of regular hoof care. Or, they may not see the added value of a FARRIER vs a "shoer" who often charges substantially less, but delivers a sub standard quality of work
Dan Puckett

Shoeing them with enough support but not so long that in tough terrain they'll yank a shoe off out in the middle of nowhere!

Share your thoughts in the comments section below...

>>Read more Q&As