Hi Jessica! I always look forward to your articles and your information. I refer to your site a lot. There is something though that I can't find any information about. I recently acquired a gaited filly that is going to be trained under saddle in about 3 months. In order to get her ready, the man we purchased her from (and will be doing the training), had me put shoes on all 4 feet. Now my problem is that the owners of the stable where I board are uncertain as to whether she should be turned out with the other horses. I've heard different controversies about the dangers of allowing a horse with back shoes out with other horses. Any information is greatly appreciated! Thank you, Beth
If your filly is just beginning her training, there should be no reason to put shoes on her at all. Naturally-gaited horses (Peruvian Pasos, Paso Finos, Icelandics, Tennessee Walking Horses, and other breeds) will perform their gaits barefoot. While it's true that horses that are not naturally gaited can be shod in ways that produce certain types of movement, it's not good for the horses.
Since your filly is presently wearing shoes, though, it's true that she should be turned out alone as long as she is shod all around. There are good reasons for restricting group turnout to horses that are barefoot or shod only in front - a kick that might just cause a bruise if delivered by a bare hoof can tear flesh or even break a leg if delivered by a shod hoof. If you find that your filly can go without shoes, or at least without hind shoes, the farm owners will probably be happy to turn her out with others once again.
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