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 Shoeing for shows?

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Mortazavi Farms
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PostSubject: Shoeing for shows?   Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:44 pm

In preparation for Scottsdale, I am considering whether to shoe or not. Our SH and Hunter Pleasure horse will go barefoot. I have one 2 year old halter horse and a 2 year old SH that will also show liberty. What is the trend for shoeing? Do most shoe their 2 year olds? My liberty horse had nice movement when she wants to. Possibly the future makings of a CEP horse. Should I put pads/shoes on her?
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:32 pm

Personally I prefer my performance horses to be shod, it is so much easier to keep them sound on various kinds of footing. What I use in the way of shoes and if necessary pads all depends on the individual horse. Honestly I wouldn’t want to shoe your two year old just for the Liberty class, if she is a nice mover, she should be a knockout anyhow ~ but that said, probably all the other horses will be shod, so you have to decide if you want to go along with the crowd. What I would NOT do with her is put pads or anything other than a keg shoe on her, if you go with having her shod.

I think in the long run youngsters who are shod so early tend to have more hoof problems (I remember back before shoes on yearlings were outlawed in the Halter arena) than if you wait until they are ready to start their performance careers. Part of me would like to start seeing it become acceptable to show our MR Halter horses barefoot, so judges can get a truer picture of the horse’s hoof conformationally. That would be a tough one for horses that do both, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:13 pm

I really prefer all of them to be barefoot. Our horses have great feet so don't really see the need for shoes. Isn't that the real reason for shoes anyway? We had a TB years ago that needed front shoes, otherwise he would get a crack, then it would get infected. Constantly.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:34 am

All of mine are barefoot, and sound on any footing, except for my reiner, who has slide plates on the back and is barefoot up front. My hunter I will probably put some basic shoes, no pads, on in late spring before the first show, just to add a little bit to his movement. He's a great mover, but I think to be competitive, he'll need that little extra. Neutral Wish it werent' so... I'd prefer to have him barefoot too. I think if your horses have good feet, go for it barefoot! ESPECIALLY on the two year old, I wouldn't shoe her at all. If she's got the movement barefoot, that's awesome! Don't risk her future soundness and hoof quality for a tad extra movement! I have it made with mine as I do all their shoeing and trimming, so I know exactly what I'm looking for, and I can keep an extra close eye on the quality and state of their feet. I will only have my guy's shoes on until after regionals (if we qualify), then off they will come! So, for 8 or 9 months out of the year he's barefoot, and his feet are so much better for it! It's amazing how obvious the distortion becomes after having shoes on for only two or three settings, amazing the difference a stupid shoe and some nails makes in the shape and health of his feet. I wish it was possible for extended barefoot periods with the reiner, but as long as he's being ridden, and still being trained for, reining, he'll have to have his shoes... Good thing is his feet tend to hold their own better with shoes on, but still... it'd be nice to let him be barefoot... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:00 pm

I see your point. I'm an ammy that will be competing against the trainers in Hunter Pleasure. I was thinking about it last night. Unfortunately, I think he will have to have shoes. My halter and SH filly will probably go barefoot. Both are two, SH I can compete without, her liberty will either be great or not so. Like I said, she has great movement when she wants to (gets hot). My halter child will do what he can whether he has shoes or not.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:05 pm

I personally think you're making the right decision for the Hunter Pleasure ~ sadly, it's still a fact of life that a MR performance horse really does need to be shod in order to be competitive!
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:39 pm

I agree that it'd be a good idea to shoe the hunter. Not because I don't think you can be competitive without shoes, but because the footing wasn't great at Scottsdale this year. Hopefully it'll be better next year, but I'd still rather take the precaution and shoe.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:32 am

I would say a definte no to putting shoes on anything under 3. I've seen some 2 year olds with shoes on but it looks awkward on their small feet and leads to problems later if the shoes weren't made and put on extremely well. You could most likey get away with not putting shoes on a Sport Horse if they already are a very nice mover.
As far as horses 3 and up go, I would put shoes on for sure. Depending on what the horse is being used for and how they move naturally you may put pads on or not. Halter horses generally only need a keg shoe unless you are really going for the big time. Western horses will have no pad or a small one. Hunters a bigger slanted or stack pad. And English horses having the most pads, bands, weights, clips, plugs and other outrageous things.
The last 3 years my mare has been in keg shoes all the way around, but next year I will be putting a slight pad on her fronts to give her a little more. She's in shoes all of the time because she doesn't have the greatest feet and it keeps her sound working on not so great footing. You are going to have a very tough time being competative with out pads in most rings now...and why not get that extra edge?
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:49 am

Kaitlyn wrote:
I would say a definte no to putting shoes on anything under 3. I've seen some 2 year olds with shoes on but it looks awkward on their small feet and leads to problems later if the shoes weren't made and put on extremely well. You could most likey get away with not putting shoes on a Sport Horse if they already are a very nice mover.
As far as horses 3 and up go, I would put shoes on for sure. Depending on what the horse is being used for and how they move naturally you may put pads on or not. Halter horses generally only need a keg shoe unless you are really going for the big time. Western horses will have no pad or a small one. Hunters a bigger slanted or stack pad. And English horses having the most pads, bands, weights, clips, plugs and other outrageous things.
The last 3 years my mare has been in keg shoes all the way around, but next year I will be putting a slight pad on her fronts to give her a little more. She's in shoes all of the time because she doesn't have the greatest feet and it keeps her sound working on not so great footing. You are going to have a very tough time being competative with out pads in most rings now...and why not get that extra edge?

The Equine Stress committee (they brought forth the shoeing resolution[s]) is going to be looking at our pad rules to see if there is a reasonable way to give horses what they need without compromising horses. These huge pad stacks I've seen on HP and even Halter horses is getting absurd, IMO.

That said, my older WP gelding DOES wear a wedge pad (and I have him shod in half rounds for better breakover), he has never grown much of a heel and needs the support, we've been trying for 20 years to figure out something better.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:07 pm

My boy has great feet. Strong, sound barefoot and with good heel. Plus, he will be showing SH also. His movement is my idea of a HP horse, but maybe more working hunter type. He moves with a nice long, level stride. In his future, I would like to see him go into Hunter/Jumper once he's old enough. So, what do you think, pads?
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:38 pm

Do you have any pictures of him under saddle or in motion, or better yet, video of him under saddle?

To be competitive in MR Hunter Pleasure, that long, low daisy cutter like movement (which excels in the Sport Horse ring under a Hunter judge) does not catch a judge's eye these days. Hopefully there will be a change in judging and what judges are looking for in our Hunter Pleasure classes following the scrutiny brought about by the resolution that passed at Convention.

Pics or video would help! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:22 pm

I have his liberty video. That was a year ago though! We are working on new photos and maybe a video before the show of him under saddle.

Here's the old one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hVaNNqPsKM
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:29 pm

While I'm waiting (on dial-up) for the video to load, I'll respond Smile

If we are strictly considering future soundness, no matter the age, I would strongly advise to avoid padding the horse. Also, as I mentioned above, shoeing for only the show season, if you decide shoes are necessary for the extra movement, and then having long periods of barefoot breaks. If this horse does not need shoes, there is no reason to compromise the already (assuming) excellent health and composition of his feet, legs, and body, ditto and ten-fold for the pads. Pads can cause serious degradation of the state of the sole and frog, as they come to rely on that "protective" layer, and "forget" how to function without it, you will find it harder and harder to keep your horse sound without. They can also in essence, crush the heel, as there isn't really any support, but rather just a cushion that prevents the heel from growing and functioning properly. Often times, the heel is also left too long (yes, too long), multiplying this effect. Depending on the type of pad used of course, and the pad can also seriously decrease the support to the frog, and therefore the support to the entire bone column. Geez... I could go on forever--I'm good at that Razz There are reasons to use a pad, but I am definitely against using one for the sole purpose of affecting movement...

If he is sound and able on various footing already, there is no reason any arena footing should cause any problems for him (unless it is seriously crappy, chunky, rocky, etc.--totally innappropriate footing for an arena). And if it's that bad, I wouldn't ride in it period, because I'd be much more worried about his tendons, ligaments and joints being tweaked, in the event of a mis-step or something. I doubt the footing at Scottsdale is that bad...

So... Since Kaitlyn didn't say, I'm going to assume the footing being bad was more in reference to the depth than texture? In that case, a shoe, and in addition if used, a pad, only helps to create more action in shallower footing, doesn't really do much for soundness due to conformational/hoof issues (of course there are varying scenarios, but speaking in general here, regarding horses who are physically fit and sound for riding, your boy for example Mortazavi--is it Stacy too? Smile). Sooo, I'm assuming the issue was with shallow footing?

Some food for thought (and probably something you guys already know, but for the sake of conversation...): Any horse, shod or not (and of course to different degrees based on individual natural movement), will have more action in a deeper, softer footing, than it will in a shallower or hard footing. Think about running through water... or the deep sand on the beach; you (or your horse) will have to work MUCH harder, lifting your legs higher, and laboring to take larger steps in an attempt to "decrease" the workload of several smaller steps, however, the laboring results in more knee lift and action rather than actual larger steps... At least, this is how I think of it... Anyway, if you then move to the wet, hard packed sand, you suddenly are able to move freely, less laboriously, and thus, with much less exagerated motions and much longer, freer strides. Sure, you could probably put some rubber soled clogs on and increase your movement artificially, but there you then have artificial stress and strain on your muscles, joints and son on... If you put those clogs on and moved back on over to the deep sand, think about the strain then?

Case in point: My gelding has beautiful movement, however, depending on the footing, he will "morph" from hunter pleasure horse, to sporthorse. He has beautiful suspension and extension, and would make a lovely dressage horse, when ridden or lunged in shallow dirt, in the field, or on dirt or gravel roads--and this is barefoot. However, put him in a deeper dirt, sand, whatever, and he suddenly becomes a higher stepping, poppy, snappy looking hunter pleasure type (unless he's being silly, then he looks like an upper level dressage horse with HUMONGOUS stride, lift, suspension, etc.). Any horse is going to do this whether shod or not, pads or not, it all comes back to the natural way the horse moves. Yes, of course, if you go up against a bigger moving, shod/padded horse, with your longer, straigther moving, barefoot horse, there is going to be a major difference... But you just have to decide what is more important... the movement to beat a horse in a class, or your horse's soundness... In my opinion, there is no reason to put pads on a horse that does not need them for an already existing soundness issue--and as I said already, a change in depth or texture arena footing (sand to dirt to rubber, etc., again, assuming it is appropriate arena footing) should not be causing a soundness issue.

Some horses will have issues on the gravel (cement really should not bother them, there is no reason for it, nothing to poke and jab their feet) going to and from the arena to the stalls, as they are not conditioned for it (sole/frog not calloused/hardened due to lack of exposure to rocky terrain and reliance on shavings and arena dirt as their constant footing)-- and if this is an issue, it could be helpful here to NOT pick your horses feet if they have dirt or shavings in them, but rather let them keep it while on gravel, and then pick them before going in the arena if you want to (infact, they could then pick up some nice clean dirt here to help them on the way back afterwards)... I do not often pick my horses' feet unless there is a rock in there, or mud or manure--fresh clean dry-ish dirt type packing actually is good for them...

Ha ha, Geesh Stacy (Sunlit)! I'm learning well, typing up my own novel here! Razz
I just realized, sometimes the footing is such that it really packs into the horses' feet and can even ball up... That's not so good either, but to remedy, all you need is a hoof-pick and an assistant! I wouldn't put shoes and pads on for this either, infact, shoes can make it worse, as there is more to "hold on" to and they pack up a lot more. My drill horse the past few years has always been barefoot, while all the other horses on the team have been shod. There is one venue in particular where the horses have this problem, and I never have to worry about it because my barefoot horse is sound all around, on any footing, and also, doesn't pick up and hold the dirt! Smile

Anyway... I should say ladies, this is not meant in an argumentative or derogatory or whatever manner (I'm not like that, I just realized I hope it doesn't come across that way), It's just my two cents for what it's worth! rabbit
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:23 am

Thanks Silver for sharing. I'm really thinking just shoes. I'm not so crazy about that even, but understand the point too. And, once show season is over, they will come off. He's got great feet. My farrier has complemented them several times.

And, yes, I'm Stacy too.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:28 am

Ha ha, sure, no problem... but share? I didn't realize just how looooong my post was! I guess I pretty much "talked" everyone's ears off! Very Happy And I just re-read, and realized Kait was not the one who said the footing at Scottsdale was bad, it was Tranquilo... Sorry! Wink Was hoping someone would clarify "how" or "why" the footing was bad (texture, depth, etc.?), I am curious!
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:39 am

Great post Silverdust!

As for the footing at Scottsdale last time...like most shows the warmups got packed down pretty quick from so much use, so they needed to be drug more often. The show arenas seemed alright to me, maybe a little shalow.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:18 am

Well, will be meeting the farrier on Friday to get his new shoes put on. I will be having another "talk" with our farrier over length, angle, etc. His feet are about the perfect length now. Hasn't been trimmed in 2 months! So, if he doesn't change his trimming style, will probably have to change farriers. He likes the maintainance, QH/pasture trim.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:22 am

Yah, Kaitlyn, the warm-ups do seem to get packed down very quickly at all shows No It'd be chaotic, but nice if they tilled/drug those too!

Wow Stacy, just now at a good length after two months of growing? Does that mean he was trimmed way too short? Was he sore after that? I had one farrier several years ago who trimmed my mare so short that she could hardly gimp back to her stall afterward. I could easily push on her sole with my thumbs with little pressure, and see it give, not just feel it. I was so mad, I can't believe there are people out there who could be so stupid! Hopefully that wasn't what happened to your guy, it just made me think of it... Poor horses are at such mercy to us humans and our meddling!
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:13 pm

No. He's a good farrier, just not an Arab one. He just seems to trim differently than what I see the show horses like. Even with shoes right now my boy would be under the length restrictions, if that makes sense? I'm meeting him tomorrow to get shoes done, I'll take a couple of pix to post before he trims.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:30 am

Ah, okay. I was wondering if maybe you were looking for a longer hoof length as in "show" horses (versus pasture pets) but wasn't sure if you meant that, or that he really hacked him... I like the shorter lengths myself--my horses are all trimmed with a natural balance trim, and I do not let them get long (on purpose anyway Rolling Eyes lol, since I don't have to make an appointment with myself, I tend to "cancel" on me a lot, therefore, occasionally someone gets longer than I'd like). They all are around between just under 3 inches (just trimmed) and 3 1/2 inches (need to be trimmed), barefoot (and of course, varying per individual horse, I don't stick to a specific length for ALL horses). I do not use pads on mine for non-medical reasons, unless I am shoeing my mare who has an extreme high/low, then I use a bar wedge pad on her low to help even her up a bit--she has a really flat/low foot and a high heeled, upright foot, and her movement is affected to a degree (she paddles, and her strides are different when she's barefoot or if the low is shod without a wedge, so the paddling looks worse then too), so if I'm showing her, I do put a bar wedge on the one to help that. The shoes on my hunter and my reiner obviously add a little length to the overall, but they are well under/within the restrictions.

I assume you realize this, so please don't take this as condescending or aimed at you Stacy! I was just thinking... Some food for thought for someone who may not realize it: The limits and restrictions are put in place to prevent extremes (and I personally do not think they are stringent enough! But I won't get started on that), the limits do not necessarily to state an "ideal". Just because you see a lot of the show horses with longer feet does not make it the healthiest or "ideal" thing. Keepin' up with the Joneses to a point, Neutral come show season, I too will let my hunter's feet grow a little more, to help with giving him more movement , but when he's not showing, he will be back to a shorter, natural trim and shoeless!

Would love to see pics, before and after! How bout that? Just for the sake of example for this discussion (what has already been discussed)--I promise now I will not say anything more about my dislike of "show" shoeing/pads, or my apparent hippocracy! I don't mean to go off on a tirade either! Just adding my two cents, but I've done spent all my "money", I'm broke now! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:30 pm

Well, I have a bit of an update. I took the before photos, but not the after. When I go for my lesson Sunday, I will take some for after pix. I had a very long Q & A with our farrier. We agreed that Jr was way too long. Discussed show ring trends and length rule. We then measured his hooves. I thought he was at least 1/2" too long. His fronts were measured 3 1/4". I believe he took off about 1/2". We didn't do pads, discussed it at length. He was surprised that Arabians were wearing them for the purpose of movement other than corrections for hi/low, etc.

I've heard from our trainer. She said that he is moving much more round now instead of flat. That is with his good, normal length feet and keg shoes. Will try to take a couple of movement photos too.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:02 am

Cool! Would love to see those shots when you get them! Smile Did you mean he was 3 1/4 after the trim? Or was that before? Just curious, because one of my guys is just slightly under 3 inches after trimming, and while his feet are somewhat "small" (0, but he is a small guy, lucky if he's 14.2, they fit his body size), and I know this is within a normal range, it just seems so short! And yet, he's always amazingly sound even on gravel--I just can't get used to the look of those "stubby" feet! Very Happy I have others, and the majority that I have seen, with the same size feet who have a longer natural length (3 1/8 to 3 1/4) to their feet, freshly trimmed, so it's just "easier" to look at than his shrimp feet. Anyway, blabbity blabbity blab. It's good to hear he has nice movement without having to use more than a keg shoe, at a normal length! Yay!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:51 am

Leather pads are also used to help absorb concusion on harder or less than desirable surfaces....not all soles on horses are created equal or tough enough.

If a young horse is being worked a lot to prepare for competition & the feet will tend to wear down quickly ir the have to cover surfaces that will promote wear down or improper wear, a nice simple plate a size larger is good for them. It will prevent wear, give room to allow the feet to grow & provide posterior support.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:26 am

Hi Silver!

Forgot to get pix with the rain and all. My boy looks great! Between the training (2 weeks now) and the shoes, he is moving so nicely. I had a good ride on him. Trainer says he's nice enough to go to FEI level dressage if we want to take him that direction. She is very impressed with him in movement, ability, work ethic and build. She's a Warmblood trainer, so hasn't seen too many purebreds that have impressed her. We are training and schooling HP, but may take him to a dressage show before Scottsdale. Will try to remember to get some pix of him working next weekend.

Merry Christmas.

Christina (I think it is?) thank you for the information. Our boy actually has great feet. It was a tough decision putting shoes on at all, but he's working in them well. Plus, with the potential of bad footing we feel comfortable having a little extra protection.

Hope to get to meet you at Scottsdale.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:51 am

Realized last night that I didn't answer your question regarding length. That was before trimming. So, after he was about 2 3/4 + shoe.
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PostSubject: Re: Shoeing for shows?   Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:49 am

Oh wow Stacy! That's cool! I have never ridden dressage, and don't know much about it, but am interested! I have a HA gelding and a PB gelding I am planning on trying some dressage with, it looks fun and my easily bored mind would be very intrigued/entertained by the upper level moves, if we make it to that point. That is neat that she likes your PB! Am looking forward to seeing some working pictures of him! Smile

Rosseau, yes, leather pads can also be used to aid in shock absorption and protection on poor ground, I didn't read back, but I guess I don't remember that being mentioned. But... Alternatively, my personal preference is to have all horses on daily turnout (24-7 if possible, here that is only during summer, winter they only go out during the day), on varied terrain, with a minimalist approach to shoeing, maintaining feet with consistent, quality trims, allowing the horse (his feet) to condition and prepare himself for such changes in the ground he may encounter. Actually, if a horse is brought up this way from "foalhood", it would be most unlikely that he/she would ever need anything more than bare feet, or at most a light keg shoe. While genetics do come into play to a degree, they do all start out pretty darn similar-- it is their subsequent varied upbringing, housing/keeping and hoofcare that creates problem feet, in most instances.

We have just brought our current showing trends to such extremes with our desire to see such animation and exaggerated movement, as well as stalling our horses 24-7--thus giving them access to only shavings and arena dirt/sand as their only footing--therefore creating a necessity of shoeing/padding to help their inadequately adapted feet perform as required on terrain that is actually more "natural" for them than shavings and softly tilled dirt. But this is an argument that will never end, and there are so many different opinions and preferences...

And I said I wasn't going to rant LOL! As much as I am of a different mind when it comes to shoeing/trimming horses... I guess I'm calling the kettle black, because I do love to watch those big movers. And... as I said before, I do have a reiner who wears sliders (and another one who will when he's farther along, and a hp gelding who will have shoes for the shows). I hate looking at them, knowing what they are doing to his feet, but they're still on there 'cause they make him slide so purdy... so, I guess I'm a hippocrate! I'll drink to that! Razz
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