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Monday, March 23, 2009

A little Monday Math :)

Several people have commented on the math behind shoes versus I wanted to post this, just in case anyone else was thinking about switching, but was having a hard time making everything add up!

Shoes - Farrier does trimming
Assuming your horse is on 6 week shoeing cycles at $85/shoes. Assume you shoe 5 times a year (this is reasonable for me. The last year is was closer to 4 times): $425
3 trims for pulling shoes/trimming etc at $35/trim: $105
Total cost: $530

Boots - Farrier does trimming
Assuming 6 week trimming cycle (reasonable considering that foot must fit in boot!): $280
Boot cost. Assume renegades and they last 1 year: $360
Total cost: $640 (even if you trimmed every 8-9 weeks the cost is still more)

Boots - Self trimming
Cost of tools (this is estimated because I don't know how often I'll need to replace my rasp): $50
Boot cost: $360
Total cost: $410

The neat thing is that since I have a budget on the computer where I track my spending I'll be able to do an exact cost analysis at the end of the year, between horses (Minx will be booted, Farley will be shod) and between years (2008 versus 2009).

It's more than just the $$$ though (as I think everyone here who boots their horses "gets"). I do NOT want my horses shod more than a total of 9 months out of the year. If I have a horse that is consistantly competing throughout the year, competing with boots will let them have that barefoot period. Like I mentioned before, booting is also about freedom for me - I won't have to worry about shoeing cycles.

Thank you everyone for your public and private posts! I feel like I'm entering a brave new world (in a good way).


  1. Interesting! Over here in Niger, the horses are barefoot, which is fine, as most of our tracks are sandy paths. Their hooves require some trimming but that's it!

  2. Unfortunately, shoes are a necessity where I ride. There's way too many rocks and with the trail riding I do, too much of a chance of stone bruising (I've had it happen way too many times). I usually have to shoe about every six weeks at $125 a pop (the price you pay living in the LA Area). The shoer is a bit expensive but he's good and most of all, reliable. Way too many flakes down here.

    It might be a different story with another horse but that's what I have to live with with my boy.

    You DON'T want to know what I pay on a yearly basis. I could have had a Synergist saddle with that money...

  3. Since I have to trailer out to do any trail riding (besides canal banks) I have the luxery of picking my footing - sandy, rocky, hilly etc. :) Which makes me shoeing and booting decisions easier (I don't tend to go my rocky conditioning place if I'm riding a barefoot horse).

    What's more difficult is rides - If I go north they are ROCKY and HILLY. If I go south they are SANDY.

    It's funny though what people's perceptions are - I was told in no uncertain terms that when I did 20 MT I would HAVE to pad, or I had a good chance of being pulled for a stone bruise. I decided not to and I can't remember one rock during the ride! There were also people complaining about how hilly 20MT was. Again, I don't rememember any substantial hills. I've learned to ask people to compare a ride I haven't done to a ride I have to get a more realistic view.

  4. I think a lot depends on the horse. My horse has a knack for finding rocks to step on. :-(

  5. True. I guess that's what they mean by having a "rock with your name on it" during rides.

    I was told once that there are 3 qualities an endurance horse had to have: stable mentally, sound, and good metabolics. In reality, you may get 2 out of the 3, and that means you have a keeper! I know I struggle with the soundnesss part (my lucky bodypart is SDF tendons). Tendancy to rock bruise definately falls into this category. But hey! If you have the other 2 than you find ways to manage around it right?


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