Why I Don't Shoe My Horses
A very good article about natural hoof care and the bare foot horse by my great friend Rachel Chao MS
By Rachel E. Chao
Ó2007 Natural Hoofworks, LLC.
If you ask 3 different horse owners their opinions on any different subject, you’re likely to get 5 different answers. It can be confusing and terrifying when the advice you receive is contradictory, and everyone giving the advice claims that if things are not done precisely their way your horse will inevitably colic/founder/smell bad/ lose a limb/grow a fungus/become a social pariah/etc.
I believe that most people shoe their horses because they believe it is in the horse’s best interest. I know that is why I used to keep my horses shod. I trusted the advice I got from more experienced horse people and professionals. It never occurred to me to question the use of horse shoes, because literally all the horses I ever came into contact with were shod. My horses needed shoes to protect their feet from rocks and gravel and pavement, just like I needed my boots to protect my feet. It would have been cruel to do the kind of hard, fast mountain riding I liked to do without giving my horses the benefit of shoes. Not only that, my horses did not have the best feet to begin with. Their angles always looked too low to me, I could never get them to grow enough heel to “stand them back up”. Without the shoes to keep them from wearing away the heel, how could I ever get the angles better? Also, when I did pull their shoes for a few weeks a year, the feet immediately started to crack and chip and lose chunks. It appeared that the only thing holding my horse’s feet together was the shoe itself.
Click Here to see the Complete Article