Why Go Barefoot?















The better question is, "Why not go barefoot"?


I get very tired of hearing the phrase, "well my horse just can't go barefoot". Well "why not?" That seems to be the un-answered question. It could be several reasons why, diet, trim, past trimming, environment, limited movement and the list goes on. All of these can be addressed to allow your house to go barefoot.


There is no doubt that shoes cause harm to a horses hoof (this is a fact not an opinion). The shoe is  no better than the trim beneath it. There are nail holes, the wall is loaded 100%, little to no frog contact with the ground, hoof wall is nailed shut, the shoe takes away shock absorbtion, hoof contraction and circulation is restricted. These are just a few examples. A barefoot horse has more circulation, more shock absorbtion, no nail holes. This being said, an improperly trimmed bare hoof can also have it's problems as well. I've seen horses where the sole has been carved out or all the concavity  has been rasped or trimmed away And yes, these horses will have a hard time going barefoot.


I don't think it's appropriate to trim a horse that is sedated or twitched. A horse needs to have trust before trimmimg. When they are twitched or druged the horse does not learn anything. Time and persistence provides learning and lasts forever. Drugs and twitches are only temporary. However, it should not be the responsibility of the trimmer to train the horse to stand, unless there is prior agreement made.