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The information provided within is not intended to medicinally prescribe or diagnose in any way, nor is it meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. We suggest you consult your veterinarian before pursuing any form of treatment for your animals.

"And God took a handful of southernly wind,
blew His breath over it and created the horse." ~ Bedouin Legend

The Basics of Keeping Your Horse Barefoot
There are thousands (maybe even millions!) of people who successfully keep their horses barefoot and still participate in all sorts of disciplines: show jumping, Western pleasure, endurance riding, driving, trail riding, etc. So, why do we insist on shoes? Quite simply, tradition and fear of the unknown have dictated that horses need shoes. But do they really?? Many renowned natural hoof care advocates like Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey support the belief that shoeing a horse actually perpetuates many of the more common hoof related issues a horse owner faces. Issues including but not limited to navicular syndrome, weak soles, hoof contraction, founder and poor hoof growth. These issues are the result of horse shoes interfering with the natural workings of the hoof - which completely contradicts the thought that shoeing our horses is a best practice.

All hooves can be trimmed based on the wild hoof model. Of course results will vary based on the individual horse, environment, diet and genetics. Immediate results are not guaranteed. The reality is that many horses can and do make the successful transition to a barefoot life quite easily and will be comfortable immediately.

Once the shoes are removed the natural trimming method is used to set the hoof up for optimal ground contact (i.e. a heel first landing) and the hoof will begin to “remodel” itself. All of this can be done without invading any live tissue and without unnecessary discomfort for the horse. If, however, your horse is sore in shoes, he/she will no doubt need some protection provided by hoof boots for a short time until the sole has built up enough natural protective callusing.

The best way to speed up this process is to see that the horse is turned out as much as possible on a surface ideal to promoting hoof growth like firm, dry ground or terrain similar to what you normally ride on. Hoof boots can be used to help the horse during the time of transition while riding or for turn out (when used according to manufacturer directions). The newer boots on the market are designed with the barefoot horse in mind. The “Easyboot Edge” or the “Easyboot Glove” are my two favorite hoof boots to date, but regardless of the make or style, the best boot for any horse is the one that fits properly. For more information please see our Hoof Boot Fitting page.

Boots are more often needed on the front hooves but there are times when a horse should have boots all the way around. Be sure to ask your hoof care provider for more individualized information regarding the needs of your horse.

No Horsing Around, LLC
PO Box 533
Pittstown, NJ 08867
ph: 908-672-8125