The debate regarding whether a horse should go barefoot or wear shoes seems timeless. Opinions will always vary and you should stick to what you are comfortable with for your horse, but allowing the horse to go barefoot is actually a healthy practice. Below are six common myths surrounding the idea of a barefoot horse.
Barefoot Horses Cannot Be Ridden On Hard Surfaces
One of the more common myths about allowing a horse to go barefoot is the great debate about whether they can and should walk hard surfaces. The correct trimming and hoof care will allow a horse to be safely ridden over nearly any type of surface.
Barefoot Trimmers Will Damage the Hoof
Not every barefoot trimmer is great, as is the same with professional farriers. Any barefoot trimmer that cares about doing a good job will be able to offer complete hoof care and trimming that makes going barefoot comfortable for the horse. They will know the best trimming techniques for their safety and comfort level.
Thoroughbreds Cannot Go Barefoot
The long legs of a thoroughbred make you feel they might be more delicate than other breeds, but this is simply not the case. The only real problem is in whether they have been consistently trimmed for racing without allowing full healthy development of the hoof.
Foundered Horses Cannot Go Barefoot
Laminitis can take a toll on any horse, but once they have survived the nightmarish attack on the hooves, there is no reason that a good barefoot trimmer cannot work with them to develop strong enough hooves to go barefoot. It may initially require the addition of boots, but can gradually be allowed full barefoot when the hooves are strengthened.
Barefoot Horses Cannot Be Ridden Over Rocky Terrain
It is not a good idea to run a horse over rough terrain if they are not used to it. This is true whether they are shoed or barefoot. It is a setup for injury. As long as the horse has been trained to walk rough terrain, barefoot or shoed should make no difference.
Barefoot Horses are Liable to Slip and Get Injured
A well-manicured and shaped hoof is all you need to feel confident that the animal will be sure-footed, whether they are wearing shoes or going barefoot. Spending the time and resources needed to keep the hooves in great shape are critical to the overall health of a horse.
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