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Shod versus Barefoot Horses

Should your Horse be Shod or Barefoot. 
For millennium horses have walked our planet barefoot. Their hooves have evolved to provide them with the ultimate weight carrying surface providing traction, balance and functionality. The only real disadvantage of an unshod horse is that his feet can wear down on hard surfaces, but some great hoof boots on the market, this is no longer an issue.
I am an advocate of the barefoot horse and my own little horse has never been shod; his hooves are round, beautifully formed and never give him problems. I do use hoof boots when doing a lot of road work to stop his hooves wearing down. My farrier actually said it would be a crime to put shoes on such perfect feet!
Hoof boots also work out cheaper in the long run. A friend of mine uses her hoof boots daily, and reports that she has to replace them on average once a year. Depending on the type of boot you use, this would cost you from as little as £180 per year! I only use my hoof boots for road work and replace approx every two years. My foot trimming is then done every 6 weeks in Summer and 7-8 weeks in Winter. This is a huge saving on Farrier costs for a shod horse.
Looking online i found a great article on the disadvantages for shod horses which better explains the point, so if you are thinking of going ‘barefoot’ please click on the link below:

10 Disadvantages of horse shoes

With a growing range of ‘Hoof Boots‘ now available on the market, you can care for your horses feet during the transition from shod to barefoot and afterwards when riding on hard or particularly stony surfaces. With so many hoof boots on the market, i have found The Saddlery Shop has a good range of the better known brands; Cavello, Easy Care, EvoHorse, Equine Fusion, Mac, Renegade and Scoot Boots, giving you a wide choice of styles, uses and price range.

They are also happy to offer advice:
The Saddlery Shop has built up a reputation for being the country’s leading authority on booting barefoot horses, holding by far the largest stocks in the UK of all the major brands of hoof boots and accessories. These include the Easycare range, Renegade in regular and cutback styles, Equine Fusion Ultimate and Cavallo to name some of the most popular.
We also offer free specialist hoof boot advice by email from one of our booting experts, which include Lucy Nicholas one of our directors and author of ‘The Barefoot Horse’. Hoof boot enquiries are treated as a priority and usually answered within 4 working hours”

There is a link on this website to our Barefoot Trimmer Directory. I am always updating this, so if you have any amendments for me or wish to add a Barefoot Farrier/Barefoot Trimmer,,please use the contact form below.

 

There is a lot of information available online about Barefoot Horses and transitioning to Barefoot.
I have listed below a couple more links with informative articles

Barefoot Horse Magazine
Your Horse article on Barefoot Horses


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