I moved to a new barn about 2 year ago where they convinced me to take the shoes off of my horse. I am so grateful. Last summer, after about a year of no-shoes, a few of us took our horses to Colorado where we rode National Park trails for a week (about 2 hours a day). The trails have quite a bit of hard granite and I worried that they might get sore feet because they are used to much softer ground. To my delight my mare didn’t show any signs of tenderness until the very last day. If I get the chance to do that again, I may take a pair of boots just in case, but I think it is a pretty good testament to natural trimming that 5 horses had good feet after 6 days of granite terrain.
I heard that the Houston Police Department and Clinton Anderson are both now proponents of barefoot horses. Does anyone know if this is true?
This is a pretty controversial subject to be sure. I hope you have more success converting horse owners than I have seen personally. I actually changed from a hunter-jumper stable to a western trail riding stable because I couldn’t stand the feet on my stable-mate’s horses after I learned about the damage that can be done. They just wouldn’t hear of not being shod. (I think they used shoes as a way of gaining height as well as “protecting” the feet.) Anyway, my horse goes on the trails nearly every day with no problems. When we go to “volcanic” trails, he wears boots, but that might not even be necessary.
Unshod in Los Alamos
We have personally rehabilitated two foundered horses and a hunter-jumper victim who had severe navicular damage due to high heels and heavy stress while improperly shod. Both were on their way to being euthanized when we took them. Their owners did not lack compassion. Just knowledge. Both horses lived more than 10 year without foot pain after about 6 months of trimming work. One logged miles and miles of trails carrying kids over the river and through the woods.
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