Friday, 27 June 2014

No shoes.

I have a horse and for the two years I've owned him, and for 10yrs prior to that, he has been wearing steel shoes on his hooves. I have never been comfortable with this as I feel that a horse should not have steel shoes nailed onto his perfectly healthy hoof, but I have taken my farrier's advice and kept on with the 7 weekly cycle of shoes off, clean up the hoof and then re-apply a fresh set if steel shoes. I have on occasion read articles which have led me to question the sensibility of applying steel shoes to the hoof but each time I broach the subject I am told that my horses hooves would crumble if I take the shoes off. As anyone with a horse knows, no hoof no horse, and so I have backed down and re-applied the steel rings. Recently I re-visited the whole barefoot debate and did more research and on the strength of this research I have taken the shoes off of my lovely boy Ben, a 14 yr old American Standard Bred. Yes he is a little tentative walking over stony ground, but then so would I be for a few weeks without shoes on. Yes he has a little damage to the hoof wall, he has had NAILS driven through them at 7 weekly intervals. I intend to keep a good eye on his hooves and make sure they are trimmed when they need it to ensure a good transition from shoes to barefoot. I will post progress here for the world to see. Wish Ben and I luck, I'm sure we won't need it, after all we are going back to what comes naturally. It has to be better for the wellfare of the horse. These photos are taken on the day of shoe removal. 

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