Holistic Horse Care-The Natural Hoof Trim
The specialised "barefoot" trim allows optimal hoof mechanism (expansion of the hoof), superior circulation, traction, shock absorption, and much more for your horse. It also allows healing of any damage caused by lack of hoofcare, incorrect hoof trimming, or shoeing of any horse, irrespective of background, current condition or breed. Effects of Shoeing Shoes do not allow your horse's hooves to properly expand when weightbearing. This impaired expansion of the hoof reduces circulation and shock absorption, and promotes incorrect hoof form, causing many hoof and general health problems. Unshod vs Barefoot - there's a big difference Simply removing the shoes or applying a conventional pasture trim is often not enough to allow horses to be restored to optimal health and ridden without shoes successfully and to their full potential. This is because conventional ideas about hoof form are not based on the natural hoof form of a wild horse. Conformation Natural hoof form is essential for optimal equine health and performance. Hoof problems, such as cracks, brittleness, seedy toe, thrush and navicular are the result of incorrect hoof form. Horses that don't have natural hoof form will not be able to perform to their full potential and often have problems such as poor health and condition, poor conformation muscle tightness and back and joint pain. Transition To Barefoot All horses can be ridden as usual without shoes once the hoof is returned to it's natural form. Depending on the condition of the hooves, some horses will need special management during transition to barefoot. This includes a programme of regular correct barefoot trimming, use of hoof boots while riding to prevent incorrect wear, and possibly some form of natural therapy. Once the hooves have returned to their natural form, (which can take weeks to years), the horse can be ridden over any terrain it is conditioned for with superior balance, traction and performance. Can Horses Really Perform Barefoot? Most horse owners understand that metal horse shoes are damaging to the hooves and the rest of the horse - horseshoes are traditionally considered a "Necessary Evil".
However, as many horse owners around the world are discovering, there is a way to successfully go without horseshoes and have your horse perform in any discipline - usually with much better results than when shod. Horses Can Perform Without Shoes?
In the past, it was traditionally thought that horses could not manage the work we asked of them without horse shoes because their hooves would wear excessively. Hence the theory that "if a horse is in work, it needs to be shod". This is probably true in many cases if you keep your horse traditionally and give it a hoof trim meant for the application of a shoe. If, however, you give your horse a barefoot trim by a natural hoofcare professional, and provide correct living conditions that meet the basic biological needs of the horse, you can successfully return your horse to full health, and go barefoot over any terrain that you condition your horse for, with improved overall health, traction, movement and performance.