If you own a horse, you may face the dilemma of horseshoes or barefoot trims. It seems that many farriers are leaning towards barefoot trimming because it helps promote a more natural environment for your horse.
Transitioning Your Horse to a Barefoot Life
If your horse has been wearing shoes and you want to pull them, be sure to work with a farrier that is experienced in barefoot trims. There are some farriers that only do barefoot trims and excel at it.
You and your farrier will want to come up with a plan to help your horse make the transition from shoes to barefoot. Some things you will need to take into consideration are:
- The footing where your horse spends its days. Your horse’s feet may be tender when you first remove its shoes. Talk to your farrier about what you can do to provide the best footing possible while your horse adjusts to barefoot life. GGT Footing is a great option.
- Your horse should be in good overall health while making this transition.
- If you enjoy trail riding on rocky or rough terrain, you may need to put boots on your horse until its hooves have adjusted and toughened up.
Benefits of Being Barefoot
It’s hard to ignore the benefits of having your horse barefoot.
- Horses that are barefoot can recover from past lameness issues. A good barefoot trim causes the horse’s hooves to strike the ground at a natural angle. This can alleviate pressure from sore spots. Horses that have been known to suffer from abscesses, laminitis and other hoof ailments have been known to recover and remain free of these problems.
- Horses without shoes and with proper trims experience better blood flow than those with shoes.
- Horses that are in pastures with other horses are less likely to get hurt should they get kicked by a horse with no shoes verses a horse with shoes.
- Barefooted horses can feel the ground and are more surefooted than those with shoes. Being barefoot promotes less stumbling.
- Barefoot hooves tend to have strong and healthy frogs and walls.
- Natural trims are less expensive than shoeing your horse.
Please make sure you understand that pulling your horse's shoes does not mean you no longer have to tend to their hooves. What it means is, you are going to employ the services of a farrier that will trim your horse’s hooves every four to six weeks. Your farrier will work closely with you and your horse to ensure that your horse maintains exceptional hoof care and hoof health.
Feel free to contact us for more information about barefoot trims and excellent arena footing.