Video Day Friday Christmas Countdown Day 4: Difficult Questions about Horse’s Soundness

The yards, tack rooms and forums are full of heated conversations on whether to shoe or not to shoe one’s horse and in today’s video countdown I would ask you to have a little think with me 🙂
My question to myself as a trainer/instructor/horse carer is “am I asking the right question”…


What if the questions were:

“How important is it for my horse to be able to expand his hoof capsule“?
“How degenerative and long term pathology inducing the rigid hoof capsule is for my horse?”
“How rigid hoof capsule affects the mental state of my horse?”
“Is the hoof’s inability to function without restriction connected to my horse’s back pain/shoulder pain/bridle lameness?”

Forget Shoe or Not to Shoe..Who cares…What if we ask better questions, ones yielding educational answers not just the “yes/no” answers…

Short Video for today…;) Please share your thoughts whether you agree with me or not!

3 thoughts on “Video Day Friday Christmas Countdown Day 4: Difficult Questions about Horse’s Soundness”

  1. My 17.2 1400lb OTTB has been barefoot since I got him about two years ago. His hooves started about 4″ in diameter at the sole and barely 3″ long at the toe. He also had an old back injury (probably was tied and beaten until he fell, twisting his whole neck and back). His feet are now closer to 6′ across at the sole, and the whole hoof capsule is at least an inch deeper. He is no longer footsore and his back issues are MUCH better now that his feet are proportionate to his size. If I’d kept him shod, he and I both would still be in misery!

    1. That’s a super result!

      What I wonder about is that perhaps if we didn’t ask dead-end questions that substantially undermine some people’s careers (like farriers) or kick many traditions in their teeth, we might be able to make many horses’ lives better.

      Yes I am pro barefoot performance but I strongly dislike any sort of “barefoot vs shod camps” that set up seemingly everywhere. I also dislike the evangelical tone of some barefoot practitioners and it seems such a waste of time to me to continue asking a question that causes so much turmoil and very little solution.

      Hence I wonder, if we asked questions focused on the “why” and not “what” then perhaps many horse owners would find themselves in the same boat rather than trying to find ways to capsize each other…

      1. Exactly! My farrier is great as he focuses on what is best for the horse at that particular time. I grew up with the idea that horses were shod and kept in at times of heavy work, then the shoes were pulled and the horse turned out to rest. Keeping horses stalled and shod when they weren’t working was frowned on, bad for the horse and for the pocket book!

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