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Re: RC: Re: Re: Re: barefoot

In a message dated Thu, 28 Jun 2001 10:57:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "Robyn Levash" <> writes:

<< I HAVE tested my horses sole with hoof testers   after completing a 50 mile ride totally barefoot,and there is no   difference before the  ride or after. >>

More power to you.  But how about a 50 every other weekend?  Or a multiday?  Or more difficult terrain?  Every horse has its limits as to what it can do barefoot.  If wear did not occur, then the barefoot horse would become long-toed and crippled in the course of daily living, and that is not the case.  For every individual, there comes a point of work where wear exceeds growth, and at that point, SOME form of hoof protection is necessary, if one wants to continue with the activity.  The point is--SOME horses can do SOME endurance riding without hoof protection--but they are in the minority.

<<I HAVE seen more horses than I can count that was   PERMANETLY healed by pulling the shoes, giving them a proper trim, and better   living conditions. >>

Oh, we've likely ALL seen horses that are "cured" by being barefoot.  But they aren't out doing Tevis, either.  I have a lovely broodmare out in my field right now who used to live in a damp climate in a stable and "had to be shod" or her feet would all but fall apart.  Her feet are MUCH healthier now, barefoot and in a dry climate, and she is much more sound.  But her rate of wear just about matches her growth rate, and she is not being ridden AT ALL.  My gut feeling is that she would also stay sound here in shoes, being ridden in this dry climate--and that the change in environment did as much OR MORE for her than getting rid of the shoes.

Bottom line--barefoot has its definite points, but there IS a tendency toward a fad here that "all shoeing is bad and all barefoot is good."  And that lack of logic is not in the best interest of the horses either.  One has to look at the relative merits and disadvantages of each, and figure out which is best for a given horse, under the circumstances in which it has to live and work.


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