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[RC] RC What Shoes Really Do - Carolyn Burgess

We've had this discussion before about going barefoot.  Barefoot is great if you horse can do it.  I have six horses, all are currently barefoot.  I have one that we are waiting for the biotin supplements to kick in and grow enough healthy hoof to nail to.  No amount of toughening up is going to make this horse able to go barefoot.  He has always been shod (long story about why he is barefoot now), but this horse is lame in the pasture (SE Texas, grass over soft sand - no rocks or roots) because of his poor feet.  When ridden, this horse needs shoes, pads and boots over the shoes and pads.  This is what he needs to be comfortable, so that is what he gets.  Don't go and tell me that I am an awful horse owner because I don't make this horse miserable in some ego trip on my part to be able to say, "My horses are all barefoot", like it is some badge of honor.

I have bad feet.  I have a very high arch and no pad either on my heel or between the balls of my feet.  When you take in imprint of my foot, you see two points in the front (for each of the balls of my feet) and one point at the heel.  There is a tiny line along the outside and nothing in the inside.  You see one point for my big toe.  The other four toes do not touch the ground.  Going barefoot is not an option for me, I can't even wear regular shoes without excruciating pain.  I have a special orthotic that I wear all the time.  No amount of toughening up is going to make my foot better.  Same with the horse I just described.  I can either shoe and pad him, or he is miserable. 

I do what my horses need to be comfortable, healthy and sound.  If that is barefoot, then great.  If it means shoes, pads and boots over that, then that is what they get.  This is not about ME, it is about them.

Carolyn Burgess

Judy Houle <judyshatir@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Metal horseshoes do provide protection from excess
wear, but at the cost of increased concussion to the
hoof and bony column. They inhibit the natural shock
absorbing quality of the hoof by restricting movement
of the hoof when weight loading and unloading. I do
not believe they increase traction, more often they
decrease it. How often have you slipped and slid over
grass, mud, sheets of rock, asphalt or gravel? A
horse with thin soles could be properly trimmed and
conditioned to build up calloused soles by going
barefoot instead of shod.


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Carolyn Burgess
Phone: 1-978-897-6624
Fax: 1-419-735-1117

[RC] Re:RC What Shoes Really Do, Judy Houle