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Re: on the subject of shoes

Paula, I normally encourage people to keep horses barefoot as much as
possible, only shoeing them when their conditioning schedule reaches a point
where shoes are necessary to combat the wear.  In your case, though, I would
STRONGLY recommend that you take some sort of corrective measure to get those
heels built up!  You MAY be able to do so with frequent trimming, sparing the
heels and keeping the toes trimmed, but you may also need to have your horse
shod to protect the heels and get some support back under the leg where it
needs to be.  Yes, your horse may travel fine the way he is, but if the work
load increases, you are running the risk of eventually having problems with
suspensory ligaments, flexor tendons, etc., that are being put under a
tremendous strain by the long-toe-low-heel configuration.

Heidi Smith, DVM

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