Reply To: Transitioning to Barefoot

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I totally disagree with the statement that “All horses can go barefoot.” I know that hooves can expand and contract when the horse moves barefoot and that is good for hoof health. HOWEVER, when I tried it with my gelding for the first 5 years of his life (because it was “healthier” for his feet), he was lame about every other month – either hoof bruises or soft tissue injuries (which I now attribute to abnormal movement to avoid hoof pain). I finally gave up and had him shod. That was 12 years ago, and he hasn’t been lame since. My mare (12 years old) also had sore feet, and I didn’t wait so long to shoe her. She’s only had one episode of lameness since, due to an abscess. So – some horses CAN go barefoot, and it is in general better for their feet. Will it help your horse’s feet – maybe or maybe not. Thoroughbreds are famous for their lousy, crumbly, shelly feet. Another source of bad feet is moisture – either constant or wet-dry cycles. We moved to Texas a year ago and the dry climate has really hardened their hooves big time! So your climate will also influence hoof health.