Bridging the gap between barefoot and shod

hoofbootHoof boots are fast becoming the first choice for equine footwear. When used in conjunction with concussion pads, boots provide immediate comfort and therefore confidence, so a horse returns to  correct heel first landing.

The best thing about hoof boots is that  when a rider has finished with them, they are removed and the horse is able to be turned out barefoot with all the benefits of a barefoot lifestyle (and you don’t need to get a new pair every six weeks!)

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laser_diagramA compromise between barefoot and shodfoot.

There is a saying around the barefoot world that is fast becoming a cliché – “those horses that most need shoes also need to get out of them the most”. More often than not, it is the continual wearing of shoes that has weakened the feet in the first place and created the downward cycle, ironically increasing the dependence upon further shoe use.

Quite simply, horses’ feet do not get better with each subsequent shoeing …

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cera (2)Plastic fantastic!

Until recent times, metal was the only practical option for horse shoes, but the convenience comes at the expense of long-term soundness.

The development of new materials and designs is making plastic shoes a much more viable option, but as Andrew Bowe explains, “sometimes the only way to find out the real value of something new is to try it for yourself”.

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anvilEven though this website promotes the benefits of a barefoot lifestyle for equines, the subject of horse shoeing needs to be addressed. In a perfect world, all horses would be barefoot.

But the reality is, a lot of horses are going to exist in situations that will require them to be given the protection afforded by horse shoes – of course only if hoof boots are not an option.

Even though all shoeing does take away the function of horses’ feet, many years of experience on “both sides of the anvil” has shown that there are several ways to somewhat minimize the harmful effects of shoes.

So, if you have to shoe your horse …

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