There are many valid and sound reasons for keeping your horse barehoof.
But first, it should be clarified just what is meant by barehoof. Barehoof is maintaining horses' hooves in an environment and a shape that best suits the horse from a physiological point of view. Barehoof requires the horse carer to regularly check and organise trimming and treatment to ensure that maximum soundness and hoof conformation is achieved and maintained. Barehoof also requires the horse to live in an environment that encourages plenty of movement, as well as feeding the horse the necessary nutrition and minerals to supply the hoof with all the nutriments it needs.
Horses were born barehoof. Nature designed the hoof to perform best for the horse if left barehooved.
Hooves on horses and donkeys carry out several important roles for the wearer. They protect the horse from the elements; they give him/her vital feedback, through touch receptors and nerves, of the environment and surface. Hooves also aid circulation of the lower limbs and hooves though a mechanism called hoof function. This means that every step the horse or donkey takes, expansion and contraction occurs pumping blood and nutrients into the hoof and also carrying waste products back to the horse's organs for processing.
Hooves, just like our own feet, are such an important part of our horses' well being.
A barehoof horse can feel the ground.
A barehoof horse will grow horn and sole to account for reasonable wear.
A barehoof horse will choose to walk on comfortable surfaces and avoid harmful surfaces.
A barehoof will aid the circulation, healing and growing of the hoof and lower limb.
A barehoof horse has great traction on just about every surface due to the hoof design, material and the progressive braking action of the frog.
A barehoof horse has 'nothing to lose', meaning there are no shoes to come off and injure or lame the horse.
A barehoof is better able to dissipate concussion and shock loading - nature's natural shock absorbers. Better for the whole horse!
A healthy barehoof will grow thicker walls, thicker soles and a healthier frog.
A barehoof horse will usually have healthy hooves into old age.
A barehoof horse can be fitted with hoof boots to protect the hooves if and when protection is needed.
A barehoof horse kicks with feel, meaning as it has feeling in its hooves it can tell how hard to kick, as opposed to a kick from a shod horse which has impaired feeling and touch sensation in its hooves, and may inadvertently kick much harder than intended.
A barehoof horse can be maintained by its owner with some training and educating into barehoof maintenance trimming.
For a brief summary of the affects of horseshoes on your horse Click Here
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Last updated September 8, 2016