Is barefoot best for all horses?

What if the environment doesn't support keeping a horse barefoot?

What if the owner isn't aware the horse doesn't have healthy barefoot hooves and the horse suffers as a consequence?

We are PRO-horse, not pro or anti anything! We don’t follow a trim method, we follow the horse and our intuition. While we fully accept that people naturally don't ever want to consciously hurt horses, they are suffering, often silently... Is this acceptable? Can we all help create positive change?...

Maintaining or creating healthy hoof and posture ideals requires proper care and attention to the horses needs. Selecting the most appropriate intervention helps achieve this and common interventions include:

• Trimming • Booting/padding • Shoeing • Diet • Management • Training and Exercise • Dentistry • Therapy • Medication and other vet interventions

Trimming for barefoot horses is a popular intervention thought to help promote healthy hooves – you simply cannot beat millions of years of evolution! However, domestication can be harsh and the environment is wildly different to the domestic horses wild cousins.

If the environment of the horse promotes a return of health to the hooves and maintenance of healthy ideals, we are fully supportive of keeping horses barefoot and are experts in this field. However, where a hoof score does not match what the horse is required to do in terms of performance, or if the living and exercise environment does not support healthy ideals, we will recommend other interventions during consultation with owners.

It is important to understand that trimming is a reductive process with obvious limitations (one can only remove hoof tissue, one cannot add it on). On occasion, after assessment of the horse and hooves, and after appreciating the horse’s history, the horses environment and learning what the owner or carer might be able to provide, the use of a more creative and supportive intervention such as a modern horse shoe is sometimes deemed more appropriate.