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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 27 August 2010

Don't read this if you are eating or squeamish - breakover

I read a post the other day which seemed to be saying that horses' are unable to wear an appropriate breakover for themselves without drawing blood (I paraphrase), hence the need for a shoe. 

I thought it worth posting about this, because scaremongering techniques are a particularly unpleasant way of trying to stop someone from trying the barefoot approach.  (I've put comments on moderation for obvious reasons - but don't let that stop you.)

The Shoddy also suggested that by bringing the shoe inside the hoof wall (unlike in the picture at the end of this post) the breakover would be eased all round.  This is technically impossible as the shoe has to be nailed on.  It is possible to bring the breakover back at one point (usually toe) but even with a heavily bevelled shoe, there are limitations because of the nails which have to go somewhere.  And I won't even go into the arguments about whether the nailing on itself is problematic.  Just think about sticking a splinter up under your nail.

Cross section - freeze dried hoof
Dissection - domestic hoof
Dissected hoof with 'ideal' shoe/nail placement (vet supervision)

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Southern England, United Kingdom