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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Why barefoot works - or rather why shoe a foot in this condition?

Well to be honest, just a hint, because to do the whole thing would take longer than I have today.

Regular followers will remember the cadaver post from Texas *I often wonder how the heck that horse got into that state.  Today, somewhat to my horror I freely admit, I got a bit of an inkling.

I try to avoid forums (not good for my blood pressure), but they do have a use, which is to inspire some of my posts.  Well today I came across a post about a horse just diagnosed with navicular. *

See post 59 for photos and some thoughts.

The diagnosis of navicular was made on very thin grounds.  The horse, with obvious central sulcus infection, possibly a trace of LGL/lami, underrun and contracted heels has been shod with heart bars and gel pads.

Add in some 'interesting' trimming, including heavy rasping out of flare, add a few months and 51 states and there you have it.

The hoof in the first link is from the US, the second from the UK, but you can see how the US hoof may have started out looking something like the UK one.  Now that I find seriously scarey.

But not as scared as the poor horse should be with all that ********* nailed to the bottom of his foot.

So why could barefoot work in a similar case to the 'navicular' in this post?

Well for a start, without a shoe on it is much easier to:  a) treat the central sulcus infection b) for the heel to decontract  c) the underrun heel to be addressed and d) dietary issues are much easier to identify

As an added bonus it is much cheaper too.

But the downside is that the responsibility is transferred from vet and farrier to the owner.  So pay your money make your choice.  Please just don't ever let your horse suffer (let alone die) for it.

* Please note that barefoot hooves can end up with tall heels, central sulcus infections etc too.  It is all about the overall management.  Also in no way is this post criticising the owner of the horses concerned.  Without proper advice and experience we can all end up in a jam.  And many years ago I wore that T-shirt too, which is why I went barefoot in the first place.

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