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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Friday, 29 November 2013

Barefoot and bitless police horses.

At least 3 US police forces have taken their horses barefoot and have noticed far fewer lameness problems enabling the horses to spend more time at work and less time off sick.  The photo below, posted with permission of the original poster is of a US police horse on parade.

If they can do it in the US how come we can't do it here in the UK? It can't be because of diet, exercise, environment or trim. The circumstances for these are pretty much the same both sides of the pond. 



The text below is cut and pasted from a US mounted policeman posting on 'The Right to Trim' FB page.

The horses we have retired recently, all have been in metal shoes most of their lives. We pulled all of our police horses shoes, but the damage was done on the majority of them that limited their careers as police horses. Remember, a lot of other issues can occur throughout the body of the horse because on the constant nailing on of metal shoes. The ones recently retired were not lame so to say but had hock, back and other issues.
My police horse Shadow, aka as Texan Star, has never been shod since we got him un 2002 as a two year old. He was schooled slowly, not rushed into service like a lot of young performance horses, and went to work on the streets as a four year old. He is now 14 and his health record is so far clean of any of the consistent lameness issues we had when we shod all of our police horses.
We now look long and hard any horse people want to donate that has been in metal shoes the majority of their lives because we know their careers will be shortened due to being in metal shoes. There are always exceptions but again we would prefer not to roll the dice taking horses in that have been in metal shoes.

2 comments:

Kat Mac said...

Wow, finally some sense! Hope it hits Aus :)

Bronwyn said...

Sadly, for the Sydney/NSW mounted police at least, when they first considered going barefoot they consulted a particular individual from the Sydney area who is an enormous quack. Now they won't consider it. (At least they were able to see that his info was bogus, even if they decided it was typical of barefoot when it's not)

Mind you, never say never, and new information always comes to light!

Really pleased to see the police forces it is working for. As soon as the statistics become available from places like that - the money saved by having sound healthy horses - other places will start to adopt those practices.

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