To Shoe or Not to Shoe...
I personally prefer horses to be barefoot in their natural state, however not all horses can go barefoot. If the foot has inadequate sole thickness for the protection of the coffin bone then the horse will be sore depending on how thin the sole is.
The equine hoof performs differently with a shoe on as opposed to being barefoot for multiple reasons, blood circulation and rate of sole growth being the most important. Sole and frog pressure encourage the growth of the sole through blood circulation.
Environmental factors play a big role in all of the this and the horse owner needs to understand how and why the hoof operates the way it does.
Come back next month as we’ll discuss these factors more in depth in our next blog post.