Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Natural hoof care

A friend emailed me a link to a website for Colorado natural hoof care. Although I am satisfied with my current farrier, I found the website very informative.

I have been thinking of keeping Panama barefoot — he has never worn shoes because he has always been pasture-kept, and has just recently started being ridden more. I have read that shoeing a horse can actually weaken their feet: Going barefoot causes their frogs (a triangular fleshy part on the bottom of a horse's feet) to develop protective callouses, which they lose when they wear shoes. Therefore transitioning back to being barefoot can be uncomfortable for a horse.

According to this website, though, wearing shoes also limits circulation, traction, and the hoof's natural shock absorption. These things are good to know, since I have this opportunity to keep Panama barefoot from the very start!

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