Horses, barefoot or shod?

Hello controversial subject – this has split more hairs than whether or not vegemite is better than marmite!

My opinion is that your horse’s welfare should be at the top of the priority list – yes, you could say that that is a cop out. But you would be surprised to see how many people put their own personal preferences and beliefs above this subject.

So let’s make it human related.

We all know the beginning of summer, when we first take our shoes off and run in the gravel and the mud and it hurts. We also know that it will stop hurting in a few days. But we also know that if it doesn’t stop hurting – to put shoes back on. Be that a flipflop or a slipper.

If we were in the business of continuing to cause ourselves harm for a position of moral high ground – I am sure that our mates would say ‘don’t be silly, changing your mind is not a sin’.

I think the same about horses – if the horse is in work that doesn’t need shoes. Like not trotting on roads for a living or making big heavy work on different surfaces that the horse’s hooves would not be prepared for; then leave the shoes off. Go barefoot.

But if their hooves fall apart, put shoes back on… it’s not worth it!

If the horse is going to be regularly in a scenario or setting where it may not be used to the footing or the going of the ground. For example, moving from jumping on grass to jumping on a surface without time to get used to it. Get shoes on.

Allow your horse to be your priority and think logically about the going for the horse.

It is not in your best interest to stay put for a moral stance.

We all know that we wouldn’t choose to only eat celery or walk on stones for the rest of our lives. Simply because we once said that celery was nice and that the stones were a good massage!

It is OK and fair to change your mind. Our horse’s welfare is much more important than our moral high ground!

Do you have an opinion on having your horse barefoot or shod?