Metal shoes provide protection from abrasion when the abrasion rate exceeds the rate at which the hoof can grow new horn material. This condition was common in the past and occurred when horses were used for hard labour for many hours a day presenting shoeing as an indispensable option.

Today many horse owners have come to the realization that their horses, as well as the majority of today’s horses, no longer need the same protection from excessive wear and tear required by the equines of the past and are now freeing them from their metal shoes which create serious disadvantages for the horse’s health:

  • The hoof mechanics (flexibility of the hoof) are impaired
  • The hoof is unable to adjust to uneven ground, shocks cannot be absorbed and impact bones and joints more severely
  • The horse cannot feel the ground and becomes careless of its limbs
  • Blood circulation in the hoof is reduced because of reduced flexibility and a lack of stimulation
  • Shoeing deforms the hoof, e.g. the heel becomes flat, the toe gets longer – the farrier can only counteract such a development through radical changes with every trim
  • Shod hooves do more damage on humans and other horses
  • Shoes provide no footing on slippery surfaces
  • The natural transport of humidity is impeded by the nails
  • Bacteria can enter into the hoof more easily
  • Gradual cause-oriented correction of deformed hooves is impossible and can only be accomplished by invasive trimming when new shoes are put on
If you decide to let your horse go barefoot and make an appointment with one of our DIfHO hoof orthopedists, the unique state of your horse will be taken into consideration and you will be thoroughly advised.
Hooforthopedists nearby