Are there types of horses or situations where one style of foot care would not be the right choice?
Shoeing would not be a practical choice for a horse with feet that are steep angled, with strong walls, thick soles, and large frogs. However, even horses like this have limits. We have a number of mustangs in training at our farrier school. They usually have strong feet. Yet if we ride them excessively over gravel roads or mountain trails of crushed granite or lava rock, even they require shoes to protect their feet from soreness. In the wild, a horse can rest and limit its own mobility, and it doesn’t carry a rider. The humane thing to do is to protect the horse’s feet with shoes if it is to be ridden and enjoyed by its rider. We have found that even mustangs need to be trimmed regularly to prevent hoof distortion and to keep their limbs in balance. For boots to work well, they must fit snug on a well-trimmed foot. Additionally, barefoot is not a practical choice for horses with underrun heels and other inherited foot conditions.
Butler Professional Horseshoeing School
495 Table Road
Crawford, NE 69339
If you think you want to become a farrier (or know someone who does), this book can help you make that decision. Horse owners will learn the importance of choosing a qualified farrier and how to select the “right” one.
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