Barefoot Horses

Sustainable Model of a Performing Barefoot Horse Facility

The research on barefoot horses continue



The debate of horse shoeing versus barefoot trimming has been an ongoing debate amongst the horse industry for several years. Horses have been domesticated for over six thousand years, partnering with man in work, travel, war and sport. The practice of shoeing horses appears in written records around 900 A.D and continued into the Middle Ages, when horses were housed in castles on damp surfaces compared to being outside on corrals. The equine industry perceives that barefoot horses cannot perform at the same level as shod horses. For this reason, they are willing to accept the application of shoes that impede the normal function of the hoof by interfering with natural circulation, peripheral loading, heel contraction and unbalanced digital axis. The purpose of this research is to show that barefoot horses can perform at the same level, if not better, than shod horses, by providing a successful barefoot husbandry and business model that is acceptable by the equine industry. The study compares two groups of horses selected with the same criteria, 35 barefoot and 35 shod, of different ages, breed and sex that have been kept in work for a period of 4 months. The horses were housed in different facilities, but with similar industry standards: Type of food, working surface, ours of turn out and housed in individual box stalls size 13 m2 + 22m. Days of loss of work due to lameness, lost or loose shoes where recorded and evaluated.  Statistically significant analysis ( Z Test P