A Farrier shoing a horse. Right front hoof is between a mans leg as he works on the horse's shoe. The way the picture is framed, you can only see the man's legs. The horse's tail and hind legs are in the foreground.


Hey everyone! Merry Christmas, even if it is a day late! I’m really busy with last minute moving details, but I wanted to write a blog post anyway to see how everyone was doing. What did y’all get for Christmas? I got a few odds and ends, but the big thing I wanted was my father’s custom-made Buffalo Saddlery saddle, which he gave to me! Now I just need to fork out the money to get a new saddle pad (American flag style, baby!), and find someone who can make me a matching breast collar (basket weave, hurgh).

What did you guys get for Christmas? What did you get your horses for Christmas? Leave a comment and tell me, I’d love to find out!

For today’s topic, I’d like to cover the ever-controversial debate on horseshoes. I know some of you are groaning with horror, but try to bear with me, I’ll try to present both sides of the argument accurately.

Personally, if I had the choice, my horses would go barefoot most of the time. Why? Because horseshoes can restrict the natural movement of the hoof, the expanding and contracting it does with every step a horse takes, and along with that restriction of movement comes restriction of blood flow. This can contribute to the onset, or progress of Navicular Syndrome. Weekly trimming of the hooves is easy¬†maintenance once you’ve learned how to do it (YouTube, haha).

However! Some horses just don’t have decent feet, as we all know, and need the added support and protection of horseshoes, especially if they’re supporting a rider and vigorous working activities. Another facet of this is that some horses have bone or muscle problems in their legs, and may require corrective shoeing by a specially-trained farrier, and horseshoes can help give traction. As far as I know, shoes are also required for competitions and shows.

So what do you guys think? Do your horses go barefoot all the time, or only during certain seasons, or do they have shoes on all the time?

Remember, readers, that it’s important to work with your horses all the time, sacking out, training, even pleasure riding, to get to know them. Observe how they act with their pasture mates, read their body language when they’re around you, etc, etc. Only by watching and gaining time in the saddle and on the ground can you really start to understand how your horses work.

When I write next week, I’ll be in Pennsylvania! See everyone then!

One Comment

  1. Andrew Hyde

    Love that photo!

Comments are closed.