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Why this page exists

My mom was not very big on horseshoes and I can count on just my hands the numbers of times we ever had shoes put on horses while i was growing up. My mom only had shoes put on when we went to the mountains and the trails were much rockier then we normally rode. I used to think that it was just because we did not have much money then, But recently she told me that she had never really believed that shoeing was beneficial to the horses anyway


Why I dont shoe My horses

In fact my only stint of shoing a horse occurred when I went into the Army and leased out my then 8 year old (rarely shod) pride and joy(couldnt sell him for a million) To a riding instructor. Two years later I got him back shod and with contracted heels. I moved him to southern AZ which is nothing but rock. I tried let him go back to barefooted, but because I did not know of Jackson and Strasser's recommendations it did not work out. So he was shod for another couple years when he became dead lame. My farrier had tried all kinds of special shoeing in those two years to get his heels to spread, but nothing had worked. When he went lame I took him to get X-rays. The vet said that his contracted heels were pressing on his lateral cartilages and causing all the pain. He wanted me to put on eggbar shoes and lots of drugs etc. The farrier said the same, but I finally had enough of the shoeing, so I told the farrier to pull the shoes and just trim him.
My biggest mistake was to keep him in a stall with a small run not big enough for him to get enough exercise. He abcessed and was very lame for a while. But I still refused to put those shoes back on. I finally got him a pasture to live in and with in six months he was sound. I started riding him on the gravel roads around the place where he was kept. Now he can be ridden on all types of surfaces with none of his previous lameness.


Why I started the Barefooted Horses List group

One lady pointed me to the books by Jackson and Strasser last fall and, ever since I see why my way worked when those two years of special shoes did nothing. In addition, several other people had been discussing shoeing options on various other lists for a while and were met with tons of criticism. That is when I decided to help everyone out by starting the barefootedhorses list and passing out this info to those who want to learn more about hoof care.