Frightening Experience

I was talking to a customer just generally about horse keeping and the conversation moved to shoeing and how much better barefooted horses were on the roads. She has ridden barefooted horses for many years, but the other day she took a friend's shod horse out and described the experience as frightening! She likened it to driving a car on ice with no 4X4, she said she had forgotten how poor shod horses were on the roads and said that she could feel the feet sliding in all directions. Another important advantage is proprioception, where it is impaired by shoes making a horse more prone to tripping and damage caused by treading on rocks. Horses without shoes are sure footed and stumble less. A conditioned barefooted horse is good on all terrain, rocks, snow, ice and wet pavements, where the shod counterpart is so poor in slippery conditions owners are very reluctant to venture out. Only the other day I watched a shod horse uncertainly descend a small hill on tarmac on a dry day, where our own horses descended confidently and without any difficulty. One of the most underestimated advantages of barefootedness is the fact that they have far superior traction, therefore, you are much safer while riding.

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