Tag Archive for: barrel racing without shoes

Six Reasons Why Natural Hoof Care (AND Shoeing) Doesn’t Work

Six Reasons Why Natural Hoof Care (AND Shoeing) Doesn't Work

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #7 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
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In today’s article, I’ll be sharing my two cents on what has become somewhat of a controversial issue in the barrel horse and performance world. Before I begin, I’ll say that it’s not my goal to specifically determine what’s best for you and your horses but to share what I’ve learned as licensed Vet. Tech., a long time barrel racer, and a natural trimmer for 12+ years.

My education in this area began at a young age. Barefoot horses suited my needs as a youngster, and with corrective trimming even my foundered rescue pony was brought back to complete health.

Taking matters into my own hands
Taking matters into my own hands

Many years later when my horses were shod (mainly for protection from rocky trails in the Big Horn Mountains), soundness issues started coming up. This also happened to be when the natural hoof care movement was gaining steam. After quite a bit of research backed by my already existing education, I decided to be my horse’s advocate, and took matters (and a rasp) into my own hands.

I restored my horses to soundness and continued to learn, trim and compete barefoot for many years with great success. I appreciated how effective natural hoof care was for completely eliminating cracks, chips, flares, and for supporting and maintaining truly healthy feet from the inside out.
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Barefoot Trim for Barrel Racing?

Barefoot Trim for Barrel Racing?

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #7 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.


by Kim Kizzier, LMT, CMT

It seems like everything is going ‘natural’ these days. We are constantly looking for natural solutions, practices, and products that can help us and our horses to stay healthy, happy and environmentally responsible.  With the natural horsemanship trends, it only makes sense that natural hoof care would go hand-in-hand.

The ‘Natural Barefoot Trim’ and the theories surrounding it offer fairly new concepts to what we’ve learned as ‘normal’ over the past 1,000 years, yet it appears to be taking the horse world by storm. This trim, including the idea of pulling shoes and going barefoot is frequently looked upon as alternative and is often not yet fully understood within traditional horse and hoof care professions.  Most veterinarians and farriers will admit that horses are healthier if they can be barefoot. The arguing word seems to be “if.” 

Barefoot proponents believe every horse should go barefoot and that with proper trimming, conditioning and support, every horse will develop healthier feet and bodies and perform better barefoot.  Others believe shoes are a necessary evil and point to genetic predisposition to bad feet, hoof pathology, or intense training programs that require more support.

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