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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.