L&M Horseworks
Hoof Care Riding & Training Clinics
  Transition to Barefoot Resources
 

Many times when a horse's shoes are pulled and trimmed naturally to go barefoot, it will experience sensitivity on normal, rough or hard terrain. This is not lameness but sensitivity brought on by the damaging effects of the shoes. Any time the hoof function is impeded such as with shoes, excess growth, or improper trimming the entire hoof capsule will weaken and atrophy just as a muscle will in a cast. Also, the horny structures of the foot, such as the sole and wall, and fog will not be as thick. When this is the case all of the sensitive tissues and nerves will be stimulated to a much larger degree. Depending on the individual case the horse can be very sensitive taking many months to improve or very little time at all.

 

The hoof will toughen up with time as it grows and is strengthened. During this time, the rest of the hoof is stimulated allowing it to grow more prominent structures to protect the sensitive structures inside, improving hoof function. It is important that this is a process that takes time and much like building a muscle there will be soreness involved in some cases though not all the time. A normal transition time will be between six and ten months. The more the horse moves the faster he will transition. While the horse is transitioning to barefoot, I will fit the horse with professional quality hoof boots that will allow the horse to be ridden normally.

Riding Lessons
 

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