Oh my ears and whiskers!
A recent meeting of horse riding instructors was given the following information about one of the riding school’s horses “the farrier has said that he has bad hooves”. And additionally, mention was made about how good the farrier actually is…
Of course, Sabots Libres wouldn’t be Sabots Libres without questioning both these statements!
Firstly, what is “bad” about the hooves? After all, it is a very sweeping statement and – as yet – not backed up by any arguments. How is the farrier proposing to rectify or help alleviate the problem? Is he going to carry on damaging the hoof and weakening it by continuing to fit shoes? Or will he leave the shoes off allowing the walls to heal from the damage done by the nails from the shoes at least?
This then brings the second statement into question. Is he really a good farrier? Well, he might be good at shoeing horses (if you can accept the contradiction in terms) but I rather doubt his ability to unshoe horses. Just looking around at the unshod hooves that he tends, does not make me happy. Bars that grow forward of the frog (yes, I can show you at least one case); untended flares; “high heels”; untended quarters; no mustang – necessary to prevent splitting and separation in horses with only restricted access to rough surfaces.
Conclusion: this horse is likely to be condemned to wearing shoes to so called “correct” his bad hooves; a great pity when with a little extra attention now and later just normal general maintenance, he could have good strong – unshod – hooves.