I had a rather heated discussion yesterday with one of my horse-riding students (as opposed to a student of horse-riding).
She was very much of the opinion that a horse needed to be shod to stop the hooves wearing down too quickly. I didn’t actually ask what she did with her horse that would make the hooves wear so fast but it was certainly an interesting argument – the front hooves need shoes but apparently the rear don’t 😕
Now the story continues: her horse apparently does not walk properly – her hooves grow at something of an angle. The farrier has advised shoeing her to “correct” this problem. The poor girl is under the impression that the farrier knows what he is doing… I’m afraid I cannot subscribe to this idea. A farrier that tries to alter the direction of growth of a hoof by using horseshoes should have his licence taken away; imagine that your feet turn outwards (mine do 🙂 ), any attempt to fix them facing forwards will put extra stress on the knees causing pain and eventually damage. Try it: walk around with your knees turned 30 degrees from straight. Alternatively, fix a thin strip of wood along the outside edge of your shoes and feel how comfortable it is. This will not improve or reset your foot, it will only cause pain and, in the end, damage.