A barefoot/booted lifestyle is not just about keeping a horse with no steel shoes. Such a protocol needs an owner who is willing to develop a brief strategy, watch their horse’s behavior, and look for solutions when problems arise. The approach must be well-rounded because success will depend on helping the horse adapt to its environment, including living conditions, a nutrition program that reduces or eliminates sugars, and as much movement as possible.
The right ground surface or stall material for your horse’s living space depends on the hoof and climate. If your horse lives part of the day or night in a stall, the flooring should provide stimulation for an improvement of the hoof capsule, though not to be too abrasive or contain sharp rocks if the horse doesn’t have a really thick sole yet.
Working a horse on wet, packed sand, mud or snow is ideal for building sole thickness, as it will distribute the pressure under the sole. The sole is simulated by pressure, so movement is essential. Deep Pea Gravel is ideal for even load distribution on the sole while keeping the foot as dry as possible, even in wet conditions. Working on cobblestone pavement twists the hoof and provides stimulation for the lateral cartilage while loose cobblestones round and toughen the hoof wall from the outside.
Supplement your barefoot protocol with horse hoof boots – there is a wide variety of choices of horse hoof boots at EasyCare. Please call us at 1-800-447-8836: a Customer Service Representative will be available to answer any questions you may have and help you choose the right boot for your horse.