I rode a few horses barefoot the other day and out on the trail I ran into some hoof prints of a horse that was clearly wearing shoes. As I looked at the hoof prints of the iron shoe I noticed that there was no sign of the frog. When I looked at the prints that my barefoot horse was making I could clearly see so much more detail such as the frogs and even the bars.

No sign of the frog on this shod hoof print.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about natural hoof care and he argued that the frog worked just as well shod as it would barefoot. He mentioned that the frog would be stimulated just as well because there would be dirt going up into the hoof.

You can clearly see the frog on this barefoot print implying that it definitely touched the ground.

However, when I looked at these hoof prints there was no sign of the frog, meaning that the frog had never hit the sand. As I followed the prints into the wash and the sand got deeper. It was way harder to distinguish shod from bare because the sand was so soft and allowed the horse to sink in the sand. But when looking at the harder ground there is no doubt in my mind that the frog is stimulated much more on a barefoot hoof then on a shod hoof.

Take a look at these pictures and see for yourself.

Posted by Miriam Rezine