When I bought my first horse in 2003 I knew in my head that not all horses needed shoes. But my horse had been out of work for a while, had poor feet and was sore on the cotswold stone tracks around the yard where I kept him, so I put shoes on, because he was obviously one of those horses who needed shoes. However he had intermittent lameness issues even with the shoes on.
I found an EP in 2006 and decided to try taking the shoes off, seeing as they were not keeping him sound. My horse had problems with the transition to going barefoot so I made it a priority to try and understand how best to help him be as comfortable as possible.
During that time I become more and more fascinated with the amazing engineering feat that is the horse’s hoof. This has fuelled my interest in the field of Equine Podiatry, leading to a change of career from looking after computers to looking after horses.
Sadly my horse has been retired now, due to non-foot related issues but I used to ride English and Western and have competed in both barefoot. We used jump at competition to about 2’6 but higher at home. We hacked out when weather and work allowed, sometimes completely barefoot, but often with a set or two of hoof boots.
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