Taxonomy term

hoof care, barefoot horses, shod horses, American Association of Equine Practitioners, AAEP, equine athlete, fit horses, horse competition

The topic of having horses go barefoot vs. shod has been discussed at several American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Annual Conventions and always generates some very informative dialog while raising many important questions. I must say from the onset that I favour horses being maintained without shoes when possible, but it depends on multiple factors.

Hans Wiza, good horse hooves vs bad horse hooves, horse care, horse health, equine coronary band, equine canon bone, hoof cracking, hoof flaking, hoof splitting, hoof bending, hoof folding, trimming horse hooves, equine pastern

For as long as there have been horses, there have been hoof problems. And for as long as there have been hoof problems with domesticated horses, there have been millions of man hours spent trying to find solutions and remedies for them. Almost invariably the greatest concern has been horses that have become footsore and cannot travel without limping. The cosmetic concerns that we have regarding cracks and breakage may or may not adversely affect a horse’s ability to perform a required function. These problems are often blamed on a horse’s “bad” hooves. But what is a bad hoof? First, let’s define what constitutes a good hoof.

 dean sinclair farrier kelowna bc, career as farrier, equine farrier careers, horse farrier careers, olds college farrier, certified journeyman farrier, canada farrier

“The beginning of the day starts in my shop at about 7:00 am, doing some forge work clipping up shoes and sharpening knives for the day’s work,” says Certified Journeyman Farrier Dean Sinclair of Kelowna, BC. “I have a young man who is apprenticing with me and we are under our first horses at 8:00 am. I have a mixed practice of shoeing show horses, endurance horses, and pleasure horses along with a handful of jumpers. Lunch is generally a sandwich on the run and we wind up the day back at the shop by about 5 pm.

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