Take a look at this hoof image experiment.

This is a 3-year experiment envisioned by an equine veterinarian in 1790. Bracy Clark was the vet’s name, and the woman who volunteered her horse was so horrified after 3 years that they stopped it.

There is absolutely no question that barefoot is best for the horse.

Not only because of how the shoe constricts and misshapes the horse’s foot, but the shoe causes biomechanical problems as well.

Biomechanically, with a shoe on, the horse cannot move correctly, as the shoe constricts the movement of the hoof, frog, sole, circulation, tendons, ligaments….essentially all the hoof.

And if the foot isn’t right….”No hoof, no horse”

Bracy Clark was ridiculed and his experiment forgotten.

It’s time we remember.


Ok now that you know, don’t just take the shoes off your horse.

Learn about it first. I highly recommend the free seminars of Hoofing Marvelous from the UK. https://schoolhmi.com/

Please don’t just hire a barefoot trimmer. Because assuming all barefoot trimmers are the same is also a mistake.

You don’t have to know everything about trimming. But you do need to know something, just the basics. Otherwise you could hire the wrong person and have a disaster on your hands.

What if my horse can’t go barefoot?

Not every horse can go barefoot all at once. If you’ve tried going barefoot, but your horse became lame or ‘footy’, here are common reasons:

1) The trimmer is taking too much sole off.
2) The trimmer is not trimming to the hard sole plane. (see hoofing marvellous, above)
3) The horse has incorrect nutrition, so that the foot is not healthy.
4) The horse does not get enough movement. (I highly recommend a track system)
5) The leg(s) are misaligned, such that the stay apparatus is “stuck in shoe mode.”
6) The teeth are incorrectly floated.

The last one is little known, and weird. But in short, if the molars are not touching each other (called occlusion), then proprioception (knowing where your feet and body are) is decreased.

When proprioception is decreased, the feet widen and the soles drop. The wider foot and dropped sole help the horse get more information to help with proprioception.

This info may seem overwhelming. But just take it a step at a time. It’s worth it for the health, happiness, and longevity of your horse.

Want to align and heal horses?

Want to Align and Heal Horses? You Can!