Hoof Nutrition Intelligence Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.

Below you will find Part 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.

Q: Can most senior horses be left barefoot when they are no longer part of a riding program?

By Sean Elliott

A: I only put shoes on horses for three reasons: traction, protection or support. If they don’t fall into one of those categories, then horses of any age don’t need shoes.

With senior horses, a lot of times they’ve been competitors at a high level and then they’ve become a school horse. Sometimes these horses may come to that program with some minor hiccups such as injuries or other little things that have to be taken care of in order to get them through their geriatric years. In those cases, barefoot or shoeing has to be evaluated on a per case basis.

Sean Elliott is a Certified Journeyman Farrier who lives in Grand Valley, Ontario.

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Click here to read part 1 of the Dec. 1, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: What impact does nutrition and exercise have on bone development in growing foals? Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.