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Despite the slight uptick in the economy, times are still difficult for a lot of people throughout the country. Many horse owners are having their horses go barefoot, in part to save some money.
The barefoot vs. shod argument is one that will never go away. Neither will the issue of how to spend money. We talked to three farriers from across the Midwest to get their take on how the economy is affecting their practices.
An issue that continues to gain steam is the debate regarding barefoot vs. shod horses. Some horses are ridden with hoof boots, but many can withstand the stress we used to think could only be handled with shoes.
Jeremiah Kemp, a farrier from Peoria, Ill., says he is seeing an increasing amount of “crappy” hoof care and that a lot of horses aren’t being shod that should be. His philosophy is to keep the horse barefoot and shoe only when necessary.
“I say that as a farrier, it’s important to get out of the way of the horse as much as possible,” he says. “Shoes are kind of a necessary evil. They serve a purpose, but when you shoe a horse for a long time, it takes the hoof out of business after awhile.”
Kemp encourages his clients to have shoes removed for a month or 2 in the winter when the horses aren’t as likely to be outside as often.
He also understands that some horses are being unnecessarily shod…