Farrier Roundtable

Q: “What’s the best way to deal with clients who want to keep their horses barefoot all year?”

— Delaware farrier

A: You have to educate them about how to keep the horses sound if they want to keep them barefoot. Also, it depends how they’re going to use their horses. I think the most important thing is for them to realize that they still need to take care of the horses’ hooves.

It would probably mean adopting a regular trimming program. That would depend on the horse, of course, and the environment they’re kept and used in, either a pasture or a stall, and the conditions of the ground. 

Some horses turned out in rough terrain will need different hoof care than the ones turned out in a small pasture or kept in a stall. It also depends on which part of the country they’re in. Horses turned out in dry areas with their hooves trimmed properly don’t need the extra attention. Being turned out and active, the circulation in the hoof is better.

The key thing is to educate the horse owner, then let nature and the farrier do the work.

—Javier Soto, Canutillo, Texas

A: Where I live, it’s so seasonal that most of my horses are barefoot through the winter, and some of them all year round. I have more of a problem educating the owners of horses that need to be shod through the winter about the precautions they need to take. They need extra…

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