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While more horses going barefoot has increased the dollar value of offering boots as a footcare option, results from a recent American Farriers Journal survey shows farriers also see numerous hoof health and protection benefits.
Among the farriers responding to this survey, two-thirds buy the boots that are used on horses by their clients. While the remaining one-third indicated that owners purchase the boots, these shoers were recommending styles and brands and making the critical hoof measurements for properly sizing boots.
Cheryl Swayne finds boots offer increased revenue opportunities for farriers. The Meriden, Kan., farrier found offering boots expanded her footcare options, especially with the growing interest in leaving horses barefoot.
When Cole Henderson got tired of losing business to owners shifting to barefoot horses, he started offering boots to expand his income. “While many feet do well when left barefoot with boots, they don’t suit all customers,” says the Victoria, B.C., farrier.
Pete Ramey believes in leaving many horses barefoot. “The benefits are that boots are removable, offer complete coverage, are flexible, allow loading of the entire foot, provide true axial loading when needed and allow traction to be varied daily or hourly as conditions change,” says the farrier from Lakemont, Ga.
Gretchen Cardoso likes the ability to remove a boot to clean it and check the hoof. “Besides being suitable for occasional hoof protection for bare feet, they are useful for treating certain injuries or pathologies where the hoof is better off without nails,” says the…