First, I've never heard that farriers ONLY do shoeings. That may be a regional thing, but I do both, probably about half and half. I always recommend to just trim if it's feasible. It's a better profit margin. But when it won't work, it won't work. Now I know barefoot trimmers will say, "If you know how to do it, it'll always work". For example, my horses always wear shoes because I may have to unexpectedly ride up in the rocky hills for a couple days looking for cows. I don't have the time or the ambition to condition my horse's hooves to rocks when I don't even have them in my pastures. I won't take a chance fracturing a coffin bone to have them barefoot. They need to be ready to go ride anywhere and I don't need a $200 pair of hoof boots on em rubbing the hide off. The statement of barefoot horses being easier on the ground is funny. I've never heard that one. It's good to hear that people have good-footed horses that can hold up barefoot. But just because your animals can take it, don't ridicule others who can't.
What I have a problem with is when barefoot believers start sounding like extremists. To get followers, they use the "Shock Factor". They make claims that shoeing is painful, causes damage, and even abusive. HAHA! They compare shoeing to consticting little Chinese girl's feet. No, sorry folks, those are 2 very different things. They have videos on Youtube demonstrating "what shoes do" and show a hydraulic press busting a cadaver hoof. They are much like the animal rights activists, convincing people that if you do this, you're condoning abuse. Baloney!
I challenge anyone to show me evidence that a good shoe job causes lameness or even discomfort. When I say shoe job, I mean a straight, M/L balanced shoe job with proper expansion. No neglect pictures of a 6 month old shoe job like my neighbor used to do. Or a video of a horse that Billy-Bob-Gomer up the road slammed some steel on. Show me how a correct shoeing made a sound horse lame.
A good shoeing protects your horse's feet. It can straighten a crooked horse and correct gait faults. It can fix injuries, founder, and leg deformaties. The correct use of sliding plates on reiners and aluminum on pleasure horses helps get the desired results in the show arena. Good solid shoeing doesn't constrict a horse's hooves or pinch them at all. That's the reason for expansion. I'm glad for the barefooters for their success, but don't try to shove it down out throats and claim we're doing detrimental things by shoeing.
Last edited by AmazinCaucasian; 01-29-2012 at 03:24 AM.