Horses are designed/adapted to live outside and constantly be moving reguardless if it's arid or not. Constant movement is essential to proper development of those soft structures. I'm not arguing what you said about palmar/plantar angles and your examples of shoes that help protect those weak structures. But that's treating the symptoms of under developed structures. On the other hand I think the barefoot folks do a good job addressing the causes and treatment of weak underdeveloped soft tissues through their barefoot managment protocol. I don't think it should be so readily dismissed as "barefoot brigade nonsense" or "idealistic barefoot dogma".
This is my most favorite quote on the shoes vs barefoot debate.
"Shoeing is a necessary evil that cannot be denied. Shoes fitted and applied in the best-known method are detrimental to the free functioning of the foot structures. Every nail driven into the wall of the hoof destroys a number of horn fibers and tends to weaken the main weight-bearing part of the foot. The shoe raises the frog from the ground and interferes with the functioning of the horny frog and elastic structures."
The Cavalry Horseshoer's Technical Manual, TM 2-220 War Department March 11, 1941 chapter 1, section I, paragraph 1b.
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