Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In Sunny, HOT and HUMID S.C.
My family has never had a shod horse in my memory and never had any foot problems. Of course I can only speak from the last 40 years, since I was living in Germany before that. But to this day I've never had a shod horse (although I rode some in Germany). Back in the 70's after going 4 years of hearing my vet tell me I was going to have trouble with my horses feet he finally admitted that my horse's feet were fine and healthy. although he couldn't understand why, because I road them on the road and everywhere.
Over 30 years after he said that (and with new horses...the others having long since passed away) we can still claim to have not had any foot problems with our unshod horses.
Of course everyone has to make their own choice about what to do with their own horse. I just know that no horse of mine has ever slipped on the road (unshod hoofs get better road traction) or had any of shoe related problems that some of my other horse riding friends who shoe theirs. And when I would do long distance riding I never had to worry about throwing one :)) Not many people do long distance riding though, so that's not generally a problem they worry about. :))
I'm still waiting though, because I have people who still insist that I'm going to have problems. None of the vets tell me that anymore though :)) Apparently there has been a transition in the riding world and more people are going unshod, so I guess my grandfather and some of the old timers from my youth were either ahead of their time or people just forgot what the old timers had known from experience.