thanks for that but I know a fair whack about barefoot and resent the insinuation that I don't if indeed that is what you were meaning. I have had my horses barefoot for a long time and have found a fantastic barefoot farrier that has fixed many problems and fixed them well. I would have to disagree that the only difference between a barefoot farrier and a normal farrier is not pounding nails ??? A good barefoot farrier is worth their weight in gold and IME no normal farrier can do a proper barefoot job.
Having barefoot horses myself, with excellent feet I might add, I would also have to disagree with the notion that diet and housing must be changed. Any horse whether shod or not should be getting a nutritious diet that covers all its dietary needs. IF this is happening, things like coat, mane, tail and feet should be in optimum health. Same as housing. All horses should have access to a dry, flat area etc whether barefoot or not. Aside from a horse needing proper nutrition for great feet and having suitable housing I can't see any other reason why switching to barefoot is a big drama. In most instances, the horses benefit from a good barefoot job within a short amount of time. I have a tb who was so typically tb when I got her with flat feet and weak walls from years of shoeing. After 6 months of regular barefoot trims her feet had gained concavity and were strenghtening well. 3 years later her feet are a picture of health. Combined with a good diet and good housing (which every horse should already have) her feet are thriving.
I didn't insinuate anything about your knowledge of anything. I think you should take a minute to step off of your barefoot trimming soapbox and read what I wrote and think about it. People have different ideas about what constitutes a successful barefoot transition. Some think that it's okay for thier horse to be a little tender and slow down for rocks or gravel or try to walk on the edges of trails and some don't. Some people want the hooves to be hard enough that the horse acts just like they have shoes on. That requires a low starch, low carb diet and that takes a little more time and a little more money. As far as my comment about the quality of trimmers and farriers, I am glad that you have a good one. LPerhaps you could give his number to the OP and see if he would be open to international travel. Why are you so ready to jump on anyone that suggests that there are barefoot quacks out there screwing up perfectly good horses because they don't know anything about shoes and far less than they think they do about barefoot trimming? It is obvious from this thread that there are people screwing up perfectly good horses by shoeing them poorlyand I have no problem admitting that. Many horses need shoes. If the wear exceeds the growth the horse needs shoes. That is a fact. It also depends on what you are doing and what the ground in the areas that you ride is like. If you live where there is alot of topsoil or sand and it is rare to see a rock then you may not need shoes. I live in the intermountain west and there are alot of rocks and hard ground that chews hooves up so I would never try to keep a horse barefoot all the time. Some people around here do but they don't ride very hard or very often.
There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill