08-17-2008, 08:26 PM
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Hhhhmmmmm, do horses need shoes in the wild? They do everything in the wild that we do with them in captivity. RUN over rocks, jump, cross rivers, etc. I'm a HUGE advocate for the barefoot horse. Now saying that, you have to have a farrier whho can trim BAREFOOT!! That means not taking off the beloved sole and not trimming the heels too much. I also have rocks, pebbles, and crushed concrete in all of my common areas such as in front of the water trough, before they eneter the barn, and infront of every stall. This serves 2 purposes. It helps to NATURALLY trim their hooves by giving them something to grind on, AND it toughens up their soles. I also have LARGE rocks in my pasture and you will often see the horses pawing at them...filing their hooves naturally!
I use to do the "clean" pasture thing. Anytime I saw a rock, I'd pick it up and throw it out. Man, if I only knew then what I know now! I would've saved a lot of time!