Originally Posted by horseluver2435 View Post
Just taking farrier's & vet's advice about being shod, I suppose the thinking is sort of stabilizing her hooves & trying to keep them off the ground & away from bacteria.
Shoes can help 'stablise' a hoof when needed IMO(say for fractured pedal bones), if they have full pads, or bars & frog support. If they're standard metal rims, they do nothing to stablise the hoof because there ain't nothing underneath for support. Also provides nothing in the way of protection from stone bruises, assuming the horse has thin soles/weak frogs. Not that I understand why 'stablising' the hoof would be desirable in this situation anyway. The more the hoof is able to flex when loaded, the better the function, therefore the health & healing can be. In addition, whatever the method of shoeing, the constant pressure & reduced circulation they produce can actually cause necrotised(dead) tissue, which is one cause of abscessing. Heel abscesses may also come about from contracted heels, which are difficult to address while shod.
As far as the idea of shoes keeping the foot off the ground to keep it out of mud, this just isn't logical, unless perhaps if you had extremely thin mud covering flat concrete, but how else can 1/4" of steel otherwise be at all effective for that?? It's not the bacteria in the ground that's the problem - that's everywhere - it's the horse's susceptibility to hoof infections because of hooves not functioning properly(which shoes can contribute to) which leads to thrush.
In saying the above, you probably have a basic idea of my attitude
. I'm not at all dead against shoes tho, just that I don't believe they're best, or even helpful in many cases they've been 'proscribed' for. I also am not expecting - or even hoping - you would take my word for it, or just discount your vet & farrier just because 'someone said'. However, I think this is a good illustration why it's so important for horse owners to educate themselves, learn & weigh up ALL the pros & cons of whatever approach & not just trust blindly to whatever 'expert' may be at hand
, because it depends on the 'expert' & where they've learned, as to their opinions too - they're not all the same. In your search for info, make sure you look up whatever you can find of Dr Robert Bowker's work - there you will find some science from one of the world's most respected equine lameness 'experts'.