If The Shoe Fits

Long term shoeing can create its own pathologies

Farrier Declan Cronin  and champion trainer Mike de Kock first observed that horses coming from farms situated in arid areas of South Africa had the best developed feet:

The horse’s foot develops itself on criteria such as terrain, mileage, nutrition and climate.


For Mike de Kock, barefoot training – training horses unshod – was the right path to take towards foot development and long term soundness, looking back at years of experience gained in barefoot training. “The sooner you start, the better. I love to see horses without shoes. It is a good indication of foot soundness.”

Long term shoeing can create its own pathologies: shoes can create hoof contraction; a loss of architecture of the foot; bacteria formation and a diminution of the shock absorption as the hoof’s movements get limited by the shoe and nails.

Charlotte Rinckenbach of Godolphin’s Flying Start has investigated the science of hoof reconstruction and ‘barefoot training’ alongside Mike and renowned farrier and horseman Declan Cronin.

Read the full article here

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