Removing Horseshoes

My six-year-old German warmblood Cassio lost his shoes often due to wet ground. Sometimes the farrier had to come out weekly to repair a shoe on Cassio's badly damaged feet.

After doing a lot of research, I decided to take his shoes off permanently. Now I am able to take him on 25-mile rides, on any terrain, without problems or footsoreness. His feet look healthy and strong!

Here is a short introduction to the facts I think are most important for others considering horseshoe removal.

• If anyone considers having their horse's shoes taken off, they have to be able to provide a natural environment for the horse.

• Ideally, horses live in herds. If this cannot be provided, a horse should at least live with another horse, not with a goat or a sheep.

• Horses should not be stabled or live on straw.

• Horses must not wear rugs. Natural shelter is ideal -- in very cold climates, an open barn where the horses can walk in and out as they please is recommended.

• A new horse must not be introduced on its own to a herd. You have to take one horse out of the herd and put it with the new one in a separate paddock till they make friends. Then you can introduce them to the herd as a pair.

• In my opinion, you must not clip a horse. You can read why in Dr. Hiltrud Strasser's book A Lifetime of Soundness.

• Don't apply oil to hooves. In a natural environment, the presence of grease or oils on hooves is nonexistent.

• Horse hooves must be exposed to water at least 10 minutes every day.

• Fields should have natural hedgerows with all sorts of berries and foliage. This provides your horse with natural vitamins. Trees, leaves, rosehips and apples are more important than supplements.

• You have to find someone who knows about Dr. Strasser's natural trimming technique. There are only 12 in the U.K. I am fortunate enough to have one living near London, who taught me how to trim my horse's feet.

More details can be found in these books by Dr. Strasser:
Shoeing: A Necessary Evil?
A Lifetime of Soundness

Join other members on the Horses and Ponies message board now!

Like this? Want more?
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web