Move over Mr Metal Shoe here come the new kids on the block!!
To get your FREE in depth article “Scientific proof that hoof boots are an improvement on metal shoes” CLICK HERE
As the Editor of The Barefoot Horse Magazine I might be a bit bias, so let’s take a look at some of the general pros and cons of shoes vs boots.
The PROS of why HOOF BOOTS are BETTER than SHOES:
– Hoof boots do not invade the hoof capsule, unlike nails to secure the metal shoe to the hoof
– Shoes (and nails) always do cause a degree of deterioration of the hoof capsule over time e.g. contraction, distortion, reduction in circulation, cracking, whereas hoof boots have no such effect on the hoof capsule
– Hoof boots can be easily put on and taken off whenever the owner feels the horse needs protection, giving the owner far more control over their horse’s comfort; shoes are fixed and can only be removed and replaced by the farrier
– After the initial outlay, hoof boots are far more economical than shoes, as the owner can put them on and off without cost, totally free, unlike shoes which have a cost implication at all times
– Being made of metal & because they are worn continuously, shoes deteriorate much faster than the tough composite materials in hoof boots, meaning boots last far far longer than shoes, and can be used over and over again
– Hoof boots can be measured, purchased and fitted by the owner, shoes always need a farrier
– Hoof boots have been proven to reduce impact and therefore reduce wear and tear on the joints of the horse, shoes have been proven to increase concussive forces and therefore cause & continue to exacerbate joint/tendon issues (see FREE article download below)
– The majority of shoes are heavier than boots
The PROS of why SHOES are BETTER than BOOTS – to the owner:
– Shoes need little to no attention by the owner, they are the farriers domain and the owner has very little input
– Some owners think shoes allow horses to ‘grip’ (but this has been proven to be no more or less of a reality to either barefoot or booted horses)
– The owner has to make sure the boot fits correctly, with shoes this is up to the farrier
The CONS of both SHOES and BOOTS:
– Shoes and boots can both come off. If a shoe comes off then the horse is often very footsore and the horse is out of action until the farrier can return. If a boot comes off, other than the fact it has to be put back on again, a barefoot horse has the ability of going bare!
It doesn’t matter how many times these points are discussed, there will always be those who believe shoes are better and refuse to believe boots are any good and of course vice versa.
However, one thing is for sure, the hoof boot industry is absolutely booming, manufacturers are developing new boots all the time, and therefore that can only mean one thing….the shoeing industry is on the decline.
If you want to go barefoot but are worried about your horse ‘coping’, then booting is now a real and better alternative to metal shoes.
But don’t take my word for it….we have a great free article for you, showing some scientific research & data, proving without a shadow of a doubt that hoof boots are an improvement on metal shoes.
Happy Booting everyone!
The BHM Team