Howdy Friends! When we look at a horse’s hoof, we should see one of the most important parts of the anatomy of the horse. There’s that old saying, “No Hoof No Horse.” So then why do so many do so much to harm that hoof?

What does the hoof do


The part that moves on the earth, connects the horse to life and limb. The part that flexes, grips, sees, and feels. The part that communicates needed information to the brain. And helps the heart pump blood through itself, legs, muscles and organs. The part that absorbs shock, and grips for traction. (See What’s in a Horse’s Foot)

Why then do some see a part of the horse that only holds the horse up, and needs man-made steel nailed to it?

Did you know

The ancient Greeks did not shoe their horses. It was Xenophon who first pointed out that “naturally sound hooves get spoiled in most stalls.” And in his classic work, “On Horsemanship” advised measures to strengthen horses’ feet such as, “placing palm sized round rocks where horses are kept.”

To Be Vibrant

To be alive, to function as God designed, to be the root and strength of the horse, the hoof must be free. Free to bend. Free to feel. Free to communicate. And free to see. The hoof directs the movement. A vibrant hoof is the lifeblood of a sound horse’s agility. There is another old saying, “A horse sound only in shoes is not sound.”

A hoof in shoes

A hoof in shoes, can’t flex. Can’t feel. Can’t see. It can’t pump blood. It can’t be totally healthy. (See, Some Would Argue There Are Horses Who Need Shoes)

Don’t silence the hoof

The horse’s hoof is designed for so much more, we should not make it blind, deaf, numb, stiff, silent, and non-functional. We should keep it alive, vibrant, and beautiful. For the horse’s sake. (see, Taking Your Horse Barefoot, Sometimes A Touchy Subject)

Plenty of help out there

Today, more than any other time, we are blessed with so much help. So many willing to teach. So many ways to find advice. The barefoot horse world is exploding with true professionals, hoof boots for the transition period, and friends to help guide the journey. No horse today needs blind, numb, stiff feet, affixed to metal. Total soundness begins in the foot. (See Husbandry For A Sound Barefoot Horse)

BE SURE TO GET MY BOOK, “IT’S FOR THE HORSES,” for many more details.

~ Gitty Up, Dutch.


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