To go Barefoot or not for a horse
The question revolving around the application of Barefoot is extremely articulate, complex and delicate: why apply it and why not?
This is the topic that we want to address, in several episodes we will try to go deep into question by analyzing both the positive and negative sides of this practice, considered by many to be the state that is closest to the lifestyle that the horse would be in naturally and from others is considered a digression which rejects progress in the field of farriery and equine orthopedics .
Let’s start from the base: WHAT IS BAREFOOT?
The Barefoot is to keep the horse in the absence of shoeing and is basically a school of thought that encompasses a philosophy born in the United States from studies conducted by J. Jackson on some horses in a wild state (hence the name in English), this philosophy aims to bring the horse to a more natural lifestyle, in which the horse has the ability to move freely and to go through natural behavioral patterns, the absence of shoeing is therefore only one of the aspects that identifies the “Barefooter“, a follower of this movement.
The barefoot theme is based on anthropological studies of the horse carried in its natural evolutionary environment , techniques, use of the horse on his natural foot, just as natural techniques used to draw the nail, with the aim of recreating similar lifestyles also in horses treated as “domestic “.
Put like that it sounds a bit of fairytale, especially if we consider the behavior of the horse in the context of any equestrian center: it lives in a closed box, comes out (at best once a day and most of the time just to work), the nutrients that is administered is undoubtedly different from what you would receive in the wild.But if the horse instead of staying in the box all day waiting to be saddled and mounted, spent its day in the pasture with other horses, before being saddled and mounted, would it not be better off?This is the cornerstone on which rotates Barefoot, and is called Paddock Paradise and provides that the horses spend most of the day free in large paddocks in the company of their peers, with whom they socialize and have the ability to move freely in their liking and the result is amazing, a previously nervous horse becomes a lot more willingly at work with its rider.
This type of management is actually applied by anyone who is not a real Barefooter but similarly take to heart the mental and physical health of the horse, whether it is in competition or not: many international riders let their horses spend a good part of the day in the paddock before subjecting them to daily work such as Pius Schwizer, who we interviewed some time ago, but the importance of the paddock appeared on the Facebook page of the rider Vittorio Orlandi, great champion and horseman.
The advice for those interested in knowing more, which of course will need with further analysis, is to take a ride on this site: www.barefoothorseitalia.it