• EXPAND when weight bearing and CONTRACT when not weight bearing; this is hoof mechanism. 
  • This aids in how a horse PUMPS BLOOD back up his leg to his heart.
  • The expansion and contraction helps to create a liquid (blood) SHOCK ABSORBER, protecting the joints.
  • The proprioceptors are intact, allowing the horse to feel the density of the ground beneath him. When the ground is harder, he will shorten his stride to protect his joints.
  • Bare hooves are capable of superior traction control, resulting in less tendon/leg injuries.
  • Horses that compete in Endurance events barefoot (or booted) have heart rates which recover twice as fast as shod horses.

  • The rigid steel renders the heels incapable of flexing independently, creating awkward forces in the joints as entire limb is made to shift and deviate instead of heel alone.
  • The horse's shock absorbing system is rendered useless, allowing the concussive forces and vibration to travel much further up the limb; these parts of the body were not designed for such work.
  • Nail holes open the otherwise sealed areas to invasive bacteria.
  • Expansion and contraction of the hoof are minimal at best, resulting in a diminished hoof mechanism.
  • Blood circulation is disrupted.
  • Steel vibrates and living tissue is killed by vibration.
"Show me your horse, and I will tell you who you are."
  -old English Proverb