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Essay about Horses: Barefoot vs. Shod

:: 5 Works Cited
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Should you shoe your horses or leave them barefoot? What is better for the horse? What will benefit the horse more? Although it’s a hot topic, it has never really been an issue to me. I have always shod my horses in the summer when I know we will be using them a lot and always leave the shoes off in the winter. I ride with a lot of people that will never use shoes or will sometimes only use a pair on either the front or back. Each person has their own beliefs and reasons behind why they choose to do what they do. For example, when I bought my current horse (around ’08) the person I bought him from only ever shod the front two hooves. I started putting shoes on all four of his hooves and they have been that way just about every summer since I purchased him. Then again, I’m only one person. Everyone has a different viewpoint on what is best for the horses and how to go about doing the best thing for their individual needs. That’s really where this question comes from for me. I want to know why; I want to know why people are so opinionated in one way or the other, as well as find out what is actually in the best interest of the horse.
The first person who popped into my head to talk about this topic was my personal farrier. His name is Greg Gutknecht. A farrier’s job is a unique one in the sense that being a farrier is not a skill you can pick up by reading or watching videos, it’s a very unique talent that takes a special type of person to achieve.
A farrier must be skilled in ironwork, be able to evaluate a horses hoof balance, gait, and conformation. For those of you that don’t know much about horses, a gait is just a fancy way to talk about how they move, and conformation is, by definition, the degree of correctne...


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...n what to do for the horse.


Works Cited

Gutknecht, Greg. A Shoe In. 11/19/13. 108 Fairview Avenue, Lead, SD. (605)920-0594
McCoy, Kristi. Horse owner. 11/20/13. 1725 North Main Street, Spearfish, SD. (605)717-1212
Stohrer, Rena. Belle Fourche Veterinary Clinic. 11/25/13. by phone. 406 Summit Street, Belle Fourche, SD. (605)892-2618
McCarty, Chad. Horse owner. 11/20/13. 1725 North Main Street, Spearfish, SD. (605)717-1212
"Barefoot or Shod - Should Your Horse Wear Shoes or Go Barefoot?" About.com Horses. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"Equine Veterinarian." About.com Animal Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"Equine Veterinarian." About.com Animal Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"Farrier." About.com Animal Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
"Horseshoe." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.


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