Barefoot Horses

Becky found a discipline of farriery that believes horses are meant to go barefoot, which requires specialized techniques for hoof trimming. She keeps everybody's feet trimmed accordingly and out of iron. I think it's all just fine. I've seen Becky under a horse, pulling and reapplying shoes. Horses are strong animals and some of them don't like to be shod. The fact that any horse stands for it at all attests to their cooperative and patient nature.

A farrier at workMud, dust, and summer heat take a toll on everybody at a horseshoeing. The farrier's hunched-over-knees-bent stance beneath a thousand pounds of fidgity horse who moves in jerks and jolts while battling flies, irritability, and boredom, puts the farrier at a physical disadvantage.

I once saw a horse launch Becky butt-first into her toolbox, full of nails, rasps, dirt, and rust. Farriers can get hurt on the job, in addition to the chronic back pain they all suffer. Horseshoeing is sweaty and hard work for everybody concerned.

Giving a horse's feet a good trim, which is just about the only thing a barefoot horse needs, is way less stressful. To shoe or not to shoe? The take-home point is this: barefoot is the approach that works for Becky and her horses, in the environment where they live and the work they do. Becky has the knowledge, skill, and strength to see to their barefoot needs.

JosieA neighbor of Dona's has a herd of horses that nicker and run when Becky rides by. Among them was a pale horse named Josie, a coy little appaloosa mare whose feet were in bad shape. The neighbor asked for help. Becky moved Josie up to Dona's so she could work on her.

Becky told me that as soon as she pulled Josie's shoes and gave her the first of the many trims she would need, the mare's face relaxed and she moved more easily. I can relate. I've worn shoes that hurt my feet. It feels good to take those pinchers off.

Josie is such a sweetie that Becky bought her from the neighbor and the horse remains at Dona's today, living the good life under Becky's care.

I think that must have been Josie's intention in the first place. Why else would she come to Becky's attention?