Sunday, July 27, 2008

One Shade of Gray

Last night I stumbled across another contender in the debate between traditional horse shoes and barefoot hooves -- these rubber shoes might be a happy medium. Unlike metal shoes they allow hooves to expand and contract naturally, but unlike the absence of shoes they protect the hoof, sole and frog from the rigors of demanding work. Boots will always suit us fine at Farcical Farm, but I wonder why these are not more popular amongst those who feel their horses MUST be shod.


Shirley in Texas said...

Why they might not be more popular?
Resistance to change?
Didn't know they existed?

How long do the boots wear? I don't suppose you leave them on all the time. These would have to be competitive in price and durability before many people would consider using them.
Otherwise, they look like they would be Air Jordans for horses.

dp said...

I can't imagine a recreational rider like me going through more than a pair of boots per year -- the soles are very durable. These shoes cost $22/pair and I assume that you have to buy a new pair every time. I have no clue how durable they would be, or whether they require a specially-trained farrier to apply. I just thought it was a neat idea.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago I tried shoes like that on one of my horses. I think because they are rubbery they tend to expand and contract so much that they work the nails right out of the hoof. We could not keep them on the horse! Maybe there's a new way of attaching them now, but at the time, they didn't work well because they didn't stay on.