S cott B ell barefoot trimming Why barefoot trimming for horses ?
       Over time horseshoes can actually damage a horse’s foot: The nails driven into the hoof wall can eventually cause the wall to crumble and lose integrity. The shoe holds the foot rigid and prevents the natural movement that pumps blood and nutrients throughout the foot, reducing circulation. Shoeing reduces the shock absorption provided by the natural hoof elasticity. Distortion and loss of integrity of the lamina can occur due to the unnaturally extended position of the hoof. The shoe prevents early breakover resulting in a toe rather than a heel landing. This causes heel contraction and ultimately deformity in the stride, and may cause navicular pain.
Can barefoot trimming reverse this damage ?
Yes. A period of restructuring and healing can occur once the shoes are replaced and corrective barefoot trims are given. The change back to a normal stride and a healthy foot is gradual and can take several trimming cycles. During this time the horse may need to wear boots while being ridden over difficult terrain. Gradually circulation will improve, nutrients to the lamina and other structures will increase, contraction of the heel bulbs will lessen, the horse will begin to strike first on his heel and then toe thus decreasing the pressure on the lamina and allowing the navicular and coffin bones to function properly. Ultimately the sole will regain its concave structure as the anatomy of the foot returns to its natural shape and function.
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