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Cindy Nielsen DVM

Phone: 775-813-1107

 

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How many feet on a horse?

Not all horses can be barefoot

NOT ALL HORSES CAN BE BAREFOOT - that is a fact of life, BUT most can.legs1

Many horses can live at home bare but just need protection when being ridden on rocky terrain - for theseeponashoe horses boots work wonderfully, and there are so many booting options available nowadays with improvements over the old styles. Check out link for some of the best options. For those horses who cannot (and there are several reasons for this, discussed elsewhere on this site) be bare, Dr. Nielsen prefers Epona shoes - the next best option for horses in situations where they need protection of the hoof or for certain rehabilitation purposes.

A common situation where this option works well is the horse who lives on very rocky terrain 24/7 and does not have a sole thick enough to protect them, or the owner cannot physically put on hoof boots for whatever reason. These composite flexible shoes offer health benefits & proper hoof function similar to being bare.

eponashoeThey do not restrict hoof flexion or movement as metal shoes do, and they reduce the inevitable concussive forces associated with metal. The shoes are glued on and only one or two nails need be placed on each side for all purposes except for extreme endeavors such as endurance races.  They also offer much better traction than metal shoes, and perform extremely well in snow, mud and ice.

Dr. Nielsen uses them on her own trail horses when camping in the rocky bouldery Sierra Nevadas or Ruby Mountains each summer. They are excellent for thin-soled horses and for some foundered horses, horses whose walls can no longer hold nails, as well as many other uses. Please see link for more information.