Barefoot for Life
As a proponent of keeping horses barefoot, I am including links and information on this page to
help others quickly locate information on this topic.
The following is a quote from Robert Cook, FRCVS, PhD, professor of surgery emeritus at Tufts
University and developer of the Bitless Bridle. Cook is the author of a number of
pro-barefoot/anti-horseshoe articles, is an advocate for keeping all horses barefoot, without
"All horses' hooves are healthier without shoes, and barefoot horses are healthier than
shod horses. They live longer, happier, less painful lives. Barefoot is a requirement for
health and should be accepted as a condition for keeping a horse. Humane management is not
just preferable, it is non-negotiable. The foot evolved to function unshod. Nature has developed the
perfect design for grip and slide in all conditions and provided for unsurpassable shock
absorption. The foot cannot expand and contract with each step when clamped. Blood supply to
the foot is impoverished and horn production becomes deficient. When the foot is prevented from
functioning correctly, the pastern, fetlock, cannon, and knee are also placed at risk. This leads to
bone, joint, and soft tissue injuries. "
-- Dr. Robert Cook, FRCVS, PhD from interview at Tufts University 2002
I realize not everyone will want to choose this more natural, healthier way of keeping their horses
hooves maintained. It requires thinking outside of the box of the current paradigm, and also
requires the owner to become more involved with the health of the horse's hooves.
In many areas no qualified barefoot trimmer is available, and owners are learning the
techniques and skills necessary to do this trim themselves. Read more at the following links.
Links to information and research on keeping a horse barefoot: