ABC affiliate KGO in San Francisco recently did a story on the rapid technological advances in hoof boot technology allowing horses to go barefoot part time if not full time.
The new materials not only last longer, they cushion the animal’s foot. The new materials make it possible for a horse to spend the day barefoot in the pasture, and to put on shoes only to go out.
At Pacifica’s Shamrock Ranch, Bonnie Hellevig explains, “They grow the foot they need, and if they’re given the chance, by taking those shoes off, they can really grow a strong, healthy foot.” Bonnie Hellevig’s profession, Natural Hoof Care Provider, is relatively new, trimming instead of nailing, all part of a diet-and-exercise philosophy.
“There’s a lot of different boots out there. Sometimes, horses have hoof problems, they maybe foundered. There are special boots for them. There’s Boa boots that work good for high heeled horses, and lower-heeled horses go for Epics more,” said Bonnie Hellevig.
The buckle on the Epics looks familiar, because much of this is based on snowboard boots. The latest model is even hinged like one.
Helpful, says Bonnie, but, “It would be a great thing if all horses could live out in the pasture instead of a stall. One thing about horses: They don’t really need a lot of technology.”