Did you know that a horse’s hoof is supposed to flex with every step taken? And that simple act of flexing is just about the most important thing a horse can do for good health and long life? The flexing provides shock absorption for the joints, tendons and ligaments in the leg and shoulder; acts as a circulatory pump for hundreds of blood vessels in the hoof mechanism; and helps the heart get that blood flowing back up the leg.
Without flexing, the hoof mechanism will not have good circulation and will not be healthy. And the heart will have to work harder to get the blood back up the legs. Without flexing, there will be no shock absorption.
And with a metal shoe nailed to the hoof, no flexing can occur.
Kerwhap! I was slapped right in the face with a piece of indisputable logic.
How insensitive to my inertia.
Four years later I discovered this thermograph (displayed below) which actually shows – in a real-life horse – what happens to circulation when a metal shoe is nailed on. This horse is wearing one metal shoe, on his front right. The other three hooves are barefoot. The thermograph is set to show blood circulation (or lack of it). He was walked around in a big circle and then the thermograph was taken. Read More→