When it comes to keeping your horse healthy, hoof care is often the critical element that allows you to enjoy normal activities with your horse, such as riding. Both shod and unshod, otherwise known as shoed or barefoot, philosophies offer benefits, but also come with limitations, which directly affect the health of the soles. While shoeing is necessary for many horses, a shod foot does not absorb shock as efficiently, mostly because shoeing raises the sole and frog off the ground, and constrains the normal flex of the foot.
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Many people ask if the acrylic and urethane adhesives currently used on horse’s feet trap moisture resulting in adverse effects. The answer should be no, but it’s not always that simple.
Before we can answer the bigger question, we must first understand the importance of moisture. The equine foot naturally contains moisture generated internally from blood circulation; it keeps tissues pliable for shock absorption. Obviously the environment also plays a huge role in maintaining moisture balance.