Teaching Your Horse to Stand Quietly for Your Horseshoer

I have spent many years refining the best techniques to teach a horse to stand for the horseshoer. I am a horseshoer and have taught many many horses to stand quietly for me. My own horse is trimmed and shod while standing quietly with no halter or lead rope. She knows when I pick her feet she is supposed to stand quietly and relaxed.

Okay when I first started shoeing horses I got some rough horses. They were horses that other farriers refused to do. Yes that is the most common horses new horseshoers get to do. The well established shoers do the horses they want to while new shoers have to do any horse in order to make some money.

Well I wanted to make money but also get these rough horses to be better. In horseshoeing school they taught us medieval ways to get a horse to stand. Yes that includes using physical restraints or brutal abuse. I figured there was a better way. It was simple, I would use Natural Horsemanship techniques. I didn’t need twitches, drugs, ropes or abuse to get horses to stand quietly.

Horses are very protective of their legs and underbelly. If a predator gets a hold of these vulnerable spots he could be fatally injured. Let me ask you this question. If you were standing on a street corner and a stranger grabbed leg and started putting on a new shoe what would you do? You would jerk it back and maybe kick him in the shin.

So why would a horse be any different? I spend time with the horse so that they understand I am a friend. I gently pet vulnerable spots and I look to see if the horse is relaxing or not. As a rule of thumb young horses usually are only fearful. Older (2 years and up) horses may have some ego thrown in. They may need discipline. Yes I am not all soft and easy.

If a horse gives me problems due to a negative attitude I do one thing. I force him to back up. Backing a horse up shows him that I am in charge.

Sometimes some horses have very big egos and this can take a while.

Young horses are usually very easy because I take my time to calm their fears of me. I gently rub their back’s and belly’s watching for them to relax. I stop once they relax. The whole deal is get the horse to relax and reward him when he does. I know that when I pick up a horse’s foot and he fights me if I give it back while he is fighting me he will always want to fight. If I give the horse’s foot back when he relaxes then he will want to relax. Then later on when I’m not giving his foot back he will think he is not relaxing enough.

Yes this technique can take lots of time. It is an investment I always make time because I want the horse to get better each time I handle his feet. Don’t forget that the horse has a responsibility to stand quietly. The more you try to force the horse to stand the more you are working against him standing quietly. Hitting a horse NEVER works, I don’t care the circumstance, unless perhaps if your life is in danger. Hitting a horse causes you to lose respect and trust form the horse. I am taking about belly kicks and rasps here, not training methods involving horsemen’s sticks. I define abuse as doing something that does not lead to a productive end that makes the horse better.

The take message is this. Most horseshoers don’t train horses, they shoe horses. If you want your horseshoer to train your horse to stand quietly then don’t complain. But if you want to be a real horseman you need to take the time to properly train your horse. Handle your horse’s feet routinely and work to get him to stand more quietly each time. Make sure he has no physical problems that are causing him pain which in turn causes him to react negatively to having his feet handled. Every horse will stand quietly with the proper training.

Using gentler and smarter techniques I have never had to use drugs or restraints in the last seven years. I have been able to trim or shoe horses that many other horseshoers could not. Take the time to do it right and in no time they will be doing it right all the time.

Tasks Required to Ride a Horse Bridleless

I’ll bet most people believe that you must ride a horse with a bridle. I’m also sure that many people have seen horses on the internet, in movies or in the circus being ridden with no bridle. Well the truth is it easier than you think. That is of course if you really know how to train a horse properly. You may to invest a few years of hard study and practice training a horse before you may be ready to ride a horse bridleless. It is not something that I would try if I couldn’t I didn’t have the confidence to relinquish the feeling of total control. Riding bridleless for the first time is a strange feeling and you have trust yourself and the horse.

Let me ask you if you can control your horse without using your reins and bit? Can you get your horse to stop, turn, back, trot, walk, disengage his hindquarters or move his front end? Oh you say that you are having trouble doing those tasks with a bit in his mouth. First thing you need to concentrate on is figuring how to communicate to your horse to do a task without relying on your reins. How would you that? Horsemanship skills that’s how. Do you really know what spurs are used for? Do you know how to use your body to tell the horse what you want? Have you ever rode your horse using a neck rope?

Riding a horse bridleless well is equivalent your horse having a Bachelors Degree in horseology. It’s takes skill and practice. When you can ride your horse well and your horse responds willing when ridden with a bit then it is time to think about ridding him bridleless. The test would be dropping the reins over the saddle horn and playing the how long can you ride your horse without touching the reins. You need to have the reins so that you can quickly gain control of the horse if things start to go bad. I like to use a neck rope made from a horseman’s string. I loop the string around the horse’s neck and I use that before I grab the reins.

This to be teaches the horse many things. Number one I don’t need a bit to control him and two this helps change that horse’s psychology that I can control him in any situation. Remember you are always being a leader. A leader has to always maintain his or her leadership and use good opportunities to demonstrate it.

A neck rope also takes some practice to learn and to teach. But the neck rope is a back up to enforcing what you want the horse to do. Your body language and body cues are the thing you want to teach your horse in order to ride bridleless. What is your body cue to turn left or right? The body cue to stop or back? How about the body cue to disengage the hindquarters?

There are three things that you must have in order to ride a horse bridleless. You must have TLC. Yes TLC equals, Trust, Leadership & Communication. If you have all of them developed equally in your horse then riding your horse bridleless will be easy.

Problems and frustration occurs when you don’t. I will say there is probably nothing more rewarding than riding a horse with no saddle and no bridle but the horse does everything you want. I think the goal of every true horseman or horsewoman is to ride their horse bridleless. When you can ride your bridleless then you know your horse is really trained.

Tasks Every Horse Should Do

Give to Light Pressure

You should never have to “push” a horse away. The horse should be very well versed in the concept of “give to pressure” this is the foundation of a good training program.

Touchable Everywhere

This may seem common sense but a horse should be able to be touched anywhere, from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose. If you have taken a medical physical then you know all the places you have to be able touch on a horse. Horses must be excellent patients for a veterinarian and farrier. The better they stand the better treatment they will receive. When a horse receives treatment it could be for a pregnancy check, dental exam, hoof injury, ear injury, stomach problems or other exams.

Lead Easily

A well started horse will lead respecting the handler’s space and keeping pace with handler, whether fast or slow. The horse should also carry its head in comfortable position. The horse should respond to light pressure in all directions especially backward.

Stand Calmly While Being Sprayed

It is very important to be able to wash with a hose, put fly spray on or medical spray before an emergency. One of the most important goals is to be able to treat a horse before an emergency. Using a spray bottle and water you can practice spraying the horse everywhere before bug season or an injury.

Clipped Everywhere

Many horses are clipped to allow tack to fit better, clean hair from around a cut and many other reasons. The horse should be able to stand calmly, lower its head and not move its feet if clipping around pastern. Before doing around the ears it is recommended that cotton balls be placed slightly deeper that the clipping to reduce sound and not allow hair to fall into the ear.

Stand Calmly While Being Trimmed/Shod

A foal or weanling should be handled as young as possible. Handling young horse’s feet properly will teach the horse to accept willingly to have its feet to be picked up. The goal should be to be able pick up the horse’s feet in a pasture/pen with no halter or lead and stand until you drop the foot. This should be done with all four feet.

Trailer Load Easily
It is important for a horse to learn this as young as possible and tested every few months to ensure the horse will load easily.

Stand Calmly for A Veterinary Exam

If you accomplish the Health Checks monthly your horse will be the veterinarian’s favorite horse. Not only that but your life will be easier if/when an emergency or disease happens to your horse.

Deworm Easily

Giving your horse a dewormer should be easy. If you rub the inside gums daily or weekly then when you go to give the dewormer it will go smoother.

Easy To Catch

When the horse trusts and bonds with you it will want to be caught. Horse’s should also be caught for reasons other than being worked or ridden. Catch them just to give them a treat or to be brushed, to be washed or the Health Check.

Respect Space of Humans

This sometimes is hard for the horse to accomplish because we want the horse to be our friend. A horse will sometime “crowd” our space and force us to move away. We have just taught that horse he/she is the leader. It is important for safety that a horse maintains a safe distance when we are handling them. Only YOU decide when the horse is allowed closer not the horse.

Proper Hoof Balance and Lameness Testing

Three key Factors for a Properly Balanced Foot
Pastern Angle

This refers to the three weight bearing bones of the pastern. This angle should be one continuous line from toe of hoof to the break of the long pastern and cannon bone. This angle is usually close to angle of the shoulder.

Hairline Angle

The hairline should be level to the ground. This observation should be taken standing directly in front of the horse from a distance of about six feet.

Conformation Angle

This angle is observed with the horse’s foot off the ground looking from the bulbs to the toe. This angle should be about perpendicular to the horses pastern bones and cannon bone.


Hoof Abnormalities
The hoof of a horse is bioelastic. The bioelastic hoof will change shape due to an imbalance in stress of weight bearing placement, repetitive use or lack of use. A major reason a hoof must be balanced or corrected is to have as much weight distributed evenly over the hoof’s weight bearing surface. The weight bearing stress should be equal on all three bones of the foot.

Leg Abnormalities
There are numerous problems that happen with the legs. Half of the leg (lower portion) has very little protection and injuries can cause the leg to bleed easily. There are also many small bones that can be injured/damaged from twisting or impact. Any swelling or legs that don’t match the opposite leg needs to be investigated. As with any leg or hoof injuries it’s important to ensure the horse is treated and the problem fixed before you return the horse to a riding/conditioning/exercise program.

The veterinarian may have to resort to numerous tools and techniques to determine the cause of lameness. It is important to remember that if one leg is severely lame the opposite good leg needs to be watched/treated so it does not become lame.
Lameness Scale Developed by AAEP

History and Use of the Horse

Analysis of Horse Standing
The horse should be viewed methodically (for example starting at the head, then sides, and then the rear) and compared to opposite limbs.
Confirmation imbalances noticed
Injuries or signs of stress causing imbalances
Manual Exam
Each limb must be manually examined for swelling, pain in all joints, tendons, muscles and bones.

Hoof Tester Application
Hoof tester applied to the sole and frog to test for pain

Analysis of Horse in Motion
The horse should be viewed methodically (for example starting at the head, then sides, and then the rear) and compared to opposite limbs.

Observe horse trotting and walking
Observe the gaits in straight line and circles
Look for signs of shortened strides, irregular hoof placement, head bobbing, stiffness or other abnormalities

Joint Flexion Tests
This test requires the leg(s) to be flexed and held in a certain position for a specified timeframe then released and the horse is trotted away in a straight line. The horse’s limb is observed for any signs of lameness.

Past injuries or problems
Uses such as jumping, rodeo and routine level of performance
Circumstances you first noticed lameness

Pasturing a Horse

Pasturing a horse year round offers easy

maintenance and is low-cost compared to stabling a horse. However this does not mean you can leave your horse in a field and forget about him. A horse that lives outdoors most of its days can turn a suitable field into an unsuitable eye-sore if left alone to graze. To maintain the quality of grazing and to offer your horse a suitable field you will need to maintain the field for your horse. Good field maintenance is important to your horse’s health.

In order to maintain the quality of grazing for your horse, field rotation is best. A horse requires a minimum of 1 acre (0.4 hectares) for grazing.

Dividing the area into separate fields will enable you to rotate the grazing. Horses graze selectively, so a field left unmanaged will result in areas grazed right down and other areas that the horse has left untouched will become overgrown with weeds.

Requirements for a suitable field:

• Fences should have rounded corners to prevent injury

• Supply fresh drinking water

• Fence off any poisonous trees

• The grass should be weed free and of equal height

• The field should not be too steep

• The field should offer shelter and security

• The field needs to drain well, particularly at the water trough and gate

• Avoid low lying areas as these tend to get muddy in winter

• An access road must be accessible in all weather conditions

• Position the shed with safety in mind

• Remove droppings from the field weekly

• Pasture is free of trash and foreign objects

• Check fencing and gates often and do any repairs if you note anything that needs mending.

Proper field maintenance will prevent your horse from escaping and straying or injuring itself. Select your hardware with your horses health and care in mind, such as when selecting the type of fencing for your field. Barbed wire is fine for sheep or cattle, but your horse is more than likely to sustain an injury as horses have fine skin.

Managing Costs of Horse Ownership on a Tight Budget

I am a simple person when it comes to buying things. It’s simple I simply don’t buy much stuff. When I need something I’ll spend the money with no regrets. I’ve always been kind of tight with my cash. I’m sure Suzy Orman would have a fun day examining what I spend my money on. I guess I could also call myself frugal to make it sound better.

Today the economy is in a shambles and nobody really knows when things are going to get better. Horse care can easily eat an entire money tree in one setting. Just the monthly feed bill a lone for some horse owners could bankrupt a small country.

We are all getting economic lessons just watch our politicians tell us what’s the best way to spend our money.

I think the economy being bad is good for at least one reason. Most of us are all being forced to learn how to do more with less. I think being frugal teaches us to be better horsemen and horsewomen.

It means you could be forced to learn more about the feeds you buy. It could mean you have to learn to do tasks that you had paid someone to do in the past. It means we have to learn to be more self reliant. It’s that what being a good horseman or horsewoman all about anyway, being independently full of self worth? Do you know how to give a vaccination shot to your horse? How about learning to trim your horse’s feet?

I mean do you really need that new halter that you used once and is now hanging on a tack hook for the last 8 months? You can make rope halters using instructions from the internet online. They are a fraction cheaper than buying from a nationally known trainer. The internet bidding sites also have great deals. Have you thought about maybe not buying horse treats and maybe making your own?

You could even sell them and make a little money. You could make it rich and then you wouldn’t have to worry about a budget anymore. You could also tray cheaper more natural treats like carrots or apples that you grow in your yard. Have a group tack sale to get rid of some of your old or things you haven’t used in a long time. There are always opportunities for good ideas.

Maybe you could discuss at your local horse association meetings different ideas to save money. It may break the stale meeting stuff that it always talked about. Buying in bulk usually saves some money. Perhaps you go in with a group of friends and buy a large volume of hay at one time and possibly save some cash. Buying feed straight from a producer may also save money.

Perhaps too you can examine if your horse really needs a concentrate feed. I think most horses do just fine on hay and grass. Treats and concentrate feed may be adding pounds to an already overweight horse. More health problems are associated with overweight than underweight.

Sometimes you can get cheaper products that are designed for humans that cross over to horse uses. Hygiene products crossover well. You could invent or produce a product that is cheaper and works better than what is already on the market. Hard times causes you to use your imagination and wits. Both of which most horse people have a lot of.

Don’t think of being on a tight budget for your horse as a bad thing. Look at it as a great opportunity to find great opportunities. If you really want to spend something on your horse then spend more time with him. Use the bad economy and as a good chance to spend more quality time doing the fun stuff, which of course is horse stuff. Give your horse some TLC, Trust, Leadership & Communication it costs nothings but your time.

Leadership is Not a Four-Lettered Word

I once submitted an idea for a book about equine leadership to a literary agent and I received a very curious rejection letter. He thought that book was interesting but he also implied that establishing leadership with a horse was some how cruel to the horse. Not knowing me personally, just reading my bio which included military service. I assume he jumped to the erroneous conclusion that somehow I was going to be a nightmare Marine Drill Instructor.

Obviously he has little knowledge of real what real leadership means. I think good old fashioned leadership has somehow become a bad thing. I think the world needs a little more of it really.

Leadership is not a four-lettered word. Words like bite, kick, rear and buck are four-lettered words that positive leadership helps to remove from a horse’s lexicon. Leadership is one of few things in life that is both a science and an art. Good leadership traits can be taught and learned. Some people and animals are born with more leadership skills than others. Good leadership produces excellent results and the lack of good leadership produces very few positive results.

Examples of good leadership are being firm when and as necessary, but also being patient. Horses really don’t do well with yelling a screaming. Yes that may work in boot camp, but not with a horse.

Women usually are more understanding than men. Men are usually more forceful than women. You must be somewhere in between understanding and forceful to be a good leader with a horse. You must understand when to use force. You must also understand when not to use force. Yes sometimes you must be physically superior to your horse.

Horse’s are very large animal and need to know their boundaries for you to be safe and to gain the position as a leader. Most of the time you must be mentally superior to your horse. Experience and success will hone your skills to be able to use very physical force. A good leader learns to anticipate problems and solve them almost before they start.

Most people think of training when they think of leadership. You are always training your horse. Therefore you are always a leader when you are within sight of your horse. That doesn’t mean you can’t be loving and gentle. Grooming your horse is good leadership. Positive leadership helps to bond with your horse. Good care shows you care to the horse. A good leader is trusted. A good leader knows how to communicate well. Yes they listen and speak equally well. The trick to knowing you are good leader is when you can be so gentle that your horse welling does a task. Constantly micromanaging your horse is a sign of very poor leadership. A good leader teaches individual responsibility.

When you are a good leader in the eyes of your horse they do what you want without question. You have proved your leadership qualities to your horse by being brave, understanding and showing strength.

When your horse submits to your leadership he is putting his heart and life in your hands. Tell me if that isn’t the most humbling and motivational reason to be the best leader you can be. Oh yes leadership has couple four-lettered words that I like. Those four-lettered words are LOVE and CARE. Excellent leader qualities are derived from truly caring and loving what you do.

Laminitis & Founder

Laminitis & Founder are both terms that refer to rotation of the coffin bone and/or swelling and inflammation of the hoof capsule. The common cause of this disease is excess sugar in the diet.

Because horses are classified as non-ruminant herbivores, their digestive tract is adapted to digesting small, high fiber meals. The horse digests its food through continuous fermentation in the cecum and colon. Horses have no gall bladder to aid in digestion of food like humans. The gall bladder dumps digestive fluids into the stomach to help breakdown food faster. That means the horse may have difficulty completely and properly digesting large meals of hay and grains. When the digestive tract is overloaded and becomes out of naturally intended balance, that is when laminitis and other hoof ailments can occur.

So when the horse has too large a meal it could prevent the food from being digested completely. The undigested or poorly digested food can then become toxic. The toxins from poor digestion can then leach into the blood stream via the intestines and flow to the lowest circulatory point of the horse, the hoof. The toxins can then affect the MMP’s which are small gates that govern blood flow to the hoof. The MMP’s function is to regulate the temperature in the hoof, so that it does not become too hot or too cold. This situation will probably result in restricting blood flow and nutrients to the white line. As the white line atrophies it begins to cease holding the outer hoof to the hoof capsule. Now the horse begins to have a serious hoof and health problem.

To help understanding the digestion of a horse I would like to use the metaphor of making wine. Feeding a horse is like making a fine wine (Wine is made from fermenting grapes, horses ferment their food as part of the digestive process). Three things need to be in balance in the digestive system:


*pH level


If any of those three get out of balance you get vinegar, or in this case, toxins. Of course the digestive system and nutritional needs of a horse are little more complex than that, but that is the mindset you need when you are feeding your horse. If you are in doubt or confused about feeding your horse properly consult your veterinarian.

A final thought on the mindset to feeding your horse. A horse in the wild will naturally take a bite of low quality grass and then takes several steps, traveling up to 20 miles a day. This is perfect for the horses digestion. A small
amount food is introduced to the digestive system and the walking stimulates digestion. A horse that is domesticated eats the best grass, hay and concentrate feed money and man can produce. This horse usually gets the food delivered and is confined to a small paddock. That procedure is just opposite to their millions of years of evolution. We have a tendency to feed a horse like a human, not like a horse. Numerous small meals over a long span of time is the best feeding strategy for the horse.

I put this type of hoof affliction into three categories based on their degree of severity:

Sub-Clinical Laminitis: This condition is defined when you start to see or feel a slight change in the hoof. The horse may walk just a bit more gingerly. Slight heat in the hoof may be noticed, or possible digital pulse throbbing. This is best stage to notice and treat the horse with the minimal amount of pain and suffering to the horse.

Treatment: The best treatment is to cool the feet using ice or cool water. The cause must be identified and changes must be incorporated immediately. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may be used to reduce swelling and pain. Also try to get the horse to soft ground such as sand or a stall filled with a thick layer of bedding.

Laminitis: This condition is very serious and is defined when the horse starts to stand with his feet forward. The horse will attempt to shift his weight to his heels. Usually you will notice it in the front feet first because the horse can “rest” the back feet and alternate those feet. A horse carries 60% of his weight on the front feet and no real way to “rest” his front feet. Heat in the feet is very obvious.

Digital pulse throbbing will be very easy to locate. The horse will probably walk very stiffly. The horse may lay down more than usual in order relieve the pain in his feet.

Treatment: You need to get a veterinarian involved as soon as possible. The sooner you start the treatment or change the cause the better chance of recovery.

Founder: This condition is extremely serious and is defined when the coffin bone begins to rotate through the sole of the hoof. The horse may have sores on its hip from laying down to relieve the pain. Early signs of seedy toe may be noticed. There may be blood traces in the white line. The horse’s lower back may be constantly curled upward. The front and back feet will be far forward in the classic founder stance. The horse will walk with great difficulty. There are several types of founder/laminitis. Grass founder and grain founder can both be linked to carbohydrate overload or to much sugar in their diet. Road founder happens when a horse is ridden on hard surfaces over long periods of time. Foal founder happens when the mare doesn’t release the placenta upon completion of foaling.

Treatment: You need to get a veterinarian involved as soon as possible. A foundered horse may never fully recover, they will usually have good days and bad days. The treatment can be expensive and time consuming. Horses do not die from laminitis or founder, they are put to sleep because the level of constant suffering can be excruciating. Start the treatment as soon as possible.

Founder/laminitis is usually preventable in most cases. You must be vigilant in monitoring the horse’s weight, eating habits and hoof health.

Laminitis can be treated more successfully if treated early. Every horseman should acquaint themselves with the diagnosis and first aid treatment of this disease.

Improving Hoof Quality

Healthy hooves are not an accident. Good horse-care-manship skills are important to have an overall healthy horse. The hooves are a mirror to the health and care of the horse. Don’t fall for fads or instant hoof cures, basic good old fashioned horse sense is the solution. Here are some tops that may help you provide good care for your horse’s hooves:

Schedule regular farrier visits.

Pick and inspect your horses feet at least once a day.
Horses that are stalled constantly need to have the wet waste picked out daily. Make changes to the horses routine and diet gradually and progressively.
Avoid feeding in excess, keep your horse at a reasonable weight.

Overweight horses are more prone to hoof disease.
Give horses unlimited access to fresh, clean water.

Don’t shoe your horse unless necessary.
Investigate natural alternatives to shoeing.
Use shipping boots or wraps with bell boots to protect your horses hooves.

Breeding Better Feet : Good feet usually don’t just happen. Good breeding makes good feet. Breeding is chance to improve the horse with the next generation. Don’t buy a horse with bad feet. I know that sounds simple because it really is. Don’t buy a problem. Be careful of genetic or preexisting diseases or injuries.

Supplements for Healthy Hooves: Be extremely prudent with supplements for your horse. Supplements are expensive and must be used for long periods of time before results may be seen.

Equine nutrition is very simple, yet it can become very complex when you start adding numerous supplements. Good basic horse-care-manship is the best place to start. Get the facts, consult your vet or farrier. Some major feed companies have representatives that can also assist you in proper nutritional planning. Again I hate to beat a dead, well you know, but the best strategy is good basics in nutrition and management. Supplements and the other similar sundry assortment of items can be a false panacea. Often these supplements have minor impact on the hoof and a major impact on your wallet. It is better overall in the long run to invest in good feed/forage/hay, rather than buy poor feed/forage/hay and purchase expensive supplements.

Hoof Care Products: There are three types of hoof care products that are applied directly to the hoof under the description of hoof dressing. One type of hoof dressing is a hoof moisturizer, hoof sealant and hoof harder. The moisturizer helps the waxy/fatty substance know as periople help maintain the natural moisture in the hoof. Direct intense sunlight and footing such as clay and sand can dry out the hoof faster than it can replace the moisture.

The moisturizer hoof dressing helps that situation. The sealant hoof dressing forms a seal over the outer hoof to set up an additional barrier to keep moisture from escaping the hoof. The harder type of hoof dressing is more like a an industrial strength nail polish. The harder bonds with the hoof to help strengthen the hoof to some degree.

Alternatives to shoeing are available:

Hoof Boots: The hoof boots have several uses and they have evolved into two different types of, medical and temporary shoe. They are made from heavy duty rubber and have an assortment of hoof attachment devices. They also come in various sizes to help ensure as an exact as fit as possible.

Medicine Boot: The “medicine” boot allows the hoof to be protected from further injury and/or to treat the hoof with a soaking solution. Medicine boots usually fit loosely so as not to cause additional pain or reduce circulation in cases of swelling. Many times a medicine should be slightly larger so as to accommodate any wrapping/bandaging.

Hoof Shoe Boot: Hoof shoe boots can either be used to cover a bared trimmed hoof or over a shod hoof.

The hoof shoe boots is designed to add protection and comfort to the horse in severe and rough terrain. The hoof shoe boot can also be used to protect the hooves in shipping. These types of boots usually fit snuggly. Prior to purchase make sure you measure the intended hooves.

Educate yourself to the way of the hoof. Two publications worth merit The Horse Journal and The Horse. They are worth the investment.