Lisa Zachoda
Professional Barrel Racer
2014 Canadian Finals Rodeo Barrel Racing Qualifier
Hoof Armor 
2013 FHA 100
1st Place, Light-weight division Pat & Memphis 
(Tennessee Walker)

Hoof Armor 
2012 Tevis Cup
Tera & Jazz (Morgan) 
Cougar Rock

Barefooting Your Horse

Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson“

Enabling your horse to be barefoot is also not a hobby to be picked up when convenient.  It is a continuing endeavor that you must work on in partnership with your horse.

Horses in the wild condition their hooves by the minute so they are constantly ready to travel across any surface.  While domestic horses do not have the same urgency, they also need to condition their hooves in preparation for crossing whatever surface their rider needs.  Because they are confined, by humans, to a smaller area with less exposure to varied surfaces, they need human help to keep their hooves ready to travel.

Hooves in the wild become tougher, thicker and calloused through continued exposure to rugged terrain.  Domestic horses don’t travel the same distances and also are generally on gentler surfaces.  For this reason, domestic horses need to maintain as much thickness and toughness of sole as they can.  Paring and thinning the sole takes away the protection they have developed.  Think of us walking over stones in socks versus boots.  Which thickness will feel the sharpness and which protects?

Horses kept in a wet environment such as grass pasture will allow the hooves to take on excess moisture and get softer; which is okay as long as they are ridden on a similar surface.  When their now-softer hoof must travel across sharp stones they will not have the toughness they need and they will appear “ouchy.”  This “ouchiness” is only their reaction of not putting all their weight on a sharp stone in order to protect their soles from damage. They are not lame; just sensitive and protective as we are if put in the same situation.  Take your shoes off and walk across sharp stones…do you put your full weight on the sharpness, or do you flinch so as not to cause damage?  Horses are the same.  Mustangs typically live in desert regions and their hooves are dry and hard to travel painlessly across stones.  They cover approximately 25 miles per day over rugged terrain.

Ideally, horses should be kept daily on the same terrain as they will be expected to travel with a rider, but this is seldom possible.  Rubber boots are a temporary solution just as we use shoes and boots on our feet.  When boots are not used the unconditioned hoof is left unprotected.

Hoof Armor is a cyclically permanent (per trim) solution in that Hoof Armor will protect the hoof giving it a chance to grow thicker for protection and also protect against excess moisture which could make the hoof soft.  With a good, balanced conservative trim to keep the hoof walls from getting long and chipping (just like our fingernails and toenails), Hoof Armor will enable your horse to be barefoot and conditioned for any surface you need to travel over.

Hoof Armor can be successfully used in conjunction with shoes or boots.

Click Here to order from Hoof Armor