Shoeing the Driving Horse
Carriage driving puts several unique stresses on our equine’s hooves. We drive on roads, hard trails, grass arenas, and in combined driving competition we must deal with fast changing conditions at speed. To get our equines fit, we drive many miles on roads and hard tracks. We prefer working on hard surfaces because they put less drag on our vehicles, and deep going is much harder to pull through. Many ponies and very small equines (VSEs) can work barefoot, but larger, heavier breeds sometimes need protection. Horseshoes were first developed in ancient times as leather or wooden sandals that were strapped to the hooves. Later, iron then steel shoes were nailed to hooves. Today we have a myriad of boots, shoe materials and adhesives to offer our equines. Many horses can tolerate going barefoot but can do better with traction and protection.
In this article, I will discuss some shoeing protocols and methods of traction and protection.
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