Something new under the sun?

There is no end to the messing around people have tried to do with horseshoes, always trying to come up with something nobody’s though of yet that helps improve absorbing shock and improving foot comfort. Most of these efforts don’t amount to much, mostly because horses have been galloping around on their feet forever and anything we try to do just seems to screw things up.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a barefoot advocate by any means, but we do need to be very careful when choosing shoes for our athletes. So I was quite skeptical when all of England seemed abuzz about the new Equishox shoe, a rubber-coated aluminum racing plate.

My first impression was a big “no,” because it appeared to me that the tread on the shoe would stop the natural slide of the foot, which is necessary to avoid injuries. Nothing is worse for horses’ legs than toe-grabs or crampons, and neither of those things are allowed in racing in France, thankfully. But my ears perked up when the inventors claimed these shoes could minimize injuries in horses who tend to knock into their own legs galloping.

We have a specialist at that, so I decided the shoe might be worth a try. So we are trying them. Jury’s out, but this could be interesting!