Articles and Faq's

Every day people are starting to question traditional methods of hoof care, or are just not happy with the results that are being achieved. We are often asked the same questions by horse owners who are considering barefoot. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may help.
Q...  What is a DAEP and a MIAEP?
DAEP stands for ‘Degreed Applied Equine Podiatrist’, a DAEP that has completed a Diploma with the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry that consists of 10 on-line theory modules, 200 (min) hours of practical training and has passed all written and practical exams.

MIAEP stands for ‘Member of the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry’, a DAEP can only be a registered member of the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry if they have completed 40 hours of CPD (Continued Professional Development) training every 12 months.
Q... My horse has bad feet so i cant go shoeless.
Ans... In most it is the horses with so called bad feet that will benefit greatly by going shoeless, a balanced healthy foot would deal with the stresses, caused by shoeing far better than that of an unhealthy, unbalanced shod horse, as the shoe will only deteriate the hoof further. To allow the horse to heal we must provide the correct enviroment condusive to healing, a shod horses enviroment is the shoe, and this is not the enviroment needed when trying to achieve a healthy foot. Although rehabilitation may be challenging, with the owners commitment, a balanced trim using the HPT method and the correct enviroment the differences can be huge.
Q... Is going shoeless cheaper than shoeing?
Ans... At the begining of the rehabilitation process going shoeless can be more costly, this is due to the possible need for more frequent visits or materials to stimulate your horses foot in order to achieve correct foot growth. As your horse rehabilitates visits will become less frequent therfore reducing costs and extra products may no longer be needed. Regular visits will still be required in order to keep your horses feet well balanced.
Q... I cant go shoeless as my horse has poor hoof wall that splits and cracks all of the time.
Ans... Poor horn growth can be due to a number of factors like poor diet, bad enviroment or infection, but it is most likely that the cause is due to lack of inner wall which is caused by shoeing and a lack of correct stimulus. The inner wall is responsible for the healthy downward growth of the outer wall, when stimulation is incorrect healthy structure is lost resulting in the crumbling of the outer wall.
Q... Is it possible to perform any discipline shoeless?
Ans.. Many horses compete shoeless at high level disciplines i.e. 3 day eventing, racing, endurance etc. Each horse is an individual, your horse may never have a foot underneath it that is capable of 30 miles shoeless over rough terrain but this is down to his own genetics. Although most horses can achieve there current discipline shoeless it is very much dependant on the hard work and commitment from the owner. When considering removing your horses shoes you must first ask yourself if you are able and or willing to put in the time and commitment that may be needed into transitioning to barefoot,the welfare of your horse, If taking a more active role in the health of your horses feet is not what you had in mind, then perhaps remaining shod will be in the best interest for your horse.
Q... My horse has been shod all of his life with no problems so why change?
Ans... Ultimately shoeing impedes correct foot function which can lead to a steady decline in overall foot health. This decline can be seen more rapidly in some horses than in others. DAEPs are not totaly against shoes, without commitment from the owner it may be in the best interest for the horse to remain shod.
Q... How long does rehabilitation take after the removal of shoes?
Ans... The time taken is dependant on the health of the horses feet and your commitment as an owner. Goals can be set with your DAEP and outlined on the spectrum of usability this helps map improvements and progress, and where more attention is needed.
Q... My horse must wear shoes as i do alot of road work.
Ans... In a healthy hoof it is very unlikely that your horse will wear his feet quicker than they grow. A correctly balanced hoof will recieve even stimulus, even those who ride for a few hours daily dont wear there feet down too quickly.
Q... I need the traction i get from studs how will i get this shoeless?
Ans.. Everybody knows metal on concrete is very slippery when under force or wet this is why we use studs. Have you ever noticed the crease around the edge of your horses shoe, this crease is designed to fill with dirt and therfore create traction. This same crease is found on a healthy shoeless foot, this is the junction of the sole to the golden line. The shape of the frog and bars are also designed to trap dirt, therfore creating excellent traction more so than with shoes with studs.
Q... Are white hooves weaker than black.
Ans... The answer is no, colour has no bearing at all on the health and strength of a horses feet. Genetics and correct hoof care determine how good your horses feet will be.
Q... What makes AEP different from othe trims?
Ans... Applied Equine Podiatry is a totaly new concept which takes the treatment of the equine foot to new levels, AEP is based on science and not supposition, Using advanced research we are now in a position to gain an insight into the correct function of the structures of the equine foot, enableing us to place the hoof and foot in functional equilibrium or "true balance". We use clearly defined reference points in order to achieve a correctly balanced trim. Also as Daeps we look at the horse as a whole, we look at weight, stress levels, diet, previous injurys, conformation, age, discipline and many more, we look at the whole horse not just the feet.
Here are some interesting articles that you may find helpfull
Applied Equine Podiatry outline
HPT method, not just another trim
A change in paradigm
The internal arch theory
Shoeless for performance
Seedy toe or not, HKH growth
Dealing with spring thrush
A new angle on hoofwall growth
Hoofwall anatomy
Helping horse owners deal with toe cracks
The metabolic problem
A race to the winners
What's in a pad
Foot balance
Foot function
The shoeless