Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Sandra Bushmich; Dr. Thomas Hoagland

Field of Study

Animal Science


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Fourteen mixed breed mares and geldings ranging in age from 4 to 20 years were selected to participate in this study to determine the effects on hoof growth and health with three shoing method. Each horse was randomly assigned a treatment: shod, barefoot, or Easyboots. Measurements were taken on the body and on the hoof at the beginning and conclusion of each shoeing method. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were attached to each horse using a surcingle during turnout at the beginning and conclusion of each shoeing method.

There were minimal changes in morphometric measurements between the barefoot, Easyboot and shod treatments over the course of the study. Hoof measurements showed a trend for significant differences to be observed between barefoot and shod treatments. Significant change was observed on the left front hoof between all three treatments, indicating the response in this hoof could be due to greater weight bearing capacity and therefore a trend for left sidedness. Toe length was shortest in the left front hooves when horses were barefoot and longest when horses were shod (p

Major Advisor

Dr. Jenifer Nadeau