In it a remedial farrier talks about barefoot - from his vast range of experience (I don't know of any high level barefoot horses for whom he is the farrier - he certainly doesn't mention any) and with the benefit of his many years of expertise in adhering steel and plastic to horses.
"I am an advocate of barefoot, where circumstances allow."
What circumstances are these? Sadly he doesn't enlighten us but perhaps its where the owners have no ambition to do dressage - bad luck Blinged-Up Bullet Dodgers, your days of success must be numbered - or are just too cheap to buy his services.
"Without a shoe the foot works slightly differently - the surface area is reduced to the solar plane whereas a shoe can be made slightly wider."
Erm, if you load a horse's weight onto a shoe you are actually reducing the surface area to much, much less than the solar plane, Haydn. In fact its a fraction of the solar plane. So if you think a greater surface area is better then barefoot beats shoes every single time.
The second farrier quoted in the article is similarly sceptical of a horse's ability to grow decent feet without a lot of help from the steel and alloy industry. His view is that:
"If the horse has a slight conformation problem, the shoe can create the correct platform. You can extend it at the rear to provide support for piaffe, for example, but you can't do that barefoot. "
First off, as Steve Leigh would say, if you look behind the horse (as well as to both sides and in front) you will see that he already has something called the ground which extends for miles in every direction and provides fantastic support. So I am not sure a bit of metal out the back of the foot is that relevant.
Secondly - and you'll love this, farriers - prepare to be AMAZED - the horse can make his own support!
The very thing you were talking about - a horse with a problem (actually a shoulder injury rather than conformation) and look - he has created his own platform to provide the support he needs.
And here is the cool thing - its in exactly the right place, its a medial extension (which you could never provide with a shoe - all you could do is a lateral extension which would unbalance him further), and if he doesn't need it any more he can get rid of it.
Fancy that - horses can grow the feet they need and can adapt them perfectly to the load of the limb above and they don't need us to do it for them. A sobering thought.
"I've yet to see a horse able to do grand prix with bare feet that can support fully loaded limbs."
Now that's just provocative, boys, as well as ill-informed. But just because its Friday, here's a bit of free CPD for you and your colleagues.