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Massachusetts Farrier specializing in Barefoot Trimming and HoofCare

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Shod Thermograph

I have seen a thermograph picture circulating around Internet for about a year now. I have seen this thermograph everywhere from social media outlets to informational websites. When I first saw it I thought something didn't look correct. Had recently started learning to shoe horses to expand my knowledge and to have other services that my customers might need to want in the future. As everyone knows I'd rather see a horse barefoot than shod, but hate seeing incorrect information floating around even more.

This is typically what I have seen for the Thermograph and Caption underneath

"The single most convincing thing for me was to see a thermograph of a horse's feet--three of which were without shoes and one which was shod. Note the shod foot has virtually no blood circulation. I will NEVER put shoes on my horse again."

After seeing this thermograph I started thinking. There is no way that a shoe applied to a hoof by itself could cause this. So I started my quest to disprove that a shoe applied to a hoof (by itself) could cause this.

I started by going to FLIR's online education website. I took every possible course they offered.

Massachuestts Barefoot Trimmer and Farrier is always learning new things
 I then borrowed a FLIR I7 that a friend had and set out to one of the barns I trim at. I took pictures of shod hooves and did not see anything like the thermograph above. There pictures were taken a fairly chilly day and the results showed that heat was transferred all way down through the shoe onto the floor. Below are some samples of the thermographs that I took of shod and barefoot horses.

This is an ongoing investigation for me. My thoughts are that if shoeing a horse causes that amount of interference in peripheral circulation, there would be a significant reduction of blood supply to the hoof capsule and hence a shortage of oxygen and nutrients to the laminae. I would imagine if that was the case we would see a lot more issues in shod horses (Laminitis, Founder, and Lameness).

The information here is my opinion based on the facts that I have gathered. I'm sure as I continue research I'll have more conclusive findings, but as of right now I cannot see how a proper shoeing job by itself would cause a thermograph to look like the one above. I would love to here your thoughts and opinions, I can be reached at my email address or like my facebook page at

 Shod Hooves 

Barefoot Hooves