Horses have been living on this planet for over 50 million years. Horses have survived in the wild for so long moving from eight to twenty miles a day, yet domesticated horses suffer many problems often triggered from being shod. Lameness, swelling and somewhat 'bad' behaviour when riding are so often side effects, and this is your horse's way of telling you that he is suffering.
As Carole Herder states in her book, 'No Horseshoes in Heaven'
'A horse limping is not faking an injury to get out of training the way a kid might put a thermometer to a light bulb to fake a fever and stay home from school. Horses don't scheme. Horses are innocent, honest, and of the highest integrity'. The point Carole is making, is that horses which are lame or reluctant to be ridden are often in pain or discomfort. Therefore, they will never be fully sound without the removal of the cause for the pain or discomfort.
Carole herself, as explained in her book, has witnessed her horse suffer swelling in her legs, stiffness when riding and reluctance to be ridden altogether. Carole tried massages, radiographs, therapeutic massage pads yet she still did not know the cause of her horse's problems. Carole like many others, refused to accept these problems as commonplace. When she realised the root of the problem was her horse's feet, the horse's shoes were removed. With the help of hoof boots, her horse improved immensely through posture, body language and even mannerisms.
There are so many success stories from horse's going barefoot. After all, horses were not born with shoes and there is no flaw in their design. The hoof is designed to take the weight of the horse. The hoof spreads as pressure is applied and this allows the coffin bone to drop: the natural shock-absorbing system.
Grounding is where the horse's bare feet and earth make a direct connection; the transmission of electrical impulses from the earth to feet. The removal of shoes can promote blood flow and be invigorating for the horse as it would for a human walking on grass in bare feet.
Listen to your horse, let him tell you how he feels and let that influence your decision. Shoeing horses has been an age old practice, however, just because it is age old does not mean it is a foolproof method. It is our job to question what is best for our horse and there is no better place to start than the feet.