Keeping the Ridden Horse Barefoot
Episode 101

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly- Keeping the Ridden Horse Barefoot

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Every now and then I come across a new horsey friend who doesn't know and understand why I am such a keen advocate for keeping ridden horses barefoot.

At these times,  I find myself re-telling the story that has got me and my horses to this point, and I think I should do a blog summary of the advantages and pitfalls of keeping ridden horses barefoot.

My name is Fran McNicol and I am an amateur equestrienne living in Cheshire, UK. I am a doctor, specialising in colorectal surgery, and my MD research thesis was on inflammation and sepsis. Through my day job, I understand and fix the human digestive system, and I know a huge amount about inflammation and the human animal, but the most useful thing about becoming a “Doctor Doctor Miss Miss” (MBChB, MD, MRCS, FRCS)  is that I have learned how to read other people’s research, evaluate the evidence and then critically test apparently good theory on my own horses. My writing is therefore my opinion, and  current state of learning, from 25 years of full-time doctoring, a few years working as a polo groom around the world and many years of keeping my own horses. I love training young horses, and focus on riding the sport horse both classically and holistically. I compete regularly in all disciplines at our local riding club especially one day eventing. I started blogging as a way to share the experience gained from taking a selection of horses barefoot and working towards the dream barefoot property. I blog regularly at

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