New Walking Behavior of Barefoot Horses
We have decided to go barefoot with all of our horses, with much success. Our two quarter horse mares, who are in great shape and very athletic, have been barefoot for about 8 months and are almost completely transitioned. They recently have begun a very interesting behavior. Every evening, at almost the same time, they start to walk ... and walk ... and walk ... side by side, all around their large pasture. They move at a fairly good pace, with tails swishing and heads low and relaxed. This goes on for about 45 minutes to one hour, or more. We had never noticed this before and are curious about what it means.
Hello, Heidi. There is a saying in science, “Correlation does not mean causation,” that just may apply here. I would not assume that moving your horses to barefoot status and the new walking behavior are associated with one another.
To get a bit more of an understanding of the behavior, I would conduct some observations. If may be social interactiondo you notice the behavior when other horses are out in surrounding pastures? It may be foragingdo they stop to nibble, or simply walk around? It may be energy reductiondo they conduct the behavior if they were recently ridden? The behavior may be matriarchal herd behaviordo you notice that one or both defecate often while walking? It may be boredomdo they have options for enrichment in their pasture?