Here's where the controversy starts, the main issue that separates barefooters from traditional farriers: Farriers are taught that the hoof should load peripherally, meaning the horse's weight should hang off the hoof wall. Barefooters couldn't disagree more.
According to my research the hoof wall has one job: to serve as a hard shell that protects the internal structures of the hoof. That's it. Now think back to the last post I put up on hooves to answer this question: When you hang the horse's weight on the hoof wall what structures are you *actually* putting that weight on?
Are they meant to hold up the whole horse?
They are there to hold the hoof wall and the corium together, they aren't designed to hold the weight of the horse. Quite frankly, they CAN'T.
Peripheral loading is a flawed hypothesis, one that is hundreds of years old. That makes it an old habit, and old habits die hard. Do you know what another name for a horseshoe is? A peripheral loading device. By their very design horseshoes force horses to hang their weight off the laminae.
Now consider this hypothesis: The horse's weight should be borne by the frog and sole. Why else would they be there - growing directly out of the bottom of the corium surrounding the coffin bone - if they weren't supposed to bear the horse's weight?
The Swedish Hoof School has done research to prove that the peripheral loading theory is wrong; this video shows some of their work. Quick warning: This video is a bit gory, if you don't want to see leaking fluids you should probably pass. If you choose not to watch it, it shows that even if the laminae break completely the coffin bone does not plummet out of the hoof, it stays on top of the sole and frog. A horse with broken laminae is still in a ton of pain but the hoof capsule remains intact, if the peripheral loading theory was correct that wouldn't happen.