Kykattin I commend you on your decision to euthanize your horse instead of selling her off to her fate. I see so many horses on craigslist that if loved would findthe same peaceful ending. Unfortunately, people aren't always responsible.
I am a bit leery about the natural horsemanship. Some horses do have great feet. My little mare has been barefoot her whole life. However, in my experience I have seen horses that need corrective shoeing in order to have a comfortable life. Sometimes horses just have weak hoof walls and in other cases corrective shoeing has improved horses with club feet or have suffered from a severe case of founder. Some horses just don't have good hardy feet and need shoes in order to stay comfortable. No matter how natural we try to make their life it cannot be compared to how they truly live in the wild.
In addition, I'm obviously against abusive methods of training, but in more than one case, horses need consequences. They are too large of animals for them to believe that they are in charge. Just like in the wild there is the alpha mare that keeps things running smoothly. In the owner/horse relationship the owner must be that alpha mare who is the leader.
Unfortunately, there are extremes of both ways of working with a horse. It's so unfortunate that your little mare suffered abuse. She was one lucky mare to find you.
Most people I have talked to have agreed with my decision. You can kind of see in the picture her bumpy skin. This was in spring, before she would lose all her hair and just rub against everything because she was so itchy. Nothing worked. The steroids would make her comfortable for about a month, but she couldn't have them very often or it would mess up her feet (among other things). Also, she really only was safe for me. She would try to kick and attack other people. Even then, she wasn't really "safe" for me. I just knew how to deal with her and put her back in her place so she would calm down for a little while. There were a few close calls for me too!
I too have seen some horses that absolutely need shoes. If she needed them, yes, I would have used them. I just was not interested in putting shoes on her when I didn't think she needed them. I would have bought those little boots if there was any hope of taking her anywhere.
Because of her, I am certainly not all love and hugs with horse training. Haha. I did have to keep her in her place. I just tried to do it in a way she would understand. And it worked! Sort of. I think I would have had a lot more success with a horse that didn't have all the problems she did. I did have some success. I taught her how to run, not pace. She let me touch her face and ears, pick up all her feet (and not bite me!).
Sakura8: Thanks! I do know she was the happiest with me.
GunsABlazin: Yes they do! Though I know in my picture it meant she was paying attention to something else...