10 Topics Of Debate In The Horse Industry


It’s no mystery that horse folks are passionate about what they believe in. There are some topics that really cause an uproar in the industry. Most pick one side and stand firmly. You’ve probably heard some disagreements at the barn or online about these specific topics. It’s important to hear both sides and be open minded.

Topics for Debate

  1. Shoes or barefoot: You have those that firmly believe barefoot is most natural and correct, while others insist their horse needs shoes for one reason or another.
  2. To blanket or not: Some choose to blanket their horse in the winter. Others don’t believe blankets are necessary in most cases.
  3. English or western: Most pick a style and stick with it.
  4. Stalls or turnout: Some horse owners don’t use stalls, while others use them half day or even 24/7.
  5. To ride with a helmet or not: Many insist on wearing a helmet and many choose not to.
  6. Horse slaughter debate: In the industry, many are divided on how to handle unwanted horses. They often debate if slaughter houses should be allowed in the US.
  7. Natural remedies or conventional medicine: Some turn to herbs and alternative practices like acupuncture, while others seek drugs, surgery, and conventional options.
  8. To vaccinate or not: Even within this topic, some debate on which ones are necessary and not.
  9. Negative reinforcement or positive reinforcement: An example is natural horsemanship techniques like pressure and release vs clicker training with treats or scratches.
  10. Bit or bitless: Some use bitless bridles like a cross under or hackamore. On the other hand, many prefer traditional bits like snaffles or a curb.

There are also many other areas that cause debate amongst riders and horse owners. Before you form an opinion, hear both sides and do your own research!

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