It’s not just that we’re asking the wrong questions, often we’re looking at the wrong problem. If you give up and go back to shoes, how can you ever know what potential healing could have taken place if you'd stuck it out? You can also find comprehensive information of all aspects of natural hoof care, such as diet, lifestyle, and protection on this site.Remove the Shoes! Please, please, please do this! I was a professional trimmer working in Delaware for six years. All blog comments are checked prior to publishing. I will also tell you what I will do to treat such ailments and what your job will be in the treatment process. At this point I will start telling you what issues I see in the feet, such as Founder, thrush/fungus in the frogs, thin soles, uneven loading, cracks etc. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. It is never too late to go barefoot, and your horse will thank you for it! Here’s a few things that will make the day go better: please be at the barn on time, with your horse caught and ready to go. It can be very helpful to participate in a barefoot trimming clinic where you can (hopefully!) There are many ways to encourage this movement and make it interesting for your horse, but the basic idea is simple, and feasible for most people to install. There are many advantages to going barefoot. If you have hay analysis results, great! While it’s still horrible when your horse is sore, it’s a lot less … When you know what to expect. The story: M&M is a horse Summers feels wasn’t a good candidate to go barefoot, even with boots. Sarah Braithwaite, co-author of Feet First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation has been riding barefoot horses for the last 15 years. Normally the cost of the follow up or maintenance trims is 20-50% cheaper than the setup trim. Be prepared for change. We can review your horses current diet and your grazing practice. Unless you have the know-how and appropriate tools to do this yourself, you can ask your natural hoof care professional, or your farrier, to remove the shoes. Most feet are going to be sore for a while after you pull the shoes -- fronts much more than hinds, because they carry more of the horse's weight. It is therefore impossible to ignore this aspect of going barefoot. They cover up issues in the hoof that can be rectified and healed with time and proper natural hoof care. If you skip a trim or push the trim schedule out to try and save money you are likely compromising the barefoot process and will probably be charged for another setup trim. We have been conditioned to believe that shoes are beneficial and necessary for a fully functioning horse, and that they are a simple necessity for those horses with, for example, flat feet, small feet, thin soles, sensitivity, and so on. Unless you are an endurance rider, it is unlikely that the amount of time you work your horse will be enough to make a difference to hooves that have been weakened and distorted by shoes. The steps to completing the transition vary by horse but are of utmost importance in successfully going barefoot. Background. In this case it is sensible to avoid riding your horse until he becomes more comfortable, indeed most horses going barefoot will benefit from a period of rest while they are making the transition. Your horse will be tender over hard terrain and needs time to adjust. Yes, you will be buying boots. Remember it takes about a year for a whole hoof to grow down, and this is the time it takes after going barefoot for the hoof wall you are trimming to have grown out of a hoof with improved circulation and general function. However, the simple, unavoidable fact is that shoes are in no way beneficial for any horse's hoof, nor for the rest of his body. we will set a date and time for the next trim. This sensitivity normally subsides within a month or two, but can take much longer with some horses. Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection We discovered Paddock Paradise (left) as an alternative way of managing land for horses, and we have found it to be a great success. It is only fair, if you wish to ride your horse during this period, that you give him the protection on hoof boots, ideally with pads for extra comfort. The internet provides an enormous amount of information, although discrimination is necessary. Click here to see back issues of The Whole Horse newsletter. If you decide to to inform yourself, then your guidance comes in the many forms of information available on barefoot and natural trimming. Make sure you find one that is given by an expert in the natural or 'wild horse' trim as opposed to other invasive trimming techniques. Well, let’s talk about what will likely happen when you do make that call and hopefully ease your anxiety. “He has a tendency toward thin soles, low heels, and long toes,” she explains. If so, when?#Keeping #Healthy #Hooves #Horse #Q&A: equitation science Q&A: Keeping Horse Hooves Healthy The Natural Trim: The Solution For Healthy Horse Hoof Care It may also create hooves capable of supporting a horse--with rider--over most types of terrain. Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey She has worked with all kinds of horses using natural horsemanship methods for 12 years, and has been writing even longer. Horses in all horse sports are competing and winning in their chosen field and going shoeless. See Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey for more on this important distinction. And is there any benefit to have your horse go barefoot for any length of time? I think I just found the topic for my next blog! Once a busy Hoof Trimmer she has enabled hundreds of horses to go successfully barefoot and always enjoys the challenge of buying herself a new shod horse and turning it into a capable barefoot horse. Our Paddock Paradise Anyone who helps lots of horses return to a barefoot condition, comes to recognize that horseshoes (plus infrequent trimming due to shoeing) do damage the feet. Don’t fly spray your horse prior to the trimming, I end up wearing that fly spray the rest of the day and it’s not as appealing as you might think. So many people have been through wonderful experiences with horses, whether in training or otherwise. First off, I hope no trimmer ever scolds anyone for having a shod horse. This is usually done for an additional fee. No trimmer should just leave you hanging without clear answers to what it will take to get your horse sound and comfortable being barefoot. Click here for more details. Some barefoot practitioners provide an exchange system to make this less costly. You now have a barefoot horse and hopefully a new healthy lifestyle. Also, let your trimmer know if you have any strength or hand issues that may limit your ability to use boots. Of course, the amount of work they do is also a major factor. We can discuss movement issues and pathology. Linkedin. In fact, most horses would be much healthier with a significantly reduced proportion of grain in their diet. Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey, The Importance of Natural Horse Hoof Care, Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection, The Horse Diet and its Importance in Hoof Care, The Natural Trim: The Solution For Healthy Horse Hoof Care. Going barefoot isn’t just about removing shoes – it’s a holistic approach to horse health. Comes with a free eBook supplement on Horse Trauma. This is actually great news as it shows your horse is responding to the new barefoot lifestyle. The best time to go barefoot with your horse is when you’re ready with a plan of action and a team behind you who are focused on success. horse going barefoot? make sure you seek recommendation from someone whose farrier has successfully managed their working barefoot horses, if you take this route! I think you should try going barefoot, but if … EasyCare-June 17, 2010. We can help your horse with NHC. The horse's diet is inextricably linked to the health of his feet. Some horses step out of their shoes and don't seem to notice, Some horses blink with surprise and run off bucking, Some have a week or two of footiness, then go from strength to strength. In total, I spent five weeks exploring the region, and even though several years have passed since my visit, I think it might be interesting to note down my impressions of the region, and what to expect when backpacking in West Africa just in case anyone else is interested to go – though I’m not a role-model and of course you don’t have to travel barefoot like I did much of the way. barefoot horse, diet and management of the horse are not currently taught as part of a farrier’s syllabus, so it is important if you are working with a farrier to select one that has developed their own knowledge-base in these key areas. Spillers’ equine nutritionist Clare Barfoot provides one H&H forum user with some helpful advice on how to feed a barefoot horse for optimum health get personal instruction and hands-on experience of trimming. And it’s time to begin making any dietary changes, getting hay testing completed, buying thrush meds, choosing supplements and getting X-rays or other veterinary or bodywork done. He was described as standing 15.2 hands high, and being powerful, muscular, active and high-spirited. Take aways for both the horse owner and the trimmer. For example, a horse that lives in a soft environment or a stall is not going to have the toughest feet, but if he only gets ridden in a cushy arena, he may sail from shod to barefoot with no issues, especially if his feet are healthy to start with. The Shire x Tb has very hard feet, and should work unshod with no problems. 0. If you've made a change in a horse's life - or one has made a change in yours - tell us about it here. But when we ask if a horse can go barefoot… Maybe we need to phrase the question differently. For more about it see: Even if you don't make a Paddock Paradise, the less time you can have your horse standing in a stable, the better for his feet. Your trimmer should be able help you throughout this process. If your horse has solid, healthy hoof walls and thick soles, he’s likely to find it easier to go without shoes than one with less healthy feet. As trimmers, we are not here to judge, we are here to help you transition your lifestyle to barefoot. Not only does movement increase circulation in the feet, it also toughens the sole and provides for natural wear of the hoof. This is due to the decreased circulation caused by shoeing. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. Are we trying to find a way for a horse with a collapsed hoof to perform beyond it’s physical capabilities, or are we trying to find a way to heal t… How To Get Horse Nutrition Right, Return from Going Barefoot to Happy Horse Training home. Also, if you have X-rays of the feet, now is a great time to offer to email or text them to the trimmer. This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. This is due to the fact most horses require more work at this point, also the trimmer will usually spend more time with you discussing the individual condition of the horse, diet, living environment etc. Share. The Barefoot Horse Revolution: Share Your Story. So, keep a little money in the budget for buying new boots in the future. See Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection for more information. (For a full explanation of the reasons for this, go to The Importance of Natural Horse Hoof Care). When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. When you first trim after removing shoes you may well find your horse's horn quality to be weak and brittle. Just enter your details below to join. Not only that, but it is important for the reconstruction of the hoof that the horse starts to land on his feet heel-first, and he will not do this if he has too much discomfort. Lots of types of boots are available and we can usually find a type that works for you. Think carefully about removing his shoes if he… 1. struggles with serious foot-soreness 2. competes in a discipline in which he needs extra grip in the form of studs 3. relies on remedial or corrective shoeing to overcome the effects of a confor… Daundra Becker is a freelance writer, mom of three little ladies, and horse-lover from the US. 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