Email. Horseshoes only harm the hoof, weaken it, and cause harm. 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. 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. Twitter. If your horse has been shod for a long time, or at an early age, he may well have long and/or under-run heels (when the heels grow down at a shallow angle, sloping towards the toe), which will very probably also be contracted (close together due to the constriction of shoes) to a greater or lesser degree. So, keep a little money in the budget for buying new boots in the future. Their time and fuel is worth something, it’s only fair. You don’t want to be scolded for having a shod horse and you are afraid of what the trimmer will find wrong with your horse’s feet. The Barefoot Horse Revolution: Share Your Story. I prefer to let the horse get used to not having shoes on for a while before I do a complete trim. 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. There are explanatory videos and descriptions of how to trim, as well as e-books such as HHT's Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim which provide an important detailed reference guide that you can follow and go back to whenever you need to while learning to trim. One of the goals of the natural barefoot trim is to return the heels back to their natural low height above the sole level, but this must be done gradually to avoid causing discomfort to the horse, and to allow the inner structures of the hoof (including the pedal bone) to gradually reposition themselves. 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. It can be very helpful to participate in a barefoot trimming clinic where you can (hopefully!) 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. The feeling of "not being competent" is a feeling women get in our society, where we aren't taken seriously over our entire lifetime. And (this is the most intriguing part) it may enhance a horse's overall health, comfort, and longevity. The steps to completing the transition vary by horse but are of utmost importance in successfully going barefoot. Remember, this is a lifestyle change for the better and your work will pay off. Many horse-owners going barefoot decide to find a barefoot practitioner in their area for natural trimming and general barefoot advice. This is a simple summary of what you need to do for positive results.Find Your Barefoot Guidance. So, keep a little money in the budget for buying new boots in the future. Share. This is actually great news as it shows your horse is responding to the new barefoot lifestyle. If you are confident enough, and prepared to educate yourself, it is perfectly possible to do your own trimming. Depending on the season, condition of the feet, etc. On the shod side, farriers may line up with many sport horse fans to declare that most horses can be improved by shoeing. Normally the cost of the follow up or maintenance trims is 20-50% cheaper than the setup trim. The Natural Trim: The Solution For Healthy Horse Hoof Care Most trimmers will charge to return and do this work. In six months to a year, your horse will have essentially grown new feet. “Horses kept in soft pastures have feet that are softer and more likely to be shelly or splitting than a horse living on hilly, decomposed granite soils that suck moisture out of the feet and toughen them up. Now it’s time to measure the feet or fit your horse for boots. Also, if you have X-rays of the feet, now is a great time to offer to email or text them to the trimmer. The most obvious step in going barefoot is, of course, taking off your horses shoes. But when we ask if a horse can go barefoot… Maybe we need to phrase the question differently. The story: M&M is a horse Summers feels wasn’t a good candidate to go barefoot, even with boots. A must read excellent article found in The Thoughtful Horseman for any one that’s new to Natural Hoof Care and Protective Horse Boots, such as Easyboot Gloves and Bares by EasyCare. Part 1 covers everything on the ground, from handling to the lungeing technique that develops strength, straightness and engagement. She has an established trimming business and has a special interest in equine rehabilitation. If the horse needs to see it’s buddy, have the other horse nearby. Equip Your Horse With Hoof Boots for Protection. Certain horses are better suited to being barefoot than others. Good luck with your new barefoot lifestyle! Don't expect to do more than three horses per day at first, then build up slowly as you get stronger and better with the tools. One little secret is that your horse may need one size and style of boots at the start of the transition and a different size or style later. This causes pain and distortion of the hoof, in varying degrees from mild to extremely severe cases of laminitis. It may also create hooves capable of supporting a horse--with rider--over most types of terrain. By. The first of many ways you can help your horses hooves to become healthy is to remove his shoes. During that time, I specialized in teaching owners, mostly women, to trim their personal horse (s). Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection get personal instruction and hands-on experience of trimming. Smith says, “I think more horses could go barefoot than people think or allow,” and she encourages folks who have horses with quality hooves to consider barefoot hoofcare. Be prepared for change. If so, move on, find another trimmer. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. In fact, most horses would be much healthier with a significantly reduced proportion of grain in their diet. So many people have been through wonderful experiences with horses, whether in training or otherwise. 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… Try to be as calm as possible and don’t use this time as “training time” or “feeding treats” time, this is the time for the horse to stand quietly as we get some work done. See Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey for more on this important distinction. While much of the success from using barefoot to rehabilitate navicular horses is spread by word of mouth from horse owner to horse owner and farrier to farrier, research projects are beginning to be conducted around the world, adding validity to these claims. While it’s still horrible when your horse is sore, it’s a lot less … The internet provides an enormous amount of information, although discrimination is necessary. Starting your search for answers while your horse is sore is a horrible position to be in. So, for today, my hard work is done. In general, a horse that lives on footing similar to what he is expected to work on is going to have an easier time going barefoot. Natural hoof care is the practice of keeping horses so that their hooves are worn down naturally and so do not suffer overgrowth, splitting and other disorders. If so, when?#Keeping #Healthy #Hooves #Horse #Q&A: equitation science Q&A: Keeping Horse Hooves Healthy There are many advantages to going barefoot. There are also ways we can replace the nutritional benefit of grain with low sugar alternatives, such as copra (coconut meal). It can only be rebuilt by stimulation and movement, and your horse's lifestyle has to provide enough of this. Movement: Horses who move are going to have better feet than those who don’t. I will also tell you what I will do to treat such ailments and what your job will be in the treatment process. Note for women: I find charging enough can be a problem that women have in general. 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! You get out of the experience what you put into it. 0. 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. No trimmer should just leave you hanging without clear answers to what it will take to get your horse sound and comfortable being barefoot. Many barefoot trimmers will tell owners that, after several months of a horse being foot sore, they just need to keep going and the hooves will complete the transformation. Facebook. From this point forward we focus on correcting pathologies, tweaking the diet and supplements as needed and completing the transition to barefoot. She has worked with all kinds of horses using natural horsemanship methods for 12 years, and has been writing even longer. Hoof boots can help to make this difference when you are riding (even on a soft surface), and if your horse is particularly sensitive after going barefoot, you may even consider leaving his boots on during turn-out initially, provided they are comfortable and secure enough to do so. Barefoot Transitioning – What to Expect. For the initial trims, you will want to be even more careful than usual about how much hoof you remove. It is therefore impossible to ignore this aspect of going barefoot. The high sugar diet, common to many domesticated horses, produces toxins in the hind gut, which then (via the bloodstream) damage the sensitive laminae in the hooves. On your end, always ask for the cost of the setup trim (the first trim performed on your horse), if there is a charge to pull the shoes, the cost of the follow up or maintenance trims, and if the trimmer charges a mileage or ranch call fee. “He has a tendency toward thin soles, low heels, and long toes,” she explains. Just enter your details below to join. All horses can go barefoot and thrive with natural hoof care allowing the horse to be healthier and perform better. When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. However, Im also wondering what I should expect the farrier to do, should he trim them or just take the shoe off? Horseshoes are not used, but domesticated horses may still require trimming, exercise and other measures to maintain a natural shape and degree of wear.. It is also perhaps the biggest obstacle if you are undecided about going barefoot, especially when your horse has - apparently - become dependent on being shod. Likely, I will not have boots for your horse in my truck so we will be placing an order. 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. So, you get the name of a great local trimmer and you finally get up the nerve to call, what should you expect? This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. Successfully going barefoot with you horse takes getting a combination of things right. We can help your horse with NHC. The Horse Diet and its Importance in Hoof Care Events such as jumping, racing, dressage, western performance, in the show ring, out on the hunt, endurance trail riding, the work horse in harness, and of course the ones out pleasure riding, are all represented in the barefoot … The horse's diet is inextricably linked to the health of his feet. Please, please, please do this! Age of the horse also figures into the equation somewhat and for me, to a small extent, the breed of the horse. 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. You must have a good, balanced foot to start with before you can expect the horse to go barefoot and keep a healthy, sound foot. 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. Well, let’s talk about what will likely happen when you do make that call and hopefully ease your anxiety. Most barefoot horses are on a four to six week trim cycle but this may be as short as two weeks if pathology demands it or as long as eight to ten weeks if the horse is using its feet and shows the need for more infrequent trims. I will likely offer to run mineral balance calculations for his or her diet based on your current hay, pathologies and supplements. If you decide to to inform yourself, then your guidance comes in the many forms of information available on barefoot and natural trimming. Your horse will be tender over hard terrain and needs time to adjust. This is actually great news as it shows your horse is responding to the new barefoot lifestyle. Nic events and hunts her horses barefoot on Exmoor. The damage that is done by shoeing can be profound, especially if the horse was shod at an early age, or for a period many years. Not only does movement increase circulation in the feet, it also toughens the sole and provides for natural wear of the hoof. make sure you seek recommendation from someone whose farrier has successfully managed their working barefoot horses, if you take this route! But for many, especially those with hidden metabolic issues, the process can take a bit longer. Therefore, the more you can encourage your barefoot horse to move in his daily (and nightly!) 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. This sensitivity normally subsides within a month or two, but can take much longer with some horses. Sugar in the horse's diet usually comes in the following forms: It is a long-standing tradition to feed domesticated horses in work a lot of grain, as horse-owners often believe it is necessary to maintain energy and condition. “In order to keep a horse in work and barefoot, the (arena or riding) footing needs to be forgiving—free of rocks and not too abrasive,” says Dryden. However, the reality is somewhere in between. hi i just wondered what ur opinions were , on horses that are barefoot and is it possible for a horse that was once barefoot , to have his shoes taken off and go barefoot again, or does putting the shoes on ruin there feet so they will always need shoes from then on? Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey Ok, you got through the phone call and it’s the day of your first appointment, now what? The natural trim always respects the integrity of the hoof, but after removal of the shoes you should leave a slightly greater height and width of hoof wall to give your horse more protection while his feet are recovering. 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. I think I just found the topic for my next blog! How To Get Horse Nutrition Right, Return from Going Barefoot to Happy Horse Training home. When going barefoot, we have to find the best balance between healthy feet and good condition. If we do have to order boots, they will probably show up in a week or two and I will return to properly fit them and show you how to use them if you aren’t familiar. we will set a date and time for the next trim. Going barefoot (as the result of a correct trim and combined with compatible living conditions) may be the way to make bad hooves better, and even excellent. Shoes fundamentally inhibit the healthy functioning of the hoof, no matter what comfort or support they may appear to give. It takes time for the hoof to recover from this - in some cases it will never return to complete health - but as with any living system if supported in the right way, it has an amazing power of regeneration (see Life's Innate Healing Potential). In the natural hoof care world, opinions differ as to whether hoof boots are necessary in the long term for barefoot horses, but most experts are now undivided as to the importance of providing protection for your horse's feet during the transition period when going barefoot. For some horses it may be easy, for others it will involve a longer rehab period. First, I will pull the shoes from all the feet and then begin trimming. Now, finally we get to the actual shoe pulling and trimming. Your horse needs this time to start the transition and get used to all the new sensations in its feet. Goodbye shoes! Barefoot was a chestnut horse with a white star and snip bred by George Crompton in Yorkshire. Click here to see back issues of The Whole Horse newsletter. We can discuss movement issues and pathology. So, you want to go barefoot with your horse but you are a little scared to make that call to the local hoof trimmer. The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to a cutting-edge barefoot trim. When I arrive we will have a few minutes of chit chat, then I will likely want to see your horse move at a walk, trot and make a few turns. Unless you are an endurance rider, it is unlikely that the amount of time you work your … 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. If you have hay analysis results, great! You now have a barefoot horse and hopefully a new healthy lifestyle. The question that you have to ask yourself is, how long do you want to sentence your horse to pain with every step? As soon as your horse's shoes are off, you can start helping his feet to recover with a natural trim. But, keep this conversation brief, trimmers are busy and you will need to tell the complete story at your first meeting anyway. 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 Daundra Becker is a freelance writer, mom of three little ladies, and horse-lover from the US. It requires both an adjustment period and hoof protection in the form of hoof boots. Two months feels like the upper limit for most owners. The hooves will very probably gradually change shape as they recover from the distortion caused by shoeing, and it will be necessary to change his boot size accordingly. Sounds kind of like a trip to the dentist. So as title says Im taking the plunge and taking all of my mares shoes off, well 3 cus she hasn't had a shoe on the one for 2 weeks now. Take aways for both the horse owner and the trimmer. This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. Comes with a free eBook supplement on Horse Trauma. 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. So very well said. Taking matters back into your own hands is part of the ethos of going barefoot, and we believe in the philosophy that if you really want to learn, and you have the right intention, then the teachers and information that you need will come along. It works on the principle of providing, instead of fields, a network or circuit of fairly narrow lanes, that encourage the horses to move much more than a rectangular paddock. The discomfort in the feet caused by a high sugar diet is often masked by the numbing effect of shoeing, although the damage is of course still being done, but after going barefoot the sensitivity will come to light, and your horse may become very sore in his feet on a long term basis, unless you minimize his sugar/starch intake. As trimmers, we are not here to judge, we are here to help you transition your lifestyle to barefoot. Your trimmer should be able help you throughout this process. ‘Is the damage to this hoof irreparable?’ ‘Is an external metal support structure the best way to solve this problem’ Even a simple ‘Why does this horse need shoes?’ would be good. Check out Jay DeHart on FB for more great practical advise on your horses overall wellness. They cover up issues in the hoof that can be rectified and healed with time and proper natural hoof care. In the summer a little shade is always appreciated and in the winter can we please get out of the wind? Otherwise, you may never get the barefoot results you want. AANHCP headquarters Paddock Paradise. She has written a book: “Feet first: barefoot performance and hoof rehabilitation”. 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? 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. In the end, this is really the ideal, because it gives you the flexibility and satisfaction of taking responsibility for your own horses feet. It is never too late to go barefoot, and your horse will thank you for it! 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. 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. Knowing what to expect can help a lot. Pinterest. 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. 558. See Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection for more information. First off, I hope no trimmer ever scolds anyone for having a shod horse. We also need to discuss the daily living conditions of the horse, such as stall time, housekeeping, and terrain. EasyCare-June 17, 2010. 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. Jay DeHartStevensville, Montana Former Farrier...turned Barefoot Trimmer, Specializing in Hoof RehabAfter learning to shoe horses and not totally believing in the concept, I found the barefoot trimming method and never put shoes on another horse. When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. Jul 23, 2020 - What is the healthiest way to take care of horse hooves? This is due to the decreased circulation caused by shoeing. All blog comments are checked prior to publishing. Our Paddock Paradise There are some very useful books, for example by Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey. HHT's free monthly newsletter, giving you wide-ranging insights into holistic horsemanship. The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim eBook If you are new to barefoot, you will need to find a way of informing yourself, and some form of support or assistance if you need it. The other, a Tb/Warmblood cross has average feet and may/may not cope. As I stated before, trimmers are busy and it’s best to set a date and time before it’s too late. “I wedge-padded him and frog-supported him his whole 11-year career in which he competed heavily and even won several FEI-level competitions. However, whatever you spend on boots is likely to be less than what you would have spent on shoeing, and a lot more beneficial for your horse!Address Your Horse's Diet. So, in the initial call you will likely just need to let the trimmer know your contact information, the location of the horse(s), if there will be shoes to pull, any major pathology such as Founder, if you currently have hoof boots and set a time and date. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. Barefoot Horse - diet How long does barefoot transition take? The nail clenches must be removed properly before pulling the shoe to allow them to come out easily.Start Barefoot Trimming. And is there any benefit to have your horse go barefoot for any length of time? Horses in all horse sports are competing and winning in their chosen field and going shoeless. Relevant pages on Happy Horse Training that may interest you: Linkedin. life, the better. It can only be rebuilt by stimulation and movement, and your horse's lifestyle has to provide enough of this. horse going barefoot? But, no, I don’t need to know how many ribbons he or she won at the local show last year. (For a full explanation of the reasons for this, go to The Importance of Natural Horse Hoof Care). Successfully switching a horse from being shod to going barefoot can’t be accomplished overnight. Background. We discovered Paddock Paradise (left) as an alternative way of managing land for horses, and we have found it to be a great success. Staying on a schedule is very important for the health of your horse and the sanity of your trimmer. This is usually done for an additional fee. I will either sell you boots on the spot or get some on order. How To Train A Horse Without Force is a unique guide to training horses through energetic connection and gymnastic training. Click here to find out more. Going barefoot isn’t just about removing shoes – it’s a holistic approach to horse health. He was described as standing 15.2 hands high, and being powerful, muscular, active and high-spirited. Some barefoot practitioners provide an exchange system to make this less costly. What to Expect When You and Your Horse Go Barefoot Going barefoot with a natural trim and boots for riding, is not without its twists, turns and bumps in the road. But, your job is just beginning. 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. When you know what to expect. The Shire x Tb has very hard feet, and should work unshod with no problems. Really, it’s not the ground, or the time of year that matters. Like when circulation returns to numb fingers, when this happens to your horse's feet after going barefoot, it is often very painful. Clean its feet or don’t clean its feet, I don’t care. After all, to shoe or not to shoe is a conscious decision riders get to make when it comes to their horse’s welfare; it appears the USEA, USEF, or FEI do not have rules regarding shoeing. Your barefoot Guidance the first of many ways you can start helping his will! My hard work is done carefully to limit any extra damage to the lungeing technique that develops strength straightness... 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