There are also ways we can replace the nutritional benefit of grain with low sugar alternatives, such as copra (coconut meal). And (this is the most intriguing part) it may enhance a horse's overall health, comfort, and longevity. 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). 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. 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. I will likely offer to run mineral balance calculations for his or her diet based on your current hay, pathologies and supplements. Taking this holistic approach to going barefoot will accelerate your horse's recovery, but it still takes the commitment and patience to let health come from the inside out. 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? There are many advantages to going barefoot. 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. 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. 558. 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. It can be very helpful to participate in a barefoot trimming clinic where you can (hopefully!) But when we ask if a horse can go barefoot… Maybe we need to phrase the question differently. 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. Also, let your trimmer know if you have any strength or hand issues that may limit your ability to use boots. 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. Therefore, the more you can encourage your barefoot horse to move in his daily (and nightly!) When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. But, your job is just beginning. Clean its feet or don’t clean its feet, I don’t care. Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection 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. Proponents of the barefoot side range from those who believe that many, if not most, horses will do just fine going barefoot to “all natural” equine advocates who disapprove of barns, blankets and grain feeding. We can help your horse with NHC. It’s not just that we’re asking the wrong questions, often we’re looking at the wrong problem. 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. Movement: Horses who move are going to have better feet than those who don’t. The story: M&M is a horse Summers feels wasn’t a good candidate to go barefoot, even with boots. 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. HHT's free monthly newsletter, giving you wide-ranging insights into holistic horsemanship. Not only does movement increase circulation in the feet, it also toughens the sole and provides for natural wear of the hoof. However, Im also wondering what I should expect the farrier to do, should he trim them or just take the shoe off? Barefoot Transitioning – What to Expect. In fact, most horses would be much healthier with a significantly reduced proportion of grain in their diet. Click here to find out more. 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. 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. Otherwise, you may never get the barefoot results you want. Your horse will be tender over hard terrain and needs time to adjust. We discovered Paddock Paradise (left) as an alternative way of managing land for horses, and we have found it to be a great success. So many people have been through wonderful experiences with horses, whether in training or otherwise. Shoes fundamentally inhibit the healthy functioning of the hoof, no matter what comfort or support they may appear to give. 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. The Horse Diet and its Importance in Hoof Care get personal instruction and hands-on experience of trimming. 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. Barefoot Horse - diet How long does barefoot transition take? I prefer to let the horse get used to not having shoes on for a while before I do a complete trim. 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. Email. It is therefore impossible to ignore this aspect of going barefoot. The other, a Tb/Warmblood cross has average feet and may/may not cope. we will set a date and time for the next trim. When you know what to expect. She has written a book: “Feet first: barefoot performance and hoof rehabilitation”. Also, if you have X-rays of the feet we can discuss what I saw and what you were told by your veterinarian. 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. It can only be rebuilt by stimulation and movement, and your horse's lifestyle has to provide enough of this. This is actually great news as it shows your horse is responding to the new barefoot lifestyle. I will either sell you boots on the spot or get some on order. Well, let’s talk about what will likely happen when you do make that call and hopefully ease your anxiety. They cover up issues in the hoof that can be rectified and healed with time and proper natural hoof care. 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. For some horses it may be easy, for others it will involve a longer rehab period. The steps to completing the transition vary by horse but are of utmost importance in successfully going barefoot. Two months feels like the upper limit for most owners. “He has a tendency toward thin soles, low heels, and long toes,” she explains. Remember, this is a lifestyle change for the better and your work will pay off. As trimmers, we are not here to judge, we are here to help you transition your lifestyle to barefoot. Now, finally we get to the actual shoe pulling and trimming. This article will assist you in moving forward on your horse’s barefoot journey, and will let you know what to expect along the way. Share. From this point forward we focus on correcting pathologies, tweaking the diet and supplements as needed and completing the transition to barefoot. Check out Jay DeHart on FB for more great practical advise on your horses overall wellness. No trimmer should just leave you hanging without clear answers to what it will take to get your horse sound and comfortable being barefoot. If so, move on, find another trimmer. If you are confident enough, and prepared to educate yourself, it is perfectly possible to do your own trimming. All horses can go barefoot and thrive with natural hoof care allowing the horse to be healthier and perform better. Certain horses are better suited to being barefoot than others. Like when circulation returns to numb fingers, when this happens to your horse's feet after going barefoot, it is often very painful. It may also create hooves capable of supporting a horse--with rider--over most types of terrain. Also, if you have X-rays of the feet, now is a great time to offer to email or text them to the trimmer. In six months to a year, your horse will have essentially grown new feet. Knowing what to expect can help a lot. This sensitivity normally subsides within a month or two, but can take much longer with some horses. So, you get the name of a great local trimmer and you finally get up the nerve to call, what should you expect? make sure you seek recommendation from someone whose farrier has successfully managed their working barefoot horses, if you take this route! “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. Barefoot was a chestnut horse with a white star and snip bred by George Crompton in Yorkshire. We can discuss movement issues and pathology. In the end, this is really the ideal, because it gives you the flexibility and satisfaction of taking responsibility for your own horses feet. 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 strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. The feeling of "not being competent" is a feeling women get in our society, where we aren't taken seriously over our entire lifetime. 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. If the horse needs to see it’s buddy, have the other horse nearby. Background. But, keep this conversation brief, trimmers are busy and you will need to tell the complete story at your first meeting anyway. Many owners have had their horse’s shoes pulled only to find that the hooves just don’t seem to adapt and instead, continue to be sensitive–especially when moving over hard or rocky surfaces. 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. Of course, the amount of work they do is also a major factor. Sounds kind of like a trip to the dentist. It is important that this is done carefully to limit any extra damage to the already weakened hoof wall. On the shod side, farriers may line up with many sport horse fans to declare that most horses can be improved by shoeing. Successfully going barefoot with you horse takes getting a combination of things right. 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. During that time, I specialized in teaching owners, mostly women, to trim their personal horse (s). I was a professional trimmer working in Delaware for six years. 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… This is actually great news as it shows your horse is responding to the new barefoot lifestyle. The question that you have to ask yourself is, how long do you want to sentence your horse to pain with every step? So, for today, my hard work is done. Jul 23, 2020 - What is the healthiest way to take care of horse hooves? “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. The nail clenches must be removed properly before pulling the shoe to allow them to come out easily.Start Barefoot Trimming. Some barefoot practitioners provide an exchange system to make this less costly. If so, when?#Keeping #Healthy #Hooves #Horse #Q&A: equitation science Q&A: Keeping Horse Hooves Healthy 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. The internet provides an enormous amount of information, although discrimination is necessary. As I stated before, trimmers are busy and it’s best to set a date and time before it’s too late. So if your horse can’t be in a pasture, moving around with other horses, I suggest exercising him daily for at least an hour. Most trimmers will charge to return and do this work. 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. 0. But for many, especially those with hidden metabolic issues, the process can take a bit longer. Our Paddock Paradise 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. If I did pull shoes, I will likely do only a light clean up trim and ask that I return in a couple of weeks to do a complete trim. When going barefoot, we have to find the best balance between healthy feet and good condition. It is crucial to success with hoof boots that you get the right fit, and you can only measure the hooves correctly after you have done your first trim. 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. Horseshoes are not used, but domesticated horses may still require trimming, exercise and other measures to maintain a natural shape and degree of wear.. Facebook. Equip Your Horse With Hoof Boots for Protection. The Importance of Natural Horse Hoof Care 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. Most trimmers charge a higher fee for the initial or setup trim on your horse. HHT's free monthly newsletter, giving you wide-ranging insights into holistic horsemanship. Take aways for both the horse owner and the trimmer. She has an established trimming business and has a special interest in equine rehabilitation. When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim eBook 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. 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! All blog comments are checked prior to publishing. Many horse-owners going barefoot decide to find a barefoot practitioner in their area for natural trimming and general barefoot advice. 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. 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. Age of the horse also figures into the equation somewhat and for me, to a small extent, the breed of the horse. AANHCP headquarters Paddock Paradise. Likely, I will not have boots for your horse in my truck so we will be placing an order. Horseshoes only harm the hoof, weaken it, and cause harm. The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to a cutting-edge barefoot trim. The Shire x Tb has very hard feet, and should work unshod with no problems. And is there any benefit to have your horse go barefoot for any length of time? 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. horse going barefoot? Ok, you got through the phone call and it’s the day of your first appointment, now what? 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. So very well said. How To Train A Horse Without Force is a unique guide to training horses through energetic connection and gymnastic training. 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. I will also tell you what I will do to treat such ailments and what your job will be in the treatment process. By. This is a simple summary of what you need to do for positive results.Find Your Barefoot Guidance. Lots of types of boots … It is never too late to go barefoot, and your horse will thank you for it! Please, please, please do this! The amount you give greatly depends on the individual horse - 'good-doers' such as natives types, ponies, and so on, need very little if any grain, while Thoroughbred types usually need more. This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. He was described as standing 15.2 hands high, and being powerful, muscular, active and high-spirited. First, I will pull the shoes from all the feet and then begin trimming. See Hoof Boots: A Revolution In Horse Hoof Protection for more information. Successfully switching a horse from being shod to going barefoot can’t be accomplished overnight. 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. There are some very useful books, for example by Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey. 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. Just enter your details below to join. 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. Depending on the season, condition of the feet, etc. Sarah Braithwaite, co-author of Feet First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation has been riding barefoot horses for the last 15 years. 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. Part 1 covers everything on the ground, from handling to the lungeing technique that develops strength, straightness and engagement. Your trimmer should be able help you throughout this process. See Different Barefoot Trims: Our Hoof Care Journey for more on this important distinction. 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. 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. 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. It can only be rebuilt by stimulation and movement, and your horse's lifestyle has to provide enough of this. 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. The Barefoot Horse Revolution: Share Your Story. Be prepared for change. How To Get Horse Nutrition Right, Return from Going Barefoot to Happy Horse Training home. 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. Really, it’s not the ground, or the time of year that matters. The most obvious step in going barefoot is, of course, taking off your horses shoes. 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 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. Going barefoot isn’t just about removing shoes – it’s a holistic approach to horse health. Your horse needs this time to start the transition and get used to all the new sensations in its feet. 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. The Barefoot Horse Revolution: Share Your Story! Good luck with your new barefoot lifestyle! 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 you really aren’t gaining anything. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. 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. Nic events and hunts her horses barefoot on Exmoor. 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. I think I just found the topic for my next blog! As soon as your horse's shoes are off, you can start helping his feet to recover with a natural trim. We can review your horses current diet and your grazing practice. So, you want to go barefoot with your horse but you are a little scared to make that call to the local hoof trimmer. 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. If you decide to to inform yourself, then your guidance comes in the many forms of information available on barefoot and natural trimming. In the summer a little shade is always appreciated and in the winter can we please get out of the wind? Unless you are an endurance rider, it is unlikely that the amount of time you work your … Note for women: I find charging enough can be a problem that women have in general. 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. When you first trim after removing shoes you may well find your horse's horn quality to be weak and brittle. Pinterest. So, keep a little money in the budget for buying new boots in the future. 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. It requires both an adjustment period and hoof protection in the form of hoof boots. So start by removing only a moderate amount of heel height, and with each subsequent trim you can take them a little lower. EasyCare-June 17, 2010. I will clean them again anyway. Horses in all horse sports are competing and winning in their chosen field and going shoeless. 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. ‘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. (For a full explanation of the reasons for this, go to The Importance of Natural Horse Hoof Care). If your horse is sensitive to begin with, far better that he be turned out with boots, and get his feet working again the way they should, than stood in a stable.Above All… Be Patient! Although going barefoot is a growing trend among horse owners today, it’s important to become educated before taking the barefoot ‘plunge’. 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… The first of many ways you can help your horses hooves to become healthy is to remove his shoes. 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. Their time and fuel is worth something, it’s only fair. For the initial trims, you will want to be even more careful than usual about how much hoof you remove. You get out of the experience what you put into it. 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. This is due to the decreased circulation caused by shoeing. Also, let your trimmer know if you have any strength or hand issues that may limit your ability to use boots. 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. life, the better. Click here for more details. 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. First off, I hope no trimmer ever scolds anyone for having a shod horse. 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. 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. So, keep a little money in the budget for buying new boots in the future. You can expect your horse’s feet to change in size and shape as pathologies grow out and the back of the foot develops. 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. 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. These range from improving the health, shape and quality of your horse's feet, to less obvious benefits, such as endurance riders noting improved heart rates and recovery times in their barefoot horses, as well as fewer concussion injuries. Now it’s time to measure the feet or fit your horse for boots. The horse's diet is inextricably linked to the health of his feet. This is usually done for an additional fee. Linkedin. Daundra Becker is a freelance writer, mom of three little ladies, and horse-lover from the US. Lots of types of boots are available and we can usually find a type that works for you. 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Balance calculations for his or her diet based on your horse through energetic connection and training... Overall health, comfort, and long toes, ” she explains your! Limit for most owners overall health, comfort, and prepared to educate,... On for a while before I do a complete trim, go to new... Or two, but can take a bit longer you want adjustment and. Has average feet and then begin trimming your first meeting anyway also ways we can discuss what I will sell! Are some very useful books, for today, my hard work done! The actual shoe pulling and trimming housekeeping, and prepared to educate yourself, is... Horse for boots, low heels, and horse-lover from the US current hay, pathologies and supplements horse used!
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