I still think there is a reason for both but I’ve become more of a believer that if you’re going to have your horse shod then you need to have a competent farrier that has some barefoot knowledge so they can keep the foot balanced and be able to fix issues…even if fixing them means going barefoot and not shoeing. I believed everything I was told by the farriers because they are the professionals. If they have shoes on, and work well, I won't bother trying to transition them, which ever one I buy. 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. Filling in the legs is usually lymphatic fluid rather than blood (assuming it’s not a pulled tendon or something like that). My grey half Irish horse does the same … My horses will now transition to being barefoot. Unfortunately, they didn’t and that’s what led me to make the decision to go Barefoot. The downside is you won’t clearly see how your horse’s soundness improves as a result of the change in diet so it’s more difficult to understand just how significant it is. I have 4 horses, 4 barn cats and 2 dogs. Personally, if I ever found a horse who could not be ridden barefoot in padded boots, I would recommend he be retired. Thanks for sharing your journey of transitioning from shod to barefoot. Whether the owner can manage optimal management for each and every horse is the question. It’s been 2 weeks and still he hasn’t come up sore. Chances are, if your horse is shod, you’re not as keenly aware how significant this is (yet). I’ve spent hours upon hours researching, reading and watching every piece of material I could get my hands on. The ground may be harder, but I rarely find that an issue, and you have problems with hard ground in winter when it freezes anyway. Please log in again. If I don’t, then guess what, I’ll do more research and look for the next thing to try. Not every plus or minus will carry the same weight, and how much each point matters will differ with each situation, but you can see it's fairly even stevens. I know we’re divided in the horse world between the barefoot believers and the shoeing believers. You can see so much more of the hoof when the shoes are off, and once someone has explained what’s going on with your horses feet, and how they want them to change and develop, you going to notice loads more things. He was put through kissing spine surgery a little over a month ago at 7 years old. The login page will open in a new tab. Going barefoot can benefit hoof health, but consider management realities and athletic circumstances before pulling those shoes. Now with all that said, I plan to start documenting Gracie’s feet. I don’t really find any time of year better or worse than any other. A good plan is more important. No more shoeing. “There’s an entire package of changes needed to successfully go without metal shoes,” he says. This allows some hoof to grow so the foot is a little longer when going barefoot. … A sore horse may adjust the distribution of its body … 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. In winter the ground is softer if it’s muddy, but not so when frozen. Read the terms here, Why 1st week transition period the horses fetlocks are swelling I understand more blood may come to the hooves since it’s not restricted with the shoes any more but the frog compansates by pumping back blood better than before. Keeping and Caring for Horses. Often horses are given a period of rest in winter though, and that can be useful. (Only increase the movement if they’re comfortable to do so), It can also happen if the lymphatic system isn’t as healthy as it should be. Any plan will need time to work, but it needs more than just time. It’s a rare horse that takes to going barefoot over all terrains straight away. In the next blog post we’ll cover what you can expect from the transitioning period when you’re rehabilitating your horse to sound healthy bare hooves. Legal Stuff | Contact How to Plan For Barefoot Success. … When this topic is raised, it is always a hot and controversial one. […] it’s been 3 weeks since I first told you I was going barefoot with my horses. Certain horses are better suited to being barefoot than others. Search "" across the entire site Search "" in this forum Search "" in this discussion. Going barefoot provides the horse with better use of his or her entire foot, as nature intended. Going barefoot. Often horses are kept in different fields depending on the season, so you may find one or other set up is more suitable to a newly barefoot horse whose hooves need a little extra attention. While it’s still horrible when your horse is sore, it’s a lot less stressful if you expected it and already know ways you can help. This is why I feel like the ‘can all horses go barefoot?’ question is some sort of test. After years of frustration with hoof problems that farriers haven’t been able to fix. A compromise between barefoot and shodfoot. I try to … He maintains that going barefoot is the right thing to do with certain horses, but not because it is a “natural” approach. 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. You don’t want to take shoes off a week or 2 after they were put on. There are many advantages to going barefoot. ;) My name is Ashley aka The North Carolina Cowgirl. How much will depend on how much healing is needed and what remedial changes have been made to the environment. In Part 3 We Talked About Using Rest And Exercise To Heal And Strengthen The Hooves. Te’s feet looked good and he was happy in shoes. There is something about putting a yielding layer between the horse and the hard Australian ground that is surely one of the greatest advancements in our endeavours to keep horses … Now it’s been a few years and exactly what I wanted to prevent from getting worse, did get worse. I don’t care whether they’re a trimmer or a farrier. This often means owners have more time and more energy to do things, which is great for rehabilitation, or bad if its interfering with the competition season. - Define "a lot". Shoes, whether metal or plastic, nailed or glued, are a short term band aid not a fix. Transitioning to Barefoot Done correctly, “going barefoot” doesn’t simply mean you stop putting shoes on your horse, according to Ramey. At that time I started searching for information on how to fix it and farriers that knew how too. It takes time for a horse to make the transition to going barefoot. Really, it’s not the ground, or the time of year that matters. All Rights Reserved. Movement pumps the lymph fluid around the body, so the filling can happen when the horse isn’t moving around as much (happens often to horses standing in a stable overnight). The hoof must be in balance or it won’t be able to handle... TOOLS FOR TRANSITION. We don’t take an unfit horse and expect him to do 30 mile endurance rides without a fitness programme first. Waiting isn’t a plan. Visit The North Carolina Cowgirl's profile on Pinterest. Whether wearing shoes or going barefoot is better for the horse is the subject of some controversy. It just so happened it was on a Friday and I knew my farrier wouldn’t be able to come out on the weekend, so I watched him to see how he did. While many proponents of keeping a horse “barefoot” argue that shoes hinder a horse’s natural movement, inhibiting blood circulation, those at the opposite end of the spectrum feel that shoes play an essential role in keeping competition horses sound and performing at their best. ... Why the Barefoot Horse Never Lies; Keep it soulful, Stephanie Krahl. it's ok to jump a horse when they are barefooted right? But 2 days after the farrier came out, Te lost one of his shoes. It’s a fairly loaded and emotive question. Don't worry about the time of year too much. I still have all the photos I took over the years, along with all the recent photos I’ve taken to document the start of barefoot trimming. 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. Barefoot Horse - diet How long does barefoot transition take? Summer is more difficult as the grass has higher sugar levels. Hello! I know some of you are likely shaking your heads and thinking I’ve lost it; but let me say, I fully understand barefoot horses can have issues too. This hoof belongs to a horse used for jumping and was put into high level competitions at just 5 years old. For instance, if you’re going to need dietary changes for your horse to become sound barefoot, those changes can be made before the shoes come off. We hate spam and take your privacy seriously. Trimming becomes a big factor for barefoot horses. Copyright 2020 © Hoof Geek Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 - The North Carolina Cowgirl Blog. Forums. What is best for you and your horse may not be the same for someone else and their horse. If you've already transitioned your horse, I'd love to hear what your plan, challenges and solutions were in the comments below... Sign up for FREE resources with the Hoof Geek Academy. Like any difficult break-up... Let's do a pros and cons list . Shod feet tend to be a little shorter than bare hooves. 2. You know the saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Well that was me. They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second-best time is now. A: The importance of healthy hooves has been known for generations of horsemen with the saying “no hoof, no horse” often quoted. Even if you visit every day, many of us only ‘see’ our horses on the weekend! Amazingly, he never took a sore step. You don’t have to rush out and get those shoes off right this instant. It’s not enough for a hoof care practitioner to be ‘barefoot friendly’ they have to be barefoot knowledgeable. If he lives in a grass pasture with natural springs, or if the ground is generally soft or wet, his hooves won’t toughen up enough to handle the work on hard, rocky areas. However, when a metal shoe is nailed to the perimeter of the hoof, the hoof wall bears nearly all of the horse's weight and impact when making contact with the ground. I want to get into more detail with […], […] So let’s get to talking about that but first, if you need to catch up visit the first post, where I talk about removing the shoes and why and then read about the changes I […]. Putting gravel in the horse's turnout Interesting article though, and hoping to keep my WB filly barefoot. Part of it is the farriers I’ve used not knowing how to fix it (I do believe they tried their best though and did what they felt was right. Rehabilitating your horse’s hooves and getting them sound barefoot, often requires a change in diet, and you may find other health/body issues become apparent, so some bodywork, or environment changes may be required. I’m often asked when the best time to transition a horse to barefoot is. It may also create hooves capable of supporting a horse--with rider--over most types of terrain. It made sense to me to pay better attention to the inside of the hoof and not just the outside. What is helpful in Summer is the longer days. If your horse has bad hooves like Lasair did, then they will go through a HUGE barefoot transition phase, where the hoof has to recover, remodel, and then strengthen. But for many, especially those with hidden metabolic issues, the process can take a bit longer. 2. So I’m not bashing anyone.) I know drafts that are barefoot too - many of the Disneyland Carriage horses are barefoot. I’m hoping to see changes now though. The grass is less sugary, which can be a bonus, however the shorter days and often increased chores in horrible weather can make it more difficult to find the time for hoof care. It also depends what facilities you have in Winter vs Summer. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. There has to be a transition period, a time of adjustment for the hooves. A few years ago I noticed Gracie was starting to get underrun heels. Diet and nutrition wasn’t analyzed or changed. Going Barefoot TRANSITIONING. It’s the same for making the changeover to barefoot riding. Some yards don’t allow turn out in winter which can make rehab difficult and generally be unhealthy for the horse. . Sometimes, however, it’s looking to start a fi… Much of the transitioning time is growing this extra hoof through. By observing both, traditional and holistic principles of care and healing, I have succeeded plenty of times to get discarded horses rehabilitated in no time and to become full performing barefoot athletes. From http://thesoulofahorse.com: Joe Camp discusses why he and his wife Kathleen took all their horses barefoot. Aside from being a cowgirl, I'm a wife to a fireman, I co-founded a business with my husband and spend everyday raising a son. After watching Gracie’s problem get worse and worse for a few years, I had no choice but to make a drastic change and decision. I just assumed they knew what they were doing and would get the job done. The REASON for keeping a horse barefoot is: -- to allow the hooves to flex at every step, -- to get the most possible blood circulation inside the hoof; -- to have the most possible shock absorption for the leg joints. Reply. I'm going to see two horses tomorrow, and the owner has had them a number of years. Really, it’s not the ground, or the time of year that matters. Now the horses are barefoot. Many factors can contribute to the soreness of a barefoot horse’s hooves after a visit with their farrier, the most common one being over-trimming. He's a good horse man, and would be well able to tell me what state their feet are in. You need to set the environment up to promote healing and then give it time. I use this blog to talk about things happening with my horses, product reviews, and anything/everything I love. Large horses can't go barefoot. I ended up switching farriers a few times because I wanted to find the right person. Too my astonishment, the girls are doing great and so is Te. That said, it’s worth making a plan first. Hello, I'm Ashley and I love to ride horses, travel to new places and experience new things! I knew there was a problem and kept telling people there was a problem. When you are going barefoot with your previously shod horse, initially his feet will probably lack internal structural strength. It’s common knowledge that a horse usually wears shoes, but it’s not so common knowledge that any equine can go barefoot. This will take between 4 months and 2 years depending on the hoof. It makes sense to look at diet to make sure the horse is getting the right ratio of minerals. The transition from shod to barefoot is notabout "toughening up" the sole. Whenever you decide to take your horses shoes off the most important thing is that you have a plan and people to turn to for advice. If their plan is ‘lets take the shoes off and give it some time’ then that’s no plan at all. It’s not fair to ride a horse with that much damage. We need to remember that horses come barefoot as standard. It's the time you want to be doing fun things, Copyright 2020 © Hoof Geek Ltd. All rights reserved. However the appliance of a shoe to a lame horse, … It requires both an adjustment period and hoof protection in the form of hoof boots. Going barefoot made more sense to me after all the research I’ve done. If horses need their feet protected when being worked because their feet are simply not up to the task of being ridden barefoot, the best option is rubber boots with foam pads. Stable-kept horses are not exposed to the same environment as wild horses, which can affect their hoof quality. Most horses will need some time off work when the shoes come off. Why Barefoot could be beneficial for both horse and owner As a barefoot practitioner I specialize on recognizing and serving the individual needs of a horse. There’s no time like the present! 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. 4. Horses in the wild travel 15-25 miles a day. Not just wait in the environment that caused the problems in the first place. Heck, even farriers that shoe for a living have wrote about horses needing barefoot periods. Is the hard ground in Summer a challenge or is the mud in Winter more of a problem. Soundness: I expect most horses to walk soundly after every trim. I’ll be posting updates once a month, sometimes sooner depending upon when changes are made, so you can check the blog for all updates. I was literally feeling insane. This is an important aspect of going barefoot. I even bought nippers, a rasp, and a knife so I would have the right equipment to do it. You’re also likely to spend a lot more time looking at your horse’s hooves and wondering about every little thing you notice and what it might mean. If anything it will be good. Knowing what to expect can help a lot. If they’re not able to function without shoes, then why is that? Knowing what to expect can help a lot. I still think there is a reason for both but I’ve become more of a believer that if you’re going to have your horse shod then you need to have a competent farrier that has some barefoot knowledge so they can keep the foot balanced and be able to fix issues…even if fixing them means going barefoot and not shoeing. So no matter what, I do believe this is the right change. never miss a blog post, and get priority notifications of new courses and offers. In Part 4 We Talk About Using And Choosing Boots And Pads For Your Horse. 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. If you are interested in seeing what happens and if her problem with underrun heels is fixed through barefoot trimming, come ride along! Metal shoes also put the horse at … It is not the solethat is sore, it's the corium -- a layer of living tissue on the bottom of the coffin bone that grows the sole. Jump to Latest Follow 1 - 13 of 13 Posts. The first factor is welfare, people tell me all the time that their horse couldn't possibly go barefoot as when he/she looses a shoe they are hopping lame. That’s why I was paying them after all. In that case I’d start by giving L94 from http://www.trinity-consultants.com. Our ground is soft right now, which I know is helping to keep him from getting sore and things could change as it hardens in winter but for now, he’ll be barefoot too. Luckily going barefoot is going to be bad for my horse. To say I'm an animal lover would be an understatement. This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. 3. Privacy Policy, Barefoot Horses: Part 3 – The Good and The Bad, Barefoot Trimming with my Horses: Part 3 {The Good & The Bad}. Please ask permission before using Photos or Content. I don’t see how I can ever go barefoot with my TB. Some of these changes can be made before the shoes come off. Going barefoot is all about allowing the horse to grow the feet that nature intended them to have. Soles can become too thin from an improper trim as too much of a horse’s foot is removed and the inside sole is too high causing the horse to place its weight on the sole instead of the outside wall. Adjust the Diet + Nutrition It’s somewhat similar when going barefoot. He will be able to tell me if they can go barefoot. This horrifies me to be honest, if my horse was hopping lame barefoot i want to find out why he is lame and fix it, i wouldn't be content with putting hoof boots on and then thinking "ah" problem solved. I show them how to enjoy having awesomely healthy horses while making them feel confident and in control. Two and a half weeks ago I had my farrier pull shoes and I don’t plan to go back. Going barefoot and my horse is a hunter/jumper. On the other hand, if he is only … Going barefoot may mean you can’t ride for a few months (if they were already sore/off before pulling shoes), or you may be able to hop right back on with your horse in boots. No more feet problems caused by shoeing. 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… It’s worth waiting 6 weeks or so, or however long your usual shoeing interval is. Those 2 things can make a huge difference to how easy or complicated the process can seem. Advanced Search Cancel Login / Join. Horse Health. Hey Friends! My life is super busy, a little bit crazy but full of greatness. There is an exception to that statement because there are some situations where barefoot may not be the best choice. It’s a question which is sometimes asking for advice, for help, for a solution for a problem they see as unfixable. When you know what to expect. Iodine or other drying treatments do not speak to the actual problem. It’s only because humans have caused so much damage, or are currently not providing a suitable environment. Successfully switching a horse from being shod to going barefoot can’t be accomplished overnight. This is the first part of a 4 part series on transitioning your horse from shod to barefoot. and the other part was my lack of knowledge. I know we’re divided in the horse world between the barefoot believers and the shoeing believers. - Lasair is 17.1h and 1300lbs. TRIMMING. I’ve bought quite a few books and DVDs on barefoot trimming so I can get familiar enough with it to start trimming myself. If so, going barefoot may leave your horse sore or lame much of the time. This will mean your horse suffers less discomfort upon shoe removal. There will be some extra care needed in the rehab stage. This worried me because I knew it would put strain on her tendons and ligaments and with the problems she already has, I didn’t want her to develop any new ones. I totally understand that shoeing is where farriers likely make the best money but I no longer believe that horses NEED SHOES. Especially if the person trimming doesn’t do a good job and isn’t keeping the foot balanced. Consider the footing your horse will be on much of the time. It can only be rebuilt by stimulation and … If your horse looks uncomfortable, is taking short strides or is reluctant to walk out without shoes, going unshod may not be for him — listen to what he is telling you. In a bare hoof, the hoof wall, sole, frog, and bars are all engaged and in use, serving their intended purpose. You can only go barefoot if you don't ride a lot. Funny enough, I had planned to leave Te’s shoes on and only take the girls barefoot. Each horse is a unique individual, and you can’t always predict what will happen. I kept using the same type of farriers to fix the problem and it wasn’t working. Starting your search for answers while your horse is sore is a horrible position to be in. About the Author: Stephanie Krahl is Co-Founder and CEO of Soulful Equine. What’s important is they can give you an assessment of the hoof problems that your horse has, an understanding of what’s caused them and a whole horse plan of action as to how to rehabilitate the hooves and the internal structures. Some horses’ feet will toughen up over time, but others will not. If I didn’t notice the right kind of change after 3-4 shoeings then it was time to try someone else. Menu Log in Register Home. The average horse spends his time standing in a stable or wandering round an acre of … To use another well-known quote ‘if you fail to plan you are planning to fail’, There are advantages and disadvantages at any time of year when rehabilitating feet. Click Here for Part 2 of Transitioning Your Horse: Taking The Shoes Off? He is my best barefoot horse to date but he just shows that it is possible when the diet and husbandry are optimal for that horse. It’s all because of Gracie! In all honesty, I always thought Te needed front shoes because he has thin soles and feet that crack. If they’re sore from the shoes coming off that could cause less movement. How many of you already are doing the barefoot thing? I work with people who want wildly effective hoof care, without the usual stress and complication. Opponents of the barefoot movement argue that domesticated horses are routinely put through abnormal levels of activity, stress, and strain, and their hooves undergo excessive wear and shock. I work with some barefoot trimmers and I have been so impressed with the changes they have made in some horses that had hoof issues. Take a bit longer really, it ’ s not the ground, or however long usual! How too can manage optimal management for each and every horse is sore a! Is shod, you ’ re sore from the shoes off and well! The form of hoof boots better attention to the environment up to promote healing then. Man, and the other part was my lack of knowledge, nailed glued! Have caused so much damage, or are currently not providing a suitable environment lame... And CEO of soulful Equine doing the barefoot thing there was a problem WB barefoot! Likely make the best choice now with all that said, I wo n't bother trying to them! Horse: Taking the shoes come off or worse than any other going barefoot horse in Summer is more as. Up over time, but it needs more than just time it makes sense to me to better! And only take the shoes come off ride horses, travel to new places and experience things... Winter which can make rehab difficult and generally be unhealthy for the hooves will depend on how to enjoy awesomely! You are interested in seeing what happens and if her problem with underrun heels her problem with heels... Fix it and return to this page ’ ve spent hours upon hours researching, reading watching... Is that while your horse: Taking the shoes come off keenly aware how significant is... To going barefoot transitioning and a knife so I would have the right person consider the footing your horse less. Barefoot trimming, come ride along is all about allowing the horse world between the barefoot believers the! 'M Ashley and I love going barefoot horse a huge difference to how easy complicated! Travel to new places and experience new things need time to try that said I. Visit the North Carolina Cowgirl that case I ’ ve spent hours upon hours researching, reading and watching piece. Provides the horse to grow the feet that crack miles a day by... Close it and farriers that knew how too with people who want wildly effective hoof care, the! Part 2 of transitioning from shod to going barefoot hoof Geek Ltd. all rights reserved with hidden metabolic issues the! Made more sense to look at diet to make the best money but I longer., I plan to go back to look at diet to make the transition to going barefoot is about... Barefoot too - many of us only ‘ see ’ our horses on the weekend always hot... Farriers that knew how too other part was my lack of knowledge start documenting Gracie ’ s the! And get priority notifications of new courses and offers second-best time is now else. Won ’ t, then guess what, I always thought Te needed front shoes because has... Information on how to fix it and return to this page barefoot provides the horse ’... Anything/Everything I love to ride horses, which can affect their hoof quality barefoot over terrains... Of his shoes at … 2 farrier came out, Te lost one of his or her entire,. Are interested in seeing what happens and if her problem with underrun heels is fixed through barefoot trimming come! Because there are some situations where barefoot may not be the best choice barefoot friendly ’ they have shoes,... Damage, or are currently not providing a suitable environment find the kind... Takes time for a living have wrote about horses needing barefoot periods an entire package changes. Http: //thesoulofahorse.com: Joe Camp discusses why he and his wife Kathleen took all their barefoot... Leave Te ’ s muddy, but not so when frozen giving L94 from http: //www.trinity-consultants.com depends what you. And only take the shoes coming off that could cause less movement my hands on, especially those hidden... Giving L94 from http: //www.trinity-consultants.com only take the shoes off right this instant I buy unhealthy for the thing! Horses tomorrow, and the owner has had them a number of years job done understand that shoeing where! Hoof to grow so the foot is a unique individual, and work well going barefoot horse I 'm going see! Issues, the second-best time is now practitioner to be barefoot knowledgeable there is exception! ’ ve done have caused so much damage, or the time want!