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. Going barefoot provides the horse with better use of his or her entire foot, as nature intended. My horses will now transition to being barefoot. 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. Hey Friends! Please log in again. I have 4 horses, 4 barn cats and 2 dogs. - Define "a lot". A good plan is more important. At that time I started searching for information on how to fix it and farriers that knew how too. 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. It made sense to me to pay better attention to the inside of the hoof and not just the outside. Especially if the person trimming doesn’t do a good job and isn’t keeping the foot balanced. I know drafts that are barefoot too - many of the Disneyland Carriage horses are barefoot. 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. Starting your search for answers while your horse is sore is a horrible position to be in. 2. […] it’s been 3 weeks since I first told you I was going barefoot with my horses. 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 […]. I even bought nippers, a rasp, and a knife so I would have the right equipment to do it. It may also create hooves capable of supporting a horse--with rider--over most types of terrain. 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. You need to set the environment up to promote healing and then give it time. I knew there was a problem and kept telling people there was a problem. All Rights Reserved. Funny enough, I had planned to leave Te’s shoes on and only take the girls barefoot. Much of the transitioning time is growing this extra hoof through. - Lasair is 17.1h and 1300lbs. In that case I’d start by giving L94 from http://www.trinity-consultants.com. I totally understand that shoeing is where farriers likely make the best money but I no longer believe that horses NEED SHOES. Some of these changes can be made before the shoes come off. So I’m not bashing anyone.) Successfully switching a horse from being shod to going barefoot can’t be accomplished overnight. Consider the footing your horse will be on much of the time. 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). Going barefoot and my horse is a hunter/jumper. Sometimes, however, it’s looking to start a fi… I'm going to see two horses tomorrow, and the owner has had them a number of years. 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. My life is super busy, a little bit crazy but full of greatness. 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. 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 … Keeping and Caring for Horses. Metal shoes also put the horse at … 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. He maintains that going barefoot is the right thing to do with certain horses, but not because it is a “natural” approach. Whether the owner can manage optimal management for each and every horse is the question. 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. Shod feet tend to be a little shorter than bare hooves. I try to … This is the first part of a 4 part series on transitioning your horse from shod to barefoot. 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. This is an important aspect of going barefoot. The login page will open in a new tab. 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. You can only go barefoot if you don't ride a lot. “There’s an entire package of changes needed to successfully go without metal shoes,” he says. Two and a half weeks ago I had my farrier pull shoes and I don’t plan to go back. Often horses are given a period of rest in winter though, and that can be useful. If I don’t, then guess what, I’ll do more research and look for the next thing to try. It also depends what facilities you have in Winter vs Summer. Soundness: I expect most horses to walk soundly after every trim. It’s been 2 weeks and still he hasn’t come up sore. Transitioning to Barefoot Done correctly, “going barefoot” doesn’t simply mean you stop putting shoes on your horse, according to Ramey. I was literally feeling insane. I don’t see how I can ever go barefoot with my TB. Reply. My name is Ashley aka The North Carolina Cowgirl. To say I'm an animal lover would be an understatement. Is the hard ground in Summer a challenge or is the mud in Winter more of a problem. Forums. When you know what to expect. Diet and nutrition wasn’t analyzed or changed. It makes sense to look at diet to make sure the horse is getting the right ratio of minerals. 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. 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. A few years ago I noticed Gracie was starting to get underrun heels. There is an exception to that statement because there are some situations where barefoot may not be the best choice. There has to be a transition period, a time of adjustment for the hooves. 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. It’s the same for making the changeover to barefoot riding. Iodine or other drying treatments do not speak to the actual problem. Whether wearing shoes or going barefoot is better for the horse is the subject of some controversy. 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’ve spent hours upon hours researching, reading and watching every piece of material I could get my hands on. Click Here for Part 2 of Transitioning Your Horse: Taking The Shoes Off? If they have shoes on, and work well, I won't bother trying to transition them, which ever one I buy. Now it’s been a few years and exactly what I wanted to prevent from getting worse, did get worse. We need to remember that horses come barefoot as standard. Hello, I'm Ashley and I love to ride horses, travel to new places and experience new things! (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. 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. It’s a fairly loaded and emotive question. Like any difficult break-up... Let's do a pros and cons list . If so, going barefoot may leave your horse sore or lame much of the time. If they’re not able to function without shoes, then why is that? 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. It’s a rare horse that takes to going barefoot over all terrains straight away. It’s all because of Gracie! There will be some extra care needed in the rehab stage. Luckily going barefoot is going to be bad for my horse. I just assumed they knew what they were doing and would get the job done. When this topic is raised, it is always a hot and controversial one. 2. never miss a blog post, and get priority notifications of new courses and offers. However the appliance of a shoe to a lame horse, … About the Author: Stephanie Krahl is Co-Founder and CEO of Soulful Equine. Advanced Search Cancel Login / Join. The transition from shod to barefoot is notabout "toughening up" the sole. ;) 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. 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. If you are interested in seeing what happens and if her problem with underrun heels is fixed through barefoot trimming, come ride along! How to Plan For Barefoot Success. Going barefoot is all about allowing the horse to grow the feet that nature intended them to have. 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. 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. 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. It’s somewhat similar when going barefoot. It’s a question which is sometimes asking for advice, for help, for a solution for a problem they see as unfixable. From http://thesoulofahorse.com: Joe Camp discusses why he and his wife Kathleen took all their horses barefoot. 4. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. 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. Certain horses are better suited to being barefoot than others. 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. Large horses can't go barefoot. A compromise between barefoot and shodfoot. Copyright 2020 © Hoof Geek Ltd. All rights reserved. Going barefoot can benefit hoof health, but consider management realities and athletic circumstances before pulling those shoes. 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. 3. 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. Even if you visit every day, many of us only ‘see’ our horses on the weekend! TRIMMING. We hate spam and take your privacy seriously. Going barefoot made more sense to me after all the research I’ve done. Adjust the Diet + Nutrition You don’t want to take shoes off a week or 2 after they were put on. Menu Log in Register Home. I ended up switching farriers a few times because I wanted to find the right person. 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. Really, it’s not the ground, or the time of year that matters. This strength is necessary for soundness, good movement, and healthy hoof function. A sore horse may adjust the distribution of its body … 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. No more feet problems caused by shoeing. The average horse spends his time standing in a stable or wandering round an acre of … The hoof must be in balance or it won’t be able to handle... TOOLS FOR TRANSITION. Stable-kept horses are not exposed to the same environment as wild horses, which can affect their hoof quality. 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. This is why I feel like the ‘can all horses go barefoot?’ question is some sort of test. 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. Interesting article though, and hoping to keep my WB filly barefoot. What is best for you and your horse may not be the same for someone else and their horse. Personally, if I ever found a horse who could not be ridden barefoot in padded boots, I would recommend he be retired. Interested in seeing what happens and if her problem with underrun heels is through! Winter more of a shoe to a lame horse, … diet and nutrition ’. 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