The Barefoot Horse
Business Tips for Hoofcare Practitioners
I have been trimming my own horse since 2002 and doing other horses since 2004. Becoming a professional trimmer was a development I had never considered in 2002. I have a background with horses but knew nothing about hooves when I started this journey. Helping horses is my retirement passion and my family’s secondary income. Along the way I realized that although I enjoy trimming, my limit is about 5 horses per day before parts of my right arm start to break. It wasn’t surprising to me (coming from a sales background) that what I also loved was teaching. Teaching owners to trim, writing articles for newbies, maintaining a web site and writing pieces like this is very rewarding. Some of what I have to offer may apply to your practice and aspirations, some not. You be the judge..(read more)
Barefoot and The Gaited Horse
There has been a question in the minds of some humans that taking the gaited horse barefoot takes too much time, ruins the gait, and the results are, at best, mediocre. “Boots are too hard to put on and it takes time away from the ride!” “One cannot ride the horse in the rocks barefoot!” Well, let’s see if we can separate fact from fiction...(read more)
The Dao of Hoof Care—thoughts on the shoes vs. barefoot debate
This article is inspired by a barefoot dressage horse I saw recently. I’m all for horses going barefoot, if they can comfortably live and work without shoes. I’m not adamantly opposed to shoeing horses, though, as are some of the more extreme barefoot advocates. Rather, I prefer to take the middle road—the Dao (or Tao)—when it comes to hoof care... (read more)
Granite Chief +/ Update: 7000+ Miles and Still Going!
Chief has now been barefoot through three endurance ride seasons. He has managed to complete thousands of miles of rides in that time, recently passing the 7,000 career mileage mark. In the 2007 ride season he completed 1,370 miles which will place him in the Top Ten Nationally with AERC... (read more)
The Wild Horse, A Model for Trimming?
The wild horse model is often considered synonymous with natural hoof care and barefoot trimming—but is this always the case? We explore some comments and various points of view from some of the leaders in barefoot trimming today... (read more)
Eventing: The Barefoot, Booted & Bitless Way
As we are preparing to enter our 2nd season of barefoot and booted eventing, I have reflected back on what it took to get us to this point, and wanted to share our journey. Many people are interested in having barefoot horses that can still be expected to perform at high levels. This interest is often squelched by the fear of having a lame horse... (read more)
Freedom For The Feet: Stepping out of steel shoes in style
A renewed burst of energy was mine four years in to my veterinary career after being called to help a champion quarter horse mare, losing her hooves from founder. She was as painful a horse as I had ever seen, and had undergone over a year of corrective shoeing by a master farrier and daily treatments with many drugs by experienced veterinarians. The owners informed me of their decision to remove her shoes to see if she would do better and asked if I would “help them take them off"... (read more)
The Barefoot Endurance Horse - Part 2
In the previous article in Volume1, we explored the reasons why you would choose to train and compete your endurance horse without traditional metal shoes nailed to its feet. Briefly, these reasons revolve around the fact that such shoes stop the hoof mechanism functioning, because the whole foot cannot expand and contract as it was designed to do. As a result, many of the common lamenesses are in fact caused, or contributed to significantly, by shoeing... (read more)
An Interview With Tomas Teskey D.V.M.
Recently, more people are venturing in to natural hoof care purposefully, as an active choice, rather than a choice of desperation, trying to save their lame horse as a “last ditch” effort. The popularity of natural hoof care is growing exponentially because it is exciting and truthful—there is no way to dismiss how much more healthy the horses are because of it. It speaks loud and clear for itself.... (read more)
The Bare Facts
Nearly 2,000 years ago, a cruelly simple war device — the caltrop, or horse crippler — stopped drivers and riders in their tracks and forced them to address protecting one of their most critical assets: their horses’ hooves.... (read more)
The Barefoot Endurance Horse - Part 1
Not so long ago, this topic would not even have been thought about; now we are seriously considering it. Crazy? Shoeless and clueless? Some think so, but then maybe they don’t know that in the US long-time competitive endurance riders have switched to the barefoot approach and are still winning 160km and multi-day 80km a day rides on barefoot horses... (read more)
The Magic of the Mustang Roll
Over the years, probably no other single trimming technique has become more synonymous with barefoot trimming than the "mustang roll." After all, only with a barefoot horse are we even concerned about finishing the edge of the hoof wall... (read more)
Dr. Neel Glass - Is Shoeing a Necessary Evil?
Horses have been shod by nailing on iron shoes for over a thousand years. However, shoeing can cause a variety of hoof problems, and the cliche Shoeing is a necessary evil? is nearly as old as horseshoeing itself... (read more)
Granite Chief wins the Mileage Award in Hoof Boots - 2000+ Miles and Still Going!
Reprinted with permission from The Horse's Hoof. Click here for subscription information.
Chief and I completed the “Rides of March 50” on March 18, 2006 in Reno, Nevada. This was the same ride that Chief completed the year before—right after having his shoes pulled. In the last year, he has completed more than two thousand miles using Easyboot Epics or Bares over his unshod feet. He is the first horse to win the AERC Mileage Championship without using nailed-on shoes, as well as the first horse to do more than two thousand miles in a single year that way… (read more)
Can Your Horse Go Barefoot?
If, like most horse owners, you believe that keeping your horse shod is the best way to protect his feet, you might be surprised to hear that he could safely go without his metal shoes--and that he could have stronger, healthier feet as a result… (read more)
Dr. Tomas Teskey DVM - "Look at those Hooves!" Trim Manual
Whether you enjoy horses as they roam around the yard, depend on them for getting your work done, or engage in competitive sports, keeping up with the latest in health advancements will help you enjoy them for more productive years… (read more)