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Barefoot Performance Horses

This is a discussion on Barefoot Performance Horses within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Barefoot performance horses

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    10-22-2013, 06:30 PM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by franknbeans    
I am not and will not be a "fan" of those who call themselves "barefoot" farriers-IMO a good farrier is a good farrier, and as such knows how to trim without some fancy cliche name. I had a REALLY bad experience with one such person-never again. I will stick with my good "regular" farrier. No more "emu oil" (AKA snake oil to me...) for me.
IMO a good 'farrier' is a good farrier, regardless what the lable & it seems that my experience of the vast majority of them being bad farriers around these parts is such a common one. IOW... as you demonstrated with emus, 'snake oil' can come under different lables too! Cheers to your good farrier - look after him, cos he's not a common garden variety beast!
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    10-23-2013, 02:07 AM
  #12
Trained
Hi Luigi,

Yes, as with virtually everything, there are 'cons' that go with being shod conventionally and it's well worth looking into thoroughly & considering alternative management.

BUT it's something that needs to be approached in an educated, prepared manner, as to just 'try it & see' commonly doesn't work and may actually be detrimental to the horse - as said, virtually everything has cons. So understanding what's what & considering all factors, all pros & cons, is how I'd advise going into it. On that note, Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre Home Page is one of many good sites you can begin learning from.
     
    10-23-2013, 02:35 AM
  #13
Foal
This is so interesting! I don't like shod feet, it's unnatural and idk. But I've always assumed our work for horses could never be enough to keep from trimming their hooves.

I will actually show this to my instructor.

*dramatically* I HAVE HOPE
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    10-24-2013, 10:28 PM
  #14
Foal
This is really interesting...I got the farrier out quite a while ago for a barefoot trim, he looked at my horses feet and said "what do you want me to do?"

My horse is on twenty rocky hilly acres and we ride on rocky ground. He has beautiful strong feet. The farrier showed how to file any rough edges myself and said I might as while save my money for vet bills!

So my horse hasn't seen a farrier for about six months and people always comment on his lovely strong feet!
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    10-26-2013, 10:03 AM
  #15
Weanling
You have to have the right kind of footing, and the horse needs to be moving a LOT for self- trimming to work. Most domestic horses do not have that luxury.
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    10-30-2013, 02:40 PM
  #16
Weanling
Agreed....horses which are stalled up or that are ridden maybe once a week on soft ground or arena dirt probably aren't going to benefit from never seeing a rasp again. Horses are definitely designed to move many miles every day to forage for food on a multitude of terrains.

I purchased a book that Nic Barker co-authored. I'm liking it so far. The common theme I've noticed to build hooves on a horse that are strong and capable of moving over very rough surfaces.....is to build the structures in the back of the hoof, including the internal structures. "And of course diet plays a vital role here." The internal structures seem to be most important because the outer material hardens up pretty quickly, but it's the internal structures which need to strengthen up to handle the load. I've actually been experiencing this first hand. I bought some hoof boots a little while before I found this site. I thought the hoof boots would allow one of my horses to take larger strides and land heel first on more concussive ground. Didn't make a difference, and my guess is because it's the internal structures which need to build up and become strong to handle that type of ground.

So far I'm really enjoying seeing the progress my horse is making. I've been riding maybe 4-5 times per week for about two hours or more per ride. So he's seeing lots of movement on all sorts of terrain.
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    10-30-2013, 03:45 PM
  #17
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty Stiller    
You have to have the right kind of footing, and the horse needs to be moving a LOT for self- trimming to work. Most domestic horses do not have that luxury.
I hack my TB twice a week for a couple of hours (maybe more in the summer), but a lot of that is roadwork which is a great medium for self trimming and I find it stimulates the right amount of growth too so as long as I keep to the same work levels, growth keeps up with work. If I were to increase work and hack out more often then I might have to do so slowly so growth would get a chance to speed up to match the new work levels. The other tracks we ride are largely flint and gravel so again quite abrasive so self trimming doesn't take that much of work for us, but if on soft ground I think most horses would not be able to self trim.

So many domestic horses in the UK which regularly hack out on roads probably can achieve movement levels to self trim if allowed to do so.
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    11-15-2013, 01:10 PM
  #18
Weanling
It's been two months since I've put down my trimming tools. And it appears that I won't be looking back.

In reality, I'm just trying to bump this thread to the top because I feel that many people who are wanting to have their horses barefoot could find tremendous benefit from this blog.

Two months really isn't that much experience, but the results I'm seeing so far are enough to show me that it's much better than what I was doing before. But it's only logical to understand why.....I'm actually kinda embarrassed to admit that it's taken me so many years to accept what I already knew. Horses in the wild trim their own hooves, so considering this, why would I be trying to trim the hoof when my horse can do it himself. Of course I'm saying this from a perspective that I know horses are designed to move many miles every day over all sorts of terrain, and I need to do my best to replicate this fact.

I've probably already said this so it may start to sound like a skipping record in here, but the key to making this work is getting heel first landings. So find the ground that your horse can travel on and get those heel first landings and then ride many many miles to build up the structures in the hoof. Then progressively add in more concussive/rough ground, but still look for the heel first landings even if it requires to slow down and drop gait. Of course diet plays a role here, but I know little about that subject....I just do what I can with what I have and try to replicate a wild horse's diet as best I can by providing more than just fields of grass. So for the most part I focus on proper movement, and if you study barefoot trimming long enough you'll find that a common theme is to get those heel first landings.....so that's what I've been focusing on....and I'm liking what I'm seeing so far.
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    11-15-2013, 09:44 PM
  #19
Yearling
That site is great!!!!!!!กก!!!!!!!! It makes things make sense. Reading that blog was a awhaw moment! I think my babies are getting a lot more road and gravel.

Does anyone have any advice for my gelding though, we go on gravel about 2 a week and I don't run him its like 1/4 mile that we walk on. However he is sensitive and kind of limps going over it. He has been barefoot for probably 7 or so years now. Also he doesn't limp on pavement.
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    11-15-2013, 10:01 PM
  #20
Trained
Yes Sask, I wouldn't advise making him walk on gravel without hoof protection. Comfort is vital, not just from the point of view of being nice, but if he's not comfortable he won't be moving correctly so won't be building up the back of his feet and may be doing further damage.

Depends exactly what is wrong & also on his lifestyle & environment as to whether if by protecting his feet where necessary to allow good hoof function, he will improve & become a 'gravel crunching' horse. Many don't & will always need boots or such in those environments.

I agree 1000% the principles of that website are sound, but like I said, that is the 'ideal' world & many(most) domestic horses live in a real world that's too far removed to get by with their practices. It is absolutely valuable to learn about them & consider what you can change & impliment in your own situation though.
     

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