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.