Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: SF Bay Area, California
• Horses: 0
I have to agree with Trinity. Unless your horses are moving a lot over abrasive surfaces, 7 weeks is usually too long between trims. The breaking heels are likely trying to exfoliate themselves because they 'need' to go.
A healthy, barefoot horse usually has much shorter hooves than what people are used to seeing. Longer walls do not equal more/better protection for the feet.
Actually, if you want to get technical, the hoof (wall) protects the hoof from things it encounters when it is moving forward. It is not meant to be a rim bearing your horse's weight, with the sole and frog suspended above the ground. The walls break and flare because they are trying to get out of the way so that the sole and frog can get to the ground.
BTW, my qpony mare had extremely thin walls as long as we kept her shod (her first 20 years). The farriers were always complaining about her paper-thin hooves, flared quarters, and short heels.
I've been barefoot trimming her for 5 years. Obviously, no more farrier complaints! But her hoof walls are now normal thickness, her flares are almost nonexistent, and she is barefoot sound on all surfaces, even right after a trim.
Barefoot trimming is only part of barefoot soundness. With the right nutrition, environment and conditioning, the hoof can come to a point of self-maintaining 100% soundness with no trimming needed. Imagine that!