How long to keep going with barefoot trimming? - Page 2
 
 

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How long to keep going with barefoot trimming?

This is a discussion on How long to keep going with barefoot trimming? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Can you go 8 weeks between hoof trims
  • Natural trims with superficial chipping

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    01-04-2013, 09:43 PM
  #11
Weanling
There are MANY strictly barefoot trimmers who don't shoe that do amazing work. Just b/c they are a trimmer and not a farrier DOES NOT mean that they cannot balance a hoof correctly.

That being said, the chipping means:
1. Too long in between trims.
2. Need to put more of a roll on the hooves.

In the winter when hoof growth is very minimal my horses can go 8-10 weeks between trims. In the summer, I have to do every 5 weeks to keep up with them.

You HAVE to have a good competent trimmer who can balance a foot correctly if you want a chance at all. It's MUCH harder then it sounds to find one. Photos of your horses feet would be a help here.

Nutrition also plays a huge role in hoof health. Get your horse on a good, complete, low NSC diet. I saw a HUGE improvement in hoof health when I did my research and switched my horses to a good, quality diet. What is your horse eating now?

There is also a product that I have recently been made aware of and I have seen the photos and effects it has had on a friends horse. It is called Simmerdown. You can order it from horseherbs.com. It has improved overall hoof health, hoof growth and frog/sole improvement on her horses. I am going to order some for my thin soled, thin walled mare and give it a go. Even with correct trims, she still cannot go barefoot while in work. She just can't. My Paso Fino... yes. He goes barefoot without a problem. Hoof health is also genetics and my mare just doesn't have it. She may just be a horse who needs front shoes. If that's the case, I'm ok with that. You have to cover all your bases and then go off what the individual animal is telling you. Not every horse can go barefoot. There is no win-win solution for every horse . It depends on the individual animal.
     
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    01-05-2013, 03:51 AM
  #12
Weanling
I will get some pics tomorrow and put them on. I rode with my neighbour today and went over on my my boy bareback but rode her other horse since I was concerned about my fellas feet in the very dry conditions right now. She took a look at them and said 'oh I thought they must be really bad if you wanted to ride my horse but they look ok to me' so maybe it is just me?

Onefasthorse - I agree with you. My farrier may well be trained to put shoes on (I will ask her next time she comes) but she is very much into her natural horsemanship and likes horses to be barefoot if possible. I don't think that just because she only does barefoot trims that this in any way means she is not good at what she does.
At the moment his diet consists of restricted grass - I keep him in a race set up with not a lot of grass and let him into a pasture with longer grass for an hour or two every day. Then an evening feed of lucerne chaff. Only a couple of handfuls so I can get his hoof supplement into him. He is also getting MSM and magnesium daily since he gets a little stiff being an older gentleman. What does NSC stand for?
     
    01-05-2013, 09:45 AM
  #13
Super Moderator
I bought a horse little over a year ago who had always been kept shod all the way around. It has been exactly 1 year and a week now that he has been barefoot, and there have been some really rough phases he's gone through... especially in months 4 through 9.
Chipping like you describe and a bunch of small issues plus adjustment for toughening up his sole.... and I really considered putting him back in shoes.

In addition to a total (better) diet change after I bought him, a few months into the transition I decided to put him on a good hoof supp. And
I think both of these made a huge difference in his transition to help him grow out a really healthy new hoof.
Once the diet changes could really be seen in the hooves (little grooves on all four hooves in the same place) things started improving. I knew it would take time to grow out the old unhealthy hoof so I just waited it out.

Yesterday, after scraping off the mud and slush, I took a really good look look at his hooves, and the diet change grooves are grown out and won't even be there after the farrier comes next week.
Despite 2 straight months of solid rain and mud that has now turned into a snowy slushy clumpy frozen mess, I can say they look beautiful and he is moving just fine despite all the frozen clumps and mess that many barefoot horses may struggle with in harsh winters.

Anyway, just my experience and I'm glad I stuck out the tougher phases and didn't go back to shoes.
mvinotime and Missy May like this.
     
    01-05-2013, 12:23 PM
  #14
Trained
Not all hooves are created equal. When I decided to go completely barefoot many moons ago, I had 3 horses. They all had the same diet, lived on and were ridden on the same terrain, etc.,. Two were by the same sire, brother and sister, I had the gelding from the day he was born and the mare since she was a 2 yo filly. The mare's feet consistantly had "superficial" little chips, no matter what, and she did not transition to hard ground as easily as the others. BUT, she was never lame, she could cover any ground the others did once transitioned, etc.,. She just didn't have the same feet.

While I don't doubt 6 more months of good diet and balanced trimming will help your guy tremendousely and all will be well- my point is that there are other factors that may make his response time to barefoot trimming seem slower than "others".
Lockwood likes this.
     
    01-05-2013, 12:51 PM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi79    
Onefasthorse - I agree with you. My farrier may well be trained to put shoes on (I will ask her next time she comes) but she is very much into her natural horsemanship and likes horses to be barefoot if possible. I don't think that just because she only does barefoot trims that this in any way means she is not good at what she does.
At the moment his diet consists of restricted grass - I keep him in a race set up with not a lot of grass and let him into a pasture with longer grass for an hour or two every day. Then an evening feed of lucerne chaff. Only a couple of handfuls so I can get his hoof supplement into him. He is also getting MSM and magnesium daily since he gets a little stiff being an older gentleman. What does NSC stand for?

NSC is sugar+starch levels in feed. Whole grains such as oats, corn, barley, etc are VERY high in NSC. Diets high in NSC have been proven to cause long term effects on horses such as laminitis, founder, gastric ulcers, hindgut acidosis, IR, obesity, excess energy (bad behaving/hot horses), etc. I stick with feeds that are under 15% NSC. For example: Oats are around 50% NSC, Purina Strategy is in the high 20%.... scary huh? Think of it as feeding your child a snickers bar for every meal.

Your horse is most likely not getting adequate nutrition. If he is an easy keeper and hold weight easily (which is sounds like he does) then a RB would benefit him greatly. RB's (ration balancers) are highly concentrated and low calorie. They are meant to be fed at a very low feeding rate (about 1lb per day per 1,000lb horse). Both of my horses are on a RB (Buckeye Gro N Win) and free choice hay/pasture. They each get 2.5 cups of feed a day... that's it. They are fat, healthy, happy and sassy. The NSC content in the Gro N Win is only 13%. It contains no whole grains and is a fixed forumla feed unlike brands such as Purina and Nutrena. Purina and Nutrena have low cost formulas which means that not every bag will be 100% the same. They swap out ingrediants for whatever is cheapest at the time. Not my cup of tea. I stick with the fixed formula brand. Every bag is the same all the time no matter what. Some of these brands are Buckeye, Triple Crown and ADM.

I saw positive hoof health changes about 5 months after I switched my horses over to the Gro N win, but my mare still can't go barefoot. Next I am going to try the Simmerdown supplement.

If I were you I would get rid of the hoof supplements your feeding (most are a waste of money). Keep up the MSM and mag, put him on 1lb (2.5cups) of Buckeye Gro N win and order a bucket of simmerdown and start him on that.

In 6months, I bet you see a HUGE change.
     
    01-05-2013, 01:48 PM
  #16
Green Broke
I second the ration balancer- I feed my easy keeper horse Triple Crown 30% Supplement (9.8% NSC) and am very happy with the results. My horse came to me with poorly maintained feet and a poor diet (even though he's an easy keeper he was underweight when I got him!) My farrier was trying to get his feet in better shape, but they just weren't growing. After I switched him to TC30 (about two months after I got him) his feet actually started growing. He also seems much healthier in general; my trainer recently got a gray horse and asked what my secret was in keeping my "white" horse clean- I told her the secret is good nutrition. His coat is so slick and shiny that even when he decides to get covered in mud (which really isn't all that often) it just slides right off the hairs with a light brushing.
flytobecat and Trinity3205 like this.
     
    01-05-2013, 01:53 PM
  #17
Green Broke
A strickly barefoot trimmer can and will do only half a job, would you hire a mechanic that shows up with only a screwdriver ? Sure maybe you just need a hose clamp tightened but what if the task requires a wrench. Why on earth would you want to deal with mutiple people ? Doesnt make since to me. I expect a professional knowledgeable and competent to come out with a full array of options and do what is best for the horse and the conditions and way its being worked and ridden. Id send the barefoot only trimmer packing as they are not equipped to do anything else. I don't care how good they are at balancing a hoof. Explain the logic to me,
Barefoot trimmer..... does trims..... that's it.
Decent farrier, does the same trims, PLUS can do shoes, plus doesnt really stand to gain to tell you one thing is good or bad but can do what is needed. Sounds like a no brainer. I don't know if your horse needs shoes something else or nothing. But I think the person Id want that advice from is someone that can actually DO the tasks and knows what they are talking about.
     
    01-05-2013, 02:07 PM
  #18
Trained
If all that a person can do is trim, then it is to their financial benefit to recommend barefoot whether or not it is in the best interest of the horse. I think that is the point that Joe is trying to get across.

I could pull my horse's shoes, wait, let her hooves toughen up, go without riding, wait, hope, etc. I prefer to have the confidence that my horse will be sound every day. My riding time is limited; I don't want to waste it waiting on feet to grow. I will stick with shoes.
     
    01-05-2013, 02:28 PM
  #19
Trained
We live in a specialized society. Someone that specializes in barefoot trimming has little reason to practice shoeing. It is the owners choice to choose a "specialist" or a "general practitioner". My old farrier and friend has a degree in equine podiatry and specialized in barefoot trimming - I would hardly call her "ill equiped" or "unknowledgeable".
     
    01-05-2013, 02:56 PM
  #20
Super Moderator
I third RBs!
My boy was on Grow N Win until the store had issues getting fresh bags, so I switched over to Nutrena's Balancer. In addition to average quality hay and forage, my horse (950lbs) gets about 12oz a day of the RB, 2oz hoof supp, and a tablespoon of flaxseed per day. That's it.

However, IMO not all hoof supps are junk.
We live in an area that is known for it's copper and selenuim deficient soils, as well as having too much iron in both the soils and water.
I researched hoof issues and found that the lack of the former and too much of the latter could have been contributing to my boy's issues, so I switched which hoof supp he was taking and the difference was huge!
Sometimes having too much of one nutrient can cause binding (inablility to uptake) of another nutrient.
The hoof supp he is on now has higher levels of copper and zinc as well as the typical hoof ingredients and no added iron.
     

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