I spent the day with 7 other ladies learning more about Bare Foot Trimming from Darolyn Butler today. Darolyn is a internationally known endurance rider from Humble, Texas just north of Houston. We had rode at her barn once and our BM invited her to come over and teach a clinic as we have several horses that are hoof challenged with founder, club feet, etc.
BM bought two barefoot trim books and we passed them around to each other reading them. BM and I have been working on my gelding as he had never had his feet done on a regular basis and didn't want a farrier to scare him or have to drug him to do his feet.
We learned so much! The most amazing is our BO's own Arabian mare that foundered 2 years ago. She is 20 years old and BO has spent a fortune on farriers and over at one of the top vet clinics in the US trying to get her feet straightened out. They looked like a pile of mud. The regular farrier pulled her shoes today. This mare was so sore she could barely stand in the barn on the concrete. Under the shoes were abscesses that were horrible. Darolyn started working on her feet and soon Crimson Dancer was licking her lips. Her feet went from ugly to actually looking like a foot. She walked out so much easier than she came in. Later I took Biscuit back to his pasture and Crimson Dancer was actually trotting and leaping in the small arena. When I told BO and BM they quickly got her and put her where she wouldn't run around so much so her feet can continue to heal.
We learned how to rasp down the hooves to a natural state, keep the bars intact, trim only what needs to be off of the frog and soles. One girls horse has "false" soles so we learned about those.
Biscuit's feet got an A. What I thought was a hole in his white line Darolyn said she thought was an abscess that was growing out. He had crack in his front hoof that she worked with and she said it should grow out just fine. She thought his hooves looked hard and solid. He was a bit of a pill with her as he is not yet used to other people fooling with his feet. He was abused by a trainer his former owner sent him to and he kinda stiffens up when strangers touch him.
Anyway, I learned so much about navicular, coffin bones, laminitis, tools, health of the horses, stress on their hooves, feed, etc. We had lunch together and Darolyn told us about racing all over the world with endurance horses. She is one of the first to go barefoot with her racing horses.
Neither one of my current horses have shoes and thank God have great feet. I hope to keep them both that way!
First two pictures are Crimson Dancer's before and after and the third is Biscuit's foot.