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post #1 of 47 Old 10-25-2014, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
Posts: 5,674
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New Member/New to Horses

Hi All,

I have been reading, studying, asking questions, and learning all I can on an almost 24/7 basis for the last 5 months. I'm retired and have worked myself into a situation on a ranch where there are 23 horses, some active, some retired.

Hondo has been given over to my complete care and is slated to become mine at the point the ranch feels I will be a both competent and trustworthy horse owner.

The people at the ranch are very knowledgeable and have taught me sooo much! All their horses, however, have always been shod for the ranch's history which goes back over 100 years.

In my reading into horse podiatry I have determined I want to try to go barefoot with Hondo.

I pulled the last of his shoes near the end of August this year. He has hoof boots on all four for trail rides.

All of his trimming has been done by me. And that based on internet pictures, videos, and reading.

No one on the ranch has any knowledge or experience with barefoot horses other than the normal pasture trim, file'em flat and turn'em out.

I have taken pictures of Hondo's feet and posted on g+. I know pictures do not tell the whole story but I'm hoping to get feedback on anything that looks like I'm really doing wrong. His heels may be a little high but I read that is needed sometimes to correct underrun heels. Quarters may be long also.

Any feedback will be appreciated and do not hesitate to flat out tell me if I'm doing something wrong. The bonding has went deep in the last five months and I want to do what is right for Hondo. He gives me his best so I wish to give him my best.

Thanks, Harold

PS: The LF, LF2, etc didn't make to g+ so I just numbered the pics.
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post #2 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,433
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Hi Harold!

welcome to Hf!

I am no hoof expert, heck, not even half that. a quick glance gives me to think those feet look good. hang around for a bit and some or our resident hoof experts will check in.
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post #3 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mississippi
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Welcome to the forum. If you did those just from reading, watching video's and looking at pictures, you did a good job.
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post #4 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Welcome to the Forum! So good to hear from someone who went about getting into the horse world the right way-hands on learning and gaining experience instead of jumping blindly in! Wish everyone would!

Hooves look pretty good but I'm no expert. You'll know by how he acts and travels whether it suits him or not. Just bear in mind that barefoot works for some horses and not at all for others. Genetics, terrain and amount of work has a lot to do with it but if he goes fine barefoot that's great!

Have fun with this bold new world of horses!
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post #5 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Welcome to the forum and to the world of horses! Once you're in, you never get out....

Wanna come trim my horses feet? Just had the farrier out and it looks like you did a better job than he does and he's apparently a "professional", lol. I think they look pretty darn good. I don't see any glaring problems but I'm also far from a hoof expert. Hopefully Patty or one of the hoof savvy people on the forum will pitch in and give you a good critique.

"I would rather die of passion than of boredom." –Vincent van Gogh
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post #6 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
Posts: 5,674
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Thanks for all the kudos so far but what I'm looking for penetrating criticism! :)

Hondo's heels do look under run to a degree to me. And I have read that some horses just can never transition to barefoot due to internal damage and atrophy of the internal parts that are required for successful barefoot lives. The plan is to keep him in shoes during trail rides for the first year and then try some short rocky trails to see how much he searches for the soft spots for his feet.

If he can't transition to barefoot for reasonable rides I may just keep him in boots.

Farriers are few and far between in this area. I can buy boots but I have abandoned being able to do shoeing. I was trying to learn and have done everything on a few horses except driving the nails and using the nippers. Rasping the hoof, netting the nails, clinching, filing the nails, pulling shoes. All while being closely watched by the person that has done all the shoeing on the ranch for the last 35 yearns.

It is REALLY HARD!! Doesn't look it from a distance but working on horses hoofs is one of the hardest things I have done. I have reluctantly, because of my age and declining strength, decided to abandon the idea of being able to shoe. Plus with my reading I just don't want shoes if it can be avoided.

I've read that endurance events do not allow barefoot. Boots or shoes so for certain if the wear outruns the growth one or the other is needed. So far Hondo's daily travels for foraging is wearing his hoofs less than he is growing them.

I consider myself fortunate to be able to devote full time to this new adventure. If I were still working it'd take me a year, or two or three, to get even as far as I've gotten.

Just for fun, here are a couple of pics before I pulled Hondo's shoes.

Hondo is online now  
post #7 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 07:48 PM
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Location: Australia
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Hi & welcome OP,

As this isn't to do with riding, can mods please move it to the hoofcare section? OP would get more relevant advice. OP you may have to ask them, if no one's yet seen. (oops, just saw Tiny here! Cheers!)
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post #8 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 08:01 PM
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Now, quick look at feets... agree with other comments - you done good I reckon! Yes, heels still run forward & toes a bit too. Heels need to come back, but maybe can't afford to be lowered too much more. Toes should be bevelled. Have you checked out the site?

It's easiest for us if you attach pics in the thread, like the 'befores' you posted, rather than links. Good hoof pics overall, but for accuracy, best to have camera at ground level & take shots squarely from front & side. Also if you've seen Patty's diagram for taking pics... I do like to see the sole from sighting down the heel too, as well as taken squarely. I also like to see the sole side-on, so I can see the hoof wall too. More angles the merrier I reckon! Check out the link below in my signature for more tips on photo taking.
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post #9 of 47 Old 10-26-2014, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
Posts: 5,674
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Yes! More pictures will be forthcoming. I read and viewed the examples.

If I understand correctly, over time being barefoot the run forward heels and toes will either correct or not correct and is one of the things determining whether the horse will successfully transition to barefoot over time. Is that correct?

Sorry about the links. In my second post I saw the pic icon thingy and that pics could be inserted. Links just require one more click and another wait for things to load up.

I'm puzzled about the suggestion that the hooves need to be beveled? I thought I was but apparently not. What I've been basically doing is to file the hoof wall at a 45 degree angle to the sole and up to or nearly up to the white line or water line. On some of the retired horses that have badly flared hooves from neglect I have been filing past the white line where there is separation per Ramey's recommendation. Then I file vertical around the outside of the hoof to what ever seems to look right to me. Then I use the fine side of the file and pretty everything up.

I take nothing from the sole or the frog. I am trying to exclusively use the sole and the white line as a guide to the wall trim. I think I probably leave the wall a little longer than I should but all said, I'm just doing the best I can from what I've seen and read.

I did not include information about Hondo's diet or the surfaces he travels over. I know both are important information for anyone commenting. I have read some on diets and am deciding away from the pellets containing molasses in favor of hay. And I almost blush at the number of Apple Treats Hondo gets. But he really really likes them! :)

Anyhow, Hondo and his 22 buddies have around 900 acres that they typically range on. They actually have 28,000 acres that are available to them but happily they confine themselves mostly to the 900 acres and mostly 600 or so acres of river bottom, sand and gravel, 2-300 acres of Bermuda grass, and rocky hillsides containing and abundance of high desert goodies.

Hondo travels and has what should be a self administered balanced natural diet, except for the half gallon or so of pellets he gets every day or two.

I did check the site. Couple of things bothered me some, probably a result of my lack of knowledge. They have one long article on when to shoe but did not mention when booting would be a viable option. The depth to the apex of the frog as an indication of sole thickness brought a question to which there is likely an obvious answer. I've read that as the structures within the hoof capsule begin to rehabilitate one of the things that happens is that the sole becomes more concave. This seems like it would cause a greater distance from the hoof plane to the point of the frog which would indicate a thicker sole when it is not thicker. I think I'm confused.

Lastly, I thought about posting in an appropriate sub-forum but as a new member I had not made and introduction and that forum said for new members to introduce themselves and ask questions so I went for it.

When I finish my picture taking with hopefully the correct labels, I'll post in the hoof care area.

Thanks for your post and response. This is what I'm looking for. More information and stuff to make me think.

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post #10 of 47 Old 10-27-2014, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: new york state
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welcome to the forum the feet look great but the question is what type of area is hondo going to work in rocks, sand gravel ? these are the stuff that will hurt a hoof the shoe will protect the hoof it all goes by what is the horse going to walk on
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