Luke Steele's Various Enterprises
Or, Natural Hoof Trimming. This uses as it's "ideal" the type of hoof form evident in wild, or feral horses living on the open range. Whilst this is the model used, with a ground-parallel pedal bone, weight-bearing sole and frog, with minimal protruding horn, I don't expect to just trim every horse I see to that exact hoof form. Each horse is an individual, with it's own set of circumstances and issues. I work to "landmarks" on the hoof to guide me, rather than simply cutting back to a "formula". Also extremely important are the horse's living conditions, diet, and work.
An important factor in successful transition from shod to barefoot is Time. Horses will require time for their feet to grow out with proper hoof form. You can see the progress of the healing in the typical change in toe angle, growing down from the coronary band after the improper stresses on the hoof are removed by correct trimming, diet and by the horse moving about the paddock freely, or out riding. The rate of hoof growth is typically 1cm/month, so it can take from 6-12 months for a complete hoof capsule to grow out. However, change/improvement should normally start from the first trim, and progress steadily over a period of months, or even a year or more.
There are several types of hoof boots available to help with the transition from just de-shod to fully working barefeet. I'll provide descriptions of booting on a separate page - when I get time to create some content!
I have set up some pages with photos and descriptions. One shows a Welsh pony with poor hoof form that I trimmed up recently, others shows sound, strong feet of two of my riding horses.
These are my riding horses. Shadrach and Zaraband are ridden daily, over gravel and dirt roads, and bush tracks. Their feet are still 'in transition' to high-performance bare feet, but are well on the way. Shadrach's feet are ready for his first 80 km endurance ride barefoot. Nikita is ridden occasionally.
Natural Hoofcare, together with management of diet, living conditions and exercise has been shown to be extremely effective in restoring to functionality, if not full soundness, to foundered horses and ponies. Extreme cases of sole penetration by the pedal bone, or even hoof slough, need not mean a death sentence!
I am currently working with several foundered horses and ponies, and am seeing good results.
Some general rehabilitation cases.
Soon I'll have some cases documented. In the meantime, please visit the links below for existing content.
More to come!
This is only a bit of content I threw together to get started, so please check back regularly to see what's new. In the meantime, I'll list a few links to other Barefoot sites to give you something else to look at!
Links to other Barefoot Trimming information
This is only a start, in no particular order. These sites have information and links to other sites too.
Naked Horse - The natural horse stuff
Barefoot Horse - Marjorie Smith's site
Safergrass.org - information on the current research and prevention of grass founder in horses
This website will be under constant development, so stay tuned for more content. I've a lot planned!
Site updated 4 September 2007
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