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Team Barefoot---some interesting observations

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  • Team Barefoot---some interesting observations

    So what do you think of this. I recently (8 weeks ago, or so), transitioned my 5yo TB to barefoot (white feet and all for the doubters).

    He is back in full work, including jumping in a sand arena twice a week (up to 2'6", including gymnastics) and ridden in a field usually twice weekly.

    Now, this guy's hocks started fusing as a 4yo (likely genetic) and has always been on his forehand...he has also had a terrible left drift so since he has been jumping.

    Now--he goes balanced on all footing-much moreso than ever, traction is better than when shod and there is absolutely NO left drift. He shoots straight with no assistance from me.

    Related to being barefoot? No idea. Interesting? To me, YES.

    And for all the BIG doubting Debbie's, yes, it could be argued that the time off allowed him to miraculously become balanced and straight-however, he has had time off in the past with no affect on those issues.

    Just thought I would throw this out there.

    "I don't mind where people make 'whoopie', so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. --Mrs. Patrick Campbell (quote modified for young eyes)

  • Original Poster

    #2
    So what do you think of this. I recently (8 weeks ago, or so), transitioned my 5yo TB to barefoot (white feet and all for the doubters).

    He is back in full work, including jumping in a sand arena twice a week (up to 2'6", including gymnastics) and ridden in a field usually twice weekly.

    Now, this guy's hocks started fusing as a 4yo (likely genetic) and has always been on his forehand...he has also had a terrible left drift so since he has been jumping.

    Now--he goes balanced on all footing-much moreso than ever, traction is better than when shod and there is absolutely NO left drift. He shoots straight with no assistance from me.

    Related to being barefoot? No idea. Interesting? To me, YES.

    And for all the BIG doubting Debbie's, yes, it could be argued that the time off allowed him to miraculously become balanced and straight-however, he has had time off in the past with no affect on those issues.

    Just thought I would throw this out there.

    "I don't mind where people make 'whoopie', so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. --Mrs. Patrick Campbell (quote modified for young eyes)

    Comment


    • #3
      Maybe a logical conclusion then could be that something about the shoes was bothering him to cause the left drift, since you have rested him before with no effect on the drift, and now it is gone. Hmmmm, something to ponder . . .

      Go team barefoot!
      www.retiredhorses.com
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      • #4
        Even with aluminums, my filly Louise would come out of her stall stiff every morning and was an awkward mover. I took her as a favor to a friend even though I knew she was a "bad" mover and I figured she could be a pasture ornament. I had problems with my farrier and Louise kept throwing shoes, so I decided to learn to trim my own and go the barefoot route.

        Since Louise has been barefoot for the past 5 months, she has become a dream undersaddle. No one can believe she is the same horse. She walks out of the stall perfectly fine every morning. I can't guarantee the removal of her shoes caused the major improvement, but I don't know what else it could be.
        Beth

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Things that make you go hmmmmmm

          "I don't mind where people make 'whoopie', so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. --Mrs. Patrick Campbell (quote modified for young eyes)

          Comment


          • #6
            Yet another one of my many (many many) crackpot theories, is that the horse's hoof, allowed to wear naturally, will wear in such a way as to improve the gait versus a hoof forced to conform to an unnatural (to it) mold (ie horseshoe).
            Part of that, is this: Since no footing is perfectly flat, and the horseshoe can NOT compensate for uneven footing (it's flat and unyielding), thus the horse's leg has to compensate for the unevenness. Thus a copromised leg will wear more and show the stress. Yet an unshod hoof can and will adapt for each and every step to a small degree, thus lessening the impact on leg stress.

            Yep, just yet another of my many crackpot theories that won't be proven my me in the near future..

            Comment


            • #7
              It may be a crackpot theory, but it also gives food for thought. I never looked at it that way exactly...but seems to make some sense to me after just reading it. Will have to definitely use some ponder time on this one...hmmmmmm.

              Equine Crash Test Dummy
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              • #8
                Her's something else to ponder. 5 year old Connemara stallion, lots of pasture (260 acres) band of mares, and no trimming in 2 years. ACPS inspected and approved in Sept.2003 with marks in excellent feet, hard and well shaped. Hmmmmmm

                Comment


                • #9
                  hoppy- oh my goodness, where are you from? Judging by your email addy, Alberta or BC?
                  Judging by the above comment (and knowing BC too wet), Alberta??
                  Do you stand that conny stallion? Do you have a website?



                  Uhhh... I think I'll call it Bob.
                  BOB?? You can't call a Planet Bob!!
                  Why not. PlanetBob..has a nice ring to it..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are really interested and not just chatting, there is an article about a study done on the horses foot. Look at http://www.star-knightfarm.com/info/foot.htm

                    Makes an argument for pulling the shoes, especially on those big guys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Liz....that link just brings up a site called SearchLight (looks like a search engine or index of some sort)...nothing about feet. Could you check it out for us?

                      Thanks

                      Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                      December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                      Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Bumping so Liz can double check the link I would love to read that study.

                        "I don't mind where people make 'whoopie', so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. --Mrs. Patrick Campbell (quote modified for young eyes)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          LMH- Please PT me and tell me who you are using for this. I am halfway to Team Barefoot. I pulled his hind shoes a month ago and am really thinking of "going all the way". There is someone who comes to our barn who specializes in barefoot trimming.

                          Love my Quarter Horse!

                          GA Clique!!!
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                          • #14
                            Ok...got a handle on the link...took some time to figure it out, but it basically goes to a copy of Bowker's paper on Physiological Trimming for a Healthy Equine Foot. Here is a direct link to that work and some others by Bowker. It is interesting and good stuff. My farrier husband applies much of what is covered in the infomation.

                            http://cvm.msu.edu/HINFO.HTM

                            Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *
                            December 13 - National Day of the Horse!
                            Proud member of the * Hoof Fetish Clique *

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for sorting the link out Slb, it was really interesting reading.

                              My mare was very lame over the summer due to bad shoeing from a new farrier (he came recommended to me). It has taken 6 months to get her sound again and her front hooves, which were the worst affected, are still not right. I had her hind shoes pulled about 12 weeks ago now and her hooves look fantastic and she's going much better now. She has her front shoes pulled on the 31st of this month and I have Old Macs on standby as I anticipate she'll be sore at first. Reading the article has just strengthened my resolve that I'll be doing the right thing for her.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I am fascinated with this statement from that article!

                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>This load is transmitted to the sole around the frog apex via the dirt that accumulates from the ground. "Dirt should be left in the foot," explains Bowker. In other words, don't clean your horse's feet unless they have been standing in a lot of manure.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  JB..another one of my crackpot theories (yes I did say I have many) is to leave dry soft dirt in the hoof after a session. Especially going from arena to outside, if you ever have that situation.
                                  But I think he really should have qualified that statement by saying that hooves do need to be picked out regularly to check for stones, bruises, and to clear out wet, stinky matter. It sounds from that one quote like he's saying never to pick your horse's feet.

                                  I've (in general, depending on situation) gone from pickaholic to much less picking than would ever earn me a spot on a Pony Club!!

                                  I think it's so so interesting that people are finally able to read more information and learn enough to make their OWN decisions about what is right for their own horse in their own circumstances.


                                  Uhhh... I think I'll call it Bob.
                                  BOB?? You can't call a Planet Bob!!
                                  Why not. PlanetBob..has a nice ring to it..

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Very interesting read-sounds like principles very similiar to Gene O (Hope For Soundness)---slb-would you agree?

                                    I asked my trimmer about the dirt idea-and his position is if you have "good dirt"--not infected with manure,etc then ok---chances are though if a horse spends any time in a stall, that just isn't going to happen.

                                    Also, bear in mind, you must elminate fungus from the foot-and in order to do so, you must get the foot clean to treat the fungus...

                                    "I don't mind where people make 'whoopie', so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. --Mrs. Patrick Campbell (quote modified for young eyes)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      On that note, I pulled my 13yo geldings shoes because after the farrier decided to change his angles for *no* apparent reason, he went lame. Now he is barefoot, and has been for about two months now. My theory, as Bob explained it, is that Mother Nature will fix what the farrier scr*wed up. Problem: He is SUPER sore, can't even turn around in the concrete aisleway without the ouchies. I bought some Venice Turpentine to paint on the bottom of his hooves, because I heard it toughens them up. As well, I heard Dry Milk in the feed will do the same. Anyone heard of any of this or have any ideas? I haven't been riding him, and won't until this is completely taken care of, I just go to visit with carrots, LOTS of carrots...
                                      If you must choose between two evils, choose the one that you've never tried before.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am so glad there is a team barefoot. I was told by my favorite farrier that there are two times that a horse should wear shoes. First, if they are going to be ridden in an environment that they will experience severe footing changes and any of those changes cause the horse discomfort. Two, if they have a very specific hoof or leg problem that can only be corrected by the aid of a shoe. He told me too that some horses feet just aren't cut out for shoes as much as others. They have an area that can take the nails. Too low. Shoes fall off. Too high. Horse is sensitive. Sometimes when they are left alone, Mother Nature finds the best way.

                                        None of my horses currently wear shoes. Both of my ponies had great feet and both showed "A" horse shows barefoot. My hunter only wore shoes when he was actively showing (for the surface change reason). His shoes were pulled every winter and only put on in the spring. My new draftX does not wear shoes. I ride him primarily cross country and he has much better traction barefoot than he would with regular shoes.

                                        LMH- I don't have an explaination for what you are experiencing with your horse, but I think it very well could be shoe related. I am glad your guy is doing better.

                                        GA Clique/Drafties Clique
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