View Full Version : horses - natural hoof care, instead of shoes
09-15-2004, 03:50 PM
I have just started looking into natural hoof care - using a wild horse cut with no shoes. It seems like it would work, I was wondering if anyone here has done it and if it worked for them.
09-15-2004, 07:34 PM
I do have trouble finding farriers trained in it, but my horses have all been barefoot and when I can find a farrier who is trained and knows what he's doing, I try to get the "natural" trimming. The problem is, as in anything like this, there are those who pass themselves off as knowing what they are doing and they may not. I don't remember the name off the top of my head, but I believe there is an organization for those doing natural hoof trimming.
09-15-2004, 07:42 PM
If you can remember the name, let me know. I wish I could find someone around here to do it.
I ordered a book and I have been checking it out on web pages. I was thinking of trying it myself. I have't done much work on horses feet, so I am a little leary.
If I go easy, and not take off too much at first, ect, I really can't hurt the horse right?
09-16-2004, 02:20 PM
I quit using shoes for the horses 7 years ago. You really have to understand how each individual horse moves and trim accordingly.It's more art than science reading hooves. I have a horse that if trimmed wrong cannot walk for a week. The farrier has been trimming him since he was 2 and misses the mark 25% of the time. The other horse you could trim his hooves with a chain saw and he would be fine. Diet, pasture conditions and hoof structure dictate if you can do it at all. Some horse just have bad feet.
09-16-2004, 02:49 PM
There is always a lot of discussion about hoof angle and such. There are some wonderful farrier web sites with forums that I've been on in the past.
I don't remember where they were but if you search for farrier and forum you'd probably find some.
I hesitate to give advice about trimming hooves, because it is a complex thing, I don't do it, and, although I've read a lot about it, I have no real experience other than someone else doing it and me seeing how my horses do. But I have friends who trim their horses all the time with good luck. I think if you follow the angle of their sole and don't take too much at at time you probably won't hurt anything, but some horses can be very sensitive, as mentioned above, to slight changes, so it's hard to say.
09-16-2004, 08:30 PM
I have only had the horse since May, got her at an auction for $25.00. She is such a wonderful horse http://www.beesource.com/ubb/smile.gif She came with a badly split back hoof, long front feet, very thin, and blind, but she is very sweet, and she moves pretty well. I have had a heck of a time just finding a farrier to trim her. I was thinking of trying to talk my new guy into trying the natural trim, he can only think I'm stupid I guess.
Yea, I believe diet is a big issue right now with her. I have added a biotin suppliment to her feed, and I believe you can see where the new hoof is growing out, and the crack is growing out. I think eventually her feet will be better to work with.
Righ now I think I am more leary about hurting her, then I auctually can hurt her. My farrier is a good guy, and I think he is doing a good job, but he takes off alot more then I think I would. Admitally the hores seems a bit sore if you ride her on stones the next day or so.
I'm kinda a newbie at auctually careing for a horse, so is the soreness for a day or so sorta normal anyway for a horse going from bad nutrition and no hoof care, to good nutrition and routine trimmings?
09-16-2004, 09:42 PM
We always trimmed our own hooves. Had a few touchy horses that didn't get a very pretty job, but we always got the job done. It wasn't until my brother in law had an old friend who is a professional come through from Iowa did we ever have anyone else touch one of our horses.
Growing up doing it, I never thought much about someone NOT knowing how to do it. Just seemed to be part of owning and taking care of your animal. Kind of like having a hoof knife in the back pocket whenever you went out to the corral. Or a hive tool when you go out to the yard.
09-17-2004, 06:35 AM
I have trimmed horses hooves, but mine are TOO much work. My mare is 16.3hh and probably weighs 1600 lbs or so when she's not pregnant. The farrier only charges me $25 a horse and it's well worth it to me.
09-17-2004, 09:55 AM
>The farrier only charges me $25 a horse and it's well worth it to me.
When you have ten to twenty horses, that's a lot of money/feed/another horse. We kept that money in our pocket and did it ourselves.
09-17-2004, 04:50 PM
my farrier is only $20.00 a horse.
BB - I was lucky (with a sarcastic tone) I grew up close to town. Where I lived we weren't even allowed to have dog houses or rabbit hutches in out yards. It really sucked. I never went hunting or had a dog or anything till I moved out. Pap has always taken care of the horses at the farm, and I'm just starting to learn.
09-17-2004, 05:44 PM
Yeah, I was lucky too. I grew up in the city but our family farm was where we went every weekend, suitcase farmers. We also boarded horses just on the outskirts of town and went there nearly every nice evening to ride and work with the horses. Later, when I turned twelve, we upgraded to a five acre tract in the suburbs and kept our horses there along with a milk cow. When we were not farming we would go to auctions, rodeos, or just wonder the country buying and selling horses and cattle.
The farm was any kids dream getaway. Every chance I could get, usually after the work was done, I would grab either a fishing pole or a rifle and take off up and down the creek until dark made me come back.
Seems to be an old habit I have never broke. As soon as Will gets back from the High School football game we're outta here.
10-28-2004, 03:29 PM
I've had my mare for almost 6 years and about 3-4 years ago she was diagnosed with navicular. My farrier put shoes with pads on her and she was on a great supplement called Nu-Foot. After a while we quit shoeing her and she seemed to be okay. She did well for a while, but then for the past 6-8 months has been lame off and on. I talked to my farrier about natural hoof trims. He was already looking into it for another client and he did our first natural trim on September 15th. When I brought her out that day, she was seriously (3 legged)lame on her right foreleg. Not kidding. Not exaggerating.....after her trim I walked her for about 10 minutes and as she loosened up, her limp disappeared totally! Over the next 2 weeks she suffered through various aches, pains and swellings caused by the fact that she'd been walking and standing wrong for months (years?). By the next trim, 4 weeks away, she was no longer limping or stiff at all! This mare is 17 years old, and up till this time I was trying to prepare for the fact that we were going to have to put her down. My farrier owns her 7 year old daughter (she should never have been bred) and she has the same problems, he had come to the conclusion with the vet that nothing could be done. He trimmed her on Sunday, and by that Wednesday when he came to trim my horses, she was trotting out without a limp, still sore when moving laterally. This trim has saved both these horses, and many more just with my farrier. Yes it's a long story, but I get a little bit excited!! Both horses are now being ridden again! My farrier believes in it so much that he's switching his business away from shoeing. So ask questions. Find someone. It's the most awesome thing to have someone trim your horse and to watch the surprise on the horse's face when they walk expecting pain and have none!!!!!! Some people don't listen, but you just might tell someone who will in time to save their horse!
10-28-2004, 03:37 PM
My farrier is studying under Jaime Jackson. There's also a Hiltrud Strasser but some people think that she's too radical in her methods, i.e. the horses tend to be lame before they get better. If you type in natural hoof trims it usually comes up with at least one site for him.