What's Involved

Choosing BareHoof Care for your horse or donkey!  He/she will love you for doing it.

BareHoof Care and Trimming of your horse’s hooves has its foundations in understanding and following the ‘perfect’ natural hoof parameters as can be found on natural living wild horses.  Nature designed the hoof to perform for the horse in the way it does, and does best.  Horses' hooves keep growing all the time. If they do not wear they need regular trimming.  Letting hooves grow long not only makes life uncomfortable for your horse but also sets up more serious hoof and limb problems and pathologies that may take many months or longer to resolve.

BareHoof Care and Trimming is one very important piece of achieving the most healthy and happy horse possible.

The other important pieces of this ‘healthy, happy horse’ are:  

  • The horse’s lifestyle and housing.
  • The horse’s diet.
  • The horse’s company.
  • Your expectations and use of your horse.

     

Tilly being trimmed at 6 months. Born at Waterfall Creek and handled from birth. 

Horse Living Conditions

Once we have your horse’s hooves sound, healthy, balanced, and compact, regular trimming alone will not optimise this state.  Hooves are meant to be worked and work hard.  Horses are essentially a wild animal and love freedom and space in which to move. 

Too often horses are kept in too small a space.  The extreme of this is stabling, then small paddocks or house blocks.  These living conditions are unnatural and unfair to the horse.  Horses need to move and will naturally travel 15 to 30 kilometres a day if given the freedom to do so.  This exercise is essential for their fitness and the soundness of their hooves.  Large rough, rocky paddocks with unimproved but minerally balanced pasture are ideal.  The less you compromise on your horse’s living arrangements, the better off your horse (and hooves) will be.

Also, ask your horse if he/she needs a rug? Read More

Horse Diet

Horses need a constant supply of suitable feed to keep their digestive systems healthy and in balance. In the wild they are continually grazing, moving and snoozing. If subjected to food volume peaks and lows, gut bacteria and enzyme levels get out of balance and one of the unfortunate by-products of this is hoof problems (laminitis).  Other feed causal triggers for hoof (and horse) problems are; sugars/non structural carbohydrates, protein excess and mineral ratio imbalances.  Too often we are ‘killing’ our horses with kindness or too much rich food fed in peaks.  Research is now showing that ad lib mixed grass hay is probably the best horse feed.  Lush green grass can be a no-no as can be lucerne, mixed commercial feeds, molasses and the like. Have a look at www.safergrass.org

Horse Company

Horses love company and are mentally better balanced in a herd situation.  Horses' social structure includes the ‘leader’ horse; the one who can dominate (with fairness) the others and whom the others respect as leader.  Respect has to be earned not demanded.  If your horse does not have the contact of other horses, he/she will look to you to either lead or be led by.  Does your horse respect you or dominate you?  Even if the horse is in a herd you must still strive to be the ‘fair leader’ of the herd when you are with your horse(s).  Horses are able to relax more when they relinquish leadership to another (human or horse).  Fair and firm leadership by you is essential for a great relationship between you and your horse.

Your Expectations and Use of Your Horse

Looking at life through your horse’s eyes/mind will open up your mind as to what is a reasonable ask of the horse.  Questions such as; ‘is a 20km trail ride fair even though he is not fit?’ Or ‘should he be collected for more than, say, 10 paces?’ or ‘is it fair to have a piece of metal in her mouth?’ or ‘should she be subjected to cutting comps once or twice a year?’ or the hardest one of all; ‘should I be on his/her back?’  Horses are not motorbikes (but are often treated as such) and often have no choice in what we ask of them.  So the questions of our use and expectations of our horses should be fairly in the front of our minds.

All the above points are dependent on and mutually supporting of each other in achieving a happy, sound, healthy horse. Your/my/our goal.

A BareHoof Trim and Care Program

If your horse is barefoot already, great!  If he/she is shod, removing the shoes is the first step to creating a sound, happy horse.  ‘BareHoof Trim’ brings the hoof back as close to balance and the natural hoof as is practicable.  This better allows natural hoof function and natural horse movement. 

Hooves vary in the time they need to transition from shod to barefoot.  Keeping the hoof regularly trimmed is paramount to achieving sound barefootedness in as short as time as possible.  Maintenance trims are performed from as little as three weeks to as long as five to six weeks, depending on hoof growth and wear rates.

Consider using modern hoof boots as a tool for the comfortable transition of your horse from shod to barehoof.  Click Here

Learning how to trim hooves yourself is a great way to become actively involved in your horse’s wellbeing.  Click Here   Or alternatively use the services of a qualified barehoof trimmer to guide you and your horse to a path of sound barefoot function.

Donkey Hooves Read more

For more information on Natural Horses, Natural and BareHoof Care and Trimming and Hoof Rehabilitation please contact me:

Glenn Wilson  -  Barehoof Practitioner (ACEHP)
Hooves Naturally
149 Waterfall Creek Rd
Tallangatta Valley VIC 3701    
Ph 02 6071 0210 | E: info@waterfallcreek.com.au

 

 

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Address 149 Waterfall Creek Rd   Tallangatta Valley VIC 3701   Australia

Phone (02) 6071 0210   E-mail info@waterfallcreek.com.au

© UNLESS OTHERWISE CREDITED ALL PHOTOS DISPLAYED ON THIS SITE WERE TAKEN BY AND ARE THE PROPERTY AND COPYRIGHT OF KELLY BICK AND GLENN WILSON

Last updated December 4, 2016