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Remy

Barefoot beginner

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In all the years I have had horses this is the first time I have tried barefoot. I started about 9 months ago and am still learning. Please feel free to comment and/or critique as I need all the help I can get on this subject.

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In all the years I have had horses this is the first time I have tried barefoot. I started about 9 months ago and am still learning. Please feel free to comment and/or critique as I need all the help I can get on this subject.

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Cals: Thanks. I think they look good too but truthfully what do I know about barefoot? Absolutely nothing! I was hoping someone would be able to give me some tips. Oh well........

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Cals: Thanks. I think they look good too but truthfully what do I know about barefoot? Absolutely nothing! I was hoping someone would be able to give me some tips. Oh well........

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From my viewpoint they look good. I took my geldings shoes off for about 2 years now. When he had shoes he had trouble with the cracking, chipping, etc. To basically say hes feet always looked bad. I get his feet trimmed up about every 5 weeks and they look great. The hoof is stronger and healthier than it has ever been. Sure I would put shoes on if I needed them, like for going on rocky terrain, but I don't. It's cheaper to just trim and way less maintenance. It takes a little while for them to get adjusted but he seems happier without shoes in my opinion.

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From my viewpoint they look good. I took my geldings shoes off for about 2 years now. When he had shoes he had trouble with the cracking, chipping, etc. To basically say hes feet always looked bad. I get his feet trimmed up about every 5 weeks and they look great. The hoof is stronger and healthier than it has ever been. Sure I would put shoes on if I needed them, like for going on rocky terrain, but I don't. It's cheaper to just trim and way less maintenance. It takes a little while for them to get adjusted but he seems happier without shoes in my opinion.

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Before I comment, could you get a few more pictures?

ALL FOUR HOOVES - put the camera on the ground, facing the hoof dead straight on and then both sides (so 3 pics per hoof).

That will help me/us/others give a better critique. [Wink]

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Before I comment, could you get a few more pictures?

ALL FOUR HOOVES - put the camera on the ground, facing the hoof dead straight on and then both sides (so 3 pics per hoof).

That will help me/us/others give a better critique. [Wink]

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I'm into Natural Hoofcare, and use a practitioner that was taught by Pete Ramey. You can go onto his website at hoofrehab.com and learn a lot about hooves and their function. Whether the hooves look "pretty" is not the answer, but they should be looked at from underneath to see if they are trimmed correctly. Natural hoofcare believes in not trimming up the frogs very much at all, and is concerned with where the bones in the hoof sit in the hoof capsule, as well as other issues with the hoof. I've been using by practitioner for over a year now, and my horse has never been more sound. [Yay]

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I'm into Natural Hoofcare, and use a practitioner that was taught by Pete Ramey. You can go onto his website at hoofrehab.com and learn a lot about hooves and their function. Whether the hooves look "pretty" is not the answer, but they should be looked at from underneath to see if they are trimmed correctly. Natural hoofcare believes in not trimming up the frogs very much at all, and is concerned with where the bones in the hoof sit in the hoof capsule, as well as other issues with the hoof. I've been using by practitioner for over a year now, and my horse has never been more sound. [Yay]

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It looks like you have good feet work work with!

I agree that we need better pictures... all fours, all angles, as clear as possible...to really help a lot.

BUT, from what I see at this point, they look like they need a trim. The wall appears to be above the sole by quite a bit... the heels look long on one foot... and I think I can see a bit of flare/white line stretching starting...but that appears it's because the wall is so long and bearing all the weight.

It might just be the way your horses feet look, or perhaps you cleaned them REALLY well, but the soles look TOO clean, nearly like they've had invasion of live sole not that long ago.

I'd bring the walls level with the sole, roll to the water line (or white line in areas of stretched/hair white line), not touch the frog or sole, give some quarter relief on all fours (notice the hairline in the last picture? See how it's arched up and the front/toe area seem to pull down? I'd give quarter relief, and make sure my toe was backed up properly and then pay CLOSE attention to what that hairline is telling you), give the toe a *bit* of breakover, and make sure I had the heel height compatible with the live sole...bringing them back a little bit more.

But all in all...they don't look bad. Just be careful that you're applying the roll for correct function, NOT just how it cosmetically looks on top. Your roll and bevel look nice from top...except for the bit of flare I see in some shots...and when you turn the foot over, I can see WHY there is that little bit of flare.

I believe I read in an article somewhere that once the hoof wall has grown the thickness of TWO credit cards ABOVE the level of the sole, you will start to see white line streching and if not corrected, flaring. I've found this to be pretty accurate and depending on the severity, sometimes something like that that might just take a week or two to develop enough for you to CLEARLY see, can take WEEKS or more to get back to correct again. I've found it's easiest, on barefooters, to inspect their feet weekly...every two weeks at the very least, and make quick touchups as needed instead of waiting for a "trim day" weeks later. It's also allowed me to really watch their feet, how they wear them, how the travel on them, and I can make very tiny minor adjustments based on what I see short term rather than waiting 5 weeks and it's a much bigger problem.

What "method" are you using? Clearly you're following things taught by Pete Ramey and similar styles, but there are small difference within each person's style. Some start from the top, some from the bottom, etc. Mostly, they end up with a VERY similar foot... but it sometimes helps to know how you approach the foot when you go out there.

I could keep going on a few things that keep jumping out as I look more at the pictures, but digest that for now and see if you agree after you look at the pictures with those things in mind.

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It looks like you have good feet work work with!

I agree that we need better pictures... all fours, all angles, as clear as possible...to really help a lot.

BUT, from what I see at this point, they look like they need a trim. The wall appears to be above the sole by quite a bit... the heels look long on one foot... and I think I can see a bit of flare/white line stretching starting...but that appears it's because the wall is so long and bearing all the weight.

It might just be the way your horses feet look, or perhaps you cleaned them REALLY well, but the soles look TOO clean, nearly like they've had invasion of live sole not that long ago.

I'd bring the walls level with the sole, roll to the water line (or white line in areas of stretched/hair white line), not touch the frog or sole, give some quarter relief on all fours (notice the hairline in the last picture? See how it's arched up and the front/toe area seem to pull down? I'd give quarter relief, and make sure my toe was backed up properly and then pay CLOSE attention to what that hairline is telling you), give the toe a *bit* of breakover, and make sure I had the heel height compatible with the live sole...bringing them back a little bit more.

But all in all...they don't look bad. Just be careful that you're applying the roll for correct function, NOT just how it cosmetically looks on top. Your roll and bevel look nice from top...except for the bit of flare I see in some shots...and when you turn the foot over, I can see WHY there is that little bit of flare.

I believe I read in an article somewhere that once the hoof wall has grown the thickness of TWO credit cards ABOVE the level of the sole, you will start to see white line streching and if not corrected, flaring. I've found this to be pretty accurate and depending on the severity, sometimes something like that that might just take a week or two to develop enough for you to CLEARLY see, can take WEEKS or more to get back to correct again. I've found it's easiest, on barefooters, to inspect their feet weekly...every two weeks at the very least, and make quick touchups as needed instead of waiting for a "trim day" weeks later. It's also allowed me to really watch their feet, how they wear them, how the travel on them, and I can make very tiny minor adjustments based on what I see short term rather than waiting 5 weeks and it's a much bigger problem.

What "method" are you using? Clearly you're following things taught by Pete Ramey and similar styles, but there are small difference within each person's style. Some start from the top, some from the bottom, etc. Mostly, they end up with a VERY similar foot... but it sometimes helps to know how you approach the foot when you go out there.

I could keep going on a few things that keep jumping out as I look more at the pictures, but digest that for now and see if you agree after you look at the pictures with those things in mind.

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quote:

Originally posted by Chocomare:

Before I comment, could you get a few more pictures?

ALL FOUR HOOVES - put the camera on the ground, facing the hoof dead straight on and then both sides (so 3 pics per hoof).

That will help me/us/others give a better critique.
[Wink]

From the rear would be good, too...

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quote:

Originally posted by Chocomare:

Before I comment, could you get a few more pictures?

ALL FOUR HOOVES - put the camera on the ground, facing the hoof dead straight on and then both sides (so 3 pics per hoof).

That will help me/us/others give a better critique.
[Wink]

From the rear would be good, too...

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Your right foot is farther along in transition than the left. See the difference in the heel heights? The left heels can come down a tad more to look like the heels (according to live sole) on the right foot.

Solar shots (last 2 pics) Let your eye follow the sole around the hoof, then notice the wall heights as you go around. You must follow the sole with your wall height. I like the toe wall on the right foot, especially since the collateral groove at the apex is not really deep yet. Try to keep that same height at the toe (right foot) and follow it around (from widest part of the hoof to widest part of the hoof...3 o'clock to 9 o'clock) Now, you must disengage the quarters. From the front of the heel platforms, the wall should ramp down quickly to be at sole level at the quarters, then meld that scoop with the wall height at the toe quarters (3 and 9 o'clock) This allows the hoof to expand from front to back and releases the pull that the toe has on the heels. One smooth motion...place the rasp at the front of the heel platforms, then pushing straight from the shoulder, rasp down towards the toe and across all the way to the toe quarter...one smooth move...think scoop. LOL! Now the bevel...leave a hair of the wall on the ground and rasp a 45 degree angle forward from that on out. That will lift the wall off the ground slightly and disengage the torque at the toe...and you're done! No need to address any flare from the top this time around.

You can see that as his heels are coming down, the frog is finally coming into play and is reaching up to do its job and help the heels. You have done a very neat and tidy job...good balance too! Looks like more sole is exfoliating as well. You are also a friendly trimmer who listens to the hoof well. The changes are gradual, transition is promoted and you are moving forward very well indeed! Congratulations!

I would tweak the right foot first, then do the left with same sole compliments afterwards. Oh, and keep an eye on the left front heels. They still have a stronger pull on them from the toe than the right hoof. Strive to keep them beside the widest part of the frog, but obey the sole and don't get too short. If you pull the rasp back across the heels (thinking "back") you will extend the platform back farther without shortening them any more. Hope this helps!

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Your right foot is farther along in transition than the left. See the difference in the heel heights? The left heels can come down a tad more to look like the heels (according to live sole) on the right foot.

Solar shots (last 2 pics) Let your eye follow the sole around the hoof, then notice the wall heights as you go around. You must follow the sole with your wall height. I like the toe wall on the right foot, especially since the collateral groove at the apex is not really deep yet. Try to keep that same height at the toe (right foot) and follow it around (from widest part of the hoof to widest part of the hoof...3 o'clock to 9 o'clock) Now, you must disengage the quarters. From the front of the heel platforms, the wall should ramp down quickly to be at sole level at the quarters, then meld that scoop with the wall height at the toe quarters (3 and 9 o'clock) This allows the hoof to expand from front to back and releases the pull that the toe has on the heels. One smooth motion...place the rasp at the front of the heel platforms, then pushing straight from the shoulder, rasp down towards the toe and across all the way to the toe quarter...one smooth move...think scoop. LOL! Now the bevel...leave a hair of the wall on the ground and rasp a 45 degree angle forward from that on out. That will lift the wall off the ground slightly and disengage the torque at the toe...and you're done! No need to address any flare from the top this time around.

You can see that as his heels are coming down, the frog is finally coming into play and is reaching up to do its job and help the heels. You have done a very neat and tidy job...good balance too! Looks like more sole is exfoliating as well. You are also a friendly trimmer who listens to the hoof well. The changes are gradual, transition is promoted and you are moving forward very well indeed! Congratulations!

I would tweak the right foot first, then do the left with same sole compliments afterwards. Oh, and keep an eye on the left front heels. They still have a stronger pull on them from the toe than the right hoof. Strive to keep them beside the widest part of the frog, but obey the sole and don't get too short. If you pull the rasp back across the heels (thinking "back") you will extend the platform back farther without shortening them any more. Hope this helps!

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Ooops! [smile] Put a lighter 45 bevel on all quarters as well. When you put the hoof down, you'll see that scoop at the ground line and know that you could slip a credit card under there.

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Ooops! [smile] Put a lighter 45 bevel on all quarters as well. When you put the hoof down, you'll see that scoop at the ground line and know that you could slip a credit card under there.

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Thanks so much everyone. I have been bumbling along doing my own thing but not sure what that is. I will use your points and will also get some more pictures and post them too as suggested. I really appreciate all the help I can get as there are no farriers in my area worth a tinker's cuss. And barefoot is a BAD word.

Another question...the horse pictured is the one with the best feet and so I have been striving to also bring the other two up to this. However one of them has two very flat feet and the third has four very flat feet. Do the same principles apply? I have Boa boots for all of them and we use them on the trail and I will continue to do so until I am sure that they don't need them anymore. I will also get pics of the flat footed ones. Is it possible to send them via PM as I don't want to tie up the board with loads of feet pics? Thanks again for your help.

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Thanks so much everyone. I have been bumbling along doing my own thing but not sure what that is. I will use your points and will also get some more pictures and post them too as suggested. I really appreciate all the help I can get as there are no farriers in my area worth a tinker's cuss. And barefoot is a BAD word.

Another question...the horse pictured is the one with the best feet and so I have been striving to also bring the other two up to this. However one of them has two very flat feet and the third has four very flat feet. Do the same principles apply? I have Boa boots for all of them and we use them on the trail and I will continue to do so until I am sure that they don't need them anymore. I will also get pics of the flat footed ones. Is it possible to send them via PM as I don't want to tie up the board with loads of feet pics? Thanks again for your help.

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Wow - haven't been on this site for quite awhile, but I zeroed right in on your barefoot trimming pictures! Rest assured, you are doing the best thing you possibly could for your horse. I'm assuming, of course, that your trimmer is well-trained in barefoot trimming and not just pulling the shoes and hacking away at the hoofs. I finally found an excellent certified barefoot trimmer in my area about a year ago, and my "navicular" horse is steadily improving since she's been trimming him. Check out Pete Ramey's website - TONS of information and explanations there. In fact, I saw him on a Clinton Anderson show and that's what got me interested. Lots of other sites out there too. Best of luck to you and your barefoot horse!

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Wow - haven't been on this site for quite awhile, but I zeroed right in on your barefoot trimming pictures! Rest assured, you are doing the best thing you possibly could for your horse. I'm assuming, of course, that your trimmer is well-trained in barefoot trimming and not just pulling the shoes and hacking away at the hoofs. I finally found an excellent certified barefoot trimmer in my area about a year ago, and my "navicular" horse is steadily improving since she's been trimming him. Check out Pete Ramey's website - TONS of information and explanations there. In fact, I saw him on a Clinton Anderson show and that's what got me interested. Lots of other sites out there too. Best of luck to you and your barefoot horse!

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You're welcome to PM them to me... or email. I can PM you my email addy if you're interested.

As far as the other flatter footed horses... all feet are different on all horses. Really, the key is to learn to "read" the hoof and follow what it needs based on what you see. What you do to one horse's feet isn't necessarily what you do exactly to another. The *concept* is the same, but for instance, I have one that I'm having to do a "white line trim" on because she's got a spreading white line, it's wider/hairy and I can see the laminae very easily. (she's the most recent out of shoes, btw) She's also far more flat than the others right now.

Another, I'm using a toe rocker on (for just a trim or two because it can cause lose of concavity), because he has what I've seen as referred to as "forward foot syndrome". His toes/hoof is stretched more forward, pulling his heels together, his breakover is far too far forward, and he struggles with landing heel first on that foot. Not suprisingly, he's had "navicular" type pain/symptoms...which are all but gone after changing how his foot is addressed. He's improved SO much already, that I'm now 100% positive he'll return to competition. I really had doubts he'd be anything but light riding sound prior to these changes.

A few others are trimmed with what I guess is called the maintenance trim. They have nice tight white lines (which actually look yellowish, and are of a rubbery texture) a nice break-over, landing heel first, with nice concavity. They get touched up often (every few weeks) and are rolled from the water line out.

One of them "asks" for the quarter scoops, one isn't showing me that it needs/wants it and does wonderfully with less quarter relief than the other.

So anyway, to answer your question on whether they're trimmed the same...yes and no. Yes, because it's all based on what the foot is asking for and trying to grow and the same hoof dynamics and mechanics are in the mix, but no because each may have their own issues that are addressed individually.

Often, as each hoof is trimmed as called for, the *end* product is hooves that look similar amoung horses. Not picture perfect, because that's like saying all healthy human feet appear the same shape, size, and have all the same angles... but you will see the same "landmarks" and indications that you have a healthy, properly functioning foot for that horse.

PM me if you'd like me to take a look at other pictures.

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You're welcome to PM them to me... or email. I can PM you my email addy if you're interested.

As far as the other flatter footed horses... all feet are different on all horses. Really, the key is to learn to "read" the hoof and follow what it needs based on what you see. What you do to one horse's feet isn't necessarily what you do exactly to another. The *concept* is the same, but for instance, I have one that I'm having to do a "white line trim" on because she's got a spreading white line, it's wider/hairy and I can see the laminae very easily. (she's the most recent out of shoes, btw) She's also far more flat than the others right now.

Another, I'm using a toe rocker on (for just a trim or two because it can cause lose of concavity), because he has what I've seen as referred to as "forward foot syndrome". His toes/hoof is stretched more forward, pulling his heels together, his breakover is far too far forward, and he struggles with landing heel first on that foot. Not suprisingly, he's had "navicular" type pain/symptoms...which are all but gone after changing how his foot is addressed. He's improved SO much already, that I'm now 100% positive he'll return to competition. I really had doubts he'd be anything but light riding sound prior to these changes.

A few others are trimmed with what I guess is called the maintenance trim. They have nice tight white lines (which actually look yellowish, and are of a rubbery texture) a nice break-over, landing heel first, with nice concavity. They get touched up often (every few weeks) and are rolled from the water line out.

One of them "asks" for the quarter scoops, one isn't showing me that it needs/wants it and does wonderfully with less quarter relief than the other.

So anyway, to answer your question on whether they're trimmed the same...yes and no. Yes, because it's all based on what the foot is asking for and trying to grow and the same hoof dynamics and mechanics are in the mix, but no because each may have their own issues that are addressed individually.

Often, as each hoof is trimmed as called for, the *end* product is hooves that look similar amoung horses. Not picture perfect, because that's like saying all healthy human feet appear the same shape, size, and have all the same angles... but you will see the same "landmarks" and indications that you have a healthy, properly functioning foot for that horse.

PM me if you'd like me to take a look at other pictures.

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Just noticed your comment about the Boa boots - you might want to continue to use them when trail riding, especially on rough terrain. I've found that they offer superior comfort for my horse when we ride on constantly changing surfaces. If you're just riding in an arena or pasture, you can probably get by without them.

Also, if you're doing your own trimming, Pete Ramey has an excellent book that shows you how to do it. I'm sure there are more books on the subject out there, but his is the only one I've read so far.

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Just noticed your comment about the Boa boots - you might want to continue to use them when trail riding, especially on rough terrain. I've found that they offer superior comfort for my horse when we ride on constantly changing surfaces. If you're just riding in an arena or pasture, you can probably get by without them.

Also, if you're doing your own trimming, Pete Ramey has an excellent book that shows you how to do it. I'm sure there are more books on the subject out there, but his is the only one I've read so far.

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Go ahead and post them here. Love pics! Just start a thread for each horse. Have a good look at them before you post them and tell us what you see. It will be a great exercise for you (myself included) in reading the hoof and what the sole is telling you. Barefoot is not a bad word here! [Wink]

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Go ahead and post them here. Love pics! Just start a thread for each horse. Have a good look at them before you post them and tell us what you see. It will be a great exercise for you (myself included) in reading the hoof and what the sole is telling you. Barefoot is not a bad word here! [Wink]

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