If you’ve been thinking about having the farrier take off your horse’s shoes, then now could well be a great time to make the move. If the shorter and colder days mean your horse can anticipate a decrease in workload this will give time for the transition to be done and allow him or her to adapt to the changes. By the time the days are getting longer next year you and your horse could be well into experiencing the benefits of being barefoot.
Going barefoot gets fresh blood circulating to provide nourishment and oxygen to your horse’s feet and ensures that the shock of impact is properly absorbed. Going barefoot is simple, beneficial and cost effective and it’s also found to be of great help in holding off those debilitating conditions that so many horses are plagued with, Navicular disease, laminitis, ring bone, side bone, splints, arthritis and chronic thrush.
The transition to barefoot requires some attention, skill and dedication. Each horse is different however and will progress individually. Some horses may be very tender and take more time to condition to their natural barefoot state while others will adapt quickly and hardly miss a step in the transition. The difference is dependent upon the shape of the hoof to begin with, the condition or damage that already exists, the living environment, frequency of trimming, the length of time metal shoes have been on and a host of other variables.
Diet is a vitally important element in natural hoof care. Horses have evolved to eat a high fibre diet made up of a variety of plants, not just grass and the closer you can get to this natural state the better. It’s important to minimize the amount of sugar and starch in the diet and balance with a broad spectrum mineral vitamin supplement.
Exercise is also very important. Hooves are the healthiest when they receive lots of stimulus through movement. The blood circulates better, keeping the structures and tissues in top condition.
To successfully go barefoot you need to work with an experienced barefoot trimmer who will do a safe and effective trim on your horse and guide you through the process. Protective hoof boots will be a great help, at the very least for the transition, to avoid tenderness and bruising.
Cavallo Hoof Boots are a practical and a no-nonsense tool to assist in returning those feet to their rightful healthy state. You can keep your horse moving all winter with the assistance of well fitting and well made hoof boots. If you need to apply a poultice to hold a bandage in place or medicate to deal with issues such as thrush, you can even leave Cavallo boots on for turnout, but of course take care to check them frequently!
The rewards for going barefoot can be many. Natural hooves are healthier and function more efficiently than shod hooves. There’s less concussion and more efficient shock absorption. There is better traction on most surfaces and improved circulation in feet and legs and fewer injuries.
Every day we hear fantastic success stories from customers going barefoot with the help of Cavallo hoof boots. It’s always easier if your horse has good hooves to start with, but hoof boots have in some cases even saved the lives of horses unable to take shoes any longer.
Good luck. We can’t claim it’s absolutely for every horse, but with care, attention and a little bit of determination you can end up with a healthier, happier more natural horse.
If you need to talk through your own particular situation please call us – we’re happy to help and have lots of experience gained through helping our customers go barefoot.