The second winner of a Horse and More Goodie box is Dan...
Dan is an equine dentist and has had some clients in the south of France www.happy-horse-training.com who are barefoot through and through.
Dan has evented to BE90 level and British Show Jumping Association to Fox Hunter level. Dan's family have a riding centre (now retired) on the North Yorkshire moors www.hollinequest.co.uk. He says he has a very good farrier (but then qualifies this with, don't we all, who would say their farrier is rubbish!) He was in pony club and riding club national teams and did his BHS stage 3.
Dan got a young horse from Ireland who he explains was a bit trippy in front and he initially took off his back shoes. Then he took the fronts off, much to his mother's protest. Dan's mother said if he didn't put shoes on him, Dan would have to take him elsewhere as he's too footsore to be turned out on their land. So Dan moved in with his girlfriend and kept him at a small yard near to where they lived.
Ironically, it was Dan's mother who came across the Cavallo Trek boots and now sells and fits them! After watching this particular horse's feet transform (see photos) Dan's mother is totally converted and didn't realise the damage shoeing was doing. They are both very much into trimming and but still use the farrier who is now quite open to barefoot. She recently took on a horse with "slipper" (very long) feet and pedal bone rotation, lame in all 4 feet. After a few months of working closely with the farrier involving weekly trimming and wearing boots in the field, the pedal bone has now lifted and the horse has been out competing at a local showjumping and is doing well.
Dan has now just tried the Cavallo ELB from horseandmore.co.uk and his mare now seems to go better in them. She has problems with coronet rubbing so he uses pastern wraps for endurance rides if she's booted.
Dan states "The main advantages of boots and barefoot are, you don't slip on the road and forest tracks due to better traction. You can just give their feet a rub round with the rasp and do a little bit at a time, keeping the foot in better balance compared to shoeing, and much less tripping due to encouraged heel first walking. And I feel their feet and frogs are so much healthier, no foot no horse! They also get much bigger frogs, bigger heels and digital cushion and the feet get stronger instead of relying on a shoe which is progressively weakening the foot."
Dan's partner's horse has had quite bad tripping issues and struggles with shoes. He then ripped his foot off down to the pedal bone in the trailer. After 6 months box rest and nearly losing him to gastric ulcer stress, he recovered but kept losing shoes. Anyway much to Dan's surprise and delight on December 8th 2015 his partner finally gives in and says she may as well take them all off and try boots.
Now he's doing well, has problems with heal rub so has pastern wraps but still struggles due to pink skin and white hair! Dan is hoping his partner sticks with it though.
Eight months later and his feet still need to improve but she's getting into it and he's doing some work without boots.We just completed 4 days at Lindum Spirit Endurance Festival coming 5th in the pleasure pairs (in Olympic Rio costume - see photo) 22km, then 8km, then 16km and then the last day 12k without boots!