Hoof Walker Natural Trim
Hoof Walker Natural Trim
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Lisa Phelps

Why should my horse be barefoot?
Barefoot horses are better able to feel the ground making them more stable and safer to ride.

Being barefoot allows the hoof mechanism to function properly improving circulation and creating strong new growth.

Being barefoot allows for greatly improved shock absorption and traction.

No more rides spoiled by a thrown shoe.

Healthier hooves = healthier horses.

A natural barefoot trim is much less stressful to your horse than a farrier nailing shoes to your horses feet.

Photo courtesy of Connie Moses
Portraits with Horses

 

Before and After Photos

These before and after photos are intended to educate horse owners. We must not judge after the fact how or why horses end up in bad condition. Instead we need to understand that the hoof can through injury, illness or lack of care become grossly distorted and often painful to the horse. It's far more important that we recognize and respect the horses' ability to heal.

If you have a horse with scary feet get help, preferably a good, Natural Hoofcare Practitioner. Never assume that "it's too late" or that the horse can not be helped. The only time it is too late is if the horse gives up!

Jan. 9, 2009
Top left photo - before trim. Now THAT's a toe crack! The photo doesn't do justice to the damage here. The entire right side of the hoof wall (left in the photo) has pulled away from the coffin bone.

Top right and bottom left photos - after trim. You can see the difference in in the height of the hoof wall from one side to the other, how the one side is lifted up.

October 29, 2009
Bottom right photo - after trim. Sorry about the mud but you get the idea. Proof positive that you DO NOT need shoes to hold these nasty cracks together while they grow out. Healing takes time, attention and a good, consistent natural trim. Come back this summer for the next update!

1-9-2009

1-9-2009

1-9-2009 after

10-29-2009

 

Left front foot - top photos
Before - This draft was pushing 2,000 lbs. It's hard to see because of the grass but his heel was seriously underrun, almost directly below the front of his coronary band (very front of hairline). His foot was well in front of his leg leaving all that weight cantelevered out the back and he was lame.

After - Because his problem was gross overgrowth of the hoof wall it only took the first trim to get amazing results. Now the foot is positioned under the leg where it can properly support this big boy.

Left hind foot - bottom photos
Before - In the 'before' photo you can see the excessive growth. Fortunately, his heels on his hind feet didn't run forward as much as they did on the front feet. You can see that his sole is chalky. When I began scraping away at it I discovered the chalky material was well over an inch deep.
After - He cleaned up nicely and within a few days this guy was no longer lame.

It's important to note that this horse was under the care of a hoof care professional. The owner didn't feel right about this horses' feet and did the right thing. She listened to her heart and looked for a second opinion.

Front foot


 

Front foot

 

 

These are examples of a miniature horse (top) and a pony (bottom) who were simply not trimmed. Large horses will often self-trim, that is, break off the hoof wall when it gets very long. These little guys sometimes don't have the weight to do that.

There are many reasons horses don't get regular trims. In both of these cases the professional who had been working with them became unreliable, obviously for quite a long time. I love horse owners who are loyal to the people who help them care for their animals. But at some point you have to just move on. Loyalty is a two way street!

Mini

Pony

Mini

Pony

 

 

Feb 2008
Before - This horse was under the care of a farrier who apparently got in over his head. In addition to the obvious crazy growth the sole of his foot was very badly infected. The other feet were bad but not like this.

April 2009
Yes, it does take time, especially with the challenges this horse faced. But look at what patience, good treatment by the horse owner and consistent trimming can do! This horse owner was a CHAMPION of soaking and treating these feet twice daily and he doesn't live at her home. She took over care when she discovered the horses condition. Sshe is my personal hero for being the perfect horse mom.

 

 

 

 

December 2006
In the first photo Dusty is literally standing on his heel bulbs. That in itself is painful but it also puts a reverse angle on the coffin bone. That is to say that the back of the coffin bone is lower than the front. This is painful and can cause damage to the coffin bone itself.

September 2007
This horse made great improvements quite quickly. Here you see he has heel and the angle of his toe is much improved and beautifully straight. You can read Dusty's testimonial on the Testimonials page.

Once again I have to say that this horse was under the care of a hoof professional. When the owners heart was telling her that the horse needed something different she stepped up. She also was very willing to do whatever it took on her end, like hand walking every day. Cudos to MT! Another dedicated horse mom!

Dec. 2006

 

September 2007