I have a day off, to go meet a barefoot guy

Toz

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Jul 14, 2019
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Following on from my Oz thread recently going barefoot is something I’ve started to (cautiously!) consider. In all honesty if he could actually keep shoes on I’d probably continue trying different methods of shoeing instead.
I’m aware it’s going to take a ridiculously long time and may not be an option for him at all but figure he’s only 9, we are not in proper getting anywhere work and I don’t have a huge amount of riding time (and he only has back shoes on currently anyway!)
That now might be the time.
Ive read a few magazines which I’ve found really interesting and have made me a bit ashamed at my foot knowledge.
So this guy is apparently very sought after and a great name for rehabbing difficult feet, he also happens to be visiting a local lady who I know slightly this morning. She was very keen for me to just go meet and discuss my problems with him.... so I bit the bullet took a lovely day off work and am going to see if he can help us.
wish me luck!!
 

Toz

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I’m only just back! 2.5 hours later!
it was so interesting and he was a very good teacher. Never has any farrier gone into such detail to explain anything (and everything!) he’s obviously passionate about what he does. He was also very patient with the horses which Is highly important to me.
He’s coming next week to look at Oz and the two little ponies, last time they were trimmed they were very lame afterwards so I’ve been nervous about getting them done since and they are over due.
Hes going to go through everything down to every ingredient in everything I feed apparently.
I mean in Oz world things can’t get too much worse so the only way is up (I hope!)
 

Jessey

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Great he took time explaining :) it's often a much more holistic approach than old school farriery, not saying some farriers aren't getting more into it too, there are good and bad in every profession :)
 
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Mary Poppins

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My horse had been barefoot for over 18 months now and it is the best thing I ever did for him. He ended up in a pretty dreadful state which was in part caused by a poor farrier. With my vets encouragement (he is passionate about barefoot) I have been able to get Ben completely self trimming. He hasn’t had his feet touched or trimmed by anyone in the last 18 months and his feet now look fabulous and are a 100 times stronger than before. The self trimming route is controversial and I don’t tend to talk about it because I find people get very defensive about their horses being shod/trimmed and therefore like to tell me I am doing the wrong thing!

Good luck on your barefoot journey. In my experience/opinion you have to find a method of foot care which works for you and your horse. No one method is going to suit all horses so it is the case of finding the right fit for you.
 
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Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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We have five natives and non are shod. our eldest now 30 and retired is trimmed every 12 to 16 weeks, farrier will only do her when he thinks its needed, she was shod for 15 yrs before we transitioned her as farrier said she shouldn't need them, we had no problems with her whatsoever. the 2 boys are ex lami and are balanced every 4 to 5 weeks - both are still lightly shown but not ridden now. our young ridden mare is turned away for winter and will trim possibly 12 weeks but may go 16 in summer she is worked and self trims to some degree so its usually 8 weeks for balancing trim and our companion shetland mare is on 12 week, poss again 16 weeks this time of year, she came to us with poor feet so usually balanced at 8 weeks in summer, but our farrier is brilliant he checks them every 4 weeks when he comes to the boys but only charges for those that actually need work, he does not trim unless they need it . I am not anti shoeing if they need them then they need them, our ex racehorse could not keep shoes on but neither could he cope barefoot it was a nightmare.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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@Mary Poppins I don't understand the concept of the self trimming - I am not looking to argue / be rude / defensive but would like to know more on here. It isn't something that I've seen discussed that often. I am genuinely curious. I have my three unshod. They are trimmed regularly by a farrier who encourages barefoot horses. Mine have a varied terrain, some sand, grass and a lot of stone yet still need trimming professionally. Am I getting the wrong end of the stick on this? Is there some rasping that you yourself do? Mr T and I bought our last farriers old rasp and something else (for when J was still alive and always losing shoes) and now and again Mr T has to tidy up say a chipped / sticking out piece of hoof.
Why is self trimming controversial? I am just in the dark about it. Timely though as my farrier is due in the morning and if she has time I'll be asking her for her opinion and information.
 
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Toz

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Id love to know a bit more about the self trimming also?
I expect as with everything if it’s horsey in particular if it’s not their way it’s the wrong way. That’s what we need to break away from I think!
lemme- what happened with your ex racer you mention?
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I'd like to learn about self trimming too! Very interesting!

Ales been barefoot now about 3 years, not been the smoothest journey, could of been far worse though. One thing I will say is my trimmer communicates with me so much more than my farrier ever did. Lots of advice and guidance and his feet do now look great.

Good luck and fingers crossed you see lots of improvement!
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Billy is self trimming. I've had him almost 4 years and he has never once been trimmed or rasped. He is definitely thinner soled than chunky. He just doesnt growth the hoof and the amount of work I'm doing is just right. He has been a little tender from time to time and I have questioned with the farrier whether I should shoe and he doesnt think I should. He thinks once I start it will change the foot structure. When hes been a little tender he has said just do a little less for a couple of weeks and be sensible about the ground you hack on. Interesting whilst hes had a bit of time off recently I notice he has got a bit more hoof on him, the frog grooves have got deeper. Just before his time off he was a bit footy on one of his front feet, but I notice with the extra growth, the footyness has now decreased.

Chunky who is older and shod on fronts only grows masses of hoof. Double the growth in the spring, early summer. He has always been like it. My previous farrier hardly ever touched his back feet. About once a year he would trim the backs. So he was very much self trimming. However when my vet looked at his feet he told me to change farrier. Whilst the feet were okay. Basically he was walking on stilts (is the best way to describe it). The new farrier took loads off, including loads off the shod fronts. He explained to me that they needed to be closer to the ground for balance and also so the frog could do its job pumping the blood through the foot. Because he had that much growth the feet werent able to work as well. The farrier I use now comes every 6 weeks, and he always trims loads off his fronts and backs.
Interesting that the horses on on exactly the same pasture on the same food yet they have completely different growth rates.
If you are on Facebook there are a few great barefoot groups that give some interesting information. Some of it's over my head, I never take it all in.
They very much advocate looking at the diet.
 

Lemme

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May 22, 2008
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Id love to know a bit more about the self trimming also?
I expect as with everything if it’s horsey in particular if it’s not their way it’s the wrong way. That’s what we need to break away from I think!
lemme- what happened with your ex racer you mention?

hoof quality was the real issue, tried everything, diet, supplements .

My understanding of self trimming is providing the horse with the right conditions to allow the feet to naturally trim without the need for human intervention, much as they would in the wild, unfortunately my land is not suitable for that and the horses not worked enough to find the right balance to manage, I may be wrong unless the poster meant she was trimming horse herself.
 
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