For the serious inquiries...
click the button for a list of current papers by...
Dr. Chris Pollitt
University of Queensland
Jenny the mule sole penetration
Roxy June '06 April '07
Step 1. Pull the shoes! Any type of shoeing or casting restricts
proper hoof mechanism and hinders the natural healing process.
Step 2. Reconsider your feeding program. Is it a NATURAL diet?
Are they getting more than they can burn off? Are you adding
molasses or other sugars unnecessarily? Are they getting enough
minerals and salts daily? How is the water?
Step 3. Make sure they get PLENTY OF MOVEMENT! The hoof
was designed to travel across desert terrain for up to 20 miles a day.
If they don't move their feet, they aren't pumping any blood into them!
Boots may be necessary but they are for short term use only.
Step 4. Take a good look at their pasture...if it doesn't look like the
trails you ride on, then don't expect their hooves to be comfortable
with your added weight as well. The hoof will "adapt" to it's
environment with time and adding plenty of rocks to the paddock
makes a world of difference! The more the hoof is used, the tougher
it will become.
Step 5. The barefoot hoof should be trimmed in accordance with
natural wear. Anything other than a natural trim is nothing more than
man's idea of what a hoof should look like, not what it truly is. I ask
myself only this...who am I to question what nature has so perfectly
Step 6. Don't expect an overnight miracle. If your horse has been in
shoes for a long time, the healing process will take over a year on
average. Document your progress and don't give up on your horse!
Surely God would not have given him hooves he could not survive
Step 7. Have you saddle and your horses teeth checked regularly.
A saddle that fit two years ago may not fit today...and mouth
problems are sometimes mistaken for other lameness issues. Have
him checked by a chiropractor of needed to rule out any spinal
issues and incorporate stretching and massage into your training
Step 8. Give your horse as little medications as possible. Although
many vaccines are necessary, these too need to be considered fully
to optimize your horses health. Pain medications can cause further
injury if overused and should be given only when vet ordered.
Step 9. Read Founder:Prevention and Cure the Natural Way and
Pasture Paradise by Jaime Jackson for a more comprehensive look
into natural horse keeping.
Step 10. Listen to you Horse! They will let you know what they can
and can't do. Before you know it loosing a shoe will be a thing of the
past and your horse will be the best he can be!
How can you get hooves like these??
Follow this 10 step program to get started!