Reply To: Transitioning to Barefoot

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Both My horses are barefoot. We ride tarred roads, rocky NH trails and can go for miles. Never have to worry about a pulled shoe. They have super tuff feet. They have never come up lame. The important thing is a trimmer that knows how to do a proper bare hoof trim. A farrier will most likely trim the way they know best. This means they will often take off important toe callus. For transistion you may need boots to ride for a while. I still use boa boots on one of my two boarders that is still new to bare foot. The other boarder is now perfectly sound on the trails without shoes. The trick to the boas is proper fit of course, you can ajust with the gaiters and pads. But most important is I use a triangle of thick neoprin under the dial. It is something sold as a weastern breast plate cover triangle with 4 inch sides and two layers of neoprin. I found it makes all the difference. Keeps pressure off of the upper corinary band on the hoof and allows you to tighten it up good without the chance of overtightening. I prefer these boots because they fit snug and wont twist and clop. I recomend reading Pete Ramey Making-Natural-Hoof-Care-Work-For-You. Good luck. I hope you decide to stick with the barehoof it’s less expensive than shoes and I strongly believe it is the best thing I did for my former horse a cronic founder, cushings horse. He was more comfortable barefoot with a good trimmer than he ever was with pads and metal shoes. I think 99% of horses with a propper trim will go sound. When someone says “my horse cant ever go barefoot” I always want to give them Pete Ramey’s book. Both of my boarders said the same thing and they are now saying they wished I could have convined them sooner.