Nature's Design Hoofcare - "Going beyond hoofcare to help horses"

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Donkeys! They need hoofcare too
Cowboy Up!
"Cash"ing in on going barefoot
Sole Bruising Caused by Overthinning
Look that horse in the mouth, you may be surprised at whats going on


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Donkeys! They need hoofcare too

I trim a lot of donkeys these days. some are in bad shape when i first see them. due to strong, thick hoof walls their feet tend to curl and keep growing rather than break off like most horses will. i'll use this blog to show the good, the bad, and most certainly the ugly. most are donkeys used to protect cattle and it takes a little while to get them all trimmed up. i think thats one of the reasons they are left for so long, they're hard to deal with and expensive to sedate. ive been very fortunate to work with people who understand the importance of routine care and now maintain a healthy schedule to keep their guard donks in tip top coyote chasing shape.

Cowboy Up!

This is Cowboy Jack. He was a gift to a client and that turned into a project for me. HA! He was fairly lame on the fronts and very stiff with the hinds. Didn't like to move around much and especially not at a brisk pace. First thing i noticed was the effort he had to put into lifting those front feet off the ground. Every step looked like it was such work for him. Upon pulling the shoes I noticed why, thick steel shoes, pads, and an expoxy filler to help with cushioning and easing the pain. Wowza!

"Cash"ing in on going barefoot

not much to say here about his guy, picture speaks for itself!
way too long and underrun foot. common happening in horses that are shod. this is because the hoof is not able to expand and contract naturally all the way around the foot. in stead what happens is it moves the only way it can, forward. so the constant shoeing and lack of expansion pulls the foot forward creating this long toe/underrun heel condition.
just trying to show the misalignment of the angles here due to the hoof condition.

just a little too much toe here.

Sole Bruising Caused by Overthinning

This is a horse who the lady has owned for 4yrs and he has never been sound on rocks, really ouchy and always trying to walk around them. And abscessing frequently. She called me out for boots after seeing some other ladies around the farm wearing them out on the trials. When I got there I saw a horse who was suffering from very thin and massively bruised soles.
He lives in a soft terrain pasture so i gave him a basic trim and told her to use boots whenever she rode him. I think she even used them just to walk him across the gravel driveway to get to the hitching post :)

Look that horse in the mouth, you may be surprised at whats going on

Young horse jaw bone i found in a pasture. Awesome find!!
you can see the last molar hasn't erupted yet. this is probably a 3yr old horse.
notice the sharp edges on the teeth?? yes, those are supposed to be there!!!  they help in the chewing and breaking down of grass and hay. when they're ground down smooth they lose that ability and your horse can't chew or digest properly. finding a true professional dentist is a must to ensure adequate care it taken of your horses teeth :)

Proper dentition is a crucial element of balance to your horse.

Cadaver Pics-WARNING some graphic pics of inner hooves

Ever wonder whats going on inside your horse's hoof?

Here's a decent looking internal view of a hoof. The toe is awfully long but sole is thick and coffin bone is a little lower than it should be but still a good idea of what it should look like in there. triangular looking bone (only in sagittal view does it appear that way) is the coffin bone. above that is p2 and above that is p1. the small bone under p2 is the navicular bone. you can also see the flexor tendon that runs along the back of it pretty well.

Laminitis and Conventional Medicine, The Times, They Are A Changin'

Great article on why research is always needed to stay current and learn new things about our equine companions.
Not all old ways are cutting it and with new studies like this bringing light to better ways on treating serious ailments like laminitis it makes me so passionate about always learning and encouraging horse owners to educate themselves as well. Not all farriers are up to speed to be sure to question them on their education, background, and RECENT knowledge on the hoof and mechanics. It could save you time, money, and most importantly the life of your horse.

Nahla-2yr old rescued quarter horse

Nahla is a great girl who was neglected in all areas during the first few short years of her life. Rescued by a wonderful lady and so begun her quest for a happy life for this girl.
This is the pic I was sent when she was looking at the horse. I was asked if I thought her feet could be corrected. Of course I love a challenge and was happy to be included in the whole process of this sweet girl.
long, deep crack running up the entire length of her hoof. This happens when the hoof is left to self trim and the prying forces of this movement create stress cracks that can cause lots of problems if not addressed.

Bucking the system

I knew when i got into this business that it would be a battle sometimes. Old school vets and farriers who've been practicing longer than i've been alive are hard to combat with at times.
I guess i'm one of the unconventional, barefoot trimmers that these kinds of professionals just can't wrap their minds around. I'm so glad to have learned what i've learned and see it work in the hard cases i'm able to work with.
i know i won't be able to convince every owner to buck the system and give me a shot but i'm certainly appreciative to the brave ones who can see the truth behind the barefoot movement and how much more beneficial it is for the horses and say "why not!

Foundered Mule

Foundered mule that was taken in by some good people to get back on the right track.Her feet are way overgrown, so pile neglect on top of the foundering. Fat crest on her neck
indicative of founder as well.

majorly overgrown hoof wall. heels curling
under like crazy. hind feet in bas shape as well. mule was getting around pretty good but with over exaggerated leg action
to compensate for the overgrowth.

 Close ups of her front feet.

i took her heels down a good bit this first trip out but didn't get any good work done on her hoof walls.
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