[EquineCushings] Barefootin' - a little rant

Abby Nemec

repete134@... wrote:
What's the difference between the coffin bone crashing into the metal shoe or (preferably) soft ground or padded cushioning?
I think I already covered my butt on this one - poorly phrased the first
time. I was talking about well-applied heart bars vs a bad trim.

There's no "preventing" the coffin bone from rotating EXCEPT for removing the cause that is inflaming the laminae.
I do NOT disagree with this. That is the absolute truth - and I would
add that you must remove the cause AND restore proper mechanics so that
the new horn can grow in appropriately. BUT if a horse has
already-inflamed poorly functioning damaged feet, AND a care situation
or a previously inappropriate trim or the inability to provide the
appropriate booting, it's no disaster to provide a horse with something
that will make him more comfortable and give him a chance to repair a little bit.

The problem I have with shoes on a pathological hoof (or any hoof for that matter) is that they restrict the hoof mechanism, which weakens internal structures
BUT if the appropriate foot is not touching the ground - if the foot has been trimmed badly - then the hoof mechanism is impaired as well, so if you're looking at bad mechanism to begin with, and a shoe can relieve some of what's wrong for a given horse living in a given paddock with a given owner, then as remote participants - as CONSULTANTS to the situation here on the Internet - we must not be pasting blanket statements like "shoes are always wrong" on these cases.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a barefooter from way back. As I said, 90% of my practice (quite literally) is barefoot. My own horses are 75% barefoot. I give lectures on how to be gutsy enough to keep a performance horse barefoot. BUT BUT BUT - a barefooter who refuses to shoe under any circumstance is as guilty of refusing to think outside the box as a shoer who refuses to pull shoes.

and the day after they are nailed on there is hoof wall growing that can
not wear on it's own accordingly (imagine the growth in 6-8 weeks - the usual amount of time shoes are left on before resetting).
Who said anything about leaving a rotated hoof in shoes for 6-8 weeks? Not me. The reset cycle for shoes has to be the same as the trim cycle for bare feet. I also know from doing my fair share of booting compromised feet that boots prevent wear as much as shoes do. AAMOF if your barefooted horse is wearing too fast, what do you do? Boot him.

......this leaves the bony
column to suspend from the laminae -further weakening them...NOT contributing to healing.
Ummm ... actually if the horse is in heart bars that isn't the case. Also, if the horse is in shoes with an Equithane packing filled to ground level there is plenty of sole support and the foot does NOT hang from the laminae. Be careful of painting with too broad a brush. The minute you get into sweeping generalizations you lose credibility.

But...I agree...ANYONE....farrier or barefoot trimmer should provide credentials and references - not that those guarantee anything...but it's better than someone who doesn't have them. There are just as many horrible farriers out there. Years of experience doesn't always mean they are better than someone just coming out of school, either.
That's not what I said - my point was a "caveat emptor" (buyer beware) to those shopping for hoof care services. We get second opinions on all kinds of things. We have Eleanor look at our bloodwork. We have KFG or Patti or Eleanor do our diets. We are looking all over the place for specialists who can help to support us in the care we give our compromised horses. Then we fire our long-term farrier because he does the AFA trim and call the kid down the street who "took a barefoot course" and he comes out and does "the barefoot trim" on our horse's fragile feet. Why are we not seeking out and getting consults on our hoof care from people who have more experience with rehabilitating foundered feet? The internet brings them to our door.

Sometimes....the "experienced" ones don't want to change their ways.....
I don't disagree with that - I really don't - and that's really not what started all of this. That's how I got into this business in the first place. Y'all don't all know this, but I do know dozens and dozens of farriers and trimmers locally. I talk with them all the time about new ideas and nifty new products. I know which ones are open to new things and which ones are not. I also know that some of the "barefoot religion" people are as closed-minded about shoes as some farriers are about barefooting. I wish that were not true.


Abby Bloxsom