What Is A Natural Barefoot Trim

 When  we talk about different barefoot trimming methods, we need to refer to  those that include natural living conditions as an important factor of  going barefoot and horses health in general.
 

A natural barefoot trim attempts to simulate the hoof of a wild horse –  that is one that is living in natural conditions. Barefoot trimmers  focus on the natural integrity of the equine foot, with its  physiologically correct hoof form.
 

Experts in Farrier Science study the wild horses' hooves for more  insight into how mankind can better simulate the ideal hoof in our  modern, captive conditions. However, it is important that the parameters  for a barefoot trim be developed from a wide range of feral equines,  and not be based on just one wild horse, in one small area of the world.
 

Wild horses live all  over the world, in various terrains, climates, and environment and their  hooves have adapted.  The most important parameters in common  throughout the wild species of the world are low heels, rounded toes and  functional, sound feet.
    Its not just about trimming the horses hoof! My Trimming techniques
are about the whole horse. Holistic hoof care adequate
turn out, nutrition, and exercise.
 

 Not all horses can go barefoot, I work hard to make sure the horse
is able to go barefoot in the most extreme level of performance.
I trim to the widest part of the weight bearing frog.
In doing this it helps to get a heel first landing which promotes
proper shock absorbing with in the hoof capsule.  One of the first things we need to understand that going
barefoot with a Natural Trim doesn't just mean going with out horse shoes!
It's a way of life in feeding, exercising, and giving them mental
stimulation every day for their well being. When we domesticate
them we now have a huge responsibility to take care of there daily needs.  I have made it my Focus to help Horse Owners transition
from Shoes to Barefoot where possible.
   

  • TURNOUT 24/7:  Horses roam up to 20 miles daily when in the wild.   
  • Some of our domesticated horses today don't even go 20 miles in a month! 
  • Give  a horse the opportunity to move around freely helps to keep their  bodies healthy but also helps give their hooves a good, natural trim.  
  • Domestic  horses NEED MOVEMENT to help also their keep body in optimum condition.  Even stalling a horse overnight will impede any hoof rehab that might  be needed and compromise the circulatory system.                                 


  • LIVING IN HERD SITUATION:  For mental health and physical it is best if you can keep horses in a herd rather than pad docked singularly.  
  • They look to each other for safety, warmth, grooming and move each other around for exercise. 


  • CONDITION & TYPE OF GROUND FOR TURNOUT: As  varied type of terrain as you can find is the most preferable - rocky,  sandy, grassy, forest, wet, dry, soaked ... horses need to have their  hooves constantly exposed to natural terrains and environments for  ultimate health. 


  • GRAZING:  Not only do horses prefer to be out in the open where they can see  what's going on around them, they graze in a natural head down position  which allows them to be calm and comfortable. The body actually is  hard-wired to send calming messages to the brain when the head is down.  
  • It  also is the way that horses clear their sinus passages and bronchial  tubes from irritants and phlegm. Its best when horses can eat from  ground level at all times. 


  • SHELTER:  If providing a man-made shelter in the field for the horse, allow the  floor to be a natural substance rather than shavings. Shavings dry out  the hooves in a matter of minutes and is detrimental to the overall  health of the hoof.  
  • Sometimes when we are in a wet environment dry shavings are a great way for taking the extra moisture out of the hooves. 

FEED & NUTRITION FOR THE BAREFOOT HORSE

  

  • Natural,  whole grains should be supplements to a diet of varied forages and  grasses. Hay, trees, shrubs, bushes, weeds, herbs, flowers -- these are  all part of a natural horse's diet. Each element offers specific  vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy gut and body.


  • Feed  the domestic horse with free choice, 24 hour access to grass hay if we  can. Addition of a small amount (1 or 2 flakes) of legume hay (Alfalfa)  is encouraged on a daily basis. 

Horses  eat 18 hours a day in the wild. Their stomachs are small, relatively  speaking and can only hold 2 - 4 liters of substance at a time.
 

The gut continually produces acids to break down the feedstuffs on a
24 hour basis. When horses have nothing in their stomach the acids
will still be excreted into the stomach. If that continues for some time
the acids in the stomach will begin to erode in inner lining of the stomach.
 

 If supplementing grain for the hay, 4 smaller feedings a day is preferable
to just 1 or 2 feedings a day. Smaller amounts of grain the better
and just give it to them more times in a day. This will mimic more
closely a horse being in a more natural environment.
 

HEALTH MAINTENANCE OF THE NATURAL HORSE

  

  • Use  Homeopathic and Organic Herbals for maintaining or restoring health as  well as preventative care. There are a lot of  Natural products on the  market today that do just as good if not better job than using  chemicals. Again balance is needed in all areas of treating horses.


  • Try to stay away from processed, chemical medicines or topical s. Try to use more natural hoof conditioners and stay away from petroleum products. 


  • De-worming or vaccinating is a good idea to be on a regular basis.


   If we do our diligence were we can. We can over come and rehabilitate some of these common hoof problems like:  Laminitis, Founder, Navicular,   Cracking, White Line Disease,
"Club" feet, Gait Problems,
Quarter Cracks, Long Toe/"Low" Heel
 AND MORE! 

Pictures of Natural Wild Horse Hoofs! Natural Barefoot Trims!