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  1. #141
    Old nag
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    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    Erm Horserider - I have seen a farrier hit a horse wiht a rasp, and beat it quite badly - and this was a well respected one. It happens, don;t be naieve


    Anyway - that was a good bun fight to read

    I have a horse with suspected DDFT lesions and navicular damage and I'm thinking of having his feet chopped back and the most humungous wedge bar-shoes put on that my farrier recommended, but before I do can anyone tell me if there are published papers backed up by MRI scans, before and after of course, of every horse that has been treated during the study and showing a 100% success rate?

    Until then I will leave him barefoot becuase he actually has been sound these past 24 months and rampaging around the countryside at all paces. Of course - I don't know if he is sound becuase I have not done MRI scans to prove he is sound - but he looks sound to me and to my vet.

    The horses that end up at Rockley have been through the mill - had all the injections, shoeing options and everything else - that IS the long road and requires patience.

    I've been there - seen what Nic does - and seen what can be done in the space of 12 weeks - that's 2...or TWO shoeings Chris. I've also seen Nic work out that one shaky horse was having muscular problems simply becuase of a supplement that the owner had it on - very subtle and in 3 days I saw that horse improve - so it's about a holistic approach and not all abotu feet

    Me - I have no patience and want things fixed - so I'll say no thanks to a year of different shoes, a sore horse, big vets bills, big farrier bills and deep and heartbreaking uncertainty, with possibly an awful outcome, and keep my horse's feet as nature intended.

    I want things fixed in 2-3 months by allowing nature to work as nature intended to work, removing all interference, providing correct diet and movement.


    Believe me - I WAS on your side Chris - I WAS barefoot hostile and insisted all mine were shod. Somehow I always had ill or unsound horses in my string. Not any more. It took a huge effort to swallow that first slice of crow pie and take that step to simply questioning everything I thought I knew.

    Now - if you want to get into really interesting territory - let's talk abotu the effect that shoes have on the riders themselves....any physios, bodyworkers on here want to pitch in?

  2. #142
    Old nag spookypony's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evelyn View Post
    A recent research done on the New Zealand wild horse population - the Kaimanawas - has shown that despite no intervention from man they showed signs of chronic laminitis and deformed feet, with flares and cracks. So much for the wild horse trim!
    I went to a seminar on this study by a person involved in conducting it, so I think I may be able to explain. This seminar, by the way, was organised by the local barefoot trimming partnership (we have one of those up here), and was attended predominantly by farriers, trimmers, and vets, co-existing in apparent harmony! And the lunch was excellent...

    My apologies if there are any inaccuracies in what follows: this seminar was back in May, and I'm reporting from memory here. This research is being published, so if you want to follow it up, you will be able to.

    The New Zealand study was part of a larger study run out of Queensland University that compared 6 groups of feral horses in Australia and New Zealand, with respect to their environment (very different types of terrain), diet, and hoof growth. It continued over several years (I think it may still be continuing now). All six groups of horses were of genetically similar stock, being a blend of TB, Arab, and draft/native.

    Broadly speaking, the findings were that the horses in the harsher areas, where they had to walk many miles for days at a time over harder surfaces (to travel between water and grazing, going as much as 5 days between drinks of water), had far better feet than those in the lush environments (such as the New Zealand group), which displayed a high incidence of laminitis etc., and very overgrown feet.

    Horses in the rockiest, driest area often had the "prettiest" hooves, but while the healthiest hooves were from among this group, so were some of the most damaged, in terms of bone pathologies. This might be attributable to the extreme long distances these horses had to travel over extreme ground: higher risk of injury.

    Horses in the sandier, yet dry, terrain had slightly less pretty hooves, which appeared to take on a somewhat flatter shape. These horses showed less pathologies than the other groups.

    Horses in some very dry areas are exposed every 10 years (I think; something like that) to suddenly lush terrain, due to large-scale river flooding. These horses exhibited laminitic damage in their hooves, corresponding to this period of lush growth.

    Finally, a horse each was taken from fairly lush and harshest arid areas, and switched. In the period of observation (4--6 months?), both horses' hooves changed their growth pattern, according to the new environment. This part of the study, intended to be carried out on a larger scale, was discontinued: the mare taken to the arid area initially joined with a group of horses there, but when they set out on their multi-day trek to their grazing, didn't follow them away from the water. As a result, she was slowly starving, and it was felt to be cruel to continue.

    To me, the study demonstrates why it can be tricky to successfully manage a barefoot horse in the lusher parts of this country: the diet and terrain are really rather unsuitable for a horse, and so it takes a lot of management to make it work. It is quite possible, however, and to me, the long-term gain in terms of metabolic and foot health are worth it.
    Member of the League of Unlikely Dressage Ponies, the 'Adults who ride Ponies' Clique,
    the Trakehner Fan Club, 'The Black Stallion' Fan Club, and a Sinister Barefoot Cult.

  3. #143

    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrdarcy View Post
    But if you sorted your mare's diet she wouldn't have brittle hooves at the front. A molassed mix plus molassed sugar beet isn't good for foot health and one of the results can be brittle hooves. She may also be getting too much grass in the summer. In very simple terms too much sugar causes the hind gut to become too acidic. Toxins are then produced which leach out through the gut lining into the blood stream. These toxins then attack the laminae and other sensitive structures in the feet causing inflammation. The laminae will stretch and die off, breaking connection with the hoof wall. It's the laminae that provide nutrients/blood supply/moisture to the hoof wall, so if those laminae die and the connection is broken the hoof wall is starved of nutrients/moisture and becomes brittle.

    This is why a low sugar diet is important for ALL horses. It's just in barefoot horses you see the results of too much sugar much more clearly in terms of footiness. Shoes numb the foot by reducing circulation significantly so you
    won't see the same footiness, but you will see the longer term negative effects of too much sugar, like brittle hooves.
    this is laminitis that has been discribed, and yes if the laminae die and connection is broken that is where you get the pedal bone rotation. Yes diet has a lot to do with it but not always,
    I feed topspec balancer to all mine depending on which one they need ( useing stud,lite and comprehensive) as well as speedi beet and topspec chops. More people need to think about their horses diet and not just price!!!! I work in a feed shop and customers aren't interested in what feeds best to feed, low sugar etc it always comes down to price which is a shame. Mollichaff extra being a big seller due to price but oh god I would never feed it.
    I'm very on the fence with bare foot, iv got 2 unshod who will stay unshod and the foals as they are older and broken will hopefully not have shoes on. I have got 2 shod horses and would love to get my tb bare foot he has very good feet for a tb but take off his shoes and he can't stand on the yard and can see the pain. He's out off work now so would be a idea time to try but not sure the best way to start.Just backs first? Any advice welcome!!! Are lanes have lots off small gravel all over them. Also is there any bare foot trimmers nr honiton Devon? If I could get my lad bare foot I would be thilled

  4. #144

    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    Mine get grass and haylage depending on time of year. I'm hoping to move to more haylage and less grass all year but it's taking time and money to implement. They get sugarbeet and Alpha Oil as a carrier for their supplements - linseed, brewers yeast, magnesium oxide, table salt, copper and zinc. I used to be quite anti-supplement but decided to give it a go after reading Feet First, and all their hooves have improved substantially. The big skinny one gets a scoop of oats in his hard feed at the moment too.

    Just to add my four-penneth to the bun fight:
    There are some pretty horrendous farriers out there, all their regulation doesn't seem to change that. The barefoot trimmers are all subject to the same legislation as the rest of us - the Animal Health and Welfare Act - under which you can be prosecuted for causing suffering and also for actions which could lead to suffering. As far as I know, Strasser herself has had a lot of success in treating hopeless cases, but she didn't seem to be able to train others to do the same. As others have said, I don't understand why MRI scans would be required if a horse came sound. Interesting, yes. I had an MRI of my back before it was operated on. I researched discectomies very thoroughly (someone was going to poke about near my spinal cord after all), but I didn't come across any studies where people had the operation and were then rescanned - I was quite happy that the vast majority of people could walk again, and used that as my grounds for having the operation.

  5. #145
    Schoolmaster AndySpooner's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    I've seen that experiment, I can't remember where I read about it now for the life of me, I do recall that the horses which were moved from the lush areas couldn't cope with the distances, and the horses moved to the lush areas feet suffered.

    Quite what they were hoping to demonstrate I don't know, but it certainly highlighted the effect environment has on the feet.

    How this translates into keeping horses in the UK draws attention to the improved pasture most horses and ponies are expected to live on.

    Interesting to note that time after time, horses travelling large distances over hard rocky terrain have the best feet. This, I feel gives little credence to the oft used argument, 'I cannot go barefoot, as my horse does too much work and his feet will wear out.'

    I am now firmly of the opinion that you will wear your backside out before the horses feet.

  6. #146
    Old nag
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    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    I am now firmly of the opinion that you will wear your backside out before the horses feet.
    From practical experience I can tell you - you're spot on Andy!

  7. #147

    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    I see a wide variety of domestic horses in a wide variety of situations.

    Of the barefooters; the best ones are the hardest working and they eat mostly forage with a vit/min supplement. One of these lives out 24/7 in a fairly wet field. Great feet though.

    The worst ones do very little work and get fed equine 'junk' food. These ones tend to have not so good feet, some very not so good.

    (and dongles are great!)

  8. #148

    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    [QUOTE=horserider;9204269]So many points, I'm not sure I can cover them all in the few minutes I have.

    No, I have never seen a farrier hit a horse with a rasp, but then I wouldn't expect one to in my presence unless he was either very brave or stupid.
    The NOS standards are currently being formulated with consultation from all relevant equine professionals, including farriers, vets and trimmers. It will be a part of farriery appreniceship training as well as a standard of practice for trimmers and other equine professionals.
    It is not a legal requirement. Farriers and vets are bound by legal requirements and recognised training.
    I would like to see some regulation for barefoot hoof care workers, a standardised training scheme and registration. Would you not agree that bad practice in barefoot trimming exists ?
    I am not anti barefoot at all. I see it as ideal and am currently working with my farrier to sort out the feet of a 4 year old that was fully shod at 3, before it was in work. This is what really makes me angry. Slapping shoes on babies. He is on the end of the phone and comes to advise for free when ever I have a question.
    Yes, I do a lot for horses for free. Two of mine were advised to be shot by experts due to severe health/ behavioural issues. They are now fit, trustworthy and able to be ridden by anyone. I have recently taken on another because its owner cannot afford to keep it and has felt overhorsed. I hope to return to her a good, safe riding horse when her finances improve. I also care for a couple of others whose owners have lost interest and had pretty much abandoned them to become overweight, neglected animals.
    No, I would not pay for an MRI scan, I do not have the funds,like yourselves, my time and money is totally dedicated to the horses in my care.
    No, I certainly do not trust all vets, farriers, trimmers or any other professionals unquestioningly. I rely on gut instinct, question always, but I like to have scientific proof as a starting point. As already said, currently, 2 of my horses are alive today because I ignored professional advice.
    I am frustrated with bad practice and carefully choose the experts I have and work with them, not accepting of what I'm told without knowing why. there are vets and farriers I wouldn't let near mine and unfortunately, the trimmers I have encountered have left me unimpressed.
    I would love to meet barefoot experts that are extensively trained and knowledgeable, I respect the work of Jaime Jackson. I would like to see te qualitity of barefoot practitioners training improved and regulated and research funded. My argument is with the cowboys who are currently answerable to no one.
    I do not believe that farriers and vets have a desire to keep horses lame in order to make money. Certainly not the ones I have met, who are passionate about equine welfare -or maybe thats just because I wouldn't use anyone who wasn't. There are good and bad in every profession, but at least vets and farriers are answerable in law.
    Enough of my rambling, but, I am most definitley, pro keeping horses unshod and I don't find it unreasonable to question the qualifications and lack of research data in the barefoot trimming movement.[/QUOTE.

    If you've never seen a trimmer you are appy with, I can understand why you are so doubtful.

    Please keep some faith as there are some really good ones out there too. I agree it is frustrating that there is such a wide gap between good and bad (bit the same with farrriers!)

    I use UKNHCP trimmers and have done for the last five years. I have always been happy with their work.

    On my yard they have gone from being treated with suspicion to being well respected experts on feet. They are often asked for advice from even shod liveries.

    In the days of farriers, as my horses are unshod, they were always relegated to an apprentice.

    The day one of the apprentices decided to start digging into my horse's soles was the day I went to a barefoot trimmer! I didn't know what was happening until I looked down and saw my horse standing in pools of blood! No explanation or apology!

    I know for certain that no UKNHCP trimmer would ever do that to my horses.

    Ironically my horses get a better trained professional now I use a trimmer than they ever did with the farrier's apprentices

    I also share your frustration about the lack of proof surrounding barefoot rehabbing. I really don't know what the answer is other than resting the cost on the shoulders of owners who have already exhausted their bank balances on traditional treatments before taking the shoes off in desperation.

    This is Schoko - he was rehabbed by my trimmers on my yard. His owners really wish they could get a repeat Xray. But they just can't afford it They are clinging on to their jobs by the skin of their teeth ATM....

    http://www.progressivehorse.co.uk/html/shoko.html

  9. #149
    Old nag Tnavas's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    Quote Originally Posted by cptrayes View Post
    I think you are right on the diet.

    And being right on the diet explains the NZ research. Wild horses left in an unnatural place. Too much green stuff and not enough scrub and movement. No intervention, in the wrong place, is not "natural" it's "neglect". Those horses were not native to NZ they are descended from imports genetically designed for a much poorer environment. You'll see exactly the same thing if you look at the feet of New Forest ponies. I doubt you'd find the same thing in a Shetlands kept Shetland.
    Dartmoors & Exmoors are the only true native pony in the UK - all the others have been developed over the centuries by the introduction of other breeds. The Kaimanawas run over a variety of terrain. Kaimanawa Forest Park is southeast of Lake Taupo, and extends over a number of remote mountain ranges separated by the headwater valleys of several major North Island rivers. The southern sectors are steep alpine uplands with high peaks and wide tussock areas, and the north is entirely forest clad.

  10. #150

    Default Re: What are all the BAREFOOTERS FEEDING?

    hi all have a look on you tube, the happy hoof Chanel , and the swedish hoof school very interesting stuff, and hoof tech and barefoot for soundness site

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