Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Resource Wednesday: Online Hoof Trimming Forums

These are my absolute favorite and most used resources.  You will find a  great group of folks post online, ranging from those just thinking about barefoot, to beginners, to highly skilled professionals.  All are committed to helping each other.  

I find the Horsecity Hoof Forum  easy to negotiate because of the integration of photos within each thread.  I also appreciate the way participants will download your photos, review your trim, draw balanced trim lines and re-post the photos within your thread.  This becomes a mini, personalalized trim clinic. 

Other wonderful trimming forums with skilled, committed participants are the Barefoot Horse Care Forum and the Whole Horse Health Forum.  Thanks to the internet, skilled consultation is at your fingertips!

 Please visit, learn, and share your own experience.  Hope to see you there. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trimming Challenge: Deep Sulcus Thrush #1 Enemy of Heel-First Landing

(note:  this picture is of Red's hoof after his last farrier trim in August, 2007.  You see the flat, pathological form of a "pasture trim".  This is NOT a healthy hoof capsule and is NOT the results of any style of "barefoot trim"!)

I used to wonder why Red's frogs were so thin and sort of tattered looking.  I cleaned them every day.  There was none of that black gooey, stinky gunk that I remember meant it was time to treat for thrush.  I asked my farrier - he said he didn't see anything like thrush.  I asked my vet - she said she didn't see any thrush.  Still, something just wasn't right.  Then on a barefoot trimming website,  I saw  a frog that looked exactly like Red's frogs.  It was illustrating a discussion on deep sulcus thrush.  HA!  I knew it!  (If your horse's hoofs look ANYTHING like Red's in this photo from Aug. 2007, you have LOTS of troubles in addition to thrush, these pictures are what inspired me to learn to trim myself).

If your horse is having a hard time with transition,
has contracted heels that just don't want to open, continues to resist heel-first landings no matter what you do, chances are that you have a nasty case of deep sulcus thrush to deal with.  

There are some outstanding online articles that will help you find the most helpful form of treatment for your horse.  I have found white lightening, "Pete's Goo" (a 50/50 mix of antifungal cream with 1% clotrimazole and triple antibiotic - both available at Dollar Tree Stores), and apple cidar vinegar soaks to be very helpful for Red.  Here are some resources that I have found helpful:

  1. Linda Cowles at Healthy Hoof (extremely comprehensive)
  2. Ove Lund at the Swedish Hoof School
  3. Pete Ramey: Caring for the Frog
Once you settle on a treatment program, BE VIGILANT!!!!!!  While it is important to utilize a trim that engages the frog, if the frog has hidden thrush your horse will only grow more heel to keep away from the pain.  Here is a thread on the Whole Horse Health Forum discussing the management of thrush and bringing down the heels.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thinking About Going Barefoot?

                                                                                                                                   Red's FR Hoof 12-08

Earth'N'Hoof just a "makeover" and with this new "face" comes new intentions (or old intentions, restated).  One of the many aspects of providing a healthy life for Red and Lyra has been learning about how to care for their feet.  This blog is meant to record that journey.  I've noticed several blog authors setting a posting schedule to organize their writing.  Gonna give this a try.

Monday: Trimming Challenge Day (my horses sure give me plenty, no problem here)
Wednesday: Featured Resource Day
Saturday: Trimming - What I'm learning about
Sunday: Random Thoughts
No time like the present 
to start something new.

                       Same Hoof June, 2008

Getting Started with Barefoot Trimming - Online Education and Support

Maybe you live where you don't have access to a barefoot trimmer.  Could be you just aren't satisfied with your horse's level of soundness.  Maybe you are seeing your beloved partner becoming more and more impaired and treatment options are becoming increasingly extreme - nothing seems to be working.  Don't despair.  I believe the internet is an amazing resource and through the "net" you have access to an international commuunity of help, support and education.  Whether you are ready to pull the shoes, are thinking about it, or have been doing your own trimming for awhile and want to learn more, you will find assistance and inspiration.

Here are online resources that I have found absolutely invalueable in my quest towards healthy hoofs and heel-first landings . . . 

Online Barefoot Trimming Hoof Forums

Absolutely could not be doing this without the support and consultation of the many folks who so gracesously share their knowledge on these forums.  I have found the following three essential.  Please let me know of others.

If you are already trimming, you can upload photos and getting skilled consulation.  If you are just starting to think about barefoot as a possibility, you can get a "feel" for this approach to healthy hoofs and hear from lots of folks who are just beginning as well as others who are professionals in the field.  Even if you don't think going barefoot is for you or your horse, just give these forums a peek to see what is out there.  I'm so glad I did.