Lisa and Bronson
Lisa asked to come and watch me working as she was undecided about removing her horses shoes. Lisa had recently aquired an 18 year old TB who had a good showjumping carer. Her horse lives on hard ground in the hills.
Lisa came and watched me work on a rehab case who lived nearby in a simular environment. The horse had significant problems. After watching me work and talking with the horses owner Lisa decided that it was what she wanted to do.
We waited until the end of Bronson's shoeing cycle then removed the shoes. Bronson had good soles and frogs but little wall and under run heels. He scored 3/10.
Lisa was given a programme to follow to address the problems. Although cautious Bronson was never lame and never showed signs of being foot sore. 3 months on Bronson is scoring a 5/10 and is under saddle.
A Barefoot Thoroughbred Story
Bronson was 18 years old and had, had shoes on for most of his life. His heels were very low and he had vertical splits, some going to the coronary band. He could only keep shoes on for 5 weeks, and if he lost a shoe he soon went lame. I was told that there was no way I could consider taking his shoes off, because thoroughbred’s don’t cope barefoot, as their feet are too soft with thin soles. Besides that, he was 18 years old and I live in the Hills on very rocky, hard and undulating ground – going barefoot would be just plain cruel!
Then I met Claire…
She told me that Bronson could go barefoot and that this was the best and quickest way to get his feet back to normal. Claire looked at my paddock and said this is perfect for going barefoot – your horse’s feet will be stimulated and will progress much quicker on ground like this. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!
That was 7 months ago – let me tell you it was a very hard decision to make because I lacked the knowledge to know better so when I was told by various farriers and friends that there was no way I should even consider going barefoot, I just didn’t know what to do. I just wanted my horse to have healthy feet. After speaking at length with Claire and visiting a couple of her clients, I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did. We had our ups and downs. Bronson walked over the harsh ground with no problems after his shoes were removed and he was trimmed, but at times he was reluctant to walk in hand. I got a truck load of sand in and wet it down (it was the middle of a very hot summer) so if he needed, he could get some relief on some cool, softer ground. In actual fact he rarely used the sand to stand in, but he does love to roll in it! Claire educated (and reassured) me every step of the way. He had some bruising, blew an abscess after about 3 months, and had a minor toe infection but his feet are now much better – he now has good hoof wall, soles, no sign of bruising or infection and he now has heels. One of his splits is still growing out but all the others have gone. So I now have a healthy, barefoot thoroughbred – who would have thought!