Healthy Hooves


Update on the barefoot girl.

These were the feet in December.

Flat, dishy, long, and with growth lines.  And not just mine hers, too!  Just look!

Hooves December


Then January.

Shaping up.

Fronts January

In March.

With her Andalusian heritage her hooves will have somewhat different angles and shape.  She’s got really nice, hard, feet!  Encouraging the frogs to come down a bit more, while hoping to stay barefoot for as long as we can.

Hooves In March 2

Yep, that’s oil on there.  Somehow they manage to look longer than in the January shot, but that is not the case.

This month – Ending March Madness.

Valiosa will get used to working alone without blowing a fuse, (Yeah right.  By magic.) a new pasture, and barn routine at home.

Seriously, she did do better this morning.  We trotted.  Very stop and go, but she did it.

Standing for farrier is a piece of cake.  First trim I held her in pasture since she’d had just about no handling.  Second time standing with lead rope in the barn isle.

This third time in the cross ties, just standing with her.  Easy.  It’s all easy, just do the right thing.

Hooves in March 1

Next up  –  finishing up on her West Nile Vaccinations, staving off any ulcers, getting in at least three trail rides alone in addition to her arena work (eeek!), and attempting to get out of the baby bridle before it self-combusts of age.  Already have her completely clipper trained.

She’ll get to practice trailering again too.  Wonderful Nancy will come Tuesday morning with her trailer which is an absolute treat.  We’ll head up to her indoor arena to practice with Cooper before showing him this weekend!

So.  She’ll be the perfect baby.  Except that I can’t ride her.  Lovely!

To make sure we stay broke, of course there are plans for a saddle fitting clinic well before summer.  Different saddle just for her maybe?!   And then the show with Cooper on Sunday!  Off to a great start this spring!

15 thoughts on “Healthy Hooves

  1. Elinor, Very nice hooves now! But why keep her barefoot as long as possible and not just keep her barefoot from now on? Check into the Houston Mounted Patrol horses. All are barefoot and have been for years. They are on concrete and everything. They now have hardly any lameness compared to when they were all shod. Just something to consider. It’s much healthier for them to be barefoot. Even a foundered horse can be rehabbed without shoes but with proper trimming, etc and a diet change. Chris

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi Chris. I’m thrilled you like her hooves. They are truly developing excellent!
      I’m definitely a believer in barefoot and I hope to go a long way with her.
      However, I’m not a purist and don’t want to view shod horses as something evil. (It’s not a religion for me in anyway).
      If she needs them, she’ll get them, but I’ll do as much as can to stay bare!
      Truly enjoyed the write up on the Houston mounted patrol.
      Very encouraging!!!


    1. Thank you!
      I’ll be doing some reading on that site tonight.
      Before summer, I’ll do a little post on the inside of her hooves – hoping to hear from a lot of barefoot enthusiasts then! !


        1. OK, that site had a TON of useful information! I really enjoyed the huge amount of pictures of hooves in various stages and with various problems. I’ll keep this in mind, as we are trying to keep another gelding barefoot on his hinds – they’re wearing down much too quickly, and although he is not contracted, the frog at his heel is too soft, due to not tolerating the wet winter grounds.


  2. Both of my personal horses are barefoot and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s wonderful! Its taken some time for them to get where they are now but it was worth it. A lot of our boarders horses are barefoot too, and they are all just as happy. Good luck!

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  3. I’m all for barefoot!! Her hooves look great!! Wow!

    Chrome’s hooves look like hers from back in December. We are moving him to a four week trim cycle to see if we can get the toes back and get things back on track. How often are you trimming her? The great news is Chrome doesn’t have anymore growth rings! 😀


    1. Funny how the growth rings will just go away, isn’t it? Glad his feet are doing well – he must have some serious healthy growth on a 4 week cycle, that’s great!
      Valiosa works 5 days per week in fairly deep sand which is abrasive, so she’s doing well on a 6 week cycle. This winter she went 7 weeks at first, -slower growth in winter and she also needed it to “balance out” – but now she just barely makes it to 6 without getting too long.


      1. Yeah we’ve been getting a lot of rain so the ground is really soft and I haven’t had time to ride so his grew a lot in one trim cycle. He had almost two inches of growth!!!! I’m sure once I start riding him again, especially on our asphalt roads, that I’ll be able to lengthen it back out. Rocky will have to be on a four week cycle until we get his hooves repaired from the laminitis though.

        I’m glad Valiosa can go six weeks. 😀 So are her hooves holding up well to the sand??


        1. Wow! 2 inches! That’s a lot! More work 🙂

          Maybe some soft boots for Rocky when he starts back. They’re expensive, I know, but can pop up used for sale here and there and can be lifesavers.

          Valiosa is holding up incredibly to the sand! Rock hard little hooves. I really hope they will stay like this for a long time. When she’s doing more lateral work, and coming under herself more, who knows… But that’s a long time away 🙂


          1. Yes definitely getting boots for Rocky for riding out on the asphalt. Since he’s had mechanical laminitis before I don’t want to risk him having it again from riding on hard road.

            I’m glad Valiosa is holding up to it so well. 🙂


          2. I hear you. I’ll be considering boots, too, this fall, when I’ll have some opportunity to get out on different trails with rocks. No matter how hard her feet, they wouldn’t do her good there since she’s used to softer grounds or hardpacked dirt only.
            I hope Rocky heals up for you quickly!


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