Another Deadly Equine Illness:

Being a Farrier is NOT always easy , no one said it would be.

Hello and hope everyone's getting ready for some great riding.

No pictures today , just a short ( i hope ) story.

One of my clients called me last nite , says a horse he recently got ( borrowed ) is lame and wanted to know if i could come out almost immediately, i said yes tomorrow. Last time i shod the horse it had abscesses in both front feet , that was 8 weeks ago so everything should be fine by now.

Now's where the fun starts : I meet my client and he's a BIG guy 6'3" 260 lbs. He starts in " so and so at this ranch says the toes are too long ( like it's my fault ) so and so at this ranch says the shoes are too small for the horse ( again as though it's my fault )  And look the foot's overgrowing the shoe , and there's no heel support - and the horse is lame , and he's probably sore in the bulbs , and the attitude is it's all my fault.  Oh and , it's like this horse hasn't been shod for 12 weeks the feet are so long ( my fault again ).

So i look at the horse , the feet aren't unnecessarily long for 8 weeks in fact don't really show that the feet have grown all that much , and i mentioned that to my client standing right there next to me. The Response " So and so says the feet are long way too long " and he's looking at me like he's dead sure it's all my fault and whatever this other "So and So" has been telling him is fact !  I couldn't control myself , i told him in almost these exact words " I'm so F'ing sick of other peoples attitudes about my shoeing , they don't know what the "F" they're talking about"!  And he's still sure everything's my fault.

Now this "So and So" happens to be on the ranch , and he's kinda checking things out while i'm right there having to defend myself and my reputation - let me speak on my reputation here with you for a second or two .  My Reputation is for the past 20 years that i've been shoeing horses i've not had one single lame horse from the methods i use. I happen to think 20 years is enough time to pretty much validate my methods of shoeing work. In fact it's really unquestionable in my mind at this point , that's how much confidence i have in what i'm doing.

It's so funny ! Now i have two guys - the one BIG guy and the other guy that i have to defend myself with. Remember there's a lame horse here and it's my fault you see " LOL " .... Oh boy.  I take the shoes off the front feet and the second foot i notice that the horse has yet another abscess , making for a total of 3 since my last visit with the horse.  Well that takes some pressure off me because now there's a reason for the lameness, but the accusations of everything else is still heavy in the air.  The toes are long the toes are long - you get the idea. So i clean the foot as normal and see there's very little hoof wall to cut off. Now i have bonafide proof the feet aren't long in fact the horse is a slow grower of hoof , so that makes another hurdle overcome.

Now as i go into explanations with the BIG guy he's asking questions of me as though he's deliberately working on CATCHING me in some wrong doing or in some kind of MISTAKE i'm making , it's like this guy's on a witch hunt and i'm the suspect !!

So i give an explanation and he immediately looks away from me to look at the other guy standing there looking for verification of what i'm saying. The Big guy looks at me - he looks at the other guy - then looks back and me then back at the other guy - you getting the idea ?   This is INSANE !!!

The horse has no heels - well i answer " that's because the horse was brought to me two shoeings ago with Bozo the Clown feet and as a result the horse has sheered heels now. Well his toes are too far out in front - my response is "Yes that's the way you brought him to me and that takes time to fix - it doesn't happen in one or two shoeings many times " ...  He looks at the other guy !! the other guy nods in approval of my response.

So i point out - "You see the hoofwall at the toe and how it's growing straighter up and down" - he's like "yes i see that" - i say " that's because i've been moving the shoe to the rear of the hoof and the hairline of the hoof is now growing new hoof in response , when it's done growing out ( one year ) the hoof will be much better and much more balanced".  BIG guy's like " yes i can see that - OH i get it now "..  whew !!! another hurdle conquered ....

But there's still some explaning as my method of shoeing unfolde right before their eyes . Every move i made i gave an explanation ( the method to the madness )...  And every time i did so the BIG guy looks to the other guy for approval , my reputation still on the line right before my eyes .... OMG !!!  

So try as he may to catch me in some kind of wrong doing he failed !  thankfully ! And i got to walk away holding my head high.  You know the problem i had was i just was alittle put off by the BIG guys attitude - i was guilty as charged  - it was ATTITUDE !  Being a farrier , at least for me , my reputation is important to me , it's not like farriers just want to say " ah screw this and screw you i'm out of here think what ever you want about my shoeing ". That doesn't go over too well because now there's a former client running around possibly saying negative things about me .  It's the compulsion to address all the negatives and defend oneself . LOL ..... It just wasn't easy !

What if the "other" dude has different methods that he believed in for shoeing - there are other methods out there besides mine. Can you see the conflict that could have erupted !! The BIG guy looking at the other guy who's not quite agreeing with me . It would have been a freeking nightmare !  I've been there done that.

As it turned out today after the smoke cleared i felt hammered on pretty seriously and merclessly - the good part was it all worked itself out for everyone , including the horse.  When the job was finished and everyone stood back and looked at the result of the work that had been done everyone was in agreement and the many complex processes needed to accomplish the desired result were obvious - and that was because of ME ! I'm the one who did the work it was all my responsibility my doing . 

You see in a situation like that when everything i was doing was being questioned i had to TAKE CHARGE !! i had to sieze the moment and be the leader . I had to pull it ALL up by the bootstraps and lay everything out . If i would have taken a more layed back role and had i let the others to take control it all would have come across like i was just doing what i was being told which would have not proven my credibility , they would have looked at me like THEY were the ones running the show and the only reason the horse was done right was because they told me how to do the work. That wouldn't have been good. I would have still been suspect of not knowing what the hell i'm doing.

Today was a good day !  Wasn't an easy day but it was a good day (-:   Haha !   The challenges of everyday life right ?   What challenges are you facing , i'd like to hear , really i would !  please responses very welcome here.

as usual happy and safe riding.

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira




follow me on Twitter - username -->  Care4Horsescom

Please come to my facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/HorseShoeingSecrets


My Last Barefoot Rant !!!! -----> Till next time (-:

Been a while - let me just jump right in here with both feet  -     Happy New Year !!

                                                                                 new year

      Several months ago i got another one "Of those" comments on my blog . That kind that Only  comes from the barefoot people. So as usual it was the typical , how horrible i am - how horrible the feet look on horses i shoe and is the reason i don't post negative comments because i'm afraid of my loosing my job or career to the Barefoot Movement - add nauseum .. It's an outright attack -  i've pretty much heard it all by now.  Sometimes i just don't know where to start and i think they throw so much crap in the air at me they do it on purpose for that exact reason - to confound - confuse and render helpless  -  but that's not working with me so much .......  So. Again i'll just continue on.

      One : Remember , i don't have anything in particular against a horse going barefoot . I work with horse's that i leave barefoot , i have horse's that the owner has asked me if i think we should put shoes on and i am the one who recommends barefoot. Hey !  you have a horse that goes barefoot awesome !  i mean really , that's cool.

      When i used to have my arab stallion that i raised from the day he was born my personal preference was shoes . I logged alot of miles on him , and i rode 5 sometimes 6 days a week with lots of cantering , in fact i only have two speeds when i ride , walk or canter - well and also blasts of speed at wide open throttle.  So i personally just felt better putting shoes on and even though Khero (my horse's name) was totally capable of being barefoot. I like a little extra traction sometimes and i feel shoes provide that for me. And the shoes also add protection to the bottom of the foot which means less worry for me .. 

      Now regarding all the arguments against shoeing and for barefoot i have to say one of the most rediculous statements i've heard coming from the barefoot people is ( when the shoes are taken off and the horse is NOW in PAIN )  " You gotta let the PAIN OUT" !!    good heaven you gotta be kiddin me !!! Are these people out of their ever lovin minds ?  well i'm starting to think yes .    

      So i have a Twitter friend - and if you're not following me on Twitter yet please do - my name there is pretty easy - it's Care4Horsescom ...  So this friend is a horse person who rides quite seriously.  Great horse , awesome horse , so you know - the Barefoot Movement came her way and she was swayed to take her perfect horse ( for years ) and put him barefoot.  So as often times happens going barefoot causes stress to the foot from pressures / bruising / pain / sensitivity / thin soles and you have a horse that's limping and sometimes limping very seriously. And this was the case with her horse. So where she used to ride trouble free now she's got a performance horse limping frequently.  The interesting thing , maybe it's just one of those Dichotomies , but the interesting thing is these barefoot people scream about the pain that shoeing causes horses but they don't have any problem seeing a horse barefoot that's in pain for not just days - weeks - months - but in the case of my friend actually YEARS .....

      My friend Cheryl who being a good person doing her best to follow and believe in the guidelines of what the barefoot practitioners were telling her gave it all her best shot .  After three years of having reoccuring pain with her now barefoot horse she finally went back to shoes and has never looked back since. 
                                                                  LET THE PAIN OUT !! ??     Krazy !! 
There's no hidden pain burried deep within the horse's feet from having shoes on that needs to be let out ! !   At least not horse's that i shoe -  i'll say this again - Shoeing doesn't ruin horse's but incorrect shoeing can.  And so can going barefoot ruin horse's..

      About 12 years ago the barefoot movement came through the Bay Area California here where i have been shoeing for 20 years now ... The Bay Area has alot of horse's / Hunters / Jumpers and many people with expensive horse's , Hundreds of thousands of dollars on their horse's.   So here comes the barefoot movement to San Francisco Bay Area - the movement sweeps through the area on lots and lots of horse's and just like overnite all these horse's are coming up limping and lame everywhere !!!    You gotta be kidding right ?   Let the Pain OUT !!!  lol   i'm laughing but it's really not funny - Some horse's seriously laid up . Long story short , the vets were going krazy with emergency calls and well everyone just went back to shoes except for those "rare few" that just won't give up on their held so tightly ideal of a barefoot horse and also of course because going barefoot does work on some horse's - and alot actually.  Anyway.

      So what got me going again on all this is this woman coming here saying about my work " Those are the worst feet i've ever seen"     Well i don't know what she's looking at on this site but unless she's seeing feet that look something like this ----- >  
                                                           Hoof,lameness,horses,founder,laminitis,ringbone  Which i certainly didn't cause then i just don't know what she's talking about because most of what i work toward accomplishing is like this where the foot is quite a bit in balance and under the horse's leg closely to where it belongs .
                                     That foot is in fairly decent balance - that's my work - that's a horse i shoe.

      So moving forward i want to bring one other thing that's been on my mind . Has to do with one of the biggest arguments the barefoot people make and that is expansion of the heels and sole pressure. The claim is putting shoes on stops expansion of the heel which stops blood pumping . I just want to say i personally don't look at expansion of the heels as a big contributor to blood pumping - I don't feel there's enough studies out that i've seen to convince me expansion is so key and critical to blood pumping. For one i've put shoes on horse's feet and then take a shoe spreader and spread the heels open slightly ( ever so slightly ) and the horse's will wince in pain.  I'm also not convinced that the majority of cases shoes stop expansion because shoes just don't stay put that tightly to the foot , which still leaves room for expansion. i've also previously posted photos where definite grooves are worn in the shoe exactly where expansion and contraction of heels is happening.        

      And finally there are videos on the internet where someone has taken a dead rotting decomposing horses foot and cut it in half directly accross from the left side to right and hacking the coffin bone in half at the same time.   Basically cutting the whole front of the foot off ! Namely the front part of the foot is missing which also happens to be the part of the foot most responsible for dynamic strength in general .  They then proceed to take a pressing machine and drive a bolt right down on top of the cut in half coffin bone and watch that dead decomposing foot fall apart which is supposto be proof that the bone column moving up and down within the foot is a negative thing because pressure coming from above as in the case with driving a bolt down forced the foot to fall apart !   Keep in mind " Of course the chance the foot is going to fall apart in that manner after all half of the strongest part of the foot has been removed...   I don't buy the concept at all.  

     There are many many variables when it comes to horse's feet.  The idea foot for me is very close to the photo above of "Good Balance".  If that sole on that horse is somewhat concave opposed to being flat footed so much the better. If the horse is also rather thick soled then better again.  I do not want a horse standing primarily on the sole of it's foot , it's rather stopping the life of the foot that way - every time the horse steps down it's like being flat footed !  landing with most of it's weight on the sole takes all the give and take out of hoof movement including and more importantly internally ! 

      Having a horse landing directly on it's sole predominantly simply must be causing more trama and concussion to the whole bone column / the coffin bone / pastern bones and probably all the way up to the knee . because the give and take , concussion absorbing action a concave sole offers has been removed !!! 

      The dynamics of horse's feet - Load / compression / absorbtion / expansion / bone column / flex / and much more is a very complex process.  I've been shoeing for 20 years now - Understanding horse's feet is not a mental exercise for me ( and i don't want these discussions to lead you to think that way ) Understanding horse's feet for me has developed from "Feel" - i FEEL IT !   It came from looking and looking deeper and deeper on and on for years of handling feet and legs ,  I can just feel when something's wrong. Yes there are many visual clues something's wrong . Combining everything i know about feet makes it so when i pick up a horse's foot , it's a feel i get -  i can actually "Feel" it when something's wrong ( repeating myself i know ) . Not everything of course , but with regard to dynamics of load , compression and all those i've already mentioned above - Yes !!!  I FEEL IT...

      So my job here is hopefully as i keep pointing out these things in the discussions that you can then go out to your own horse - look - and feel - and most importantly come to Know  for yourself how to adress your horse's needs with regard to lameness prevention ...    
                                   it only takes once to have a permanently lame horse .

        Happy New Year everyone -
as usual Happy and Safe Riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com

John "TheFootDoctor"                   take care. 

Merry Christmas and then some , Horses Horses (-:


           Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
The little snowball fight is somewhat indicative of the contents of this blog - Enter at your own Risk (-:        You too Pat .

    When i started this blog i decided not to specifically point a finger at anyone or their website or blog or video and call attention to them in a negative way for having a different opinion than mine. I think it's low class , non professional and kinda ugly. When it comes to the horse industry and shoeing specifically i think that kind of behavior just continues to cause the division amongst us who all do our best to improve and advance in our knowledge of how to care for these animals , our horses.

     i'll do my best to continue to maintain that integrity.

     The other day i was doing a google search on the keyword "Farrieritis" and as i looked at each link got to the second page of google and came upon a site that was just doing exactly what i have described above - i was being criticised as though i was the devil from hell. The bitterness and hatred in the blog was loud and clear and the whole blog post was pointed at me.

     As i read the article i realized it was from a person named Pat Rainier who came to my blog ( i didn't go to theirs - she came to mine ) and left some rather negative comments in the comment section on my blog. There were some things she said that i just cannot agree with and when someone comes to my blog to leave a comment they should expect the possibility of getting a comment back - after all that's why comments are invited in the first place.

     Well apparently Pat was quite upset at my responses to her. I tried to be nice but it came to a point where i realized there was nothing i could say to Pat that she would agree with. It was Pats closed mindedness that made me realize nothing i said would make any difference.

     Pat accused me of making a horse sore - telling me about the work i had done " Oh the poor horse ".  Even after i told Pat this was the first time i worked on this horse so i didn't cause the problem in the first place - that it had coffin bone rotation from work that had been done previous to me she still was and still does apparently accuse me of making this horse sore - and as an example of her closed mind she continues to say these things even after i told her this horse was shod by me  and didn't take one lame step afterward , not one...  There was No blood everywhere as Pat mentioned in her blog as though i was the one that caused the horse problems - the horse had bruising only and the bruising was from the previous work being done on the horse.

     It quickly became obvious to me that Pat is in the Barefoot crowd. This is a perfect time for me to clear something up. I am not against barefoot horses and i'm not against the people who promote barefoot horses. I've mentioned this before , what i am against is when these barefoot people say "all shoeing is bad for horses" - and  that i just cannot go along with. Now even when i explained to Pat that i'm almost at 20 years of shoeing and i've not had ONE horse blow a tendon - get navicular - blow check ligaments , rotate coffin bones or any other such lameness during those almost 20 years Pats negative response to me was " 20 years is a long time to be doing it WRONG "...

     Pats welcome to her opinion but one would think that after almost 20 years and thousands and thousands and thousands of feet that i've shod if i've done something wrong at least ONE horse would have come up with some kind of lameness problem - But not one , not one ...  But Pat is sure that i'm out here ruining horses. I digress - Not only have i not had one horse come up lame from any shoeing i've done but i've gotten more comments than i can count from clients who have told me their horse has never been moving better. i've gotten reports from clients that told me their old trainer for their horse came back into town and now that i had become their shoer the trainer was riding their horse and asked " what did you do to your horse - she's all balanced in her movement ", to which the owner of the horse replied " i've changed shoers "....  But you see there's nothing i can say to Pat that will make any difference.   

     You know i'm not going to go into a whole big discussion on and on but there is one thing i want to elaborate on here and that's the issue of sole and sole pressure and what to do with the sole of the horse in general. Pat criticised me for removing sole and i know that's the opinion of many of the barefoot people. There's a couple things worth understanding :  If a horse is left to stand on it's sole ( when no sole is removed for example ) it sorta freezes the natural action within the foot. In other words the horses body weight coming from above - the horses bone column becomes somewhat static inside the foot. Leaving all that sole in a horse's foot is somewhat like suddenly becoming flat footed ( there is no longer any flex in the foot ).  I'm going to enclose here a youtube video showing a natural process of a horse's foot - if no sole is removed and the horse is standing on it's sole the movement you see in this video will be stopped , the natural process of the foot halted to a great degree.  I'll let you decide . Warning the video is not pretty it's got blood but is a good example of natural hoof movement.

     This is the YouTube Video:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7YuzTTOhp8 

     The barefoot crowd that leaves all the sole in horse's feet and suggest that horse's need to stand on their soles are basically stopping this pumping action.  Not all horse's shed their soles , sometimes quite often actually the sole just doesn't come popping out - if it's not removed it's left to build up and it's somewhat like pouring concrete into the bottom of your horse's foot . I've personally seen feet with the sole not being removed where the foot becomes stuck and rigid  , it starts to take on the appearance of a club rather than something that's alive and breathing and flexible , adapting and working - that's not good .   You decide.

     to drive home a point :  Not all horse's can go barefoot. Some are just way too sensitive to pain. If Pat is trying to tell me that no barefoot horse has ever experienced pain , well , i may as well just pray to be reborn into a new paradigm because i'm obviously not living in the same world as Pat , If no barefoot horse has pain then i want to live in that Fairytale land too.

     I have heard from Vets more than once that the horse's they get with the most problems are from barefoot horses. And just in closing here , during my talks with Pat she also originally told me horse's don't shed their soles - again , maybe i live in a different world than Pat , but take a look at this following photo and you tell me- is this horse not only shedding it's sole but also shedding it's frog at the same time or not ?     Well it's quite obvious to me horse's shed their soles and frogs and there's a reason - it's healthy for the foot !    


      When you look at the photo you see there's still a ton of sole left underneath all that sole that is popping off . When Pat originally told me "No horse's don't shed their soles" i think she spoke from stubborness just to maintain her ideology and i feel that's the kind of closed mindedness this industry doesn't need. 
     i have a couple sayings :
           " It's not shoeing that ruins horses - it's Incorrect shoeing that ruins them "  and 
           " it only takes once to have a permanently lame horse "  and this latter applies to barefoot horses too
                             Keep in mind , incorrect triming (barefoot horses) can ruin a horse just as easily.   

     You know some of the healthiest looking feet i've ever seen were on horses that lived in pads year after year after year. If sole pressure was so all important how could a horse survive living in pads all it's life yet have some of the healthiest feet i've seen. And i observed this on not just one horse but many many many horses living in pads , so not just one isolated case.

     And Pat , i don't need to convince anyone of what i'm doing in order for me to believe in myself ( as you've rather rediculously elluded to in your blog post ) i've convinced myself long ago based on my own studies and the merits of the method i use which rather speaks for itself - 20 years of never having one problem result from my shoeing stands on it's own.         

     With that i hope you can take from this post something positive . 

     Hoping Santa Claus keeps your horse's healthy and happy and may everyone have a wonderful New year. 

As usual , Happy and Safe riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com   

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira

Feel free to drop me a line with any of your lameness concerns , I'm still giving consultations at no charge. Send a photo of your horse's feet if you like ---->   John@Care4Horses.com       

                                                   Take Care -  watch out for those snowballs   (-:

Abscess and pain

Todays link:  Your Equine Source - Specializes in bringing you a wide variety of Horses for Sale, Tack, Trailers, Trucks and so much more.

Stirring up the barefoot fight


           Hello Hello.   

              I want to say my book "Inside Horseshoeing Secrets of Lameness Prevention"  is done !!    I'm currently in the process of getting it accepted on Amazon.  Gonna take a few weeks .  In the mean time i'll be putting up the download link to to access it as a PDF file here any day - and -  it's FREE !    150 pages , photos and lots of information.  It's for you specifically to be able to recognize all the little issues that can lead to lameness. Pretty powerful !   Much of what's in the book was not taught me in the Farrier schools and evidently still is not as sometimes i get emails from guys fresh out of the schools and they ask me questions which i give answers to and the first thing they say is " I never knew that !"  .   Really this book will put you into the elite catagory when it comes to understanding feet and legs and your horse's movement.     So , i'm excited to provide this for you.   been a long time coming.   
                                         It will also be available as a download at www.Care4Horses.com as well.      
              Now i can't go without saying i've been totally elated lately due to finally getting UNSUPERVISED visits with my son Tristan. It's just incredible , like a whole new world . All i can say is "it's Nothing but Good - it's the light in my life" and Tristan's just loving it . We're both just anxious for the visits to go from 3 hours to 6 where he and i will have enough time to really get into things together. Unfortunately his mother is still a thorn in my ass that just seems nothing but hell bent on preventing Tristan from having a relationship with his father , well - but that's another story -    so let's move on to the horse talk for today. 

                                     Uncovering more controversy with Barefoot vs Shod horses. 
               To be perfectly honest with you this Barefoot thing is the ONLY area i get any flack from when i address issues surrounding it. And it's ALWAYS from the Barefoot People. So be it !!   I want to be clear - i'm NOT against barefoot horses - it's just that not all horses can go barefoot - just won't happen , but it does irritate me to hear these barefoot people say that "Shoeing Horses" is a problem , after over 18 years now that i have not had one lameness due to the specific method of shoeing i use i just can't stand on their side of the fence when they make that kind of statement. I've said it before " Shoeing's not the problem it's incorrect  shoeing that's the problem.  I might as well add right here that i have Veterenarian friends that tell me as well that Most of the lameness issues they address are with - get this - you guessed it Barefoot Horses !!!  HELLO !!!  

               By the way , these barefoot people are kinda like animal rights activists - they're down right beligerant at times. Oh well. 

                 One of the first things that almost always hear from the barefoot people is " Shoeing Stops the foot from expanding and contracting which stops the blood pumping action within the foot "   BLEH !!!   Let me show you why it's just NOT a true statement. Take a look at the photo below . The shoe came off of a horse when re-shoeing it at the end of it's normal 8 week shoeing cycle. 

                 Do you see the shiny spots / tracks on both sides of the shoe ? On the left side of the shoe the shiny area starts at the last nail hole and progresses to the end of the shoe. On the right the shiny area starts at the second hole up from the heel and progresses nearly to the end of the shoe as well.  Question: What do you think those areas are ? not too difficult to figure out. What you're not seeing though in the photo is those shiny areas are actually grooves right in the metal - and worn rather deeply as well. NOT only are they grooves but they're actually fairly WIDE , like almost 1/4 inch wide .  The point is what you are looking at is WEAR right into the METAL from the hoof wall doing exactly what the Barefoot people say doesn't happen , which is , that's right  ---------- Hoof Wall Expansion and contraction  ....    I rest my   #%>&@$!@   Case !!!!     lol   

                When you combine the two grooves of 1/4 inch each together we're looking at almost 1/2 inch expansion and contraction - wow !  That's quite significant isn't it !!       


                  OK !  So if you've ever heard like i have the horses hoof wall doesn't expand and contract when shoes are put on and you've wondered if because of that statement you're making the right decisions for your horse - just take a look at the picture again and rest your mind about it.   Not only have we just Debunked the facts but horses do not just get blood pumping through the contraction and expansion of the hoof wall .   Really !   Horses are quite heavy wouldn't you agree - 1000 lbs right ?  All that weight travels right down your horses legs and pumps the whole bone column up and down within the hoof wall - That is responsible for a LOT of blood pumping .      To be honest i would venture to say that the little bit of expansion and contraction that horses feet do is possibly insignificant compared to the other factors responsible for blood pumping concerns. Won't hang my hat on the statement but it makes sense to me.        

                So i'm hoping things are going well for you . Riding season will be in full swing soon .
As usual Happy and Safe Riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira  

               OHHH !   if you don't Twitter do so - it's fun .   Follow me on Twitter.   just go to www.Twitter.com take about 2 minutes to give them your screename and password and you're in !    then just use the search feature and look me up by my screen name which is familiar to you -------->   Care4Horsescom  and start TWITTERING and stop in often and say hello to me    (-:     Hope to see you there , it's soo easy and too fun.  

Equestrian Giveaway Event (FREE)

 Quick while you can - get on to this site for the First Ever Equestrian Giveaway !  FREE STUFF   (-:  

 This is expiring January 10th ,  Hurry and go to  http://Free-Horse-gifts.com/go/john@care4horses.com everything there is FREE.

Poor Ole Smarty the horse


Hello and Happy Holidays.

It's been a while i've been kept pretty busy with court appearances and depositions again so have been real busy. Have managed to get several more chapters written in the Ebook "Inside Horseshoeing Secrets of Lameness Prevention" so nearing completion of that project. If i say so myself it's looking great and there's a ton of information there allowing you to recognize if your horse is at risk of lameness. I've been getting a lot of emails lately with people having problems with their shoers doing the trimming or shoeing wrong - the owner of the horse doesn't usually realize something's wrong until the horse is lame .

So i have a quick story for today. It's about the horse named Smarty, a big muscular quarter horse i have been shoeing for the past 10 years. Yes 10 years. You see when i started shoeing Smarty he was full of problems , fear ! It was easy enough to pick up Smarty's feet but every time i'd move my body to get under him he'd tighten up and get stiff as a board. If you're thinking "well he's sore somewhere" and that's why he's having trouble - well that's not it .

Over the years of working with Smarty i have been able to get him loosened up in the front end, that took some time, then was able to fix him from jerking his rear legs back when i was under him. You see he'd stiffen up so much while i was under him he'd wear himself out to the point where to get comfortable again he'd either lean all the way over till he fell or he'd hop or pull his leg back. I have to say pulling the legs back is bad specially when there's a nail still sticking out of his foot , too many times i've had those nails rip right through my pants and skin at the same time - got the scars to prove it.

So i've been able to get ole Smarty fixed up pretty good except he's still always been just alittle bit off ( Just wasn't right ). After i got him to loosen up in the front and back then he turned his anxiety into side stepping and fishtailing whenever i'd just go to make a move. Horse psychology is interesting isn't it - sometimes when you fix one "Symptom" it migrates into another area of the body and this can go on like this for some time and it did with Smarty. I had gotten his legs to soften up but now it turned into a dancing around problem .

My last shoeing with Smarty didn't go well, he was dancing sideways in the ties and just being a royal pain in the rear. I could tell he was just being a shit ! The Fear was still there , no longer jerking his leg - or stiffening up but now causing the dancing as a symptom and now it had gotten to the point where he's being quite , i use the word "Bitchy" about it. Almost a meaness and so that day Smarty and i had words !! Quite a few of them. I can tolerate alot when it comes to horses but when the horse starts getting a real attitude like he's going to call the shots with me and i feel like the next step for the horse could possibly be kicking me then i find it's time to have a talk.

Smarty learned how to stand that day but i pissed him off royally in the process - too bad isn't it sometimes , like a spoiled brat sometimes you just have to tell them otherwise even if you know they are going to throw a tantrum , it's for the overall good. I got done with Smarty that day put him away but the look in his eyes would have melted wax. LOL

Now i got a call from the owner a couple days ago that Smarty needed to get shod again. Smarty is in bar shoes cause he has navicular disease and he's also been nerved due to the navicular. He's a great reining horse and the owner wanted to extend his use and keep using him hence the nerveing. I find it kinda interesting how when a horse gets navicular then is the time to recommend the bar shoes but my way of thinking is why wait till the navicular sets in , why not just use the bar shoes all along ? Well the bar shoes cost a bit more money , not much but enough to put people off from regular shoeing with bar shoes.

What i do to accomplish a bar shoe effect without actual bar shoes is to just fit the horse with a shoe that's a little bit longer in the heels. I'll turn the extra length at the heels inward a bit similar to a bar shoe. This way the navicular bones gets support and the deep flexor tendon stops getting stretched from the heels sinking into the ground because now you've got some extra heel support with the longer shoe. Back to Smarty.

I show up for the appointment to shoe Smarty and i don't even get to square one and ole Smarty starts shaking like a leaf . I could see he's having a serious issue so i don't push it . I stay really nice - talk to him - give him love - rub his nose but it's not working , he's getting into a nervous fit. If i just ever so lightly just tap him with the end of my finger he flinches as though someone was driving a stake into his heart . Maybe he's been bitten by a vampire bat - Just kidding - ok this is no time for joking.

For Smarty the moment of truth had finally arrived. He was out of places to hide and out of physical symptoms to express his fears. The quivering was him dealing with his own anxieties and fears. I had finally reached deep enough into his mind , had finally made enough progress that now all that was left was for man and horse to unite and connect - the real question always is - is the horse capable of it ? This is when , the human factor has to be the most careful , this is where we bridge the gap and the vulnerability of the horse is wide open - the horses trust is for the first time being tested , the horse is finally opening up the doors this is no time for me to be an idiot .

Poor ole Smarty was reaching out probably for the first time in his long life and i could see it happening. Now that Smarty is open my whole approach changes , now my touch becomes a healing touch and i rub him in a way that soothes - i had to make darn sure exactly how i was going to touch him delivered a quality of care and compassion and had a calming healing effect to him. That's what he needed and that's what he got. As he took notice of all this and while he's dealing with his own deamons the connection between man and animal was made . Within minutes Smarty stopped quivering and the sighs of relief came for him. What a site to see.

Oh and how wonderful it was , now that the quivering stopped and now with our connection when i asked for his foot he'd just give it , when i pulled his leg out to the side so i could get under him he allowed it , he was comfortable , and sure in himself , relaxed , relieved and almost euphoric. What a joy to work on horses like that. (-: Smarty and i had traveled a long and complex road together. We have "Arrived" at the Destination . Here's a picture of Smarty , the look in his face for the first time is one of the most peace i have ever seen in him . He's a bit frazzled looking but also very relieved, he kinda almost looks child like in a horse sense . Here he is .

As usual happy and safe riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com   

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira

ps. Remember you can still have consultations for any horse shoeing needs
     just email me directly at John@Care4Horses.com    consultation is at no cost .  FREE !

 links: http://www.ncha.net/   http://www.swtcuttin.com/ http://www.riddenhard.us/index.html

How Horseshoeing and Horseshoer don't line up


          Something alittle different today. I'm posting an actual email recieved from a reader of this blog who's very concerned about her horses feet and how the farriers have been doing their job. Her "Erin's" concerns are very legitimate, no one wants their horses feet going out of balance and risking their horses becoming permanently lame.  

          I have more work to do on this article with the photos Erin sent me but want to post her actual email ahead of time to get this on a roll. You'll be able to Erin's email and understand her concerns then i'll follow up in a day or so with the answers and explanations along with the photo examples and suggestions to Erin posted right here for you to follow along.  So here we go.   Here's Erin's email , the follow up response from me coming soon.

          Dear Mr. Silveira,
I hope very, very much that you are still providing free consultations as I have two horses desperately in need of your help.  Home is where the military sends you and so just over one year ago I moved my horses from California to Arkansas.  My biggest fear in terms of moving is having to find a new farrier so when I arrived in Arkansas I opted to pay an outrageous fee to a Certified Journeyman Farrier with the foolish notion that he would know what he was doing.  WRONG! 
Stupidly, for eight months I paid to have my horses trimmed and/or shoed religiously every six weeks.  By the eighth month both of my horses feet had developed  broken back hoof pastern axis's resulting from toes left too long and heels that had crushed underneath the hoof so badly that both of my horses were standing on the hairline/heel bulb of all of their hooves. 
Rock, my twelve-year-old ex-racetrack Thoroughbred gelding was forging nearly every step at a walk and at one point severely overreached causing a deep, nasty wound despite the professional's choice ballistic overreach boots he was wearing.  He had also been showing signs all last winter of hind limb lameness that I thought was due to back pain so I hand walked him and massaged and stretched him nearly all winter.  He also was not extending his front feet normally at any gait and appeared to be standing over at the knee.  He was always standing on diagonals all of the time versus ever standing squared up.  He also refused to lope off with his back rounded and head down specifically on his left lead.  He had never presented any of these problems before (which should have been a big clue to me).
Blue, my six-year-old reined cow horse American Quarter Horse mare also had the broken back pastern axis's and was standing way back on the hairline/heel bulb of all of her feet.  My concerns for her developed when it appeared her knees were wobbling like jello after each ride and she couldn't "get in the ground" with her rear-end to stop like before.  Then, she began cross firing in the pasture and on the longe line resulting in a huge bruise on her inside front leg and repeatedly hitting it in the pasture has given her a permanent hard knot.  I was truly surprised when my mare also began to forge very frequently as she has a very long back. 
I called my now ex-farrier out to my place to address the issue that I felt both of my horses needed more toe to be taken off and figure out how to get them standing back up on their heels.  My ex-farrier requested watching me ride (I am a horse trainer and have a very successful show career) so he could asses what the problem was.  After sitting on my horse and walking around as instructed he admitted that my gelding was forging (as he was hitting/interfering nearly every walking step), but my farrier came to the conclusion that all of my concerns were a result of my horse following his nose around in a circle (and I wasn't even using the reins to turn him)!!!
I have since switched to another farrier who has been trying to correct the angles of my horses' feet.  He tried to put slideplates on my mare which she stepped on and ripped off in her stall the very first night my new farrier put them on.  I would love it if you did an article on how to properly shoe a horse with sliders.  The pictures I have attached were taken two days ago.  What you see is after only three weeks from their last trim which is the second time my new farrier has given my horses hooves attention.  The first trim with my new farrier was five weeks apart, and the next trim will be four weeks apart meaning the farrier is due to arrive November 5th.  My goal is to get their hooves back to normal and I thought getting their feet trimmed more often would help expedite the growth of new angles.  My horses have been very sore footed after my new farrier's trimming as he has been taking off as much as possible to help correct their hooves.  Should I be worried about this or is he on the right track?
This is why I have contacted you.  My horses desperately need your help!  What do I need to do to get my horses feet back to normal.  Specifically, how do I get their angles back to normal and get them standing back up on their heels?  I am not convinced my new farrier knows what to do, but he tries very hard to do what I ask him to.  Both my horses are fed the best quality hay I can buy and are fed Omelene 200 (they were on Ultium) along with Platinum Performance and are currently on smartpaks with grandflex, grandvite, msm (thanks to Sandy Collier a trainer friend of mine from Buellton, California).  I have wondered if their forward growing/crushed heels is the result of moving from a sandy, dry environment to a very muddy, wet one.  I do notice that their heels seem to sink down and become mushy after it rains.  Do you believe in Kerratex Hoof Gel to keep out the excess moisture or is their another product you might be able to suggest?  Please, please respond to my letter as I have not found a farrier that I can trust here and my horses need all the help they can get to get their hooves back to normal!  I will gladly send more photos if you need them.  My Thoroughbred, Rock, has always had mismatched front feet with the left being more narrow and upright, but this has never caused him problems.  Thank you so very much for any help you may be able to provide.  I can't wait for your book to be available, and I would love to be entered in your hoof pick drawing.  I tried to attach the photos of my horses to this e-mail, but apparently I will have to attach them to different messages because of the big size.  So please view the photos on the other e-mails I am sending.
Thank you so much,
Erin Kirsten Long


          Thanks so much for writing in Erin, Doing some editing to the photos you've sent and i'll be right back to you.  There are some interesting things going on with your horses feet that deserve attention.    See you soon.

Here's the follow up for Erin's horses 

       First lets talk about heels. if you look the heel of this horse has already been stretched forward. Most likely from the toe growing too far forward. I don't have before and after shots of this horse so no visual comparisons but when the heels get sheared it's one of the hardest things to fix. You can see the yellow penciled in where the heel should be.  What happens is the horses weight and center of gravity in this case fall behind where the heel is currently - the tendency then is for this foot to want to rock backwards due to no heel support. At this point it looks like plenty of toe has been rasped back so the toe's not long anymore but the damage to the heel has already been done. Fortunately shoeing is the easiest fix - just fit the shoe longer in the rear at the heels for the support the foot needs - basically we're faking the foot has heels.

         So that's for starters - one thing i did want to mention right off is the feet have a slight appearance of what i call "Impacted" - meaning the feet aren't breathing well - flexing - expanding - contracting - but rather are kinda rigid in appearance and when i examined more photos it started to become apparent why ( cover that in a minute )   so lets go to the next .


         In this photo the right foot looks like it's lining up well. Angles look pretty good here. The red dotted line of the right foot is where to correctly measure for angles meaning i don't use a hoof guage like many farriers do rather i use the grain of the foot right there where you see the red line. Using this method puts the coffin bone at it's most natural angle. Using the hoof gauge at the toe as some do is not accurate as it completely disreguards any hoof stretch or long toe syndrome at the toe which would throw off the reading - besides what is the hoof guage really reading ?  think about that - it's measuring the hoof wall not the angle of the coffin bone . The comments i've recieved after viewing Xrays of horses i shoe in this manner always come back that the coffin bone is in the correct position - obviously the only real way to know if the coffin bone is correct is with the Xray, so follow this method will be closest to natural angle for your horse.

          If you look where it says coffin bone not level you'll see that foot is not trimmed correctly and the coffin bone is cocked to one side. Foot is short on the medial side coffin bone slopin toward the medial side as well. Remember horses are straight ahead animals and don't make turns well at all , that's due to the bone construction of the feet and pasterns mostly. The feet just don't move much except in one direction (forward and backward ) horses basically are Stiff.

          The worst part about feet not being level is the stress being put on the navicular bone. With the navicular bone riding right up against the coffin bone if that joint is not meshing correctly it's stressing and causing undue wear to the bones. There's a correct way to measure and trim a foot for level that has nothing to do with the coronary band of the foot ( the hairline ) being horizontal - it's really irrelevant what the hairline is doing, the foot must be trimmed in a way that when the foot is on the ground the "Bones - coffin joint" are all lined up correctly- and the hairline is no indication of how to establish level so in the archives here there is a link called "True Level" find the one that works and you can understand the correct way to establish and trim for level. I'll be posting more videos on this aspect .

         Lastly with this photo you'll see the flare on the lateral (outside) of the left foot. Not adressing flare can lead to hoof drift, basically as the flare keeps spreading to one side as in this case the other side of the foot gets pulled with it causing the whole foot to stretch and fall out of alignment with the bone column of the leg - it would be as if your own foot ( the whole foot ) was now slightly - lets say one inch - farther to the right or left. With a horse once the foot starts to stretch there's a tendency for it to continue to stretch , the outside keeps flaring ( as photo above ) and the inside ( medial side ) of the foot starts to buckle and round itself as it gets dragged toward the outside ( the medial hoof wall actually bends and takes that set ) now the only way to fix these issues is to start removing the flare and allowing the medial side of the foot to grow a whole new foot ( more on this later as it's all related to what i call "FOOT LOAD" and how load characteristics change depending on how the shoe is placed and how the foot is trimmed ( that part gets to be alittle complex to discuss ).   Ok now moving on - next photo is about contraction.

        Here you're seeing both feet quite contracted. Contraction can be caused by the long toe syndrome ( bozo feet ) when the toe is not rasped toward the rear and then can be caused due to just the genetics of the horse. Some are born severely contracted. So how do you know which is the case for your horse ? What should you be aware of to establish if contraction is a result of Farrier malpractice or Genetic. There are some clues . Obviously if your horses feet look like a ski at the toe ( very long out in front ) ( or long toe and low heel combined ) there's a good chance it's farrier related. In the photo above i'm seeing mostly genetic , and most likely all genetic. If you look at the sidewall of the foot at the hairline you'll see the coronary is very straight - the coronary curves around the toe nicely but from the side of the foot to the heel it's straight as an arrow and not round; that's your clue to genetic pattern contraction. The extreme straight line of the coronary band will be next to impossible to change.

         Looking at the bulbs of this foot there's basically no room between the heels. If your horse is narrow in the heels balance is all the more important - remember the conversation we just had about navicular disease ? The foot not being level causing Navicular ? well contracted heels is another culprit to Navicular disease. When the rear of the foot is so narrow there's no room for the navicular bone in the foot. No room for it to move around and find it's most comfortable spot. Navicular bone is getting crushed from sideways pressures. There are some preventive measures such as pads that help spread the heels , some like to let their horse go barefoot for a while which helps the foot expand at the heel and other methods worth using. So Erin since your horse is contracted here it becomes all the more important to keep this horse up on it's heels and keep the toe moved to the rear so the foot breaks over easily - at this point ease of breakover is the best thing you can do for this horse. Bar shoes are always the go to fix for horses with Navicular so any heel support / help would also be beneficial to your horse.
       So lets move along to the next photo just to give you a little bit of comparison. This photo the horse has much better width to the heels. But let's not wander away from this point as the photo following this one will tie things more together - so we're not moving away from Navicular issues just yet.  Ok here's the photo.


          You can see the width is more acceptable here. I like it !  this is fine.  Ok lets move on as this next photo will help bring things together.


        We've talked about the feet that look what i call "Impacted". Now when you look at this foot which looks nice and wide at the heels ( no contraction - good thing ) you'll notice either the foot is actually flat footed or simply none of the sole has been removed. Judging by the length of the heels the foot looks long to me so i'm suspecting more sole can be removed. With so much depth to the commisures ( tracks between frog ) i'd say more sole can be removed.  
        I take my nippers and grab those bars of the foot and cut them out - then i can grab the sole with the nippers and start to pop the excess sole out. Once that is done i get my hoof knife and trim as much of the bars out as i possibly can. Doing so will expose more hoof wall all the way around the foot which can be shortened - of course not too much we don't want out horses coming up tender footed.  When the sole is all cleared out nicely now the foot will breathe better - flex more at the heels - and basically undulate within itself better. With all the sole in there (not removed ) the horse is pounding the extra sole INTO the foot putting alot of pressures into the foot- the energy of this translates into an appearance on the outside of the hoof wall that makes the foot look excessively hard and Static !  It's not what i like personally over 18 years i've been doing this. I don't like feet that are like granite.  I like the feet to breathe - it's just healthier for the whole foot - expansion contraction breathing and ALIVE. 

           Same thing with the frog - you can see in the photo i'm suggesting removing more of the frog. Some horses don't like much frog pressure , since all frogs are different , some soft some hard , and since all horses are different, some almost impervious to pain while others super sensitive , having too much frog can cause pressure within the foot and the horse is going to be uncomfortable. So don't hesitate with trimming the frog - it grows back fast anyway. 

           The other side to this is the contraction issue we've talked about. We want feet to expand in the heels to prevent navicular risks. If the bars of the foot are left in and not trimmed as in the photo above , well the bars LOCK the foot across the heels making it more difficult for the expansion we want to occur. On barefoot horses i used to leave the bars in ( that's what they taught us at the schools ) but over time i take the bars out on barefoot horses as well - always when shoeing.  Moving on again - we're coming down the home stretch.  (-:


        This photo above is quite common. The foot is out of balance regarding width across the foot in relation to bone column - basically too much foot to the medial side and not enough to the lateral side. Very common with pigeon toed horses. Most horses and i've approximated 97-98 % of horses have this condition ( pigeon toed ). It's too complex to cover here this time but i'll be making videos to cover this aspect.  Fixing this is all about shoe placement and rasping the excess foot at the medial side ( which is basically flare ) and growing new foot. We've already talked about how feet drift and this is a view that helps explain it.  As that excess foot on the medial side is not fixed it typically gets worse. It's basically just flare but the problem is as it keeps moving toward the medial side and flaring that lateral side of the foot gets pulled in the direction of the flare ( i know i'm repeating myself ) but wanted to show you this from a different direction of view. The dotted line shows two points - one the difference between how much foot is on one side and how much on the other - but also that dotted line is not lineing up with the leg ( not shown in photo ) basically telling us this foot is pigeon toed.  Nothing too serious here but if you're after balance and removing risk of lameness these things need to be adressed.


           Finally for today i want to talk about this frog. This frog is not intact. Now Erin has informed me the horse's were in a moist environment and surely contributed to this but nevertheless. The frog is separating. And separating deeply. What looks like a deep fissure there on the right side of the frog is an indication there is bacteria creeping all the way under the frog. The bacteria will keep spreading and eroding the frog until it reaches where soft tissue starts. 

            i was just at a ranch yesterday working on a horse with this same issue. All i did was to poke a tiny bit into the fissure and the horse jumped in pain. You don't want to let these become Chronic. I saw a horse quite a while back with chronic thrush. The frog was completely eroded away and the horse just wasn't growing any frog and bleeding where the frog should be. Any touching of the area where the frog should have been caused immediate seeping of blood from the tissue.    Any Thrush buster applied daily for a month should take care of this. Hopefully a dry environment is also available.

             So i've covered some of the basics again here . These photos are not shoeing feet with too long of toe like bozo - so the farrier is rasping toe back - but there is some sheared heel issues indicating that probably somewhere in the past the toes were long. Sheared heels don't typically fix themselves - something has to be done about it  ( another article coming ) . The rest we've talked about here is not so difficult to understand . I kep going over some things because sometimes it just takes a little time and different examples to really start to get and grasp the ideas. 

              For me i'm finding out as i keep delivering this information that Videos are going to be a must. So this is definately going to become a part of this blog - i expect to be video blog casting soon , also look for an audio blog cast soon as well (Podcasting) you can recieve it from your iphone.

          Thank you for being here taking in this information , thank you Erin for allowing others to see your particular situation,  i don't particularly feel your horses are in as bad a shape as you may have thought (Thankfully right?)

           so i'll say goodbye for now. 
            for the new folks to the blog i do continue to give consultations at no cost , just email me at the following address John@Care4Horses.com and let me know whatever issues you're having and i'm happy to help. Photos are welcome. 

As usual happy and safe riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com

    Working on chapter 5 of the Ebook "INSIDE HORSESHOEING SECRETS OF LAMENESS PREVENTION" which is also free. 
        Just leave me your email address and you'll be placed on the priority list for notification soon as it's done.

thanks .

The Barefoot Horse Movement - Fact or Fiction - Cult ?


Hello and what a wonderful day it is here . 

First things first - a late announcement , Septembers Custom Hand Forged Horse Head Hoof Pick winner of course !

                                               Bill Eckroth from Mandan ND.  Congratulations my friend and enjoy.

        There's alot of controversy around the Barefoot Horse. I'm just curious how many go barefoot. A short time back i recieved a link from a friend to a website all about barefoot horses and was asked for my opinions. After looking over the website complete with videos et all , well , this is one area that i could really get set off on. It's not because barefoot horses infringe on my income rather the more i've seen about these barefoot movement people the more i want to scream. 

         I'm not going to name names but the website i visited was quite elaborate , showing the barefoot facility and what is done there. There was a strong video but after about 5 minutes into the video i got the feeling the speaker was just trying to overwhelm with information - kinda a smoke and mirror approach. I quickly noticed the speaker starting to quote a Dr. of Veterinarian medicine and this is where i noticed the body language of the speaker changing as he obviously was just repeating what was told him and didn't himself have the courage of his convictions. So i quickly became suspect of what was to come and i have to say i wasn't let down.

        I have to just jump in here , there was a track all around the facility there where all types of different terrain is set up for horses to walk over - tree stumps - gravel - sand - rocks - fallen logs - water - you name it they have it - probably lilly pads too ( add humor ). The process of going barefoot is that these horses need the different types of terrain to walk on for their feet to toughen up. I don't have any objection to feet toughening up but what i saw on the video was interesting - the horses as they walk around the track were advoiding the obstacles that are supposto toughen them up. So that was for starters.

        The second thing was the speaker started talking about the sole of the foot and how the horse should stand on it's sole - a direct quote from the Veterinarian associated with this website. To be specific they're proposing the horse should stand 85 percent on it's sole and 15 perent on the hoof wall , and there's a reason - mainly that by standing on it's sole the pressure into the foot would stimulate blood flow and strengthen the foot. Good Lord !

        Look - think about this just for a minute - horses shed their frogs and they shed their soles - it's natural ! if they were supposto stand on their soles they wouldn't be shedding all the time , and secondly think about this - how much does a horse weigh on average - 1000 lbs ?  easily - well that little bit of hoof wall down there on the end of their leg has to support a huge amount of weight even while just standing let alone running. Well the bone column going down the leg and into the foot is certainly causing pressure and blood circulation inside the foot without having the horse have to stand on it's sole.  This supporting of weight certainly strengthen lamina and improves integrity of the foot all by itself. 

        Horses live in all different parts of the world - some on open pasture land others in the sand of Arabia for example and others in the rocks of mongolia etc etc . It's all different but they all flourish in their particular environments . 

        I'm going to show you a photo of one of the barefoot practitioners. I've heard from some that they should not ever touch the bottom of the foot - never to remove or work on the sole at all , the photo will show you what i'm talking about. 

        The website in question here ( interesting enough ) showed an example of their best barefoot horse - interesting that the sole had been trimmed away and the bottom of the foot was concave as it is naturally unless you have a flat footed horse , but obviously this foot was not supporting 85% of it's weight on the sole - rather it was supporting almost all of its weight on the hoof wall. I don't want to confuse you but their example was not in line with what they teach. In the photographic example the horse doesn't stand on it's sole much at all which is contrary to what they said -  OH now even i'm confused   (-:    

        Yes horses can and do go barefoot , obviously out in the wild , but not all horses can do well going barefoot. Horses have thin soles , some will never toughen up and be able to go barefoot. Some have very thin hoof wall and will always be tearing hoof apart also not a good candidate for going barefoot. There's is also a long toughening up process that could result if your horse is tender footed. You'd need to ride your horse barefoot - it would come back to the barn limping and you'd need to lay the horse up for a few days till it's foot recovers then you subject the horse to more punishment (toughening) and another layup for recovery and repeat the process hopefully the horse will finally get where it doesn't need shoes. WOW ! I don't know about you but i like to ride and not have to deal with those kind of issues. I mean if i look at my horses feet and i say it looks like it could go barefoot lets try it out then good , one of the lucky ones that can go barefoot.

        Where i really had issue with this website is when the speaker said it was Shoeing horses that causes lameness problems.  I just about jumped out of my skin - but i saw that coming . Here's the bottom line on that - i've been shoeing horses for almost 18 years now and i've never had a horse come up lame from my shoeing technique. There's nothing wrong with shoeing at all providing it's done right . In fact there are actually some serious balance issues that can only be addressed with shoeing such as pigeon toed horses and addressing what to do with flares and load characteristics on the foot and a few other things. Nope shoeing's not the problem it's incorrect shoeing , and it's incorrect trimming as well including barefoot horses. i think you're getting the idea.

        So my job here is to pass on what i know in order for you to make better decisions for yourself and your horse.   I always say " It only takes ONCE for you to have a permanently lame horse " much better off educated.

        I'm in the middle of a few challenges lately but nearing completion of the Ebook which is FREE like everything else on this site --------->  "Inside Horseshoeing Secrets of Lameness Prevention" You can sign up to recieve it by just leavning your name and email to me at John@Care4Horses.com i'll promptly send it to you.

                                           So here's an example of a Barefoot Horse being treated incorrectly

                                                    Look at that !  Can you believe it ? This poor horse. 
That poor horse has to walk on it's sole completely. The person who sent me this photo for consultation said this is what the farrier told her needed to be done with this horse.  You can see the sole has grown longer than the hoofwall, the frog is buried way inside the foot where it gets little contact with the ground , and you can also see there is some flare at the toe. By popping that sole out of the foot as if it had shed itself the farrier would then be able to shorten the foot to it's natural position as well, right now the foot is too long because of the excess sole. And there's no way you can tell me this horse/ pony actually is happy having to walk on these feet in this condition. Like i said , makes me want to scream sometime. 

          Ok - so enough said. If you noticed i mentioned "Consultation" with the person who sent me the photo. Yes i do consultation , again , like everything else consultation is no cost whatsoever - that's FREE .  (-:  right ? 

          So as usual happy safe and sound riding and always remember to www.Care4Horses.com 

        John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira 

 for consultations just email me at John@Care4Horses.com