When someone calls him for the first time, he asks a lot of questions. “I want to get some history on the horse if possible: what the living conditions are; what the diet is; what the horse is, or was used for; how much it is ridden, and in what situation. I explain my thoughts on hoof care and what is involved to get a healthier hoof. A change in diet, living conditions (environment), and hoof protection will all be looked at.”
Like many of his peers, Randy believes the hoof boot industry has changed tremendously. “When I first started in the farrier business,” he says, “a hoof boot was a spare tire in case you broke down. As boots have evolved, they now are a very good option for hoof protection. Even the changes since I switched from shoeing to barefoot have been quite a lot in a few years.” When he made the switch, he did a lot of rehabilitations with Epics that still had teeth. “I modified this in most every boot that I fit so that it would not get into the hoof wall. The pad selection was not where it is today either: I did a lot of making pads out of what ever I thought would work. Then came comfort pads and now there is a wide selection.”
Randy attributes his success to the many people he has met in the time he has been a farrier and now a hoof care practitioner. “There are far too many to people to mention, but I want to thank them all. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the help and education that those individuals have given me.”
He has been carrying EasyCare products since 2006. He stocks Epics, Old Macs, Rx, Gloves, Glue-Ons and pads in his vehicle. The boots he uses the most and his favorite EasyCare boots are the Gloves and Glue-Ons. He uses the RX boots for his rehab cases.
Randy was a traditional farrier for several years. He made the switch to barefoot after a couple of clients began working on him to start trimming their horses that way. “I was very skeptical at first. I began to realize I had a lot to learn; I changed my style of trimming and way of thinking. I began applying natural hoof care to the problem feet that I had. The improvements were amazing; the founder and navicular cases I had been struggling with were improving. As time went on, I changed my business to trimming and rehabilitation, no longer using steel shoes for hoof protection.”
When asked what he sees in the future of barefoot, he says “My hope is that I will see the day when barefoot is normal for all horses.”
For more information on Randy Hensley visit his website at http://www.naturalequinehoof.com/index.htm.