The Road to Barefoot

Now that my horse Skippy has been barefoot for eight months, I finally feel like I can look back and reflect on my decision, the transition process, and the outcome. Overall, I feel this is one of the best decisions I have ever made for my horse but it most definitely was not as easy as I expected. We encountered many different bumps along the way but I am happy to say that he is barefoot and sound today.

It only took me eight years to figure out that shoes were not working for my horse; during those eight years we struggled with abscesses, contracted heels, and various unexplained soundness issues. Upon the recommendation of my veterinarian, I did some research on barefoot trimming and decided that it was probably the best thing for the long-term soundness of my horse. Despite all of my research, nothing could have prepared me for my upcoming journey with the barefoot transition.

False sole, just one of the few "bumps" along the road.

The most shocking thing about the entire transition process was the initial amount of pain my horse experienced immediately after pulling his shoes. I knew that he would be sore after pulling his shoes, however, I was not at all prepared for him to be in so much pain that he did not even want to leave his stall and could barely walk. I was shocked to say the least and it was at that point I reluctantly began shopping for hoof boots. Why reluctantly? To be honest, I did not think that boots were going to help my near-crippled horse. Boy was I wrong! The hoof boots made a world of difference, my horse could actually walk again. To alleviate pain, Skippy wore boots 24/7 for the first three months of his transition. After the first three months I only booted when I rode and now, eight months barefoot, Skippy is arena sound without boots and I only need them on the trail to prevent hoof breakage.

Currently Skippy wears the Easyboot Epic, I hope to use Easyboot Gloves when his transition is complete. 

In summary, it has been a long road transitioning to barefoot but I couldn't be happier with my decision. I feel confident that I have selected the best option for my horse's soundness. If you are considering transitioning your horse, my advice would be to do your research, hang in there, and be patient- it is worth it in the end.

Maggie Molever

Maggie Molever, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I am a strong believer in the benefits of barefoot and am currently transitioning my own horse.

 

Rocks, River Crossings and Boot Sucking Mud

Can the Easyboot Glove handle the test on the trail? Can they handle the "ha ha you will never find me" boot sucking mud of Western Washington? A training mare and I put these boots to the test. 

A variety of training is important in creating a well rounded horse. For the last few years, this mare had mostly been ridden in an indoor arena, now it was time to get back to work. This was the fist time I had used the Easyboot Glove, which are now my favorite boot. As hoof care practitioner and EasyCare dealer, I like to put the products I promote to the test. So on a chilly February day we hit the trail with the Easyboot Glove fitted to her front hooves.

You want me to do what? You do realize this is not flat, fluffy, sand, and where are my secure arena walls?

In Western Washington we have a variety of terrain, mud is quite common and often the
bane of boot users. So this is where I really wanted to test the Glove. They passed the test.  

Can the Gloves handle this decline? Hey this isn't flat either! Can we go home now?

No fear! Our trail mate on her trusty mare Dandy crossing the cold river. Dandy also wears the Easyboot
Glove when needed, she has beautiful bare hooves that can usually handle the trail bootless.

How will the Easyboot Gloves do on this rocky road? They did great protecting the mares arena conditioned hooves. 

 

The Easyboot Glove survived the test of boot sucking mud, rivers, rocky roads, steep slippery declines and uneven forest terrain. They also protected this mares arena conditioned feet. To successfully use the Glove, a good fit and trim are important. Incorrect fit and/or too long between trims can result in a lost boot. These photos were taken back in February 2011, and to this day the Easyboot Glove is still my favorite all purpose boot.  

Amy Allen, Amy Allen Horsemanship

Adapting to Change

A few months ago, my husband, my dogs and my little herd of horses moved to a beautiful house on a beautiful piece of land. We've been working towards the goal of purchasing horse property for some time, and dreams finally became reality. The day we signed the papers is still a blur in my mind, and I still can't believe I was able to wait two whole weeks before bringing home the horses. 

They were in heaven, and I quickly cut off the irrigation. 

It wasn't a difficult adjustment, for me anyway. Unfortunately for my IR mare I was leasing, the green grass was not agreeable to her metabolic state. Before it became an issue, she went home and I brought back baby. My three geldings adjusted quickly and I am still learning the balance of keeping pasture irrigated enough not to die, but not enough to be lush. You see, the more you know about ideal horse-keeping, the more things like gorgeous green pastures and soft sand arenas become less than ideal living situations. That said, I still wanted to take advantage of the acreage and reduce my hay bill by utilizing the pastures as the primary food source for my ponies. Luckily, I like micro-managing and am open to change as necessary.

The pastures now look like this, and no one has died of starvation, yet.
The growing yearling is not an accurate representation of the rest of the "herd." 

Because my horses are athletes, or are supposed to be athletes, or could be athletes if I could focus on more than three things at once, soundness is imperative. The boarding situation where they came from was vastly different than their new digs. 180 acres of dry desert hills is completely different than six acres of paddock and pasture. I know plenty of successful endurance horses who thrive in similar situations so I wasn't too terribly concerned. My biggest worry was that they would lose their rock-hard feet and might not be as sound on the trail as they were when living like wild ponies at the ranch. Thus far, I truly haven't noticed much of a difference while trimming. Chant's feet are rock-hard while Topper's are still soft - just like always. 

I still use my Easyboot Gloves on most of my training rides and the rides where I ride barefoot don't seem any different. Perhaps it will take awhile to see the negative effects of a grass pasture, but I am willing to adapt as necessary. We are already making plans to add pea gravel to the horses night paddocks and loafing areas. For the first time ever, my horses are eating 100% grass hay and I am able to feed them out of slow feeders when they get hay. The best part would probably have to be the ample shade, which I have fully taken advantage of to trim regularly despite 100+ degree heat. That, and the fully stocked fridge that's inside the house. With air conditioning. Yesssss. 

My favorite spot. The Tree of Patience, Trimming Tree.
Perpetual shade and always a breeze. Love it!

Now that we're all settled in and adapting to the changes, my focus has been shifting back to endurance. For the first time in many years, I haven't ridden one endurance mile, much less the normal hundreds I would have been at by now at this point in the season. While I have actually enjoyed the break, I am now looking forward to getting Chant to some of our gorgeous fall rides in the hopefully much COOLER weather! I am also focusing on two new up-n-comers, who have been getting some regular hoof trimming and are about set for their first official Glove fittings.

New pony, new feet. We'll fix them fast. 

I have been laughing at myself lately, as my reality has become so distorted that I now look at Coach bags as X-ton of hay and become excited at the thought of gravel. I am also excited at the thought of the seasons changing and craving the scent of fall in the air. I'm sure before I know it, I'll be cursing the mud and the wind and the rain, but for now I'll enjoy the ride. Hopefully it's a smooth one! 

EasyShoe Gluing Clinic Coming To Your Area?

EasyCare had the opportunity to present the new prototype EasyShoe and the associated gluing methods for the American Hoof Association on Sunday July 28th via an online web platform.  Although technology foiled the day and internet speeds didn't allow for an efficient presentation, we have received a great deal of interest regarding clinics for the EasyShoe and gluing methods for Easyboot Glue-On hoof boots and EasyShoe application. 

Heel expansion in the EasyShoe during an application cycle.

Based on the large amount of interest we are considering doing two or three clinics in October, November and December of 2013.  The clinics would cover the details of successful gluing, gluing in different climates, using different types of adhesives, hoof prep for gluing and basic hoof trimming techniques for successful hoof boot use.  The goal would be to give each participant the opportunity to prep and apply during the clinic - hands on, small and one on one.  The $150.00 cost of the clinic will cover supplies. 

Curtis Burns explaining proper hoof prep techniques.

Clinic #1 - Colorado.  Either in the Denver or Durango area.  October 12th.  Limited to the first 30 participants!  Click here to secure your spot today.  We will do a second clinic on the east coast of the USA if the Colorado clinic quickly fills and we have interest in a second venue. 

Clinic #2 - East Coast.  Looking for locations and a practitioner to help us host.  November 16th.  Click here if you have interest in attending or hosting an East Coast clinic.  We will move forward and schedule an amazing clinic based on the interest level. 

Garrett Ford

easycare-president-ceo-garrett-ford

President & CEO

I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.

 

Roll With It!

The "mustang roll", or rounding of the edges of the hoof wall, was first noticed by observing the way the wild mustangs of the western United States wear their hooves through constant movement over abrasive terrain. Some form of a roll has become the hallmark or calling card of those who align themselves in some way as doing a "natural trim" and as anyone who knows us by now is well aware, we at Wild Hearts take the roll seriously! There is surprisingly much to it, to the point I had a hard time keeping this article short enough.
 
So what is the deal with the roll?  What are some reasons why it's beneficial and important?

An actual mustang hoof showing off his naturally worn roll.

BREAKOVER
Perhaps most importantly, the mustang roll allows us to shorten a horse's breakover without shortening the vertical toe height beneath the coffin bone (which, especially on a front foot, could cause soreness). For our approach to trimming, if you extrapolated a line from the edge of the coffin bone to the ground, just in front of that is where we would like the hoof to leave the ground or 'break over'. Far too often there is excess hoof wall in front of that line, which delays the hoof leaving the ground and causes strain on the entire hoof capsule and limb of the horse. Long toes draw the hoof forward which collapses the bars forward and out, contracts the foot, contributes to thin soles, thrush, etc.  It's bad foot mojo!

The orange line on this radiograph represents the approximate desirable location of breakover, with the blue
curved line to represent approximate location of the bevel/roll. There are other factors at work with the horse
in this image, but for the point of the discussion I tried to choose a pretty clear case of a toe which is too long!

The hoof wall is thicker at the toe from approximately 10-2 o'clock, and the lamina are closer in proximity in that area as well. I personally believe this is because the toe area has evolved over the history of the equine to be able to handle the demands of high wear in this area as a horse moves. The majority of domestic horses simply cannot duplicate that type of wear which causes the epidemic of long toes that we see.

INWARD VS. OUTWARD PRESSURE
The roll works with the ground to push the hoof wall and lamina against the internal structures, rather than a sharp or straight edge working against the ground to further pry away the wall from the hoof as the horse moves. Think of the end of a wooden broom handle that has been cut to a sharp edge, and then is ground into the ground. The edges would fray and pry away further with each impact. On the other hand, if the edge was rounded, as the handle was pounded into the ground the rounded edges would simply compact even tighter.

BALANCE
By "raising" the roll or putting on a steeper and higher bevel in areas of less wear on a less than straight horse (which is most of them!), we can balance the rate of wear more evenly across the foot. This means the horse will look and be more balanced as their trim cycle progresses.

APPEARANCE
The roll smooths the rough edges of damaged wall such as from nail holes or blown abscesses and a well done roll can make a hoof look neat and polished (and keep it that way, thanks to the inward pressure effect mentioned above). Many people unfortunately have associated a barefoot horse with neglect or lack of use, often because of the chipping and cracking that comes from a too-long trim schedule and a messy appearance to the foot. Clean, balanced rolls help eliminate this, and make a hoof look good visually as well as providing good functionality!
            
Roll, bevel, dubbing - the same thing?
Not really. A roll is a rounded outer edge to the hoof wall. A bevel is more about the angle we take with a rasp or nippers from the bottom of the hoof. We typically roll the top edge of our bevel. Dubbing is more like a thinning and bullnosing of the wall, and in my opinion not something that is positively functional for a hoof.    

Mario applies a mustang roll.

You can over do a roll.
A weak, separated, shelly wall is not able to do its job of sharing the support load for a hoof, and may need to be rolled away for the short term while healthier wall is grown in. The horse may be fine with this but most likely will need to wear hoof boots for comfort until his hoof can perform better. He may even be more comfortable without the leverage on his hoof from the disconnected wall. But an otherwise healthy, well connected hoof can become sore and require boots if you roll away too much wall or start the roll too close to the sole - especially beyond the 10-2 o'clock point.  Horses with already short upright toes, or with previously thinned walls at the toes, will not be able to have as big a roll as other cases. But with that said...

Size matters!
A mustang wears his roll onto his hoof every day through his constant movement. Our roll has to last as long as possible until we can re-trim the horse. In most horses in our area, even a big "Mario Roll" will last about four weeks before it fades away with the growth of the hoof. By a typical five to six week maintenance trim, most horses rolls are gone or nearly gone, but nothing has gotten away from us to where problems have begun. Small superficial chipping is ok and just cosmetic, but if there are bigger issues we definitely need to look at the diet, trim cycle length, hoof booting needs, etc.

 "A good mustang roll is the best friend of natural hoof trimming" ~ Paige Poss, www.ironfreehoof.com  

Submitted by Sossity Gargiulo, Wild Hearts Hoof Care - See more at: http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/insights-from-the-inside#sthash.n9OgtBzt.dpuf

 
Sossity Gargiulo, Wild Hearts Hoof Care

Grabbing Not Squishing

During a consultation with Dr. Tomas Teskey, DVM, he said that horses feet should "grab the ground and not go squish." In that instant I got a visual of a perfectly formed hoof capsule with a deeply concave sole thrusting against the ground with the weight of the horse driving it into maximum flexion, heels opening with rear frog impact, the sole flattening as the weight of the horse rolls forward. I froze the screen in that instant. My complete focus went to the next frame...the exhausted phase of flexion (when energy is stored). This immediately turned to gripping as the weight of the horse against the sole began to release and traction took over for an instant. The forward and downward momentum of the horse causes the hoof capsule to break over, releasing the recoiled energy. Finally, the hoof is returned to it's relaxed phase with enough stored energy to repeat the cycle. That particular aspect of hoof function, the gripping, had escaped my obsessive mental scrutiny of hoof mechanics. This visual was great in that it held an excellent visceral effect.

I find myself constantly struggling to find ways to get horse owners to feel what is going on in their horse's feet. True soundness depends on the horses ability to feel the ground under the weight of his body, through all gaits and over all terrain. It's the weight of the horse working for him instead of against him that builds this "grabbing" effect. It takes a considerable amount of concussive forces and contortion of the hoof capsule to develop the foots ability to resist these same forces. We all hear about the importance of concavity to the solar surface of the hoof capsule. Many of us understand that it needs to be built not carved. Fewer know how good it must feel to the horse to have the strength to grab the ground while their flying hooves cover a variety of terrain.

A bad "squishing" hoof.

A staggering amount of domestic horses are experiencing the squishing effects of their enormous body weight crushing the soft tissues in their hoof capsule. Whether a horse is shod or in poorly shaped bare feet, the hoof mechanism is often compromised and the weight of the horse slowly compresses the bony column against the solar surface of the hoof capsule. The sole becomes flat and thin and the soft tissue becomes sandwiched in between. The analogy of a plunger has often been used to describe the function of the hoof capsule. In the case of the shod or poorly shaped bare hoof, the plunger is made of thin poor quality rubber and it is stuck in the depressed phase. In the contrary example of the properly shaped and conditioned bare hoof, the plunger is made of high quality thick rubber that takes an impressive amount of weight and strength to compress and/or flex. This type of hoof becomes continually strengthened over time as the weight of the horse pushes against the ground that it covers simultaneously flexing and resisting this same flexion under the strain, grabbing the earth with every pounding foot fall.

This is easy to identify with. I picture a human having a foot with the following issues: fallen arches, loss of circulation from diabetes, arthritic joints, and/or ingrown toenails. Now picture this person trying to perform any kind of physical task.

A good "grabbing" hoof.

In a different situation I picture a human with an undamaged, healthy, functioning foot wearing brand new, perfectly fitting, expensive running shoes. This would be similar to a horse with a properly shaped fully functioning foot wearing hoof boots. In my experience these "fully functioning" feet are difficult to develop on horses that are being cared for in a traditional manner. Trimming alone can be slow, frustrating, and have a futile outcome. There has to be a foundation for hoof health. These days, before I accept a new client I want to see four things:

  1. A diet of grass hay.
    Every time I've ever removed alfalfa or alfalfa products from a horse's diet I've seen improvement in their feet, as well as their behavior.
  2. Adequate movement.
    This is the biggest problem that I see domestic horses facing. They aren't meant to be alone or in cages.
  3. Stone particulate footings, such as pea gravel, chat, and sand.
    These types of footings, when spread at a depth of 4", offer the hardening qualities of stone while simultaneously providing a "self leveling" cushion that helps horses distribute their weight more evenly throughout the solar surface of their feet, as well as their entire body. Studies by Dr. Robert Bowker show that  standing on 4" of pea gravel improves circulation by as much as 40%.
  4. A well balanced and appropriately timed trim.
    I put this last on the list because it's not fair to the horse to force our best guess, or our idea of a proper trim on them without addressing the previously mentioned elements. We should only remove what is ready to exfoliate. Properly formed feet should be encouraged not carved.

The more we take the time to consider the needs and abilities of horses the more valuable we can be to the horse.

David Landreville, Landreville Hoofcare
 

EasyCare Retail Dealer and Hoof Care Practitioner Work Together

The following is from EasyCare retail dealer Jo Turner of the Roy Frey Western Store in Topeka, Kansas:

"As western store owners, trail riders and wanna-be cowgirl/cowboy, my husband and I are EasyCare dealers and have sold Stowaway Packs for years from EasyCare. We use them ourselves and love their "small footprint" and secure fit on the back of our saddles. In my pack, I carry my hobbles, knife, extra leather for emergency repairs, Kleenex, lunch and water plus tie on a rain jacket or halter as needed.

This past year, we have been studying the virtues of letting our horses go barefoot. A good customer and friend of ours is a barefoot trimmer and also an EasyCare dealer. Terrie Yordy, of It Behooves The Horse, always carries a trunk load of EasyCare hoof boots with her everywhere she goes. We pulled the shoes on our horses last November and have been doing barefoot trimming since. Our hoof care practitioner measured our horse's feet and we purchased the Easyboot Glove Back Country boots. One horse has two different size front feet. The Back Country boots are easy to put on and they stay on.

We have gone trail riding in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Missouri with great results - never losing a boot. We have also been on two cattle drives that were five and twelve miles respectively.

I have participated in a working cow horse clinic using the boots. Again, with the same result - I have never lost a boot.

Back Country boots in action . . .

We couldn't be happier with the results of going barefoot and using the Back Country Boots. Thank you, EasyCare, for designing a great hoof boot that serves many different equine disciplines!"

Thank you from EasyCare to Jo Turner, Dewayne Burgess and Terrie Yordy. It is a pleasure to work with such enthusiastic dealers!

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

Old Mac's G2 Easy Installation

If you have ever wondered how long it takes to install the Old Mac's G2 hoof boots, check out this video by Missy Wryn. Missy is a horse trainer who uses the Old Mac's G2 on her horse Paco. You can check out her website for videos of her riding down the trails, through creeks and up hills in her Old Mac's G2 boots with success.

Missy's thoughts on hoof boots: "I hear from people all the time that it takes too long to boot their horses, so I debunk that myth by demonstrating it can go quickly with a little practice. What's seven minutes for the health, safety and comfort of your horse?"

We have many accessories that can be used with your Old Mac's G2 boots to enhance the comfort and success of use. Each pair of boots come with a free pair of EasyCare Gaiters for use to prevent rubbing/chafing. If your horse's hooves are a bit narrow for the size boot that the length measurement fits in, we have Old Mac Inserts that can be used to take up the excess width for a much better fit. Comfort Pads can also be used to provide extra comfort for your horse during riding or turnout. The aggressive tread pattern will take your horse over a wide variety of terrain conditions. Contact EasyCare with your horse's hoof measurements and we will help you find your booting success!

Nancy Fredrick

Nancy Fredrick, EasyCare CSR

Customer Service

I have been on the EasyCare team since 2001. I have first hand product knowledge as my horses are barefoot and booted; I also trim my own horses. I can assist you with all of your booting needs.

 

Nevada Discovery Ride

On May 25, 2013 Samantha Szesciorka set out on a 452 mile solo horseback ride across the state of Nevada. Samantha’s travel companions were her formerly-wild mustang Sage and her dog Bella. Her goal? To encourage wild horse adoption by demonstrating the trainability and rideability of mustangs on a challenging endurance ride. EasyCare was proud to sponsor Samantha on this journey. Samantha’s horse, Sage, is barefoot and wore Easyboot Epics during the entire month-long adventure. 

Below, Samantha discusses her journey and her experience with hoof boots:

The Nevada Discovery Ride was designed to be as backcountry as possible. We started on the Utah border and traveled straight across the middle of Nevada – up and over fourteen mountain ranges and across every valley in between. Our days began at 4:00 am with feeding and I was saddled and on the trail by 6:00 am to beat the desert heat. Though we only rode an average of 20 miles a day, the terrain could vary wildly – from sand to boulder-size rocks to pavement to loose gravel. Since Sage is barefoot, hoof boots were critical to keep him comfortable and sound.

We used the Easyboot Epics every day. At the beginning of the ride it would take me 20 minutes just to get all four boots on, but by the end of the ride, I had those boots on like a pro! They are designed to have a snug fit so it takes a little work to get them on. I found that tilting the hoof down and twisting the boot back and forth got them on tight and centered. Don’t forget the cotter pins! I discovered early on that the challenging terrain could flip up a buckle. It only took a few rides of hearing the distinct clacking sound and having to dismount to fix the buckle before I buckled down and started using the cotter pins. Once I did, no more flipped buckles.

Fans and followers of my ride were most concerned with how Sage’s feet would hold up after 452 miles. When we rode into Reno at the end of the month, they were surprised to see no chips, bruising or wear. In fact, Sage actually needed a trim! As for the Easyboots, they held up pretty well too. I was curious to see how much mileage we would get out of a boot. Over the course of the ride there was one broken cable, one broken buckle and one torn gaiter. These parts can be easily replaced but while on the ride I opted to use new boots, saving the repairs for when we were back home. One Epic actually made the entire 450 miles but on the last day of the ride I was surprised to see that we actually wore a hole clear through the toe.

Terrain wasn’t the only challenge on the trail. We also had to deal with extreme weather, from thunderstorms to dust storms. There were also wild animals to contend with including elk, wild horses, free-range cattle, and even a few rattlesnakes. It was an amazing adventure – certainly challenging at times but always rewarding. For me, the health of the animals was paramount. I was vigilant about looking for saddle sores, joint inflammation, or weight loss. With all the other things to worry about on the trail, the Epics gave me excellent peace of mind. We even impressed an old rancher who we met on the trail. He was skeptical about us riding all the way across Nevada barefoot and insisted on looking at Sage’s hooves. He was shocked to see how healthy they were. When we rode off he remarked, “You just keep using those boots and you’ll be fine!”

To find out more about the Nevada Discovery Ride and see what Samantha and Sage are up to now, visit www.NevadaDiscoveryRide.com or like our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NevadaDiscoveryRide.

Samantha Szesciorka

The New Baby

As a happy housewarming present to myself, I went crazy and bought myself a baby! A ten month old, gawky, adorable, spindly-legged stud colt was quickly armed up into my trailer before I could change my mind. No worries there, I met this little guy the morning he was born last July 27th and immediately fell in love. I was able to watch him grow up, month-by-month, in the midst of the other colts and fillies much older and larger than he, and I fell hard. When the opportunity presented itself for this chromed-out, flaxen colt to become mine, I jumped. Welcome, Belesemo Magic Marker! 

Mark is a 3/4 brother to my gelding, Belesemo Enchanter, who has proven himself to be one of the funnest horses I've ever had the pleasure of riding. Chant came to me as a late, unstarted four year old, who presented plenty of challenges due to his independent nature and somewhat aloof personality, combined with lack of daily handling. He, himself, was sold as a yearling and grew up on large acreage with a small herd of Quarter Horses prior to his owner having to sell. This has all changed, and Chant and I have been solidifying our partnership through the long, slow distance training miles, as well as thriving under constant attention in my backyard. He's truly blossomed as a seven year old and I am thrilled with the horse that has developed. I see a lot of Chant in this sweet and curious, yet independent and confident young colt. While I am trying not to wish away his babyhood, I cannot wait to see the horse he will become. 

Mark, Chant and project-mare, Anya (who is worth a blog post, herself!)

For myself, one of the most exciting parts of getting such a youngster is knowing I have full control of his hoof care, which is incredibly important during this stage of growth and development. Too many young horses are left with improper and infrequent trimming, which can lead to permanent conformational deformities. While I haven't gotten to fully trim him yet, I have been working with him on picking up his feet and preparing him for frequent trims and leg handling. We've had a couple rasp strokes here and there, and he's nearly dependable enough for a real trim. The little punk is pretty good about his front feet, but would rather keep his hind feet to himself. No worries, I am persistent and he is little, thankfully.

Next post will be a trimming update with pictures of the little tiny hooves. Unlike the other grown-up ponies, I can't take pictures without two extra hands which seem to come in short supply during the busy summer months. I am excited to get the imbalances I see from the top fixed, and back those little toes up. It's amazing how you can see what could potentially become larger problems if left unaddressed. In the meantime, I'm going to go smooch on that adorable little face!