Hello, I thought I’d take a moment to share my story with you all, since having a club-footed horse can add to the difficulty of transitioning your horse barefoot successfully. I have a few tricks that I would like to share.
I had wanted a horse since my childhood but never had the opportunity to acquire one until last year. Once I had the technical and economical matters sorted out, I started to look far and wide for my ideal horse. I tried lazy horses, bucking horses, rearing horses and horses that just did not “click” with me… but finally one day, when I thought I would never find the right horse, I responded to an ad for a dressage prospect, a brilliant sorrel mare who astonishingly was in my price range.
I took an appointment with the horse dealer to find out she was a love bug with terribly neglected feet. Both feet were severely overgrown, but one of them very upright and the other one pulled forward. I decided that with proper care we would overcome this problem and bought the horse. A few days later, the dealer delivered the horse to me. The mare was heavily sweating when she got out of the trailer. Her upright hoof had broken off, revealing a club foot, and she was lame. We proceeded to pull the shoes asap to transition her to barefoot. We also fitted her with Old Macs G2, which made her comfortable and forward going.
Each boot is a different size to accommodate the different hoof widths. However, her club foot has unnaturally high heels (which are lowering themselves with time). As a consequence, the pastern strap of the boot for the club foot is a little too short and a larger boot turns around the hoof. Therefore, I added a loop of bailing twine on the club foot boot (see picture) to make the boot a perfect fit. Her boots did not even come off the day she acted up in a deep ploughed field.
She is very lively with huge gaits and we are working on her acting up on the trail. Her hooves still have a way to go, but like Pete Ramey says in his book: “the horse thinks he has been healed for months”. My mare is not a perfect horse, and I am not perfect either, we just tag along and have fun!
Name: Marlene Giscard
City: Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Equine Discipline: Trail
Favorite Boot: Old Macs