Do you think making the transition from shoes to barefoot/booted requires enormous courage? I certainly do. I’ve wished for more discussion out there in the wonderful space of cyber about trimming and maintaining the hoof.
I had the privilege two weeks ago to spend a couple of days with Duncan McLaughlin while he assessed my horses and gave tips on trimming and general hoof care.
One of the greatest joys for me in the last 11 months of competing barefoot/booted was coming to terms with the fact that I can have more immediate control over my horses’ feet. I’ve found our natural hoof care practitioners to be generous in their explanations and supportive of my desire to maintain hooves in the weeks between trimmings.
Talking about it.
Duncan is no exception. He can definitely see things I don’t yet see. He takes care to watch the horse move before, during and after trimming. He seems to trim more by feel and intuition rather than by just overlaying theory into his job. And the care and comfort of the horse is always at the forefront – even during the trim itself. Nice.
There were some great take-away lessons for me in the time I observed him: manage the bars, but not too much; manage the heel but not too much; manage the sole but not too much; manage the mustang roll but not too much. I’m fascinated by the relationship between sole, bars, hoofwall and frog.
But that toe! Oy! It’s all about the toe in so many ways – stay on top of it; bring it back and do it often.
Before and after.
So if you want ongoing success in your booting program, maintaining a balanced hoof is Job One. And if you want to spend some time watching Duncan, he will be in the US in July, August and September working with EasyCare on some thermography studies in California, Arizona and Utah. I can’t wait.
Director of Marketing
I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your horse.