Pulling my horse’s shoes and learning about natural hoof care was the start of something big for me.
I thought that the only change would be that instead of using iron horse shoes I would just be using natural hoof care products instead. Boy was I wrong!
Before I started using boots I couldn’t see the difference in a good hoof from a bad hoof. I could pick the really bad ones out but couldn’t tell you what was wrong with them. I always just assumed that my farrier knew best and trusted that he was doing what was best for my horse.
I started working for Easycare last August and since then the amount of knowledge I have acquired has been astounding. I look back now and realize that I wasn’t just pulling shoes, I was changing my horses entire way of life.
Committing to natural hoof care made me take a step back and look at the entire picture. The hoof is what carries the horse, but there are so many factors that go into healthy hooves.
My horses diet consisted of whatever the barn offered which was usually half alfalfa and half oat or some kind of grain mix. He would get a scoop of grain that was usually soaked in molasses because that’s what he liked and that was what everybody else did.
When I started looking into what I could do to make my horses hooves stronger I realized that I had been doing it all wrong! I took him off grain and switched him to Bermuda hay. The results are stronger hooves and a much calmer/sane horse.
Pulling my horse’s shoes also made me look into barefoot trimming. I had never done anything more then pick my horses hooves and was terrified to try rasping! What if I went down to far? What if I made him unbalanced? You want me to do what with that knife?!
I knew that if I wanted to continue using the Easyboot Glove I would have to do some maintenance trimming in order for it to fit right. I eventually started watching what the trimmer was doing and have now completely taken over trimming my horses hooves.
I started just focusing on the hooves but it has forced me to step back and take a look at the entire horse. I’m amazed at the things I’ve tried in the last few months and I believe that pulling my horses shoes was the catalyst.
I started riding and even racing my horse in a hackamore, which is something I never thought would be possible. I even went as far to ride him bareback with just a rope around his neck in an arena. I don’t see myself racing him like that anytime soon but the experience was amazing!
The changes in my horse are staggering!
- No more heart wrenching trips
- No more forging
- His hooves are stronger
- No more sore back
- He’s calmer and more focused
- We trust each other more
You couldn’t ask me to put a price tag on any of those things, it’s been absolutely priceless to watch him come along.
What’s been amazing is to hear other people’s stories that are so similar to mine. Others have looked at the bigger picture and noticed changes in their horses too.
You have to wonder the changes you might see and the things you might learn just from pulling off those iron shoes!