Written by EasyCare Marketing Associate Sydney Segal

Have you ever thought about pulling your horse’s shoes, but you don’t know where to start? I was recently in your shoes (no pun intended). Here are some tips I learned that might help your horse make the transition.

Rocky is a 20-year-old Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred cross. When Rocky first arrived at our barn, he had front steel shoes. Because he was showing at the time, we decided to keep the shoes on him. Rocky is quite the wonder horse, competing in the hunters and jumpers, as well as fox hunting.

Recently, however, Rocky has retired from the show arena and has become a wonderful trail horse. I decided to pull his shoes for the first time since I’ve owned him (nearly 13 years). To my surprise, his transition to barefoot was extremely smooth thanks to Easyboots.

Before pulling his steel shoes, I frequently applied Hawthorne Venice Turpentine to his hoof walls and added a Biotin supplement to his feed. This regimen was very beneficial to begin prior to going barefoot. I began to research the best hoof boot to use for light riding, and decided to try the Easyboot Trail.

Surprisingly, Rocky never took a sore-footed step after pulling his shoes! He lives in a plush grass field and has rubber mats to walk on in the barn. Not having concrete or gravel around definitely worked to our advantage. I applied the Easyboot Trail before our first barefoot ride, and I was thrilled with how easy they were to apply. Convenience is important! Now, I just had to hope that they fit correctly and wouldn’t twist on our ride.

Rocky has a less-than-ideal hoof shape since we are still working on correcting his underrun heels. With the help of the EasyCare Product Specialists, I decided a size 4 would be his best option. It turned out to be a perfect choice!

Now, Rocky doesn’t go on a single ride without his Trails! He is only ridden a couple of times a week. Sometimes we do flatwork in the arena, and sometimes we go out for a trail ride. The Trails have helped us through wet grass, slippery mud, hard gravel, and stream crossings. He has even jumped small logs in his Trails!

I notice that Rocky moves out much better with his boots on. He has always been somewhat clumsy, but with the Trails on, he is much more sure-footed. The Trails give him the grip he was previously lacking.

I am beyond thrilled with his progress as a barefoot horse. He struggled with cracks and underrun heels for several years with steel shoes, and he still has a ways to go, but now we are starting to see healthy hoof growth. With the addition of the Easyboot Trail to my rides, Rocky’s barefoot transition was truly a breeze. Now I only wish that I had gone barefoot sooner!

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