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I would like to know how many of y'all ride your horses barefoot and why.

As many of you know I have been a farrier for 28 years and chose to let my anvil start rusting back in 1994, and since then have devoted my professional life to educating horse owners about the myths and truths of barefoot.

I would also like to invite EVERYONE to attend my annual spring trail ride on March 21st. at Percy Warner Park. (I will post more info on the events page soon.) The last ride we had 32 barefoot horses, lets make it more this year!

Please share!
Jim Apple

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All of mine but one are barefoot and I love it. I ride on all kind of terrain and run Speed events on them.
Naked feet and speed!

We should all get together for a barefoot barrel/pole day.....

Jim Apple
This is from Laura K. Szeremi DVM

I went to a schooling Horse Trial yesterday. And I was amazed that the BAREFOOT horses outnumbered the SHOD horses 4 to 1.
First time I've seen that at an event!!

And the few horses with shoes only had them on the front.

And a lot of the higher level horses were barefoot!

Here's some photos from the show:


Laura K. Szeremi DVM
Hey Jim,I'msure gonna try to be there! jackie
Leroy is on grass hay, pasture, and water. Occasionally he will get a handful of grain. My other horses all have good feet. I have only had him almost a year. What kind of diet causes thin soles?
What kind of diet causes thin soles?

24/7 pasture turnout is a major source of flat-footed, thin-soled horses, one way to tell if you horse has had past issues is look at the feet and if there are small horizontal ripples in I would be concerned.

If they are more larger and more pronounced I would be very concerned.

The hoofwall angle from coronet to the ground should be straight, period

All horses are borderline IR. and that is due to the fact that they were desighned to be on rocks, dirt and mostly dry grass.

Thats how I keep both of mine, one is on a 7 acre drylot that is woods and hillside and the other is on a 2 acre drylot.

We have zero problems with feet
I couldn't agree with you more about the 24/7 pasture turnout. I started down the barefoot road when my then 18yr old retired TWH gelding became chronically "ouchy", just on bare ground. He had put on a LOT of weight since I retired him, even though he hardly got any grain at all. I started researching Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance and he fit the profile to a "T". I was lucky enough to find the Equine Cushings/Insulin Resistance Yahoo Group and got an incredible amount of good information from them about the influence of diet and trim on horses feet. I took him off grain entirely, put him on a dry lot and started him on a hay-only diet supplemented with a fortified forage from Triple Crown called Safe Starch. Also about this time Gene Ovenick(sp) had a Natural Balance Hoofcare segment on the Dennis Reis's RFDTV show and everything he said about wild horse feet just really made sense to me so I went to one of his 2-day trimming clinics in my area. I started doing my own trimming after that, using the Natural Balance guidelines and his feet improved dramatically. His contracted heels opened back up, he got a little arch back to the sole of his foot and all his hoofwall flares are gone. He's much better than he was, but still is not perfectly sound because he's not on a TRUE dry lot. There's still a little bit of bermuda in it and that's just enough to keep him mildly laminitic, except for the coldest part of the winter. He's stabled at my in-law's place, and being into the organic gardening thing, they won't let me use Round-Up, so until I can get my own barn built he's destined to remain that way.

I've got 7 gaited horses, 5 of which are barefoot. The other two wear Natural Balance shoes. If I'm going to be riding the barefooters on gravel roads for extended periods of time I'll boot them on the front, using Easyboot Bares, but other than that, they can go on the roughest trails with no problem whatsoever. When I finish an all day ride their feet look just as good as when they started, if not better. I trim the barefooters about every 4 weeks with an angle grinder and a 40 grit flap disk. I used to use traditional rasp and nippers but my back just wouldn't take it. The grinder works great and is much faster, but you need to make sure you have the right kind. It needs to have a paddle-type switch, so that if something happens and it gets knocked out of your hands or dropped it doesn't keep running and go flying around the room. None of my horses ever had any problem with the grinder, even the yearling colts. If you've never used one you ought to check it out. There's an abrasive hoof trim Yahoo group too that has some great links to inexpensive grinder and flap disk sources, as well as videos on how to do it. Their website is:


There is also some very good trimming advice on this website:

I'd love to list more, but I'm late for work already. Sorry for the long opus. I got started and couldn't stop. Thanks for starting this thread. It's been really interesting!
yeah.. I'm curious about the diet also.. The gelding I had had flat feet, thin sole and just generally crappy feet.. He was on the same diet as Pippa, my mare, and several other barefoot horses.. but just plain crappy feet.. He did fine in the pasture running around.. but couldn't walk on any size gravel at all.. would just look lame!
I have found that Source is an excellant hoof supplament. I have used it since the early 80's and have had good results. Sometimes a horse just has bad feet, genetically.
I think some hoof supplements are a good.

But I completly dissagre with you about bad feet and genitics. If you want to know why I would be glad to tell you.

Jim Apple
My response was purely from my personnel experience. I breed reg quarter horses and remember the late 70's early 80's when everyone wanted a small atractive hoof on a huge qh. They were always lame. ..When I introduce tb into my line , I have to be careful of "thouroughbred feet". This is again " my own experience and , with horses one fix does not apply to all...The problem with a heathy diet, each region has different grasses and therefore different needs in the feeds. Commercial feeds don't take this into the equation. Out of curiosity, where does a horse store biotin.
Where is Biotin stored?
I think the horses just rent it for the day. Normally a horse produces enough biotin for its own use from microbial fermentation in the cecum and generally require 1-2 mg of biotin daily. Any Biotin naturally occuring or suplimenatl that is in excess is just passed out as waste through the urine.

The good news seems to be that we cant really OD. a horse on Biotin and we will see good results in hair pretty fast as the horse responds to a proper Biotin level.

The bad news is is also the good news but delayed a bit. The feet will usually show some improvement around 8-12 months with a better quality hoof wall having been grown down from the coranary band to the ground.

Jim Apple


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