Tennessee Trail Riders

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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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Hmmm...I'll have to check with the hubby's Mom....she does all the geneology stuff, I married into a Bohemian, French, Indian mix kinda guy! And come to think of it the Bohunk part is Czech! Small world if we have a new relative!

I'm looking at a rescue horse that has pie platter sized feet, they had him locked up in a box stall because I think they were afraid of him. They flare out badly but he isn't lame....and flat footed/soled to but can still gait. Also looks like a nasty past scar on his hind leg which doesn't seem to bother him. What do you suggest to do with those feet?!

Is he worth salvaging and of course gelding!?!

I always give the same advice, dont wait for the feet to need to be trimmed. trim them BEFORE they look like they need to be trimmed. That just basic, but most people just dont get how important hoofcare is.

Be proactive not reactive.

I would advise getting the feet trimmed with the flares removed and the edges beveled and rolled. Then have the feet trimmed every 4 weeks.

I trim my horse every time I go out to the barn where he is at. ( at least once a week )

Your husband background sounds like my family.
German/Chickasaw on the top
Cherokee/English on the bottom.

Jim Apple

PS. Is the foot as big as this one?
HOOOOOOLY MOSES! That hoof is broader that it long!
I never saw a square foot before! Also, just thought I'd let you know we are going to go to Why Not tomorrow, instead of the Water Valley ride. Will miss seeing you and Kari. If you go, ride safe!
That is a Scotch Bottom shoe, I think it was about 12 in. wide and 10 in. long. I keep it for when I do clinics and it always get a response.

I used to hand forge draft shoes back in my shoeing days, it was eaiser to make them than to try find and order them. The first time I went to nail on a foot my little driving hammer wouldnt get the nail in so I borrowed the owners framing hammer!

Have a good ride.

Jim Apple
The man I date raises Spotted Saddle horses. Shoeing has always been a challenge. After seeing Pete Ramey on Clinton Anderson's show on RFD, I ordered his book to learn more about the barefoot practice. We started practicing the barefoot trim on several horses we ride. It has proven to be very successful. We have found, however, there are a few horses that cannot tolerate the worst conditions and have required shoes (i.e. River ride at Station Camp of Big South Fork National Recreation Area- 2" gravels). I rode my mule on the same trip with no discomfort. He is 6 years old and has always been barefoot.

We find many trail riders not only question our decision to ride barefoot but sometimes accuse us of inhumane treatment of our equines. It is difficult to convence them the care of the barefoot horse requires a regumented trim practice with more frequent attention than shoes. The result. . a healthy hoof.

check out www.renegadehoofboots.com they are the next generation in hoof boots. And will help you keep that healthy hoof!

I trimmed some of Clinton Andersons horses a while back and was suprised to hear that he was pro barefoot.

Jim Apple
Hiya Jim!! Great topic.....lol!! Long time no see......

For those who don't know me, I'm also a natural barefoot trimmer in the Cookeville area.

The "flat foot" question caught my ear..... yes, it is VERY VERY often food related. MOST HOOF PROBLEMS ARE FOOD RELATED. Weak hooves VERY OFTEN simply = to much sugar. As Jim said, ALL horses are borderline IR! So why is this suddenly a problem to feed our horses grass and oats when we've done it this way for 100 years? Simple. They are different oats and grasses. Grains now are called "GMO", or "genetically modified organism". The grasses and grains are modified at a cellular level to cause them to grow faster and bigger. This is to keep up with todays demand for food, as well as increase profits. The PROBLEM is it causes more starch to be stored in the plants, and it's killing our horses (and humans, too!!! Look at our obesity rate....). Horses simply CAN NOT handle the extra sugar in thier systems. Dairy cattle are having the same problems : IR, founder, and cushings.

Unfortunatley, the blood sugar overload is often first seen in the hooves of our horses. Hoof laminea requires a HUGE amount of glucose to be healthy. Hooves require healthy laminea to be strong. When a horse becomes IR from too much sugar (the body over-compensates the amount of insulin needed and becomes hyper-insulinemic because of the sugar overload), the elevated insulin level blocks the absorption of glucose into the organs, one of which is laminea. The high sugars in the diet cause the high blood insulin level. The starving laminea causes the week, flat, chipping, ouchy, thrushy, or otherwise unhealthy hoof condition.

Of course a low sugar diet alone is not the answer, it MUST be combined with correct hoof care. But ANY horse, despite it's workload or the terrain it rides on, can have strong barefoot hooves. And diet is SO OFTEN overlooked as the cause for weak hooves. I have met a few horses who do need boots in harsher trails, despite our best efforts. But that's ok!! Boots are a WONDERFUL tool that allow us to protect our horses hooves without adding the destructive aspects of metal shoes.

I have an entire feeding section on my website for anyone who would like more information:

Hello Nora! Welcome! :)

Can you just teach me everything you know about horses and their feet please? That would be fab!
Hey I have some things up my sleeve for 2009,

call me 615.406.3491
ok I'll call you tonite :). I got your message.... sorry I missed you!!! I was SOOO tired last night I crashed on the couch for like 2 hours and was a zombie when the phone rang......
Hi Jim,
All 4 of our horses have been barefoot for several years now. Two had pathological hooves that lead us on our journey to barefoot. I don't think people realize that its not just about the foot. Diet, exercise & thrush are the major changes that owners have to make to have a successful transition from shoes to barefoot. After that its the trim, it needs to be a natural balanced trim, not a pasture trim, then a transition period in boots, then eventually the boots come off. For some great barefoot information you can go to these links> http://healthyhoof.com/ and http://hoofrehab.com/.
Oh, BTW, I now trim my own :-))


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