The Barefoot Performance Horse

I’m That Barefoot Person.

No, seriously; I’m the crazy barefoot lady. The one who pulled shoes off a sound horse, the one who pulled shoes off a lame horse, the one who pulled shoes off the horse who was sore whenever she was shod, the one who tells everyone that pulling shoes will fix their horse’s problem, the one who trims her own horses, the one who doesn’t have any shod horses… won’t wear horseshoe jewelry…

It’s pretty simple. My horses all do the things they do better barefoot than they do shod. They are sounder; they are more capable; they recover faster; they perform better. They tackle terrain they used to hesitate or slip on like it’s arena footing. Their legs are cold and tight. Windpuffs are a thing of the past. Arthritis is vastly improved. Age is just a number.

On no level are my horses hindered by their bare feet. In fact–they are better for them.

Barefoot performance trimming returned my then-18 year old to many sound and happy years; in fact, she’s still going, 12 years later. Barefoot performance trimming returned a pre-navicular gelding to work and gave him a career in endurance. Barefoot performance trimming gave my accident-prone, easily injured, upper-level dressage mare the longest period of soundness she’d ever had since we’d owned her. Barefoot performance trimming brought a friend’s long-term navicular mare, immobile in dental packing material and styrofoam, to walking in padded boots in literally one trim–and returned her to a trail riding life without NSAIDs, after somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade of being limited by her damaged feet.

There are many, many stories just like mine.

The trim is actually not the most integral part, though it’s critical. Going barefoot WILL fail if you do not supply the other links: diet, environment, and movement. Actually, I like to say there are 6 necessary requirements: trim, diet, environment, movement, movement, and movement. But simply changing trim while your horse lives on straight alfalfa, sweet feed, and Red Cell–excess iron, unbalanced by copper and zinc, is one of the enemies of hoof health–will not magically fix your horse.

Keep browsing around the barefoot pages here. I’m always happy to chat about the latest and greatest, discuss what barefoot might do for you, help you find a professional in your area, and connect you to the multitude of resources on the web.