About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Have You Rasped Any Hoofs Today?

I've been doing natural balance trimming for many years now and it has worked out great for me and my horses. The reason I started was a lack of farriers willing to travel to my place out in Rich Creek, VA. Deb and Dave (from the main natural horse club I started down there) introduced me to his methods via their annual clinic. I could only afford the Friday night lecture and did so a few times. I have Gene Ovnicek's materials (videos, book, handouts, website material) and did self-study. I also have read Pete Ramey's book and some Jamie Jackson materials. Overall, I follow Gene's method (with a Ramey influence). I trim for a barefoot horse and use hoof boots only when necessary. I have trimmed my horses only; Fosse, Whiskey, Stella, Wilbur, and Mini-me. I am not perfect and I am not an expert. :)

Fosse is an Arabian with a club foot. He has NEVER been lame and he has quite a club (born with it). He used to have bad frogs with the regular farrier. Now, his feet look great and he is very active and athletic.

Whiskey is an Arabian with regular feet. He had a deep crack in the central sulcus and bad frogs (this is when the regular farrier was coming). Since I've been trimming, he has healthy feet, has never been lame.

Stella is an Arab/Tennessee Walking Horse (Fosse's half sister). She came to me after a severe founder. I rehabbed her, got her feet back in shape, and when she was re-homed was barefoot, not lame. I also gave her a good level 1 foundation (level 2 ground too) and found her a new home at a lesson barn. She is very happy, is owned by a 15 year old, does lessons and shows (and wins).

Wilbur is a Thoroughbred who came with 4 shoes on and had pancake shaped, tender feet in the front, regular shaped tender feet in the rear. I was riding this horse barefoot or with boots with no problems and no lameness since I trimmed his feet. I completed my official level one with him. He was a nutty, reactive TB rescued from starvation - a track guy left all the horses to starve out in a field - they were eating the barn). I redeveloped him I then retired him to a lap of luxury in a cow field with lots of grass and horse people. He is really happy.

Finally, Mini-me came to me as a rescue with four clog feet (very , very overgrown). Dave did the initial trim to cut all of the extra hoof off. I then continued with his care for a year and this horse's feet, when placed in a new home were as close to normal as they'd ever be (and to the untrained eye looked normal) was never lame, never foundered. I fixed his feet over a year's time, taught him level 1 ground stuff, and found him a nice home with a 10-year old - a match made in Heaven

Anyhow, I've been doing it for a long time now and my horses are always sound--guess I am doing something right! (I do want to say that there are many different methods and many great farriers out there. I am not an expert and like I said, only do my own horses.

Here are some resources for you!

Barefoot for Soundness The high-performance barefoot horse approach is widespread in USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are barefooters in South Africa, Zambia, at least 15 European countries, the Caribbean islands, Chile, Argentina, Pacific island nations, Taiwan, and Singapore. Barefooters do trail and pleasure riding and driving; competition in endurance, dressage, gaited, polo, reining, "fox" hunting, and harness racing; livery stables, several in the mountains; and horse-drawn carriage businesses. A racing stable in UK is successfully racing barefoot horses in both flat and steeplechase races. http://www.barefoothorse.com/

Gene Ovnicek, New Hope for Soundness Welcome! This site is dedicated to the pursuit of soundness in horses. We offer information and products that can assist horse owners, farriers, veterinarians, and other horse care providers with treating & preventing lameness, as well as improving the overall soundness & performance of horses. The products and information you will find here are derived from combining the best traditional ideas from the past with the latest scientific research and practical experiences of innovators in the equine community. It is then merged with studies and observations of horses in a natural state, and some good common sense. The results you will find here are labeled as Natural Balance Hoof Care, but we like to think of it as just good, basic hoof & horse care. http://www.hopeforsoundness.com/index.html

Jaime Jackson, Helping Horses Naturally Thirty years experience as a natural hoof care practioner. http://www.primechoice.com/jaime-jackson/

Jim Crew, Healthy Stride, The Key to Fluid Movement Healthy Stride is the personal farrier to the performance horses of Linda & Pat Parelli and for their natural horsemanship program. Healthy Stride is creating positive changes in horses everywhere. Allow your horse to experience the Healthy Stride difference and become your perfect partner!

K.C. LaPierre, Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry, Inc. "The essence of Applied Equine Podiatry is the conscientious study of the equine foot, always striving to expose it to proper environmental stimuli, making every effort to promote proper structure and function, as we progress toward achieving high performance." http://www.equinepodiatry.net/

Pete and Ivy Ramey, Hoof Rehabilitation Specialists It's all about growing a healthier hoof! http://www.hoofrehab.com/

Progressive Natural Hoofcare Here you will find educational information and resources for keeping the NATURAL BAREFOOT HORSE sound and healthy. You'll also find information on how to get your shod horse transitioned comfortably to barefoot! http://www.barefoottrim.com/

Strasser Hoofcare, North America For nearly three decades, Dr. Strasser has studied the causes and cures for lameness as well as other common health problems of the domestic horse. Using her research, she has developed a complete model for the care of the domestic horse. This model works to help minimize a large percentage of the health issues associated with the care and keeping of domestic horses today. http://www.strasserhoofcare.org/

The Horse's Hoof The Horse's Hoof was born in September, 2000; the company of James and Yvonne Welz. James is a former computer systems administrator and printshop/technical equipment guru who gave up his career to become a barefoot hoofcare professional. Yvonne is a former desktop publishing wizard who tranferred her skills over to this company. And so The Horse's Hoof came into being, initially as this website, and then as a printed publication to support the new interest in barefoot horse care. A full line of products are offered to support the horse owner in their quest for a healthier and more natural life for their horses. http://www.thehorseshoof.com/


Lisa said...

I went barefoot with my horse thrree years ago. He was done by a woman trained by Pete Ramey for the first two years and then I slowly took over (with her support). I have been doing him myself since then. He had severely contracted heels when we started and now he has lovely, balanced hooves with strong, well developed frogs. I have hoofboots and use them as needed.
I'll never look back.
Thanks for your post!

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...


What hoof boots are you using? I have been using Old macs primarily but have EZ boots too.