Thursday, April 28, 2011

21 months barefoot

I was digging around in some old photos and wanted to share the changes Buttercup's hooves have made since going barefoot. Now I'm still not an every-horse-must-be-barefoot person, but I do believe it was the right decision for Buttercup's hooves. And, really, that's what hoof care is all about: the best thing for the individual.

Since we've had ups and downs over the last 21 months (going barefoot post), things haven't always been 100% with Bud being barefoot. But I think these solar shots show a story of a hoof developing concavity and a stronger frog and toe callous.

September 2009:

November 2009: (post laminitic episode)

February 2010:

June 2010 (post laminitic episode):

September 2010:

(On the previous post's subject of bars, you can see the trenches in this photo of where the bars have been taken below the sole plane)

January 2011:

April 2011:

It's also fun to go back and see what I was writing even just two years ago ... I don't feel like I've changed all that much until I read those posts. Just like it's hard for me to see the change in Buttercup's hooves until I look at all these pictures.


  1. those are fascinating photos! i like the one with the bar cut down - interesting.

    i also enjoyed your drawings of buttercup's bars. you do good work.

  2. Frog looks great, my horses are jealous because their frogs don't look nearly as good :( Make sure her heels don't get too high and take that nice frog out of ground contact.

    How's her soundness now compared to before? What have you done with her diet to avoid the laminitis episodes?

  3. Smaz, depending on what's going on with her diet, she's usually gravel-crunching sound (and has concavity; before going barefoot she was never good over rocks, except in shoes, and she was quite flatfooted).

    Right now, she has some guarding muscles that keep her tight through her withers and shoulders that you can feel while riding her, but that's more of a muscle thing and not an ouchie hoof thing. She'll warm up out of that and you can almost hear her go "Oh it doesn't hurt to move!" She'll likely need some chiro before she goes back to work.

    Her diet right now is WellSolve L/S and coastal hay. She gets a mineral/vit balancer, electrolyte and the occasional beet pulp. No access to pasture (dry lotted).

    She's so sensitive to the sugars that she had a mild flare up this past January when the hay she was eating had some volunteer wheat in it. A few hours after consumption, she had a mild episode that was caught in time. She also is prone to electrolyte imbalances (she drinks too much water), which is why she gets the electrolyte. She had an episode last summer that we could only attribute to lack of salt intake.

    So while we are avoiding the laminitic issues as much as possible, we have found a few unexpected triggers. Hopefully we'll keep improving!

  4. She is so lucky to have you. Awesome!