Monday, July 25, 2016

Twinkle Toes

I wish I had thought to snap pics of Bacardi feet when he was constantly ripping shoes off but I think I was so aggravated and bewildered the day of, I would always forget and then never think of it again.

Luckily, I remembered on the 22, just a day or so after "the incident" and I've been staring at them ever since.

Horse feet still remain the one thing I have never really "studied" and still don't know much about. I know there's a frog, heel, white line, hoof wall and other shit all up in there, but my horses have mostly always been shod and not barefoot so....just ignorant on the subject.

You know, the Pony Club, horse crazy, knowledge hungry girl who buys every horse book and digests it and then spits it out? Yea, never really learned about feet in those books. That was the farrier's job.

So admittedly, I'm kind of going in this blind and its bit scary. Luckily, there's a lot of bloggettes out there and a few long time acquaintences  willing to lend a virtual hand on the subject. I also have spent a lot of free time googling (sidenote here is a super cool article about a GP dressage rider who keeps all her ponies bare) and reading up on the 'barefoot journey' and feel like I have a solid arsenal. 

Kind of.

I know it will require time, patience and some planning, but for the most part I think I am OK equipped for this. Maybe.

That being said, here is the quasi starting point, since this is like week 7 of B shredding his feet...

First up we have the better foot, the right fore. You'll notice it looks like shit and thats because there was actually some hoof wall to shred on this one. Otherwise, besides being kind of gooky &  weirdly black from the Magic Cushion, not a horrible hoof. Kind of wide and cuppy with a symmetric frog and good heel. Not sure how thick those soles are, but overall not terrible.

Def took these on snapchat and sent them to my friends
The shoe that was on this last was nailed on, and did not have the nasty habit of coming off. Times ripped off in 7 weeks; 2

Next up is the shittiest foot of all four; the left front. At first glance it looks alright....until you realize there is literally no hoof wall left and he's almost walking on the human equivalence of his nail meat (no sure what the real term is, but you know, when you rip off a nail..the skin under is just....nail meat).

You'll notice its a bit clubbier than the RF and has a more overall contracted look to it. Heel and foot width are much more narrow the RF and there's quite visibly less heel as well. He's managed to completely mangle this foot and rip off a shoe 8 times in the last 7 weeks on this one. 7 times nailed in, once time glued on.

Also, I can't seem to get this damn residual glue off for the life of me. Can't keep a shoe on, but will stick to entire hoof wall and bottom edges, no problem. What is it they say about white legs and their feet? They're the worst? yeah. 

Overall, not completely horrendous feet, but not the greatest either. For a TB, I honestly think they're the best I've seen though. Super grateful he doesn't have brittle hooves or super sensitive crumbly ones like Yankee. Yanks also has ridiculously clubbed front feet and literally would not survive without shoes...even though I know they're only contracting them more. Which is super. *eyeroll*

Hoping B can transition smoothly and without too much pain. The good bad news with my back injury is that our show season is pretty much shot (yay the yearly trend continues) so we have nothing but time now. Still rather bummed about it BUT its pretty spiffy timing in the grande scheme of things. 

So far, he's only about 25% lame on the LF and 100% sound on the RF. Compared to a few days ago 110% lame on LF and 50% lame on RF. The time before he ripped them off this time, he was 100% sound  on both, in the grass for we will see! 

We might be able to hit up some fall shows, and hopefully winter indoor as well but only time will tell.

For side to side comparison I put the feets together as best as I cold within the allowances of the app. I wish I could get the whole foot in there but the parameters were limiting. Kind of excited to keep track of  the changes!

Maybe someday I will sit in the saddle again. Its crazy how much you miss it once you're NOT ALLOWED. *le sigh*


  1. Hah, I routinely call my horse Princess Twinkle Toes because of his speshul tootsies, lol

  2. Yes good thoroughbred feet are rare!

  3. He won't need as much of that extra hoof being barefoot because you won't need it to pound nails into. Wait and see how much more those heels with expand--he's going to have some nice feet in a few months!

    1. I literally can't wait..such a cool process!!!

  4. Fingers crossed for you guys. :-)

  5. His feet look pretty good for being straight out of shoes! Just wait for the back of the hoof to beef up like Carly said and hopefully he'll have great bare twinkle toes in no time!

  6. good luck! I understand it can be a pretty difficult process. I'm sure he'll come through fine, and you'll be in the show ring in no time

  7. I agree TBA, they do look pretty good. I can't wait to see what the progress will be!

  8. Fun fact of the day: the white feet thing is an old wives tale and on a cellular level there is no difference between white and dark feet ;)

    1. lol I know I was being incredibly facetious

  9. Okay I am a hoof nerd, but I still have a lot to learn and I have trouble retaining information (so I read it over and over). Here is a brief overview of what I sort of know lol.

    His frogs will easily be twice that wide once he's been out of shoes for a while (can't remember how long, but probably six months to a year since that's how long it takes to grow a new hoof). The deep grooves can be a sign of thrush even if you can't smell it, so it wouldn't hurt to soak it. I use Oxine because it breaks down into salt and is environmentally safe and it doesn't damage the hoof. It's kind of a pain to use because the bag has to be taped around the top of the hoof since it creates a reaction inside the bag and you want that foggy stuff to stay in the bag. In my opinion, you can't over treat for thrush as long as you're not using the harsh stuff.

    Horses aren't meant to walk on the wall. That would be like us walking on our fingernails. The only reason they need hoof wall when wearing shoes is to have something to nail to. Ideally when going barefoot you want the hoof beveled so the wall doesn't actually touch the ground. They support most of their weight on the frog (which is why the frogs are huge on barefoot horses and tiny on shod horses, they need stimulation to grow... they are like muscles... if you don't use it, you lose it) and on the sole callous across the toe, but behind the white line. They shouldn't support their weight on the wall or the part of the sole around the frog.

    Stick to soft surfaces starting out if you don't have boots. Eventually you can move him to the harder surfaces as his frog gets healthier and he builds up the digital cushion. I don't know if you've even notices this, but when the ground is soft their hooves are more concave and when the ground is hard their hooves are flatter. It's really interesting to watch the difference in sole concavity during the different seasons.

    The reason exercise is so important to the hoof is because of blood flow. Every time a horse puts weight on their hoof expands and contracts, helping to circulate blood into and out of the hoof. Good blood flow is important for a healthy hoof.

    Here are my favorite hoof resources online. and Check out the frogs on that horse on the front page of that second site. Wow!

    There is a right way and a wrong way to do barefoot. Most farriers who specialize in showing trim the hoof for the shoe even if they won't be wearing it (including my farrier, but I can't find a barefoot trimmer, so I deal...) instead of trimming the hoof to work as it was intended to function. You just have to learn as much as you can and hope your farrier will accept suggestions and pointers (or hope you're one of the lucky ones with a farrier that already knows all of this hehe). Anyway I'll quit rambling now. You can always hit me up with your questions any time you want. FB, email or text, anything is fine. :)

    1. I should have proofread. I mean I don't know if you've ever noticed, not even notices..... also I meant a farrier who specializes in shoeing, not showing. Showing has nothing to do with it haha.