Pete Ramey uses the “wild horse trim”. The horse’s hoof is suppose to flex. The flexing provides shock absorption and acts to pump the blood through the leg. The hoof can’t flex with shoes on. A hoof that can’t flex becomes unhealthy due to lack of circulation to the hoof wall and sole.
But our modern day horses aren’t all wild mustangs, or descendants of mustangs. We don’t have horses with rock-hard hooves. We have horses that are stalled or need to be in lots. We all don’t have acres and acres to make a natural pasture.
So we need to shoe some of our horses. And when we don’t shoe, we keep our horse’s hooves as healthy as we can.
If you had the chance to develop a “wild horse model” now, how would you do it or what can you do now? I don’t have any steep hills. And I’m not sure I want to put boulders in my horse lots. This will take some thinking.
We are to do what is best for the horse. Sometimes, that is hard to do when you have limitations.
Maybe we have to do the best we can for the horse, with what we have! But we can change what we do or how we do something, for the benefit for the horse.
Once again, this will take some thinking to figure out what changes I can make. I have kept my horses barefoot as much as I can to strengthen their hooves. I do feed them on the ground, since they like to pull the hay out of the round bale feeder and onto the ground. I feed them grain in low feeders.
I do keep them living as natural as I can outside. They don’t have winter blankets. Some of them have to go to a tree lined area to get out of the wind. The horses know how to turn their butts to the wind.
What I can do is to look for as different of terrain, as I can find, to ride. I can try to keep their lots as clean as I can so they don’t have to stand in muck. I can try to toughen up their feet by riding the ones, that I ride the most, on the soft gravel areas and sides of the road.
I’ll have to keep thinking of ways to change, as change can be good.
Any other ideas?