Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Off to Death Valley

Logan and I are going to the Death Valley ride with Annie and Feather. We are leaving around 4am and hope to get down there around 1ish. Going to try a 50 on the first and last day, with a couple rest days in between. On New Year's Eve, there will be a big celebration and a band. We are looking forward to ringing in the New Year in style. Usually, we fall asleep early, so this will be fun for us. For boots, we are going to foam on Easyboots. I'll let you know how it goes. Promises to be cold but beautiful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Team Easyboot

I am now a member of Team Easyboot. I will be testing boots, providing feedback on the boots, and educating people on how best to use their boots. I'll keep you posted on the interesting things I am doing with this.

Booting Clinic

I am holding a booting and shoe removal clinic for the PHCP on January 19. It will cover the pros and cons of the major boots on the market and will teach how to fit the boots, and why to choose one brand over the other. Email me for more details .

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Barefoot Article in Horse and Rider Magazine

An excellent article on barefoot horses is in the December, 2007 edition of Horse and Rider magazine. Pete Ramey was extensively interviewed for the feature. This is a fantastic information source for anyone who is thinking about pulling shoes on their horses. The benefits of barefoot are discussed, this is a must read for anyone wanting more info on barefoot horses.

You have to purchase the December magazine at a store, the article is not online.

But, an article that first appeared in the February edition of Horse and Rider can be seen here:

Thinking About Going Barefoot?

I know pulling shoes and keeping your horse barefoot is the best thing for your horse, but you need to come to that conclusion on your own. I cannot convince you of that, but if you educate yourself and look at all the successful booted and barefooted horses on the trail, the results and performance speak for itself.

I encourage potential barefooters to do more research about natural hoof care, in particular, Pete Ramey and Jaime Jackson's studies. The both have books available, Pete Ramey's "Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You" is an excellent introduction to this way of keeping your horse. Available from Amazon.

Also, visit web sites: Pacific Hoof Care Professionals - Pete Ramey's Site - Jaime Jackson's web site - Cindy Sullivan's web site - info on Barefoot and Boots - Renegade Boots

These information sources will answer most of your questions and give you a greater understanding of what natural hoof care is about.

If you have specific questions, please call or email me. I really like to see my clients get educated in natural hoof care first, before we pull shoes, so that the horse can benefit, there is much more too it than just pulling the shoes and trimming.

Good luck!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hoof Boots for Muddy Conditions

It's raining.... muddy trails are here.... The EasyBoot Grip is specifically designed for riding is wet, muddy conditions, like we have now. I have a bunch of these in my car if you are interested in seeing them and trying them out. They are essentially an Epic with a mud traction pattern on the sole. Check out the Easycare web site for more information:

Natural Balance Equine Dentistry

I took Annie and Feather to the best Equine Dentist this week - Spencer LaFlure. He lives in New York and travels to Northern CA every 6 months. He has a different approach to dental care than a typical vet or dentist - he says it is not about the activity of eating alone, it is about the muscles and the motion of the mouth that affects the TMJ and the whole anatomy and movement of the horse. Natural Balance Dentistry. He has seen lots of horses that have bad teeth, that are plenty plump. However, he has also seem incredible results that when the mouth is correctly balanced, the horse moves much freer and it even changes the top line of the horse for the better in about 2-3 months. He doesn't use power tools, which seems to be all the rage these days - he claims the heat burns the enamel and causes growth issues. Spencer works on the Parelli's horses and has giving clinics at the Savvy Conference. His approach is more like orthodontics for the horse, and he uses very little sedation. I was blown away at how little he did compared to my previous experienced with equine dentistry. It seems very similar to natural hoof care - less is more, balance is imperative, and what you do to the mouth/hoof affects to overall carriage of the horse.

Spencer has written a ton of papers on his approach to dentistry. He has a school where you could learn how to do this, or get your vet to learn his methods. He also has a CD you could order to better understand the horse's mouth, which I found very informative. I am going to have my other 3 horses done the next time he is in Northern CA. I would like him to come to our area - Cool or Greenwood - and spend a day doing horses. He needs about 8 horses to make a trip. I have 3 so I need to get together 5 more. Let me know if you are interested.

Rain, Rain, Rain....

The rain is here. I forgot how wet and cold it is. I worked in the rain today and I was miserable.... My tools get rusty when they get wet. I am going to be more prepared for the rain tomorrow. But, I am going to reschedule anyone that does not have a nice, covered space (i.e. real barn, not just a 12x12 shelter) on rainy days. I'll call in the morning, but just plan on if it is raining, and no good work space is available, lets reschedule. What I found today is that the horses always arranged themselves under the shelters so that they put me right on the edge of the roof, so not only did I have the rain, but also the run off from the room hitting my head. Anyway, I am not trying to complain - I think I may have one of the best jobs in the world - just giving you a heads up that I may be rescheduling more often this wet season.

New Size 00 Renegades

Perfect for the hind foot, actually a hind foot design! I love them, they are very well engineered for a 00 hind foot. These boots are available now, contact me if you would like a set. I do believe this is the first boot on the market that is designed specifically for a hind foot. I put a set on Feather this evening and they fit like a glove. Can't wait to give them a try after the rain clears up.

Also in the works is a new wider heel captivator for size 2 boots for horses that have big bones.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pacific Hoof Care Professionals

I am now a certified professional and instructor for the Pacific Hoof Care Professionals. This is a new organization dedicated to natural hoof care education.

PHCP - web site -

Our Mission: To provide a supportive network and educational foundation for hoof care professionals and horse owners based on a holistic and progressive approach.

Our Model is the outer form that allows the inner form to function optimally. Each hoof is a unique force which expresses itself to best serve that limb, on that animal, in that environment, at that time. The role of the trimmer is to support this natural process.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pt Reyes

Logan and I went to Pt Reyes for Thanksgiving weekend. It was also our 8th wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Pt Reyes Country Inn and Stables. Annie and Feather joined us. It was out of this world! We LOVED it and I made reservations again for next year. The B&B was adorable, incredible breakfast and the girls enjoyed their large paddock that they shared. The trails were some of the nicest I have ever ridden, manicured, labeled, and well used. We played on the beach a bit, but we really enjoyed all the views. Logan's favorite trail was the Ocean Lake Trail and mine was the Coast Trail. The restaurants in the area were amazing serving local organic food. At night, Logan and I went down to Limatour beach and walked on the sea shore and watched the full moon. We were the only ones out there! It was cold at night, warm during the day. I LOVED it! Here are some photos:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What I Learned from Dr. Bowker and Pete Ramey

Soundness is dependent on the development of the inner structures in the back part of the hoof, digital cushion and the lateral cartilage.

We must develop the inner structures of the hoof, like the digital cushion and lateral cartilages, over time by growing in a better hoof from the coronet band down by:

1. Lots of movement with a correct heel first landing (Paddock Paradise - no stalling!)
2. Pea Gravel - 4" placed everywhere we can in the horse's environment - this is very important
3. Ride with boots with FOAM PADS. Do not periphally load your horse (shoes, or a hoof in a boot without a pad). The dome pads work great for this.
4. Get rid of all signs of thrush - 50% Neosporin 50% Athlete's Foot Creme
5. Nutrition - grass hay and balanced minerals - low sugar and low starch

When trimming the horse:
1. It is about growing in a healthier hoof from the coronet band down. I can not affect what is already there, but I can grow in a better hoof.
2. Trimming from the top is cosmetic 90% of the time.
3. Place the mustang roll bevel underneath the hoof, and just lightly finishing from the top - I want a thick hoof wall and too much rasping from the top is counterproductive.
4. Long toes are very common in domestic horses and affects optimal movement. Work on taking toes back by setting breakover and bevel from under the hoof.

Oh, I learned so much, but these were the biggies. I am really going to be looking at hooves with new eyes, with the focus being on what is happening on the inside and how the horse's hooves are adapting to other influences in the body (saddle fit, injury, imbalances).

Radiographs really help with figuring out what is going on internally and I encourage all horse owners to ask their vet to take a set of lateral radiographs if you are specifically concerned about long toes or hoof development.

Minerals and Nutrition

Nutrition can be so overwhelming with so many different products on the market... what does a horse owner buy for their horse? There are plenty of generic high potent mineral supplements on the market, but they are expensive and why feed extra minerals if the horse is already getting adequate amounts from their hay?

There is a web site that really helps me in deciding what to do but unfortunatley it leaves me with more questions than answers. Every horse owner should become very familiar with .

The most effective way to decide what to feed your horse is to have your hay analyzed by a laboratory to figure out what minerals are in it, and what is lacking. Then you supplement the minerals that are not in your hay, or what your horse is not getting enough of.

That's great, but typically we just buy enough hay to last us a month, and then get another source.... so it is not practical to keep analyzing and adjusting monthly.

My trimmer friend Sally Hugg has Cushings horses and she has analyzed a lot of hay samples from all over Northern California and Oregon.... She found trends! We are very low in zinc, copper, selenium, iodine, and a few other minerals. She worked with Uckele to develop a custom mineral blend that we can feed to our horses in Northern California that on average balances our hay and provides our horses with optimal levels of minerals.

I now sell this mineral to my clients for $50 per five pound bag.

Here is more information on CA Trace Plus:

"CA Trace Plus* is a concentrated trace mineral supplement designed specifically for horses on unsupplemented west coast grass hay diets. In addition to the balanced trace minerals, each serving provides 20 mg of biotin, 15,000 IU of vitamin A, 750 IU of vitamin E, plus additional lysine and methionine to support optimal hoof growth and strength. As an added bonus, horses on CA Trace Plus* develop lustrous, richly colored coats that resist sun bleaching and fading, even during winter. A common comment from customers after just a few months of feeding CA Trace Plus* is that their horses seem to "glow". Although I can make no promises or claims, it's not unusual to see the incidence of skin problems and allergies decrease over time while feeding CA Trace Plus*.

CA Trace Plus* is a custom formula and is not available in feed stores. The minerals are in a stabilized flax base to prevent clumping, but otherwise it is a highly concentrated product. Do NOT feed CA Trace Plus* with any other supplements containing trace minerals. If a commercial grain mix is fed, the daily serving of CA Trace Plus* may be adjusted. For best results, add 1/2 cup of ground flax daily in addition to the CA Trace Plus*. A small amount of moistened beet pulp or hay pellets makes a good carrier for the minerals. Some horses may be a little picky - start with just a pinch and increase the amount over a few days until the full 22 g daily serving is consumed. "

CA Trace Plus* has been formulated to save horse owners money over similar products. There is no fancy packaging to toss in the trash and no plastic pails to clutter up your feed room.

To Purchase CA Trace Plus, contact me at :


The Pete Ramey clinic really helped me realize how nasty thrush is. It will prevent the horses from landing correctly heel first and will through their landing forward on the toe. Not good for the internal structures of the hoof!! Do not rest until you have rid your horse's hooves of thrush. Once a healthy hoof is established and your horse is landing heel first, and has plenty of movement and a good natural diet, the thrush should not come back. Keep treating the central sulcus until it is closed up and there is no slit to get the syringe into.

The best cures for thrush:

1. 50% Neosporin and 50% Athlete's Foot Creme mixed in a 60cc Syringe - squirt the central sulcus. **** this is the quickest and most effective ****
2. White Lightening soak
3. Clean Trax soak
4. Lysol All Purpose spray
5. Dynamite Trace Minerals
6. 50% water, 50% Apple Cider Vinegar, a few drops of Tea Tree Oil
7. Usnea
8. Tea Tree Oil

Avoid commercial thrush remedies that destroy and dehydrate tissues.

Don't rest until you have beaten thrush - it makes the horses very ouchy and changes their correct locomotion.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I have been doing Yoga regularly for about 4 months now, once to twice a week. Since I started, I have had no need for my chiropractor or acupuncturist, and I haven't gotten sick. The best part is that now when I ride my horse, I do not have any joint or back pain at all. I felt fantastic after my 50 last week. I used to have a sore right knee, sore right ankle, and a sore lower back. No more, I owe it all to Yoga. My profession is pretty tough on my body, and the yoga fixes me all the time! The Yoga Place in Georgetown is where I go, Rob, the owner, used to be a farrier and an endurance rider, so he can relate to what my body needs. I highly recommend yoga for everybody!

Off to the Pete Ramey Clinic

I leave for the Pete Ramey and Dr. Bowker clinic in the morning and won't be available until next Wednesday. I can't wait to see Pete again and get the latest and greatest in natural hoof care. I have seen him lots of times before, and each time, I pick up more and more in the details. This will certainly help my trimming! I don't know what to expect from the Dr. Bowker clinic, except maybe an exploded head from information overload!!!

Musher's Secret

I was tipped on to a great product called Musher's Secret. It is a wax for dog paws and horse hooves to keep snow from balling up.... turns out, it works great underneath Epics and Bares to prevent chafing and rubbing, especially on the heel bulb area and on the sizes of the hoof wall. You know the chafing I am talking about if you use Epics. I tried it out today, and no rubbing at all. Just a little wax on the back of the hooves and on the side of the hoof wall. I went through lots of water and rode relatively fast for about 10 miles or so. I am impressed, I will continue to use this on Feather in her Bares with Up Buckles. There is also something on the label that says it works on hooves for 40 miles... I am not sure if it acts like a protectant or if it just keeps snow, or possibly mud, from balling up in the hoof when you are barefoot. I'll play with that later. Musher's Secret can be bought at

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Treats with Low Sugar

Another trimmer turned me on to these cookies and I thought I would share with you:

A low sugar, low starch diet for your horse is a more natural diet for your horse.

In fact, for some horses -- Insulin Resistant horses, EPSM horses, Laminitic horses, and often Cushings horses -- the difference between a high sugar/high starch diet and a low sugar/low starch diet can mean the difference between a life of pain and suffering, or a life of vibrant health and purpose.

At Skode's Horse Treats we dedicate ourselves to the artful care
of The Low Sugar Horse.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lake Sonoma

Feather completed her first 50 mile ride this past weekend at Lake Sonoma. She did fantastic, I am so proud of her. We finished in about seven and a half hours ride time, and she got all As. I am so impressed. She had a great time and was a trooper. All the body work and massage we did on her this week really paid off. This was our first ride without Annie, and Feather handled it like a champ. Her favorite position was to be behind a group of horses, so I used that for motivation. My heart rate monitor helped me figure out when to give her breaks and when to keep trotting down the trail. We even got stung by bees and she just swished her tail for a while. I foamed on 4 easyboots, but I lost a front boot early in the ride and had to replace it with a Bare bottom and Up buckle top. That worked just fine. This was a fantastic first 50, I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try one with their horse. The leaves were changing colors and the vineyards were harvested, beautiful weather, great trails, I had a fabulous time!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Feather's first 50

Feather and I are going to try the 50 at Lake Sonoma this weekend. We are ready, I just hope to finish within the time allowed....

Pea Gravel

I spent the weekend adding 4 inches of pea gravel to my horses' shelter. We did an area 48' x 8' with 4 inches. It took 3 yards, and a lot of shoveling. The horses love it, their feet sink in nicely, and I know they are getting a wonderful hoof massage on every step. The manure is easy to clean, the pea gravel falls through the fork, like big kitty litter. Actually, pea gravel is very therapeutic for a barefoot horse, especially horses suffering from founder or navicular. It helps the blood perfusability in the hoof, as does comfort pads. Here is a link on an article on the Easycare web site : .

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Change In Weather

We have been receiving quite a bit of rain lately, and the ground is moist. So are the horses' hooves - they are transitioning from dry, hard rock-crunchers to softer, moister hooves. Unfortunately the rocks didn't get the memo and they are remaining just as hard as before the rain. I am using boots again on my training rides to give a little extra protection from the hard rocks, and I suggest if you are noticing any new sensitivity, just go ahead and use your boots. That's okay, that's what you have them for. I have been getting a few calls, "My horses were okay 2 weeks ago, now they are sensitive. What should I do?" Answer: Use boots.

Testing Adhesives

I have been testing out adhesives to keep the easyboots on without using the gators or the metal clips for training rides. The foam works great for competition, but for training rides, I thought denture cream or construction adhesive would work. I was wrong, the boots popped off immediately on the up hills. I probably didn't allow enough time to set, but I want something that will work quick on my training rides. Let me know if you have any other ideas for temporary adhesives.

Equine Body Work

I found an awesome body worker for horses - April Battles. She lives here by me in Greenwood. I highly recommend her, along with Tom Mayes. They both do Kinesiology, Acupressure, Massage, Rieke on the horses. I was blown away with April yesterday as she worked on Annie and Feather. Feather has a lot of emotional issues she has been internalizing, no doubt from her gathering from the wild, breaking up of her band, and living at the BLM facility for 10 months. Also looks like she had a trauma, like being banged against the panels at some point. April fixed a lot of the trauma areas and showed me what to do to release the muscles in the area and help her emotionally. April thinks we can get Feather moving more freely down hills and extend the length of her trot. April is also an expert saddle fitter and sells treeless saddles and Dynamite products. She is a wealth of information.

To contact April,

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mustang Roll Your Hoof Boots

I just got finished putting a heavy duty mustang roll on all of my Epics and Bares to bring the breakover back and make them less bulky for the horses. I just used my regular trimming rasp and put a 50 degree bevel (approximately) from heel to heel, with a bigger roll by the toe. I'll let you know how it works out. I believe that just voided the warranty. Oh well, they were over 90 days old anyway. I can do this on your boots too when I am out trimming next. You don't have to do this on Renegades since they come with a very nice mustang roll already. The Bares have a very slight one, but I made it bigger and brought the breakover back at the toe. Off to try them out....

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pete Ramey DVD Series

I started watching the Pete Ramey DVD series on natural hoof trimming. It is excellent. I highly recommend this for anyone who is considering trimming their own horses, or just want to know how to give their horses' the best care possible, including nutrition, environment, movement, booting, trimming, etc. He trims a bunch of horses so that you can see over and over again what to do. I think it is invaluable for me. This information should really help me increase the performance of the horses I trim.

More information at :

His book is great too, if you haven't read it already.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Southern CA trip

More photos of Tamara and me from last weekend....

Maui Photos

Maui Photos are now available - sorry for the delay - we just got DSL out here in the woods, and now everything is so much easier on the computer!

Desolation Wilderness - With Snow

LinkWe were poured on last weekend in Southern CA, this week was 90 degrees at home, and then yesterday, there was snow all off the Desolation Wilderness while we rode about 20 some miles up and down granite staircases with Bare Feet! It was the first time I think I have ever really ridden in snow. It was absolutely gorgeous, coupled with the fall color change. The horses did fantastic with their bare feet. The horses just glided over the rocks at the walk, trot, and canter. I don't know how they have the time to choose where to put their hooves so perfectly to avoid the big rocks, but they do. Not even one chip.

If you have a chance, view this photo album to see the snow and the terrain we were riding on. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Amatuer Radio License

So I took my Amateur Radio test at the beginning of the month and passed with a perfect score. My call sign is KI6LQX. I have a little hand held radio that I take with me on rides or whenever I will be in an area without cell phone coverage. Where I live, that is just about everywhere. It gives me a piece of mind knowing that I will be able to contact someone if I get in trouble on the trail because it can contact someone always, just have to find the right frequency. I have it defaulted to the Auburn repeater, but I understand the Mt. Vaca repeater is very powerful as well. If you have a little extra time to study for the test - lots of electronics and physics - it is worth it. Now I am going to study for my General's license which opens up more frequencies to me.

Photos of Tejon

Lynne Glazer's photographs of the Tejon Fandango ride are here:

You can get a good feel for the beautiful terrain.

Tamara and I are on Page 19.

Those are just the photos from Day 1, Day 2 are coming soon.

Easyboots and Foaming

The foaming worked great! I foamed on 2 Easyboots in the front, 2 Bares without the Gators in the back on both Annie and Feather. It took about 1 hour to put them on, they stayed on for 5 days until we pulled them off. I followed all of Karen Chaton's directions on how to foam correctly. Pulling them off was tough, that goodness I have Logan. We did find a trick - loosen the foam with a flat head screw driver, then spray Pam all inside the boot. Put your horse back in the pasture for a day.... then pry off the boot. The foam peeled out nicely with the addition of the Pam.

The boots were so slippery in the wet mud, there was no traction at all. I wish I had my Easyboot Grips, the boots that have a very aggressive tread pattern for mud. But I left those at home. I wasn't expecting rain. Grips are going in my trailer for whenever I might need them.

I thought Feather moved incredibly well with the foamed on boots - there was nothing above her hair line, nothing around her heel bulbs, just a really tight fitting boot on her foot. As a matter of fact, I think she moved out the best she ever had. She doesn't like gators.

I would like to try the foaming with a Renegade bottom. I talked to Kirt and he said he used to Equithane on a base and that it worked fabulous. I think foaming is the way to go for sure for a multiday!

My Weekend

Wow, I wasn't expecting rain! It poured and poured Friday night and Saturday during the ride. The trails were messy and slippery.... Anyway, Tamara and I rode Friday and Saturday at the Tejon Ranch, finished strongly with all A's.... and then decided we had enough of the slip and slide, so we went back to her house and rode in the desert. I rode Feather, she rode her horse Bailey, and we let Annie off line to follow us through the National Forest. The scenery was amazing, Tamara truly found a special place to live with lots of trails. Feather felt stronger everyday... my drive down and back was uneventful. All in all, despite the rain, a very fun weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm Off! Tejon Fandango Ride

I leave in the morning to go to the Tejon Fandango ride in Fort Tejon. I have decided to try my luck at foaming on 4 Easyboots on each horse. I have never done that before. The weather looks mild, high of 62 degrees on Friday. That seems very cool, hopefully that will help the horses do well. Also heard a forest fire may have started in that area, but it seems there is always a fire there.... hopefully the smoke won't be too bad. I am probably most excited to see Tamara and her new house. She has never done an endurance ride, I am hopeful that Annie will take good care of her.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Founders Day Parade

Today is Founders Day in Georgetown. We took Annie and Feather in the parade. It is the first parade that they have ever done, and they were troupers. Logan and Feather were dressed as "Hildago", basically that meant that our little mustang acquired an authentic Arabian costume while she was over in Egypt for her race.... she looked cute. Annie and I wore a Bedouin costume I used to use while I was showing in Mounted Native Costume. Here are a few photos I took, I will get more from Stuart when he downloads his camera.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

3 Day Endurance Ride

I am getting ready for a Three Day endurance ride next week. I leave on Wednesday and will be home on Monday. The ride is at the Tejon Ranch in Southern California, at the top of the Grapevine. My friend Tamara just moved down to Frazier Park which is right there! So I am taking Annie and Feather to the ride, and Tamara and I will pull straws for who rides who. Our goal is to do all three days of Limited Distance (25 miles). I can't wait!

Savvy Conference 2007

That was quite an experience! Pagosa Springs has got to be one of my favorite places on this earth. I enjoyed the natural hot springs each night I was there, and came home feeling very relaxed. The Savvy Conference was interesting... they introduced a bitting program for your horse in cooperation with the Myler company. The Cradle bridle is supposed to deliver pressure at the poll, nose, bars, tongue, and side walls to help your horse respond better to pressure. I went ahead and purchased one to try on Annie in the arena. We'll see... I was not overly impressed with the performances of the horses at the conference that was wearing a cradle bridle. But I am definitely going to try it. They specifically said it was not for the trail, so I will not use it there. The Parelli's really went into detail with their new Horsanalities information.... Left Brain, Right Brain, Introvert, Extrovert... and how to deal with each. Very cool. I learned so much, many little things, and I am ready to start finishing up my Level 3. I have already taped a bunch of tasks since I got back.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Off to Pagosa Springs

I am off to the Parelli Savvy Conference today. I can't wait to learn more! I am staying in a cabin on a river. Tonight, I am looking forward to sitting in the hot springs. I'll be back Monday with lots of new information.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Equithane your Renegades

If you are experiencing any twisting at all on your Renegades, especially on hind feet or club feet, you may want to consider a custom fit using Equithane.

Equithane gun (like a caulking gun)
Equithane - I use Adhere in Beige
Denatured Alcohol
Sand Paper
Pam Cooking Spray - Any flavor will do
Paper towel

Clean your Renegades really good.
Rub the inside rim edge (anywhere you are going to Equithane) with the alcohol on the cotton.
Sandpaper that area or use a burr sandpaper tool on you air compressor.
Clean it again with the alcohol really good.
Spray your horse's hoof with Pam, top and underneath so it is saturated.
Blot off the excess with paper towels.
Use the Equithane gun to run a small bead of Equithane around the inside rim of the boot. Concentrate it in areas as necessary. (ie - if contracted heels, use more in the heel area)
Really quick, put the boot on the hoof. Make sure it is straight and well aligned. This sets up fast.
Stand the horse in the boot without moving if possible for at least 10 minutes.
Pop the boot off.
If you have much on the inside sole of the boot, pull that out or sand paper it off.
Voila, a custom fit boot!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Renegade Cable Adjustment

Here is the link for adjusting the cables on your Renegades:

You need a 1/16" allen wrench (I have a bunch of these, contact me), a small, flat head screw driver, and hemostats or needle nose pliers.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back from Maui

I am so glad to be back - I think the best part of vacations is realizing how perfect home is!

The people I met were so nice and all want the best for their horses - I loved meeting them and working with them. I will get to see many of my new Hawaiian friends next week at the Savvy Conference. There is no better way to see a new place than to have locals drive you around, tour direct, and tell you where to stay and where to eat. The ranches were out of this world gorgeous, lush green grass, coastal views, I wish I was a horse.

So how were the horses feet? Well, it wasn't about the hoof, it was about the rich green grass that they all lived in 24/7, most all horses were very plump, and many were chronically laminitic. So I spent most of my energy on educating owners - grazing muzzles, dry lot, soaked hay, add movement, get the horses off grass, paddock paradise, calories in/calories out....

It was definitely a reminder to me to make sure I "step away from the hoof" and look at the other variables that may be contributing to hoof growth.

Oh, the ocean and the beaches, they were just the most perfect ones you have ever seen. I'll post more photos later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Long Toes and Lack of Movement

Some of my trimming horses have long toes when you view them from the top... no where to go if you look at the bottom of the hoof, the white line is right up to the toe. I keep taking a big mustang roll from the top and I try to remove as much flare as I can, but the overall hoof shape is not changing with the trim alone. I have been analyzing what is going on here, what is the common thread, and what I see in just about all of these "long toed" horses is lack of use and lack of movement. They don't get ridden adequately and their environment does not encourage enough movement. I even have owners tell me their horse used to have short toes (years ago, when they were ridden daily), and now they have a funky hoof with long toes (since they stopped riding their horse and retired them)... I see this everyday now. The moral of my story is that movement is so important, and the trim perhaps a smaller variable in the success of rock-crunching barefoot horses. If you want to have more appealing hooves, ride, ride, ride, ride ride. Set up a Paddock Paradise in your pasture - this is a 20-30 foot perimeter fence where you keep the horses on a track and feed them all along the perimeter so that it encourages movement while they are pastured. What fun!

My Dream Horse

Okay, I think I found my dream horse. His name is Luigi and I have had him for 3 years... I had no idea what a perfect partner he would make. He took his second trail ride today, about 4 miles round trip. We started at dusk and ended in the moonlight. Yes, his second trail ride ever and it was a night ride. He was very responsive, confident, not spooky, has great impulsion, walks downhill fast, stayed left brained, head down, all in his halter and lead rope as I was riding him. I am totally impressed. He is everything I could ever ask for in a trail horse, and pretty, and will be an ideal size for me, probably about 14.3 hands. He reminds me of a blend of Feather and Annie, Annie's lightness and sensitivity and athleticism, and Feather's confidence and strong state of mind. I can't wait to have more fun with his guy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Parelli Savvy Conference

I am going to the Parelli Savvy Conference September 6-10 in Pagosa Springs, CO. I can't wait, it should be amazing. I just love the new horse psychology and horseanalities they are presenting. I am still firming up my arrangements, flying, booking a car, a place to stay, etc. It is going to be hard to make the quick turn around from Hawaii to Pagosa Springs the following weekend, but I'll make it happen! I am most looking forward to the hot springs in Pagosa!! I'll be there every night. If you are going and have an empty bed in your hotel room, I would love to share.


I am trying out a new product for thrush called "Usnea". It is a herb, and I bought it over the internet from a herbalist. It comes as a tincture, alcohol based. I am just dropping a few droplets on the frog every other day or so. I'll let you know what I think! Feather has a tenancy to get a tiny bit of thrush so I'll be interested to see if it keeps her frogs hard.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New Parelli System

I just got this in email and I thought I would share it - if it is anything like their new tour stops, it will be absolutely amazing. I can't wait to get my kit in the mail. They changed their web site around recently too.

What is Parelli??????

"The Parelli method allows horse lovers at all levels and disciplines to achieve: success without force, partnership without dominance, teamwork without fear, willingness without intimidation, and harmony without coercion."


"Parelli Success Series DVD Kit

Linda and Pat Parelli share their revolutionary keys to success with horses in this extraordinary new 10 DVD collection.

Each beautifully filmed DVD presents a concentrated version of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program concepts. Both the novice rider and advanced equestrian will discover new and surprising insights into the horse-human relationship. Watch as Linda and Pat Parelli ride and work with their own amazing horses, to deliver precise techniques, strategies, and principles using equine psychology to achieve incredible results and produce braver, smarter and more athletic horses."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Laminitis Success

Nemo is a 9 year old Haflinger that foundered. His owners saw an ad in the local paper for "Free Horse, has founder". They went to look at him, and took him home. The before photos are taken the first day his owners brought him home. Nemo was turned out in a 100 acre field of grass, and he ate way too much green grass. He could hardly walk. His new owners identified this variable, put him in a dry lot, fed him grass hay exclusively with LaminaSaver, and I trimmed his feet every 4 weeks for about a year now. They look fantasic! He is sound, and running so beautifully! This goes to show that with a proper diet and good hoof trimming, there is hope for laminitic and foundered horses!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Luigi's First Ride

I have had Luigi since he was 6 months old, and he was very unconfident with people at that time... timid, very shaggy, kinda scrawny looking. Now he is 3 years old, and I had an urge to put a saddle (my comfy Barefoot treeless) on him for the first time tonight. He saddled up like he had done it a million times, only he hasn't ever, but he watches Feather and Annie get saddled, and I think he has learned from them. Took him down to the round pen to play the Parelli games (that is why I am so not dressed for riding!!!), really so specific agenda, and I ended up riding him tonight. Logan shot some great photos so you can see the progression. He is so light, responsive, loves to learn, wants to be a partner and has positive reflexes. I'll keep you updated on his progress!

The riding progression: Click Here

Robinson Flat Photos

Here are the photos of this weekend....

Boot Sales

I get a lot of inquiries about selling just boots, especially the Renegades, without trimming. I do not do this anymore. The boots are designed to complement a natural hoof care program... including proper nutrition, adequate movement, big 24 hour turnout space, and of course, a proper natural trim. If one of these variables is not right, often times barefoot does not work for you... I want my clients to be successful, and if I am not there regularly to check in on each of these variables, then I cannot stand behind the boots I sell. I have run into situations where I go out to fit horses in boots, and they have a very interesting trim where their toes have been squared off exageratedly.... I can't fit a square hoof into a round boot. Also, the Renegades are being distributed through Natural Hoof Care practitioners exclusively and they are in high demand and low supply. The manufacturer suggests we sell the boots to committed natural hoof care customers. We want these boots to work for you, but there is so much more to successful barefoot or booted riding than just popping the boots on and going, as much of you already know there is a learning curve involved with the boots. Sometimes it takes quite a few rides to get the boots working perfectly, and often folks get discouraged at this time from the boots and end up putting on peripheral loading devises again. I don't want that to happen, I want to help as much as I can....

So the bottom line is the boots complement a natural hoof care program, they are not a stand alone product that I sell.

Aloha Clinic

I am leaving on the 23rd of August to give a natural hoof care seminar on the lovely island of Maui... I will be talking in a clinic format and then working with people one on one showing them how to trim their horses. I will be checking their current boots for proper fit as well as selling the newly popular Renegades. I am very much looking forward to the vacation afterwards, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the island and how peaceful the beaches are. Logan will be coming too, acting as a boot fitting assistant or playing golf while I am trimming. I hate to leave home for a week, I'll miss my dogs. I bet the horses will like their one week break from me too :-) Anyway, I won't be scheduling any appointments from August 23rd through Labor Day.

Pete Ramey Clinic

Want to see Pete in person? Come with me to his clinic in Valley Center, CA on November 10 and 11. He will discuss the latest on barefoot hoof trimming, research on navicular and laminitis, and you can watch him trim live horses. Stay and extra 2 days and see Dr. Bowker present new research on the equine hoof, including the gel pad and equine shock absorbers inside the hoof. I will be there, with lots of other trimmers, including Tamara Cisek!

Pete Ramey DVD Series

Interested in learning more about the equine hoof? Pete Ramey has produced a 10 disk DVD series:
"This video is designed to teach equine professionals and horse owners new ways to recognize and treat hoof pathology. It focuses on the ability to identify and recognize a truly healthy equine foot and demonstrates steps taken to drive a pathological hoof towards a healthier state. The combination of contemporary veterinary research with practical, real-world field work presented will enable viewers to arrive at sound, valuable protocols that can be used immediately to benefit the horse."

Bowker Study

New Bowker study on Pete's web site:
"Very important new insight from Dr. Bowker. See article: Newly Discovered Shock Absorber in the Equine Foot"

Get to the article here.

Laminitis and Diabetes Linked!

From Pete Ramey's Web Site:
"Laminitis induced by high insulin levels! New paper from University of Queensland will finally make the entire world place primary focus on diet and exercise for preventing and treating laminitis.

Finally, this is what we've been waiting for! Katie Asplin, et al., at University of Queensland have released the "study of the century (in my opinion)". They've proven that laminitis can be induced by prolonged high insulin levels! This will be a critical turning point in laminitis research, and should immediately cause the veterinary world to place primary focus on diet and exercise for both prevention and treatment of laminitis. Read the paper."

This is amazing - diet and exercise - just like in humans, does indeed have an impact on preventing laminitis, like diabetes!!

Read more about laminitis on Pete's site:

Robinson Flat Camping

We had such a wonderful time at Robinson Flat! I was blown away with the history of the area - used to be a forest guard station and many of the original buildings still exist. The trails were very nicely manicured, and there was a trail for every kind of rider that offer spectacular views of the Sierras. Our first night, we took a stroll up to Duncan Overlook, which sits on top of a high peak, looking for fires I think. 360 views, amazing! The next day, we rode to Last Chance, an old mining town that used to be a Toll Trail for the miners. We rode on a trail that went around Pucker Point, wow, this was one shear drop off into the American River if you weren't careful! Narrow trail, 2000' drop off... No room for mistakes! That was about a 30 mile round trip day, very little water and food on the trail, but Feather did find all the grass that she could. Next day, we rode up to the Red Star Ridge vet check on the road that leaves Robinson to the North East. Nice views of some hydraulic mine sites. What I liked about the trails was the variety. Single track, logging roads, dirt, rock, etc. The history and the views were spectacular! I will upload some photos when my computer recognizes my camera... why is technology still so complicated????

Friday, August 3, 2007

Custom Fit your Hoof Boots

If you ever experience a little twisting with your hoof boots, boots that fall off, or boots that get an excessive amount of debris in them, you may want to consider a custom fit. The idea is that we make a perfect match of your horse's hoof inside the boot with either Easyfoam or Equithane. We would follow the directions for using the Foam and Equithane, BUT you use Pam (the cooking spray) on your horse's hoof so that it doesn't stick to the hoof. Then let the foam/equithane set up so that it adheres the the inside of the boot, take if off, and then you have a perfectly fit boot for your horse! I find it lasts a long time, just about as long as the boot lasts. It is best to do this right after a trim. This works for all different brands of boots. If you use the Easycare boots with Gators, make sure you REMOVE the gator, because the foam will ruin the gator.

Renegade Boot Tips

This great performance boot works very well for endurance riding but some of the early boots had a heel captivator that was too stretchy for performance work in wet conditions. If anyone is having problems with their Renegade boots falling off or riding up your horse's ankles, the manufacturer is offering a free upgrade to a new stiffer heel captivator design that should solve the problem. You have to send your boots away for about 1 week, and then they will come back with a new captivator. If you would like to do this, email me, and I will send you Kirt's mailing address. Other things to consider if you are having problems with the Renegades:
1. Make sure your bottom Velcro strap is pulled tight and EVENLY from both sides.
2. If you are having twisting, I can custom fit the boots with Equithane on the inside that will make a perfect fit for your horse.

Horse Photos

Here are some photos of our horses that I want to share. My horse is Feather, a 6 year old dunn mustang. My husband's horse is Annie, a 15 year old grey Spanish Arabian. This is Logan's first year doing endurance, and he has completed 4 LDs this year, using the Renegade hoof boots on his horse. Feather is new to endurance, well, domestication for that matter, and she has completed 3 LDs this year. At the Oakland Hills ride, Feather got the Horse of Excellence award. She uses Easycare products on her feet during our rides.

Saddle Journey

Saddle fit. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it. I had 2 custom made SR Saddles for my horses.... both horses got muscle atrophy behind their shoulders and Feather got some white hairs. I really thought those were the best saddles on the market for endurance riding. I have tried all other kinds of treed saddles, Free N Easy, Wintec, Arabian Saddle Company, Balance Saddles, etc... no luck. In theory, if these treed saddles fit while the horse is standing still, what happens when the horse starts to move? Their shoulders bulge out, and their backs lift and move, etc... so how can a correctly fitted treed saddle really fit all the different gates of a horse, not to mention up and down hills? This doesn't sit right in my mind.... So I looked at treeless saddles. Weight distribution - that seems to be the problem with treeless... but, never fear, the Freeform has a 1 inch injection molded foam base that distributes the weight great! Couple that with the HAF pad that had 3/4" PK70 foam, and you have a winner! I also played with the Bob Marshall and the Barefoot saddles, but they just are a piece of leather with fleece on the underside that creates pressure points with the stirrup bars and the rider's seat. If you really want the best saddle for your horse, go with a Freeform. They come in English style and a Western endurance cut with fenders. The Winner of the Tevis Cup this weekend was riding in a Freeform! Your horse can now use it's back correctly in all gates, while your weight gets distributed evenly.

Improve your boot traction!

My horse Feather uses Easycare's Bare boots. The underside looks more natural with a hoof wall and a frog. I have found these boots to be a bit slick in wet conditions. My handy friend Stuart Porter again came up with a work around - cut some traction lines into the bottom with a grinder. It works great! I love the increased tread without having too much.

New Hoof Boot Design

My friend Stuart Porter is an incredible inventor and is always looking to improve the design of hoof boots... he also has a horse that gets sore heel bulbs in just about all the current hoof boots on the market. The regular Easyboots work great, but they don't stay on well unless you use foam which is a mess to deal with. So Stuart designed a modified strap that goes behind the pastern while keeping the heel bulbs free. Also, we custom fit the boots with the Easyfoam that permanently sticks to the inside of the boot. We produced a set of boots for my horse, Feather, this week and I have been testing them out. One fell off on my first ride, but I found it and I am going to try it a bit tighter next time. Here are some photos.

Welcome to my Blog

This is a test, I am not sure if I am going to like having a blog or not, but this could be much easier for me than updating my web site... I am going to try it, and see.... The idea is that I can update my friends, family, and clients about what I am up to with riding and hoof care and boot tricks.

For example, this weekend we are going camping up to Robinson Flat and we are going to ride to Cougar Rock one day, and then the Swinging bridge the next. We'll let you know how our boots hold up!

Saddle Pads for Sale

1:Supracor – Regular Endurance pad, used maybe 5 times. Excellent Condition. $200.
2:Supracor – Short Endurance pad, used 3 times. Excellent Condition. $200.
3:Skito Equalizer Pad – Black. Made for an SR Enduro, will fit Western Endurance type saddles. 100% wool bottom. Dry-back top. Half inch inserts. Good condition, used moderately. $100.
4: Skito Equalizer Pad – Green. Made for an SR Enduro, will fit Western Endurance type saddles. Pure wool bottom. Dry-back top. Half inch inserts. Good condition, used moderately. $100.
5. Limpet Anti-Slip Saddle Pad – Western – Chestnut Color – Open Cell foam. Great condition. $75.
6. HAF pad, for a Freeform, black, used lightly, with PK 70 inserts $140.

Let me know if you are interested in any of these Pads!