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!