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!

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