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 - http://www.pacifichoofcare.org/

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: http://www.rosetrace.com/PtReyes/PtReyes.html

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 www.safergrass.org .

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 : tracy@hoofhelp.com


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, www.yogaonthedivide.com. 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 Jeffers.com.

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.