Natural Hoof
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This page is specifically for you to show off how great your barefoot horse is. If you're proud of your horse and would like share his/her barefoot story, please email a photograph (max 200 pixels wide if poss) and up to 100 words describing your horse to

"I discovered barefoot about five years ago when a young horse of mine took a disliking to the farrier. I decided that I would have to learn to trim her myself, and so I started studying horses feet. Now all my horses are barefoot, it has been quite a journey and has completely changed my way of riding, training and caring for them.

Mate is a 12yo TB Irish hunter cross. He came to me with shoes on and for the first year I competed him in shoes and studs. They drove me crazy! Stud holes getting jammed, threads ruined, shoes half pulled just before competitions. I also started to notice changes in his feet, one time an apprentice farrier shod him and I could see the bend in the hoof at his heel, where they were being pulled together. So over winter I pulled his shoes and we haven't looked back.

We have competed in dressage, show jumping, eventing and more, all barefoot, with results just as good and better than when he was shod. I won't say it has all been easy, we had our moments and it does take some adjustment. A barefoot horse is quite different to ride and they have to be properly balanced - but whats the problem with that?

Anna Drabble, Hawkes Bay NZ

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Shes All Mine
She's All Mine
"Mine is a five year old 16.1hh Appy station bred cross. I have had Mine for almost on two years now. She is one of the best things that has happened to me. Mine has taught me an amazing amount things about horses, about patience, about life and about myself. We've come a long way - not just in barefoot, but as partners, with trust and understanding each other. I wouldn't have it any other way, she's my best friend!

We went barefoot last year at the beginning of November 2002. Although it has been almost nine months, it has been a real journey of dedication, excitement, time, effort and sometimes frustration. Mine is living as close to natural as possible. She lives in a 25+ herd, has varied terrain to travel, is out doors 24/7, no cover, and no shoes. I was amazed at the speed that the hoof grew out, about 6 months. I really attribute this to the constant movement.

We ride all terrains, from farm, to bush, to clay, to mud, to water, to road (with the help of boots), you name it we ride it. I have found Mine to be really sure footed, and have found her grip to be just as good if not better than having shoes, and those clay/mud clay tracks can get really slippery! She has had no cover this winter, and she is just so healthy looking, has a beautiful shine to her coat..even with its woolliness (photo was taken in July)! She even has dapples!!!!!!! Going barefoot and natural has to be the best thing I have done for my horses. I will never put a shoe on any horse I own, they just have so much to benefit without them! I am really proud to call Mine, mine! ."

She's All Mine's Owner - Tina Hardy

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Impulsion Covergirl
Impulsion Covergirl
"When I first began to learn about barefoot I was very interested, seeing the obvious benefits to the horse's health and overall well being, however I was unsure that it was appropriate for a performance horse who has to compete on grass and needs a secure footing.

"In October 2002 I competed at the Northland Dressage Champs with my big, 17.1hh mare (she won Novice champion) shod and with studs in her back feet. She went well but slipped a little with her front feet, leading me to think that to be totally secure I would need studs both front and back. As I find studs a real nuisance to put in and out I thought "Well, I might just take her shoes right off and see what happens.

"Since then we have not looked back. In most conditions, wet and dry I have found her to be more secure with no shoes on grass than she was with them. We competed barefoot for the rest of the season and she finished 6th nationally in the Matthews Hanoverians Novice Accumulator. I recommend to all my friends to 'lose the shoes'."

Impulsion Covergirl's Owner - Carolyn

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Patrick is a 9 year-old NZ Thoroughbred used for Parelli, trekking, competition, fun. I got Pat in February, 1998, from Trentham racecourse, Wellington. We now live in Thames. Pat was in very poor condition, with typical flat-footed TB hooves, seedy toe and forever throwing his shoes and badly chipping his hooves.

In Jan, 2002, I removed his shoes and applied the barefoot trim and natural living conditions. There was minor chipping until old nail holes grew out, but the benefits were apparent straight away. His coat improved dramatically - shortly before removing the shoes, he had rainscald very badly, a few months later, he has dapples. He is freer moving - he won the April, 2002 Thames Valley Adult Riding Club dressage event and won overall his dressage, games and showjumping class. His paddle is improving, his traction is greater, his rump and neck muscles have softened and are starting to develop, he holds his condition better, and he's much happier all round. Going barefoot is easy, with spectacular results - I thoroughly recommend it!
- Pat's owner, Teresa Maxwell, Thames, NZ

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Finn came to me as 5yo, broken in, turned out, no experience. I subsequently had him shod for 18 months and used him for Parelli, hacking out, showjumping, and hunting. I quickly noticed his aversion to hard ground and subsequently found myself wending a journey which took me into saddle fitting, feed patterns and, finally, barefoot trimming. In February I took part in a week long Parelli camp on ground that was far from soft. This left poor Finn a virtual cripple, even with a properly fitting saddle and I began to think there was more to my problems than the saddle. Someone mentioned barefoot trimming and soon I was on the Natural Hoof website reading about Dr Strasser and registering my interest. Finn has had his shoes off now since March and although the nail holes are not completely grown out yet, he is back out competing again.

I have been hunting and eventing and must say haven't missed the shoes for traction in the slightest. His three white feet told an interesting story with evidence of bruising and a horizontal split in the coronet where a deep seated bruise had broken out. His self carriage and lightness in the dressage arena are evident and he won his dressage test at a recent ODE even though he had only been in an arena once before. He is a much happier horse and was noticeably more active in the paddock after the barefoot trim. His snappier movements under saddle have improved the style of his jump over fences and his shoulder movement is really noticeable to me now. Hunting is his passion and he squeals with delight and puts in the odd buck for the first 10 minutes so I have to hold on really tight at times. I would recommend barefoot trimming for all horses.
- Finn's owner, Vicky Hansen, Rangiora, NZ

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