Equine Boney Structure Horse - Conical Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mustang Hoof - Naturally Worn - Jaime Jackson Mule Hoof - Cylinder Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mule Hoof - Natural Trim

"All Good Things Come in Time for Those with Patience"


Transition to Barefoot

Taking any particular horse or mule from shod to barefoot can take time, patience and perseverance. A few horses may trot off barefoot on rocks right away and you will wonder why you ever shod them in the first place. But many horses and mules will be tender on rocks and hard ground at first.

Pea Gravel used to condition the hooves and build structure.The most important part of the transition to barefoot is getting an appropriate "barefoot trim" done on your animal. The standard "pasture trim" will not keep a barefoot horse sound. Barefoot horses should NEVER have the sole callus trimmed (the area of sole between the tip of the frog and the toe). Most farriers will thin this area when placing shoes. During a pasture trim it is also a method used to shorten the toe. This is the main reason why people think their horse can't go barefoot. When the toe callus is left untouched and an appropriate barefoot trim applied, most SOUND horses can easily transition to barefoot.

When sole callus is removed it does two things: You have just removed the "protective" covering of the coffin bone and lowered it closer to the ground. Removing that protection will cause the animal to be tender footed. Soles can be re-grown very quickly, but callused sole can not. Callused sole is simply a huge amount of sole material packed into a thinner space. It takes time to build adequate callus.

Mustangs wear their hoof walls off so that they are walking directly on their soles. "Sole pressure" is normal and is required for development of proper hoof structure.

See Booting for further help in transitioning your animal to year-round barefootedness.

Equine Boney Structure Horse - Conical Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mustang Hoof - Naturally Worn - Jaime Jackson Mule Hoof - Cylinder Shaped Hoof - Natural Trim Mule Hoof - Natural Trim