G'day, I'm Peter.
These are some of my horses, and this is "our" mountain, where we go barefoot trail riding.
We are situated at Mount Samson, which is about forty-five kilometers northwest of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, the Sunshine State of Australia.
I would like to welcome you to the Hoofworks site and let you know a bit about the way I think about Horses, Horse Owners, and Hoofcare.
I like to think about hoofcare the same way as I think about cleaning my teeth and looking after my finger nails or toe nails.
When we were young, our parents taught us to clean our own teeth and clean and cut our own fingernails. These things just became a normal part of our life.
Of course, if we need to, we go to the dentist sometimes, or on special occasions we may have someone else do a manicure or pedicure on our nails. If we have an ingrown toenail or an infection under a nail, we may seek professional assistance.
But we have learned to take responsibility for caring for our own personal grooming and hygiene.
I believe that caring for our horses' feet should be quite similar.
We may choose to have a professional do some, or all, of our hoofcare, we may choose to do some, or all, of it our self, but as owners we should be responsible to make sure that our horses' feet are kept as healthy and sound as possible.
In my opinion, that means, not nailing metal shoes onto a living creature but rather trimming the hoofs to keep the best, most functional shape, and looking to see the hoof respond by becoming strong and healthy enough to allow the horse to perform at the required level, without any extra protection.
Of course, if it is necessary, we may use removable "Hoof Boots" to protect the hoof during the transition to barefoot and on any occasion when the amount of abrasion or damage could be greater than the condition of the hoof can withstand.
In the area where I live most horses can effectively make the transition to barefoot without the need for any extra protection and those that do need boots usually find that they are rarely used after six months or so. In other areas or with particular horses this may not be the case and it may be necessary to use boots a lot more or for much longer, however in the end the Barefoot horses will be sounder and healthier than those using metal shoes.
Here are a few of my thoughts about Barefooting:
Answers for Your Questions
you would like to ask brief, general questions you can email us
Although we will normally answer within two working days, we may be a little longer, especially if we are away from the office for training
Interactive teaching CD
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Specific Advice: Hoofcare for Your Horse
We provide natural hoofcare in our local area.
We can also help you with specific advice on hoofcare, wherever you are.
You will need to post or E-mail several good quality photos of the horse and the particular hoof. Please e-mail your questions first so we can let you know how to take, and send, suitable photos. We may request a photo from a particular angle, or a particular resolution email picture.
We will post or email you "marked-up" copies of your photos and our recommendations of the type of trimming that is required. We expect that you will keep us informed of the progress, even if you don't follow our suggestions and that you will allow Hoofworks to use the pictures for our teaching material.
This service is offered as advice only and cannot be construed as a substitute for a professional consultation.
We charge for this service at Aus$15.00 per quarter hour for our time spent answering your questions. In most cases we can advise on trimming one foot, or a fairly similar matched pair of front, or rear feet, in half an hour or less. We will charge your credit card when we send you our recomendations.
There is no charge, if we cannot answer your specific query, or if we need to refer you to someone else to get the appropriate answer to your question.
We will not offer advice on any matter which is related to disease, pathological deformity or internal trauma, which should be treated by your veterinarian.
We will offer advice on Natural Hoofcare, which is considered to be "preventive care" and not the practice of veterinary medicine.
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