My wife Lynn and I were continually frustrated with traditional shoeing and it's results on her two Arabians. The constant fight to ''grow heel'', the crumbling hoof walls and mule looking hind feet were a never ending cause of concern. When her older Arab's career as a trail and endurance horse seemed to be ended do to a diagnosis of ringbone we made the decision to pull his shoes and let him rest. My wife then started riding him bareback and barefooted in the mountains near Tucson. She rode him more and more as he seemed to be recovering and before long he was completely sound. We had been concerned with riding him this much in rough rocky terrain because we had always been of the belief that if you did, you would wear too much off the hooves and make them sore. We soon realized that that was just not happening and that the growth rate of his hoof walls had increased dramatically.
We later moved to the Fort Collins Colorado area where I continued to observe the hoof care of our horses. Our dear friend, Rachel Chao MS, another horseman frustrated by her horses feet, found Pete Ramey and his philosophy of trimming to duplicate the physiology found on the hooves of wild horses. Rachel had attended a clinic by Pete and interned with Todd Jaynes among others. She was now convinced that this was what we all had been looking for in hoof care. Real answers based on science! They had helped her to realize that horses don't need a thin rim of iron around their feet in order to be sound and perform at the highest level! Rachel is young, but brilliant and we had long since learned to pay attention to her! When Rachel next came to visit she met my wife's dressage instructor who was at her wits end with her horse and willing to listen to an alternative solution after having used literally every top tier farrier in the area in the attempt to make her chronically lame Hanoverian sound. The horse had just been re shod and was terribly lame. He would constantly pick up one foot then the other in a futile attempt to get relief. The farrier realized that he couldn't help the horse and gave Ruth her money back. Rachel pulled the shoes and made some changes in the trim. We then fit him with hoof boots and comfort pads.
The difference in the horse was immediate! I then made arrangements to go and study at every Pete Ramey clinic in the country that I could attend. Some of these clinics featured Dr. Robert Bowker the research scientist from Michigan State University and Katy Watt's of SaferGrass.org fame. I flew to Georgia to study anatomy with Todd Jaynes of naturalhoofcare.net, and do live trimming with Todd and other professionals in the Georgia area. Todd was the first to introduce Clinton Anderson to natural hoof care and to Pete Ramey. He is now an instructor for equinesciencesacademy.com. The next year I hosted a 3 day clinic with Pete Ramey, Dr. Bowker and Katy Watts at Colorado State University. In the interim, the dressage horse, who had formerly been a USDF Horse of the Year 2001, was now completely sound and able to compete. It had been only a few months of being barefoot and being correctly trimmed by me that he and Ruth got their USDF Bronze Medal!
The business took off completely through word of mouth due to the success of the horses I was working on. I have a neighbor who is a Veterinary Professor at CSU and a horseman as well as a former barefoot skeptic. He and his wife work occasionally at the Weaver Ranch, a large Angus breeding outfit nearby. I started showing the professor the trimming techniques and trimming all of the horses owned by the them as well as the Weaver Ranch horses. These horses are now able to go anywhere in the course of their jobs as working ranch horses, completely barefoot over sometimes extremely difficult, rocky terrain, a true testament to the practical realities of good barefoot management and a myth buster that horses '' have to have shoes on rocks ''.
I have helped many horses recover completely from founder and laminitis, and am now the "go to guy" for owners who have exhausted all other resources including an owner that recently was told to put her profoundly foundered Friesan down. Go to "Levi, Our Founder Case", for more information. Since June he is almost completely recovered and being ridden 10 miles at a time.
One of our clients is one of the top FEI 100 mile endurance riders in the Country. She transitioned her horses to barefoot a year and a half ago and hasn't looked back. She may qualify for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
You don't have to wait until your horse is in trouble before you call me. I can help you get your horse back to soundness or achieve a higher level of overall performance and health.