😁 🐴 Do you remember Shadow (AKA Texas Star) from the front cover of Issue 8?

Well this year he is starting his 16th year as a police horse for the Houston Mounted Police. Still happy, healthy & of course barefoot – as all the working horses at the HMPD are.

Officer Greg Sokoloski (now retired) was Shadow’s partner, and the man largely responsible for instigating the pioneering change from shod, unhealthy horses who were often off work because they couldn’t cope, to a barn full of barefoot police horses, healthy, chilled and ready for work every day.

This is what Greg said when he popped by the HMPD barn the other day to see his old pal Shadow:

“Shadow starting his 16th year as a police horse. Still happy and healthy and barefoot. All he has known is what he is doing in the pic. I make sure when I visit he is happy and comfortable and he is, people come to see him everyday so retiring him to a pasture full of horses may not be the right thing right now. When he says he is finished then we will make that decision, but right now he is still going strong thanks to the wonderful changes we started with him and the wonderful people and officers that take care of him and continue with the practices we started almost 20 years ago. What a pleasure it is to walk into a barn full of working police horses and see happy and healthy horses!!”

The story of how the HMPD went from spending thousands of dollars on propping up unhealthy, unsound horses to changing their equine management, training & hoofcare, is one not to be missed.

Read all about it in Issue 8 which is one of the printed back issues in the January 50% Off sale.

This story you will be recounting to friends, family & professionals forever!

Truly inspiring.


Go here to get Issue 8 at 50% off until Jan 31st 2019 or stocks last:

https://barefoothorsemag.com/product/back-issues-in-print/

Keep barefooting Shadow ❤️

The BHM Team ❤️

My horse has gone lame…is it an abscess?

Abscess blog pic

When you notice that your horse has gone lame, most owners leap to all kinds of conclusions and usually they imagine the problem to be far more sinister than an abscess. Lameness can range from a slight limp to full blown holding the leg up in the air, not weight bearing at all accompanied perhaps with lots of lying down.

At the sight of their beloved horse hopping around a field or limping into the yard, or looking like they have broken their leg, and anything in between, can send most unknowing owners into fits of total delirious frenzy.

This is usually followed by an expensive (and often unproductive) vet visit and can leave the owner and the horse with days to weeks and even months of recurring problems.

How do I know if it is an abscess or something worse?

Well 9 times out of 10 if your horse has suddenly gone lame….and the lameness is GETTING WORSE then it is likely to be an abscess. Tendon or ligament injuries tend to follow the path of consistent lameness, not getting worse and gradually getting better. So if your horse is limping about out of the blue and he is getting progressively worse, then you can pretty much guarantee it’s an abscess.

There is an awesome flow chart taking your right through how to diagnose an abscess, together with an in depth article all about abscesses in Issue 17 (see link below).

Should you call the vet?

Ok…well here we have an interesting situation. If a foot abscess is suspected what will your vet do? Vets are deemed to do something to aid the pain your horse is feeling – that’s why you called them right? This can range from painkillers such as Bute (nearly always Bute) to full on digging holes in your horse’s foot.

BIG WORD OF WARNING! Digging more holes into your horse’s foot to ‘find and release’ the pus can give your horse instant relief (if the pus is found and it often isn’t) BUT it can also cause far more problems than you bargained for in the long run….and this happens more then you can imagine!

The best and most amazing thing about foot abscesses in horses is that ALL horses can deal with them themselves. They can and WILL ALWAYS burst them eventually and another hole in the foot is just asking for more trouble and in MANY cases causes re-infection.

Myth Busting!! Does going barefoot cause foot abscesses?

NO! But all horses who transition to barefoot from shoes are at risk of getting foot abscesses as their foot heals because the shoeing has caused poor hoof health ranging from holes (yep those nail holes are a wonderful entry point for pathogens), cracks from contraction, and hiding all the other pathology which is due to dietary problems that were not that obvious when the horse was shod.

Will my horse get rid of the abscess on his own?

Well because mother nature is actually really quite awesome, all your horse needs is the following few things to get rid of his abscess:

– Movement – do not confine your horse…even if it is on 3 legs!

– Company – please let your horse stay with his buddy, it’s very important to healing
!

– 24/7 Forage – lots of good mixed meadow hay to keep that gut in good condition, remove all sugars – if your horse is loving his grass or molassed licks or molassed feed – then REMOVE IT because that does the opposite of keeping the gut in a good condition, it plays havoc and causes gut problems and that has a knock on effect to the healing of the foot.

A horse is more than capable of bursting his own abscess. Yes you want to take the pain away but digging holes and intervention is simply not the most prudent way of going about getting rid of it. Many vets are now beginning to understand this and if they are called many won’t dig….truly it’s not great, it leaves you with a big or bigger hole in your horse’s foot…a bigger hole in your bank balance and the very REAL possibility of your horse re-infecting and suffering months from recurrent abscessing and all the problems that go with that.

Look to your diet and management. If your horse is getting abscesses the diet and the management are nearly always at the bottom of it…with the exception of the horse standing on a foreign object!

Do go check out Issue 17, Trimmer’s Tips, all about hoof abscesses – you’ll be glad you did! Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/2Snvfp8

Happy sound horse day!

Lindsay, Editor

Issue 14 – Understanding your horse’s hoof – HOOF CRACKS

Issue 14 hoof cracks

In every issue of the magazine we have a section called Trimmer’s Tips brought to you by our resident barefoot hoof care specialists Hoofing Marvellous, where every aspect of the hoof is discussed to help owners really understand their horse’s hooves.

In Issue 14, HM go to town on everything to do with hoof cracks, with some amazing photographs of real case studies and really in depth analysis of those pesky cracks. Here are some of the questions HM answer in the article:

Where do hoof cracks usually happen?
What causes superficial or partial thickness hoof cracks?
What causes full thickness hoof cracks?
Does shoeing make hoof cracks worse?
Can full thickness cracks cause pain?
What can you do if your horse has hoof cracks?

So if your horse suffers from hoof cracks that you absolutely don’t seem to be getting on top of, perhaps you’ve tried more traditional methods (also discussed in the article) but to no avail, then reading this article is a must and will get you and your horse swiftly onto the road of recovery.

Here’s a link to Issue 14

This issue is still available in print and online too.

Go get those hoof cracks under control folks!

Lindsay, Editor

What’s In Issue 19 – Video

What's in Issue 19 Video

😲ISSUE 19 PRINT STOCKS RUNNING LOW! 😲

Listen up folks we thought we’d better WARN YOU that the printed copies of Issue 19 are now running low (approx only 100 left), so if you want the PRINT version then hop over to the website and order yours now – or better still take out a subscription then you’ll always have your print copy on order.

If you still don’t know whether to buy the mag, then CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO ‘What’s in Issue 19’ by our Editor Lindsay Setchell.

People are really loving the magazine here’s a couple of recommendations we’ve had this week…

Barbara: Just started getting the digital editions. Thought at the intro price if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t be out much. Read the current edition, and am now going back to start with #1 and work my way through them. Great magazine!!! Thanks!!

Valery: I’ve had barefoot horses for 10+ years, and felt this magazine might be preaching to the choir. IT’S NOT IN THE LEAST! Just received my first issue and am happily impressed. Great value, great information and no regrets for subscribing. Do yourself and your horse a favour and look into this publication. 👍👍👍👍👍 I couldn’t find a star emoji so give it 5 thumbs up!

Awww shucks thanks ladies ❤️

 

Here’s the link direct to Issue 19

Of course all our mags are available ONLINE always whether they have run out of print or not, so you’ll still be able to catch up.

Happy barefoot reading!

The BHM Team

If you ride without a safety helmet does it mean you really are at greater risk of brain injury from a fall

Riders wearing safety helmets

Some German scientists have now been able to put actual significant figures & evidence forward & concluded horse riders’ brain injury risk is “5-fold higher” without a helmet:

https://buff.ly/2R7e9vb

We ran an article in Issue 14 by a group from the US called Helmet Tough, who were raising awareness for increased potential brain injury caused by riders not wearing helmets & preferring to wear more traditional ‘Cowboy Hats’.

Dawn Champion who is on the cover of  Issue 19 with her horse Lasair, wears a riding helmet with a visor around it, which gives the rider more of a Western look without compromising on safety.

Always better to be safer than sorry!

Happy hard hatting!
The BHM Team

Issue 17 Winter 2018 – Caio’s story, beating laminitis the Natural Wa

Caio's story Issue 17

One of the best LAMINITIS case studies we have seen in a very long time is the one about a horse called Caio, a 9 year old Anglo Arab, who had lived and competed in Portugal as an Endurance horse, until moving to Dubai, UAE with his owner Anna.

His case was an extreme example of a horse who was let down by conventional treatment and was facing a very bleak future, until his owner met Natural Hoof Care Practitioner Jan Brooksbank – then Caio’s luck finally changed.

When we feature articles like this, there is nearly always a recurrent theme running through them. When the diagnosis of laminitis is finally given (and sometimes it can take several tests before diagnosis due to lack of knowledge on this subject), all kinds of treatments are used, always ranging from box rest, remedial shoeing (of all shapes and sizes and contraptions), drugs by the plenty and sometimes hospitalisation but nearly always isolation.

Well Caio was no different and in the article Jan gives us a timeline of how long it took to heal him once all the conventional treatment had stopped. With some shocking photos of before and after, it is an inspirational read for anyone interested in the subject and wanting some positive and uplifting information.

The picture shows one of Caio’s hooves, with the toe ‘relieved’ to expose the damaged laminae in a reverse wedged shoe – needless to say this was just one conventional attempt at trying to help Caio which of course didn’t work and the professionals then moved onto even more elaborate contraptions.

This article is a stark reminder that laminitis and it’s effective treatment is so incredibly misunderstood and is one of the main reasons that many horses never make it as far as Caio did…even though his journey was a tough one, his owner never gave up once they could see him starting to improve.

If you want to read this fascinating story, then it’s in Issue 17.

Still available in Print & Online.

Coming up soon in a future issue, we are going to feature the story of Duncan, who some of you have already met in a video we posted up a few days ago. If you haven’t seen the video of Duncan yet, check back a few posts and you will find it. His story is another extreme case of a horse being let down by conventional treatment, until his owner met the right team of people who could guide her to bring Duncan back to health again. Not to be missed, watch this space for more info on the release of that article.

Don’t let laminitis be the end for your horse!

The BHM Team