Farriers having to stock hoof boots due to customer demand

Putting on a hoof boot

This article was published back in 2012 and even back then it was being suggested that if farriers were going to keep up with the demand of clients wanting to go barefoot, then the most discerning of them would have to start becoming more familiar with hoof boots and offer them as a real alternative to shoes.

Now 6 years later and the demand for hoof boots has never been higher. Manufacturers are becoming smarter at making boots which are even easier to get on and off, fit better, are more flexible, have better cushioning and protection, look cool, last longer and don’t cost the earth.

The fact that these manufacturers are all doing well just goes to prove that barefoot is not quite the niche ‘specialist’ market it used to be.

Find out all you need to know about hoof boots in every issue of the mag. Just look for Hoof Boot News by online hoof boot store @HoofBootique.

And don’t forget that in EVERY issue we give away a FREE PAIR of hoof boots to one or more lucky readers.

Barefoot horses are on the rise…which can only mean one thing…metal shoes are on the decline

Here’s the link to the original article.

Happy Booting!

Lindsay, Editor

Proud to announce we are the new Leg Up For Talent Sponsors for Katy & Wiz!

LUFT Sponsor logo

We are proud to announce that we are the new LegUpforTalent Sponsor for up and coming equine star Katy Perry and her barefoot horse Wizzard. Katy & Wiz, with our support will be able to afford to train more regularly in the pursuit of their goals in equestrian competition…flying the flag for barefoot!

The Leg Up For Talent Program selects dedicated riders who would otherwise struggle to gain sponsorship.

Founder & creator Diane Anselm says, “traditionally, sponsorship is available only to a limited few professionals at the top of our sport, who are able to provide sufficient media exposure to satisfy sponsorship investment. Even at this level, due to the restrictive coverage of the mainstream media, sponsorship has never been in line with the phenomenal achievements of our top riders. At grassroots level, sponsorship is even more difficult to secure, being mainly based on the generosity and good will of companies or passionate individuals. Yet, it is particularly at this level that funding is essential if the early interest of young talent is to be embraced and ability nurtured; so that with continued commitment, passion and ambition they can one day represent their country.”

The Barefoot Horse Magazine are therefore extremely excited to be a sponsor for Katy & Wiz and you will be able to read updates on how she is getting on in future issues of the magazine from Issue 20 onwards, when we’ll properly introduce the pair of them to you all.

Katy said, “being selected to be in the Leg Up For Talent Program was amazing.
It gives normal grassroots riders the chance to work towards their Equestrian goals. Instead of just the elite riders gaining sponsorship, it is given to a normal person who would really benefit from the help.”

Well we are with you Katy & Wiz, bring on the good times ahead!

Here’s the full video on You Tube to properly introduce you all to Katy & Wiz, our Leg Up For Talent stars!

Good luck Katy & Wiz, the BHM community are right behind you!

Anything & everything is possible with your barefoot horse!

Happy barefoot competing!

The BHM Team

p.s. please go give us a thumbs up over at YT, subscribe to our channel & click notifications so you never miss a vid!

p.p.s. visit Katy & Wiz’s FB pages if you want to follow them:

Katy: https://buff.ly/2OiMVD7
Wiz: https://buff.ly/2OmM2JE

p.p.p.s. don’t forget to look out for Katy & Wiz’s first appearance in the mag in the next issue release out on November 1st! Don’t miss it!

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:


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

Well big brother is watching!! ?

Bracy Clark hoof deterioration

One of our recent posts has completely disappeared off Facebook, lots of people shared it and now they cannot find it. It was removed from our page without any notification and one person had a response that the post was SPAM! Many of us have lodged complaints but have yet to receive an explanation.

Come on FB this isn’t good! We need to be able to talk about barefoot and the effect of shoes, as this is, apart from anything else, a fairly big welfare issue which has been ignored for far too long!

If you are interested to know what the post was about, it was talking about a vet, who, just over 200 years ago, when the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was in its infancy, declared that shoeing horses was causing them long term health problems, painful feet and could potentially shorten their lives due to the onset of other biomechanical issues, not just in the feet.

This vet was Bracy Clark and we featured an article about him in Issue 6 by author Linda Chamberlain who wrote a book about him called ‘The First Vet’. At the time he was branded a maverick for his views and so set about to prove his claim that shoes did indeed cause damage to hooves over a period of time. The drawings in the first image show how one of his client’s mare’s hooves changed dramatically over time from being barefoot to then repeatedly shod over a period of 3 years.

The first unshod image shows the mare had hooves with a natural flare, healthy wide frog and sole, images which are familiar to many owners who have barefoot horses….the bottom two images show THE SAME HOOF having gone through dramatic changes, narrowing, lengthening, contraction and the frog, as you can see is no longer the wide healthy frog it once was, just look how much closer the heel bulbs are! The owner of the mare was so freaked out by the changes that she stopped the experiment and had the shoes removed.

How many of us have seen hooves like the distorted, deformed ones that they witnessed after just 3 YEARS of shoeing? I know in my career, I HAVE NEVER EVER come across a shod hoof that had not been distorted by shoeing. HOW CAN WE PROVE THAT? By taking the shoe off, measuring the foot and taking pictures and measurements at every trim, just like Bracy did, and you will see how the foot begins to change BACK TO THE FOOT THE HORSE NEEDS.

However the sad truth? Rarely will feet return to the state they would have been if they had never been shod. The good news though, is they will be functional, become healthier and provide the horse with a foot that he fashions rather than one the human thinks is correct.

There are similarities between the effect of nailed on shoes on dynamic organic hooves, and the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape and size of their feet. It was practiced in China from the Song dynasty until the early 20th century, and bound feet were considered a status symbol as well as a mark of beauty. You only have to do a google search to see their feet were definitely not a thing of beauty and caused great problems and pain in their lives and were irreversible.

Bracy even tried to patent a ‘shoe’ that would allow the horse’s foot to expand and contract…it never took off…oh how we wish Bracy could see how things are changing now in the equine world and all those amazing boots on the market, allowing horse’s feet to do just that! Sorry Bracy, it’s only taken us 200 years to catch on!!

But look how BAREFOOTERS today, just like you and us, are now being censored and branded mad hatters, just like Bracy, who was thrown out of the RCVS for his views!

If you want to read the article, here’s the link to purchase Issue 6, only available online now as all the print copies sold out.

Please Facebook, don’t remove our posts again.

Lindsay, Editor & The BHM Team

NAVICULAR? Why not remove the shoes?

Contracted hoof navicular

That was the title of a Navicular story we published in Issue 14, written by self confessed ‘studs & road nails girl’ Mel Morris, whose horse Ikke went unexpectedly lame and was given the diagnosis of NAVICULAR. She then did something she never thought she’d do in a million years….take the shoes off!

This is just one story of recovery from a dire diagnosis of navicular that we have featured in the magazine, written from the rock face by owners facing endless remedial shoeing, sky high treatment costs for MRI scans, joint injections, bone remodeling drugs, box rest…you name it, it’s all here.

When we started this mag we were never sure what articles would end up in our inbox, but this is a subject many want to shout about from the rooftops, because after taking the shoes off, something that many of them would never have ever contemplated before, their horses began to finally recover.

Here’s a few others:

Issue 15 – Available in Print & Online:
1, 2 Buckle My Shoe, 3, 4 NAVICULAR – another heart warming example of how the cure begins with taking the shoes off!

Issue 11 – Available in Print & Online: Chic’s journey of Navicular Rehabilitation – a fit young & healthy quarter horse with great promise, who was given the damning diagnosis of navicular.

Issue 7 – Available Online Only:
Healing Navicular the Natural Way – a young horse called Gemini diagnosed with navicular in both front feet and her owner was told to go down the remedial shoeing route but instead she decided to take a more unconventional approach!

Issue 5 – Available Online Only: Navicular & Lameness No More! Buddy’s story – this owner had already lost one horse to the dreaded navicular…. now she was facing losing another. When her 6 year old horse Buddy was also diagnosed with the same problem, she thought her world was caving in…. then she found out how going barefoot and changing the diet can be a lifesaver for ‘Navicular’ horses.

And of course 2 articles in ISSUE 19 – Available in Print & Online:

Soundness for Navicular – how to recognize those subtle signs of pain in your horse by Carole Herder

My Navicular Pony – having spent 1000’s on treatment, how one owner went against all conventional advice and took the shoes OFF!

There are more! SEARCH for NAVICULAR it will bring up a list of issues where it appears.

This isn’t just the odd one or two examples, this is happening day in, day out, with more and more horses being diagnosed. There is ALWAYS a pattern and the equine world have seriously got to start waking up to the fact that SHOES, incorrect DIET & MANAGEMENT, are MAJOR factors involved in sending horses to the brink of disaster…some (many) NEVER make it back.

So if you know someone whose horse is in this situation, or maybe it’s you that has been told your horse has got NAVICULAR, then you or your friend need to read these articles – it will change you or your friend’s life and their horse’s FOREVER!

Lindsay, Editor

5 Things All Horses Need

Horse drinking from water trough

Here’s a good article (not ours but we think worthy of noting see link below) – no fancy new feeds or supplements will truly matter without first meeting the foundational principles that are true for all horses, regardless of age, breed, condition or purpose. Here’s a precis of the article:

1. Water – the most important nutrient

Did you know? During cold weather, horses drink less, especially if the water is ice cold. This potentially leads to dehydration – the main cause of colic in the winter. Heating water between 45 and 60 degrees F (7 to 15 degrees C) will promote more water consumption. Be sure the heater has no exposed wires that could electrify the water source.

2. Salt is required daily, regardless of the season

Did you know? In cold seasons, salt helps promote that all-important water consumption. In warm seasons, supplemented salt replaces what is lost from perspiration.

3. Forage is the foundation of the diet – it must flow through the digestive tract 24/7

Did you know? The horse’s stomach produces acid continuously, even when empty. The acid in an empty stomach can lead to the formation of ulcers anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract. The cecum, where fiber is fermented, has its entrance and exit at the top; therefore, it must be full in order to evacuate digested forage. If not, substances sink to the bottom, potentially leading to impactions and sand colic.

An empty stomach causes incredible stress, creating a hormonal response that raises insulin, an inflammatory hormone that can bring on laminitis. Elevated insulin also tells the body to store fat.

Stress from forage restriction can lead to obesity, a damaged metabolic rate, laminitis relapses, and inflammation of the hypothalamic region of the brain, accelerating the development of leptin resistance and even Cushing’s disease.

4. Replace what hay is missing – especially if you are not feeding a mixed species hay

Did you know? Sunlight exposure is needed for vitamin D production. The precursor to vitamin D is naturally found grass hay, but diminishes the longer hay is stored.

5. Movement, companionship and shelter are vital necessities

Did you know? Horses need to move and have the protection of a buddy. Standing in a small area for hours on end (even if part of it is outdoors) takes its toll on your horse’s mental and physical health. So does being isolated from buddies. The stress can be so great that it dramatically diminishes your horse’s quality and length of life by compromising his immune system and hormonal responses.

We talk about diet, management and nutrition endlessy in the mag, so if you are still not sure, find out more by SEARCHING DIET on the mag website: www.barefoothorsemag.com

Diet and management is key to our horses’s health!

The BHM Team

Link to the original article: https://buff.ly/2RtJTKT

Progress doesn’t need qualifications

Progress quote

As is always the way, whenever you choose to do or follow something which is against the perceived ‘norm’, there are those who will ridicule you, belittle you, try to discredit you and perhaps, dare I say it, even attempt to bully you.

When you stick your head above the parapet and tell the world that you have a passion which many don’t agree with, you suddenly become criticised for even wanting to have a difference of opinion.

This is true in all walks of life, but perhaps especially pertinent on social media, where ‘keyboard warriors’ are able to ‘move in’ and take their front seat in the proverbial stone throwing competition, without having to stand face to face in the same room.

Along the way, questions are fired with no real desire to want to know the answer. These questions are not really questions directed for answering but more incredulous aspersions designed to ‘catch out’ the person to show everyone around they are worthless of having a difference of opinion. When questions are duly answered it doesn’t satisfy, so more questions arise with more intensity and, eventually, the question of qualifications will start to rear it’s head. What qualifies you to ‘preach’ to us? What qualifications have you got to ‘back up’ your claims?

No longer is your passion, a wonderful, exciting journey of discovery, it has become a distasteful itch that others wish to scratch incessantly, never finding satisfaction because, truthfully, they have no wish to.

In the barefoot world, I have been lucky to become part of a passionate band of people all across the entire globe, who, often after severe adversity, find a better way of keeping their equines healthy and strong, a way to give that equine true longevity, without a constant need to ‘prop’ them up with aids which fix nothing and only serve to mask a deeper problem which continues to become deeper and deeper.

These passionate people, many of which I have met either in person or virtually, have one thing in common, they are going against a mindset that has its roots deeply driven in tradition and convention, so deep that even those held in high esteem with the highest of qualifications, cannot grasp the simplicity and beauty of it.

And here is the interesting juxtaposition. These horse owners, who have gone against the grain, have taken on research themselves, spoken to others in the ‘same boat’, read articles, joined groups, watched videos, filled up their bookshelves and often, after an immense amount of deliberation, and even more often, totally alone, have taken the plunge to take their horse barefoot. These people in the most part have no qualifications at all to speak of with regards their new found passion. They have no degrees, diplomas, certificates in equine health, science or footcare, they have not studied for years to gain notoriety on their passion, they have just been able to use common sense, an ability to really WANT to change their horse’s lives and to cure the dreadful problems that the ones with the degrees, diplomas and certificates pontificate about but never seem to actually do.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule, there are those who have taken their passion one step further and sought out a qualification so that they can go and help others, because they have been so deeply impressed by what they have witnessed themselves in their own lives, with their own horses, that they now feel the need to go and take this knowledge further, spreading the information wider to help more horses and owners.

Much like this magazine, by being a portal for people to tell their stories, their situations, in the hope that others will resonate with them and it will help them when those with traditional qualifications didn’t.

It is an interesting aspect of human nature, that when all else begins to fail on the attack, they hark back to the qualifications question. In the hope that this, for all those around to see, will eventually clinch the argument and prove that these people with their passion are nothing better than mislead lemmings following a fad that will eventually die out….and worse, people who are spreading lies, untruths, dangerous information which will lead to equines being far worse off rather than they are now. Tradition has been around for years…why change it?

For me? I was one of those people who wanted to take that passion a little further, to help others and try and make the world better for our equines across the globe. I was already a qualified science teacher but I knew little about horses’ feet, or how to help them when they had problems. So I began to follow a passion. I absorbed as much information from every source I could think of, I didn’t, couldn’t let it go. I chewed up and spat out, and rinsed and repeated, with as many nuggets of information as I could find on my subject…much of the time to the detriment of my family life. I was getting deeper into a subject which shocked, amazed and drew me in, and I was confounded why others with the highest of qualifications didn’t ‘get it’. Why did they not understand this? Why were these animals being put to sleep when often a very simple cure was just around the corner? Why were humans so blinkered?

This awful feeling in the pit of my stomach wouldn’t go away and I kept searching. I trained in the UK, in the US and around Europe to competently trim horse’s feet. I spent time with other passionate humans who taught me things to help horses that I will always be so eternally grateful to them. I spent years learning how to handle horses naturally, carefully and calmly and I learnt how to ‘read’ them, such that I rarely ever had problems even with the most difficult of poor equines who were so traumatised by previous experiences that they showed no trust at all. It never took me too long. 

I did gain qualifications, to already add to my degree and post grad certificates…but ‘these’ qualifications were sniffed at because they were not delivered by the traditional establishments and therefore they must have meant nothing, even though by this time, I had been ‘learning’ for years.

I ploughed on. I found insurance so I could protect myself and the horses I worked on. I kept meticulous accounts and learnt the hard way how to run a successful business. I gave up my secure day job and I began to use my ‘new qualifications’ and experience as a teacher, and started to run workshops for owners desperate to learn even more about their passion. I taught others who wanted to take it further and become like me, taking their passion to that wider audience and helping more and more equines. 

It is no longer a passion…it is a way of life. I have set principles that I will never, cannot ever shift away from because I have seen for my own eyes the dreadful consequences of doing just that. I have been hurt emotionally and physically along the way, mostly by humans, hardly ever by horses, and I know how it feels to be that person beginning their passion, desperate to help their horse and feeling alone and isolated in the vacuum of the traditional world.

But PROGRESS. What a funny thing it is. As George Bernard Shaw once said:

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

Progress will never stop. It is a train that if you wish to jump on will take you on the most amazing journey you will ever go on in your life. The progress train stops for no-one. It keeps on chugging down those tracks, occasionally attempts are made to de-rail it, but no-one EVER succeeds, until one day, the train is bursting from the seams because more and more people want to jump on board….because if there is one thing about humans….they don’t really want to be left behind. 

Have a thoughtful day

Lindsay, Editor