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Re: Barefoot

I am having similar results with our barefoot horses. The wear is NOT
exceeding the growth. In fact their feet are growing like mad, and we still
have to rasp their feet down every couple of weeks. We've been conditioning
approximately 50-75 miles a week barefoot, and just did the Bear Valley 50
barefoot last weekend. We do something with the horses everyday, so it's not
like they sit in the pasture in between rides. Today we trailered to an area
area us that has firm ground with lotsa rocks and good climbs. The terrian
and scenery is almost identical to Tevis logging road trails. The horses
felt real good. We did a loop of about 15 miles, and took it easy at mostly
an easy trot/ walk. We checked their feet after the ride, and they did not
wear down at all! And this is very abrasive terrian. (We previously have
done some faster  workouts on this trail at higher intensity speed with the
same results --- no wear at all from the beginning of the ride to the end).
Actually, our horses have grown since the ride last 50 on Saturday, and need
to be rasped down a bit. I am going to start keeping a log with before/after
pictures. My technical engineer boyfriend's theory is that with each foot
step it sends a message to the horse's body "to grow, grow, grow". With
increased movement, maximum hoof mechanism, and circulation in the foot,  it
causes the foot to actually grow rather than wear down. I am hearing several
others all over the country conditioning endurance horses barefoot that are
having the same great results. After what I am seeing, I have no doubt in my
mind that our horses can consistantly do the miles, and even multi-days

----- Original Message -----
From: Lynette Helgeson <>
To: Truman Prevatt <>
Cc: RideCamp <>; <>
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2001 7:24 PM
Subject: RC: Barefoot

> Hello Truman,
> Tuesday, September 25, 2001, 7:29:48 AM, you wrote:
> TP> While we were out west this summer we did 150 miles in a 8 day period.
> TP> Valley Fire ride in Montanta and then two days of the Shamrock in WY.
I had my
> TP> horse shod with new shoes (St. Croix Eventers) about three days before
> TP> Valley Fire ride. After that 150 miles, the back shoes were worn to
the point
> TP> that you could literally cut with them. I was fortunate they did not
> TP> The were worn very thin. There were virtually no nail heads left.  My
> TP> has a big trot and does slide some on his hind feet, so he probably
> TP> shoes more than some horses.
> We have been doing the natural trim and leaving our horses barefoot
> for two years. Before that we kept them shoed. I had a chestnut that
> had to be shoed in the spring as soon as you started to ride him, or
> else he would wear down his feet into nothing. I was just trail riding
> at the time. Now I do trail riding and distance riding  and we have been
> riding him three times as much barefoot and we HAVE to trim him every 6
weeks or
> his hooves get too long.
> We have 7 horses and they are all barefoot, we have 5 riding in our
> family. This spring we went on a ride and covered 120 miles in 5 days.
> Most of this ride was on gravel roads. We averaged a speed of 6-7 mph.
> All of our horses were barefoot. We had no soreness and all of our
> horses flew down the roads. Their hooves were in great shape by the
> end of the ride.
> Our horses hooves are A lot tougher and in much, much better shape
> since we went to a natural trim. We did a two day LD in the ND
> Badlands with some of our horses. Their hooves did not even crack.
> TP> But if a horse can wear 1/4 to 3/8 inch of steel off in 150 miles I do
not see
> TP> how a horse would be able to do a significant number of miles without
shoes -
> TP> particularly in abrasive footing.  When hoof wear exceeds hoof growth,
> TP> either you stop riding or put on shoes.
> There have been plenty posts to explain this. It has to do with the
> functioning of a healthy hoof being much more efficient and lasting
> much longer then a steel shoe.
> TP> Now I may be missing something in all the post on the  barefoot horse.
> TP> think a person should be able to ride barefooted in a ride if they
want. The
> TP> only way we will know in the long run if barefoot horses will hold up
> TP> endurance is to get them out there and let the trail sort it out.
> I don't think this is a passing fad. Too many amazing results with it.
> I think you will see more and more barefoot horses in performance
> sports. I know I like what I have seen so far.
> Best regards,
>  Lynette                  
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