Skip To Content

Update: Transforming to Hoof Boots

I am so grateful to my friend, Mary Sutherland, a horse trainer for 30 years and a certified Parelli instructor for 8+ years, for introducing me to Carole of Cavallo in Blanco, Texas at the “America’s Favorite Trail Horse” event. I was entry #220 and despite my horse, Tippy, starting to display some signs of discomfort, we had a fabulous time at the event. Tippy had gradually developed a more narrow foot, his heels were too high and he was showing signs of contracted heels and some discomfort, especially when descending a steep hill. Carole took photos of Tippy’s front feet with his shoes on and mentioned she would be interested to hear of his progress over the next year with our transitioning him to barefoot. She felt that this would be a good “show me” story, especially for those of us who grew up in the world of competition with horses and always believed that metal shoes were a necessary evil.

This is my first progress report. Trimmer, Luke Tanner, of New Hampshire & Arizona, pulled Tippy’s shoes on May 15th and did a first trim, removing much of the white/dead sole to expose the darker, hard sole underneath. Luke removed some of the heel creating a more natural angle and putting the hoof more centered under Tippy’s weight . Today, Tippy is a little sore so I turned him out in our paddock where the footing is mostly shavings/grindings/sand. Luke said Tippy would most likely be a little sore for a few days. If I take him for a walk/short ride, I’ll put my Cavallo sport hoof boots on. I ordered the gel pads and pastern wraps today to have on hand to use as needed. We’re scheduled every six weeks for a trim.

Tippy’s shod contracted foot.

Metal shoe removed.

Tippy’s first barefoot trim.

I really like this side view. Look at these nice natural barefoot feet! YAY! I will keep you posted as we go.

Thank you from Tippy and me…hoping to help others horses through our story.

Donna Jensen

Previous Dutch Henry’s Stories of Horses and Their People Next Spring is here!