Debs Natural Hoof Care

Natural Hoof Care for Barefoot Horses


Why consider natural trimming or barefoot hooves?


Horses adapt to captivity. Our requests of them are typically in opposition to their true nature. In response, they adjust mentally, physically, socially and emotionally – often compromising to some degree. Providing for their needs in the most natural ways possible (a.k.a. “as nature intended”) ensures optimal health and well-being, which in turn, increases their performance and builds quality relationships with their caretakers.

It is known that the following are imperative for the well being of horses (click on links below):

  • Natural living conditions – freedom of movement in an open space 24/7 with other horses
  • Exercise – as much as possible - 10 miles per day is optimum
  • Nutrition – utilizing pasture and hay analysis with supplementation as necessary and avoiding sugars

And most importantly - 

  • Hoof care – proper trims that follow the natural wear that the horse would receive living naturally as in the wild
It is vitally important to remember that several factors affect hooves for better or for worse. Just one adjustment or change will have an affect (for better or for worse) - especially over time. Natural trims are a must, but you must also address the entire situation and make necessary adjustments to diet, exercise and nutrition. The owner, vet, trimmer and other equine specialists must work from all angles for the best benefit. Only the owner can regulate the horse's diet, environment, food intake, exercise, etc. The best, most consistent trim schedule in the world will not fix an obese horse on a rich pasture - that horse will still founder repeatedly and will not maintain a tight hoof wall connection.

Natural trimming focuses on establishing or maintaining correct hoof form and function relative to the horse's physiology as it would exist in the wild environment. It is not natural or healthy for a horse to wear shoes. In most cases, shoes cause more harm than help. Although the signs of injury may not be apparent or recognized for years, the horse will quietly suffer and continue to perform what is requested.


Interested? Begin by studying research about wild horses of different localities with varied terrains. Rediscover the true nature of horses and the incredible ways they thrive. Your horse is counting on you – you may save a horse's life.


The old adage is still true:  no hoof, no horse.










Deborah Rakaska



© 2011 Photography by Deborah Rakaska - All rights reserved.
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