Belle - Healthy Performing Hooves

Trimmer: James Welz, Phoenix, AZ

This is my own horse, Gezebella. "Belle" is a 4 year old branded RPSI Warmblood mare (and future Grand Prix dressage horse). Her feet are a good example of soft terrain hooves that have adapted to hard/dry terrain. She has been trimmed by James since we purchased her as a late yearling. Even though she is not conditioned to rocky ground, she is fairly comfortable traveling right over rocks. Other than a little bit of high-low syndrome so common in domestic horses (she eats with her left foot forwards and right foot backwards), her hooves are pretty much problem-free. Okay, the one drawback is that her hooves grow like weeds, and can sometimes be a lot of work to keep trimmed to the level of perfection that I expect. -- Yvonne, Sept. 2007

Update, May 2014: Belle is now 11 years old. And her hooves are absolutely amazing. Over the years, her bare hooves have carried me to countless numbers of clinics and horse shows, and I have never, ever had to think about her feet as an issue. Once we even warmed up for a show in a parking lot on concrete like dirt - not a problem! She's never been lame even once. While I've observed most of the other "normal" horses going through constant bouts of lamenesses. These same hooves can carry me through an occasional rocky trail ride in the mountains, and still no problems. She never wears boots, simply not ever needed (typical for horses trimmed in our system). I expect many, many more years of enjoyable riding on these healthy hooves, that make it possible for horses to have a LONG lifetime of total soundness. And what can be more priceless than that?! After all, it is in their "golden" years when most horses finally get to that place of excellent training where you can really, truly enjoy them.

Note: In the Gallery, we present a few photo examples of barefoot-trimmed horses. All photos are owned and copyrighted by The Horse's Hoof, and taken of our personal client' horses. As such, they do not represent all "barefoot" trimming, but rather the safe, sensible, non-invasive, effective trimming system that we personally have spent over a decade developing. If you like what you see, please visit Hoof Help Online for more details. If you don't understand or don't like what you see, that is unfortunate, because our record and results are phenomenal. You might want to rethink what you believe or what you've been told. This simply works. In fact, our hooves kick butt. And James and Yvonne ride their own horses - and their hooves are always sound.

Belle has shown in many dressage shows over the past year, earning 70% scores at Training level, and frequent scores of "8" for her gaits.

Do you want to breed feet like this?
Hoof quality is definitely passed on through good hoof genes. While proper care can help make genetically-poor hooves become adequate, they will never be truly outstanding. To attain truly outstanding hooves, you need to start with genetically-good hooves and then keep them that way through proper care and trimming. Start out with good hooves by breeding to horses with good hooves that pass on their good hoof quality!

Note: Photos are provided for reference and educational purposes only, and are not meant to indicate guidelines for trimming. Every horse should be trimmed as an individual. Opinions vary as to what constitutes "correct" but keep in mind - there are NO PERFECT FEET, not even in the wild. Owners are cautioned to seek professional help for the trimming of their own horse's feet. Owner trimming of pathological feet is not advised. Photos may not be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any way.

©2000-2014 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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