Please share your trimming success story with us here!
I have had to discontinue making this an online interactive page because I was getting about 1000 spams a day. I apologize that this is less convenient, but the spams were increasing exponentially.
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Two links with some great rehab stories:
Several interesting cases, including this horse:
(Fischer Equine Lameness Foundation, MN)
Lily, a knuckled-over mare:
A compilation of barefoot success stories,
edited by Yvonne Welz
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 944-4877
Age, Breed, Problems: Shetland/Mini 4 yrs, foundered twice
Trim for others?: Possibly
Not finding any solutions and solid answers for the foundering problem my pony was facing, I did some research and found out about the Strasser trim. I implemented it the best I could by instructing my horseshoer to please trim her to a 30 degree hairline and to back the toe up. There was evident relief, even though the bars and frog were left alone. Later, after attending a Martha Clinic, I tweaked and continue to tweak the trim on my pony. Over a period of 2 months we have gone from flat soles with long skinny frogs and oblong feet to rounder, concave, shorter, wider frogs and dramatic soundness improvements. Today, 2 months later she is galloping, bucking, and trotting happily with her "herd". She is still healing, but what a difference! I am very grateful for the knowledge that Strasser and her students have made available. I have every confidence in the correctness of this trimming method. While every horse is different and may require a slight variation of the trim - on the whole from what I have observed with many horses is that it is very successful.
Contact Info: 907-283-5688
Age, Breed, Problems: 18/Quarter Horse/ Foundered
Trim for others?: Yes
Rescued an 18 yr old QH/Gelding in 2000. Foundered in all four feet. Foundered again after a "specialist" applied orthopedic shoes, & burned the bottom of his soles (to "toughen" them up, she said). Removed shoes 3 months later & began trimming on my own after reading an article on the "Strasser Method" in "Natural Horse Magazine" by Yvonne Welz. Went to 2 clinics, & became a "Strasser Method" student in 2001-2002. My horse is recovering nicely in spite of my initial inexperience in learning to trim. He will be used this summer for first time since his rescue in 2000. His demeanor & whole-horse attitude has changed for the better. He is not 100% sound yet, but his progress is steady. Without this trim (& lifestyle change) he would not have survived. I was told by a farrier to not waste my time, he would never be rideable & that I should euthanise him. Good thing I did not listen. Now my friends say he is one of the best horses they have ever seen, & he moves like a dream!
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 18/Quarter Horse/ Foundered/ 1year/QH/ligament problems
Trim for others?: not yet
Dr. Strasser has become such an inspiration, and Hero in my life because of her knowledge she has shared. We were able to save our QH and save the life of a little colt in just a week's time. With proper living conditions and trimming, he is standing straighter, and able to gallop (for the very first time EVER). We believe it was because of the farrier he has the problems he has today. (The farrier threw him to the ground repeatedly, and knocked his hips out, causing ALL sorts of problems..) and, if it weren't for Dr. Strasser, the baby would have been shot because of his "uncorrectable problems." I now refuse to ride any shod horse, and cringe at the sight of old nail holes.
Contact Info: Rt66Kix@aol.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 10 y/o QH, former racehorse and barrel racer; thin soles, thin walls, contracted heels
Trim for others?: not yet!
Contact Info: 816-524-4741 firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 6 year old, Quarter Horse, contracted feet and heels
Trim for others?: No, but will help them get started.
My mare was 4 years old when I had a friend at a clinic point out that my mare's feet were contracted. She had been barefoot up till that clinic and I had shoes put on her. This friend noticed a hoof print outside in the mud were the ends of the shoe was almost meeting. She was telling me about it and I know that was my horse's foot. She wanted to see and then told me about Dr. Strasser's book. I ordered it as soon as I got home. I went to a team penning and my horse was dropping her hips really bad. I took her to the Vet the next day and he said she had sore heels and to get the shoes off. He said if I did not I would have a 4 year old with navicular. He offered to trim her and thin out the walls to allow the heels to spread. I told him I had a book coming and wanted to try it first. So that is how I got started doing Dr. Strasser's trim. So far it had been how she was trimmed that got her this way. It really made me upset that none of the farriers could recognize that there was a problem with her feet. I knew if I did not learn how to do this myself, I would have a navicular horse. I have been trimming my mare for 2 years now and it has been a slow process, but have made changes. Her foot has rounded out and not oblong any longer. We have gained 1/4 inch in width. Heels have expanded, but still have more to go. This mare is very comfortable now and is in less pain. This horse was very quiet before the trim and now has much more energy. I believe she was such pain before. I know it is just going to keep getting better, but takes time for the coffin bone to remodel.
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: Arabian gelding 9 years old shod 6 years, long toes, stretched white line, contracted, tender on anything but grass and sand when barefoot, starting to toe out badly
Trim for others?: Maybe
I learned via internet sources that while
Cody was barefoot he was actually deteriorating - my (then) farrier
said his white line was stretched and that wouldn't go away, but that it
wouldn't hurt anything. When I said he was tender on rocks, he offered to shoe
him. I began trimming him myself Oct. 2001 after a Mike LaGrone
clinic; then a group of like-minded barefooters
invited Kurt Schlagel, CHCS student, to
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: Paint 10 yrs diagnosed navicular
Trim for others?: Maybe
I just bought this horse
Age, Breed, Problems: 19,QH,diagnosed with arthritis plus really bad fencing accident
Trim for others?: Yes
LONG!! I live in a place with few horses and
fewer trained farriers. Over the years I found it necessary
to learn how to shoe myself. I took over my own shoeing when I started seeing a
twisted hoof capsule on both my horses due to an imbalance. When
my farrier moved away I took over one of his clients
who wouldn't take no for an answer. There is one farrier
left in this area that most people use. Skipper, not my horse, lived in a stall
for more than 10 years with little or no turnout...his only exercise was when
the owner rode. He had many, many lamenesses and he
looked a lot older than he actually was. He was sold a few years ago and moved
to a barn further down the road where he was turned out most of the time. He
had to learn how to be a horse :-/ The one farrier that was left here began shoeing him at this point.
He was becoming very stiff and the alpha mare began picking on him. At one
point she kicked his shoulder and chipped a bone. He got even worse. He was
diagnosed with arthritis and put on very expensive medication...$120 each
month. Then he got cornered by the mare and tried to jump the fence and
failed....this fence has the most powerful fence charger that you can
get...designed to keep in the bull that used to walk through lesser chargers.
He was constantly zapped for who knows how long...when he finally got out he
was almost dead. His hind legs were completely shredded. If it were my horse I
probably would have had him put down at this point. The owner chose not to and
he began the long road to recovery. The farrier
managed to get his shoes off and then he was just trimmed. The owner was told
she would probably never ride him again. He was separated from the other horses
and had to be forced to move. Eventually he started healing and moving around
on his own a bit. His front feet were chipping so the
owner had the farrier put the front shoes back on
him. I discovered Dr. Strasser's methods quite by
accident....I was looking online for help in shoeing a behaviorally challenged
horse. Someone suggested barefoot and led me to the barefoot egroups. I saw right away that it made sense! I studied it
intensely for a year and then decided to try it on my own horses. I've had no
hands-on help...just the internet. But I also had experience with a rasp and
hoof knife and had studied hooves a lot before starting to shoe my own. When my
friend saw that it was successful she decided to try it on her 3 horses that I
was still shoeing. Eighteen months after Skipper's accident...wounds still not
completely healed....the owner decided to leave his shoes off for the winter
and got the farrier to trim him. A week later she
called me to look at his feet because he was walking on his toes. He had high
heels, overgrown bars, frogs about 1/2 inch below the level of the hoof wall,
severe contraction, a twisted hoof capsule, and was completely unbalanced. I
trimmed him and sent pics to Lisa Huhn
Contact Info: email@example.com, 704-630-6617
Age, Breed, Problems: mulitple
Trim for others?: No, but I'll happily refer to my wonderful farrier :) .
Our story starts about one year ago. We had a Morgan who had weak, shelly feet. He just could not keep shoes on. For lack of any other options, the farrier pulled his shoes off, and we hoped that his feet would toughen up. He went from barely able to walk on the gravel drive, to trotting on it soundly. No chips. The next horse is an aged gentleman with navicular. All the conventional methods had been tried (wedge shoes, etc...) This horse had been retired because he could hardly walk. Once again, we saw tremendous improvement. He is now trotting and cantering around his pasture, playing with his buddies. The third horse had such contracted heels, that the bulbs pushed together and looked like an arrowhead. This horse was so bad that our farrier asked to meet with the vet to confer. They tried a few different shoeing methods, nothing worked. So, the farrier pulled the shoes to see what would happen. Again, the horse improved dramatically. At this point, I got on the internet and really started researching. I ordered and read "A Lifetime of Soundness" and then gave it to our farrier. Turns out, he was instinctively doing pretty much the same trim (no, they didn't teach it in horse shoeing school). He has been doing lots of his own research. At the end of this month, I am going with my farrier, and one other person to our first Strasser Clinic. We can't wait! Oh, and yesterday we took 6 of our barefoot horses on a hunter pace. Over the rocks, thru the woods, into the rivers. All the horses seemed happy and comfortable, and at the end all of their feet looked pretty much the same as when we started. A few were tender on gravel, but it would be nothing to just slip on a pair of hoof boots if we needed to ride on gravel a lot.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 5 year old Trakehner mare, no initial apparent problems
Trim for others?: Only if they come to our farm
"Truly Scrumptious" is an impeccably bred Trakehner filly, born in 1997. Her full brothers and sisters (7 of them are very successful. She was inspected in 2000 by the American Trakehner Association. In what I thought then to be right, we put front shoes on her. She was extremely difficult to shoe, especially when it came to nailing. Her inspection result were all 7's with two exceptions: She got a 6 for her legs because of a slight "conformation problem" in the right front and an 8 for her trot. We waited to start her under saddle till she was 4 years old. The summer of her 4th year she was started lightly without any accidents. Meanwhile, she was barefoot and trimmed regularly, but always with problems. In the fall she started bucking. Turned out she needed to be trimmed differently (too much bar material); then the bucking stopped. In February of this year Martha Olivo came to teach a clinic and I learned about the importance of trimming to the dirtline and seeing the whole hoof correctly. For the first time this young mare stands still while trimming. Her trot is now a 9 at least. Without Martha's training with Dr. Strasser and her own ability to teach a natural trim, we would not have ever gotten such stunning results. I now trim all my horses myself and they are doing excellent. They have more reach and impulsion. They are lighter on their feet and more willing to work.
Contact Info: 765-397-3789 email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: Founder /13 yr /TWH cross
Trim for others?: No, but could help them trim
My mare had a history of undetermined bouts of lameness and frequent abscesses that continuous front shoes and pads helped for two years. The entire summer of 2000 she was lame or off, the farrier didn't know what to do anymore and one vet couldn't find anything wrong, either. X-rays finally showed severe rotation, and that vet recommended egg bar shoes with wedges. Just a few days prior to that being done, I discovered Dr. Strasser's trimming method and it made much more sense. Shoes were pulled and heels lowered. It was really difficult in the beginning because she was so sore and I was basically learning as I went on what I now recognize as very damaged feet. Most of my information has been learned from the internet, but an early clinic with Martha Olivo helped tremendously. Then hosting a clinic with her, June 2001, so she could see and trim this horse, helped even more but we still had a long way to go. The summer of 2001 was much different. I watched this mare gradually start moving normally. She had always being short-strided, but she began to overstride! More recently she only has trouble on frozen ruts, otherwise she can run and buck and looks wonderful, she trots freely on pavement and walks across gravel previously avoided. Martha was able to trim her again March 2002 and correct a few things in my trimming, but we're almost there. A big thank you to Dr. Strasser and everyone making this information available.
Contact Info: 765-397-3789 firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: TWH cross/14yrs/probable founder, stretched white lines, some contraction, tender on rocks
Trim for others?: No but could help them trim
This gelding never had lameness problems except for an occasional abscess. Shoes only during the best riding weather for a few months per year about ten years ago, otherwise barefoot. Since discovering Dr. Strasser's trim and trying to learn on my own, what's good for one is good for all and I needed the practice. Even my previous farrier confirmed how much better this horse's feet were becoming. I had always thought shoes were necessary to ride our gravel roads. He's gone from avoiding rocks to freely choosing to trot on all but the sharpest of stones while ridden, so far. Now I also have to learn to ride better because he's a handful! I've had help from Martha Olivo with this horse too, she's trimmed him June 2001 and March 2002. I also trim my 33yr old grade mare that always had great feet. She also wore shoes in the past for riding on gravel because of stumbling, and again, because I thought it necessary. Her feet now look even better and I believe this trim will make her senior years even better and longer.
Contact Info: email: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 9 yr old Appendix Gelding; Navicular Syndrome
Trim for others?: Not qualified
I have owned my horse three years. He was on and off lame the entire time. The last year, lameness was worse and continual; worse with work. He was diagnosed with navicular syndrome in 1998 and put on isoxuprine with shoes and pads. In spring 2001 I took him to be evaluated again to the University of Minn. Vet Hospital. He received a complete lameness workup, ie, x-rays, ultra sound, nerve blocking. They found no changes in the navicular bone and simply diagnosed him with soft tissue soreness in the right foot. I was told to ask my farrier to tweak around with his shoeing. My horse only got progressively more lame and I was advised to just give up and ship him. I persevered and discovered the Strasser method. He was trimmed with the Strasser trim in December 2001 and not just three short months later he is sound and I am riding him again. Thank you so much, Dr. Strasser!! Patty Hansen
Location: Hazel Green,
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 6 yr. old QH gelding: severe contraction, high heels, flat footed
Trim for others?: Not at this time
I have a QH I purchased 3 1/2 yrs. ago that came to me with feet in very bad shape. My farrier at the time, managed to make his feet look awesome during the 1 yr. he shod him. The horse seemed to move sound until one day the bottom fell out! He had a quarter crack at the coronet band, and was lame. I was referred to another vet who had his own shoer, 2 hr. trailer ride, different type of shoes put on and a patch over the crack. 2nd time I had to haul down there, he shod him, re-patched him and 3 days later...I HAD A VERY LAME HORSE!!! Switched shoers again, (recommendation of another vet), he shod him for 7 months and still lame. In desperation I called upon Charles, he believes in barefoot and has gone through a Strasser clinic and clinics with Martha. He came and said to pull his shoes off! I was very apprehensive, since his feet and hoof wall were so damaged already I didn't know how this would help. He pulled off the shoes, and in 3 weeks I began riding him again. He came up sore last week, and I wrote about it on here and called upon Charles again. This time I had attended one clinic with Martha, so over the phone he told me to look at his frog and see if it was grown down below the hoof wall and if so trim it up a little. Well, it was and I did, and there was a bruise under there, too. I am happy to say, my horse since yesterday has been a fireball again and seems to be doing GREAT! He is still flat-footed, but, I know it takes a while to undo the damage caused over years of improper shoeing. I honestly feel I can ride him right now with the way he's acting, and believe me, I haven't really gotten to ride him in over a year! I am seeing success right here in my back yard, and I own 3 other horses that have not ever had shoes o, and as long as they live with me, they won't! I am so happy to have been enlightened when it comes to the health of my animals, and after attending a clinic, to be able to help them myself in small ways instead of having to "wait for the farrier to arrive."
Age, Breed, Problems: 12 Yr. Saddlebred, foundered
Trim for others?: yes
In May of 1991 our 12 year old saddlebred foundered. We had only had her for a year. I was
told she was barefoot all her life with no previous problems. I immediately
called my farrier and my vet. The vet x-rayed her
front feet. The left was rotated to 12 degrees and the right was at about 8
degrees. His instructions were to back up toes, give her bute morning and night, and dry lot her. My farrier was shocked that he didn't recommend shoes. Seeing
that at that time I thought the farrier probably knew
best; I asked the vet about shoes. He said reverse shoes would be OK. I had
them put on. She seemed better for about a day or two. About two days later a
friend came into my shop with a very good friend of hers. We started talking about
the founder. She immediately told me to get the shoes off. She told me that her
horse was put down due to founder and since that time she had been researching
Gretchen's site. She gave me the site address and I began my mission. I
immediately called my farrier and told him to come
pull shoes and drop her heels. He thought I was crazy (after all, the shoes
were only on for 5 days). He would only lower her heels 3 degrees at a time. He
told me he could not take any more off for at least two weeks. That night she
was pacing the fence line. I knew she was feeling better. I asked my farrier to come out sooner, that she was looking better
already. He said he would not compromise the horse by taking more off. Well,
needless to say she relapsed since he refused to come out sooner. In the
meantime I was listening to everyone under the sun tell me what to do, when in
my heart I knew Strasser's trim was what she needed.
I called an old farrier in to help me out. He called
my vet again and the vet told him to put on pads and shoes again. He told me
that he had helped other horses before and that the trim would not do it. This
was the stupidest thing I've ever done, but I let them put on the shoes and
pads. The bad thing was that she literally had no hoof because of the way the farrier was trimming her. Her wall was shorter than the
sole. After he put on the natural balance shoes. It
only took a few days for her soles to be so terribly bruised that she could no
longer stand. It seemed that it was crushing her sole. I had an emergency
pulling of the shoes. She was really in bad shape now. I was continuing to bute her just so she could stand.
I couldn't stand it any more. I purchased a set of knives, a rasp, a Dremel, and headed out to try for my
myself. I was doing such a little bit, it really wasn't helping much. I
was preparing myself and my daughter for the possibility that I would have to
put her down. My last hope was to have
Contact Info: 614-481-5498 email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 13 yo, QH, Toe Crack, High Heels, Overgrown Sole and Bars
Trim for others?: No, but could get them experienced help
I first read Dr. Strasser's
book "Lifetime of Soundness" and Jaime Jackson's "Horse Owners
Guide to Natural Hoof Care" in June 1999 (through internet research). My
horse came with shoes (purchased January 1999) and I suspected they could be
related to her head bob, toe crack, and lack of energy when riding. Arranged a
phone consult with Jaime (June 2000) and pulled the shoes. At the time I
boarded at a facility where full turnout was not an option and she was forced
to stall 16 hours per day. For the first couple weeks, she could barely walk at
times after stalling. I did not comprehend at the time how critical full
turnout is when pulling shoes and I'm fortunate she never foundered. She
continued to have the head bob, toe crack, and lack of energy and I submitted
pictures of her feet to Gretchen late March 2001. She referred me to someone
who could help me. She had high heels, and overgrown sole and bars. She was
also clubby in the RF where the toe crack was. I committed to having her
trimmed (by a CHCS student) every three weeks (and I learned how to basically "emory board" in between), moved her to full turnout,
daily soaking, and riding as much as possible. Immediately after the first trim
Contact Info: TJZRanch@aol.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 13 yr Quarter horse gelding - ouchy on rocks
Trim for others?: no
After 3 years of barefoot riding - without a problem - we moved to a new location and started riding on gravel roads. My Quarter horse, Black, got ouchy on the rocks and I had him shod. I never believed shoes were good for a horse, but did not want to see him in pain. My farrier told me the only way Black could be ridden on the gravel roads was in shoes.
After attending a clinic with Martha Olivo - she trimmed Black in a natural style and connected me with Dr Strasser's books. I have continued to read and learn - following many barefoot advocates - about the Strasser style of trimming. I have followed the guidelines to natural horse keeping - out 24/7 - daily exposure to water - work on hard surfaces and varied terrain etc. After 1 year Black is not only walking on gravel without a problem, but he willingly trots, canters and gallops on the gravel roads when we ride -- he is very happy and healthy! I now maintain all 5 of my horses barefoot in with the Strasser guidelines for trimming and horse keeping. Thanks Dr. Strasser!
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 336-492-7978
Age, Breed, Problems: multiple
Trim for others?: Yes. I am a professional farrier.
Please see Debi Stocker's above post for success stories.
Professional Farrier. I am well versed in the natural barefoot trim and living conditions. I have attended a Strasser Clinic, and will continue to further my education. I take extra time to explain to my clients exactly how and what I am doing. I welcome questions. I have a number of clients happy to give a recommendation.
Contact Info: email@example.com/574-287-6506
Age, Breed, Problems: approx. 11, Paint , founder due to allergic reaction to medication
Trim for others?: ??
Date: 14 May 2002
Hi, I just wanted to share a similar story that seems to be sort of common. I am not sure how this compares to the following methods, but it seems similar to what we have done. I have a paint mare that was in foal with her first baby several years ago. She was around four at the time, maybe five. She came home from the trainers/breeders and was shortly thereafter diagnosed with strangles. We doubted the vets opinion, as we thought it was a sliver from a wood board that the mare liked to hang her head over. So the vet wanted to treat her with antibiotics no matter what the cause was. We went with the vet's view (they know more than us, right!) She was on the medication for two days and one morning I went to turn the mares out and she did not touch her food. I moved her outside and she continued to talk to me. Finally I figured out that she could not bend her neck to eat due to the shots she was getting. The vet came out and said she was having a reaction to the medication and checked her feet. Said she was ok and changed the medication. Two more days went by, and by this time the mare could not walk. I was in tears.... The vet was back out. Checked her feet again and guess what she was foundering. I cried and cried. She was maybe three months in foal. The vet did a blood test on her, and sure enough, she was at toxic levels for the antibiotic--she never did have strangles. The vet then pulled her shoes off (which was a joke, I normally do not shoe unless they are getting used a lot, and she was. (We tend to believe that a horse is better in the natural state.) Our farrier puts shoes on to stay on and it took the vet over an hour to take two shoes off.) The vet set us up for the upcoming vet calls, telling us what to expect. The puss pockets and fever in the foot. The mare could not walk. We had been told to put shoes on her, to sell her, that she would never be good again. After the vet had charged us a ton of money and not really seeing any improvement, we decided to take her to our old-time farrier. It was so gross, he dug her foot out until he got to the infection in both feet, dumped some formaldehyde on her feet to stop the infection, trimmed the toes off of her front feet (our farrier already kept her lower than most on the heels) and sent her on her way. To our amazement she walked off the trailer, the best that she had walked in weeks. We then started a weekly trimming session on the mare. Or whenever we noticed that she was getting a little ouchy in her walk. My husband went out and bought a rasp and a pair of clippers, and kept the mare's toes chopped off so that she would roll over easier. This was the best money ever spent on her. The farrier would then do his main trim job about once a month. Her nails seemed to grow much quicker than anyone else's, and still do . The farrier continued to have to clean the sole of her foot out as it would grow really quickly. He had a couple of good clean-outs to get all the infection out. After a good year of doing trimming in this method the mare was getting back to "normal" if you call it . We continued to do more trimming on her for the next year or so. Now seven years later the mare gets around well. I have never had her feet x-rayed, but she does well. After all she went through she just hangs around and gives us some nice paint babies. We do ride her occasionally, but not long or hard. We don't want to have anything happen to her, as she does produce a nice quality baby (and spot, too!) I guess my suggestion is to stay as natural with the animals as possible. Nature is better. Shoes are ok if you have a need for them, but most of the time it is unnecessary. Let the horses have room to move and stretch. I have seen too many horse people try to do what they think is best ....ex. stalling, shoeing, too many supplements--and end up hurting the animal.
Contact Info: http://bigtimberranch.homestead.com/welcome.html
Age, Breed, Problems: 19 yr old TN Walker, had first bout at age 5, and many other painful bouts since
Trim for others?: ?
Stepper was really having a painful bout with
laminitis a few years ago. I had been monitoring him closely for years (due to
previous attacks), but somehow he got a bad case. Anyway, somehow I found
Gretchen or she found me. She came out several times and taught me a lot and
I've had great success, and so has Stepper. I rode him last weekend and we were
flying all over those trails, he really felt good. He's 19, had several serious
bouts with laminitis starting at age 5, but the trim works. I still monitor his
pasture and feed intake. He is muzzled on pasture most of the day, but gets 2
to 3 hours of free time without the muzzle every day. At night he is kept off
the pasture and fed grass hay. He gets carrots and apples and a handful of
pellets and blackoil sunflower seeds twice a day. In
the morning I make sure he gets a flake of hay in his stomach before muzzling
him. I highly recommend Best Friend Equine Muzzle, but I add a couple of small
holes to allow for better grazing. Otherwise, he got frustrated and just quit
trying to graze and stood in the leanto all day--not
good, you want movement and exercise. The extra holes provide him just enough
to keep him interested and trying. I am really thankful to Gretchen for all her
efforts in helping fight laminitis, a horse's worst enemy. Tom
When I first saw Tom and Stepper, Stepper was very sore, contracted and rotated. He was oozing abscesses everywhere; you could smell him 15' away. When I got home, I had to disinfect my tools, my clothes--everything. Even the bottoms of my shoes picked up the scent just walking on ground he had stepped on. He improved soon after the first trim. I went back one more time. Tom had me look at the other horses. One, a colt, was much worse than the others. I asked why. Tom said the farrier was still doing the colt, but that he (Tom) was doing the others. I said, fire this guy, you are doing better! Tom really picked up on what I was showing him very fast. The next time I called, wondering why I had not heard from him in a while, his wife said he was out on trail on Stepper, and that Stepper was fully back in action again. Tom picked up on what I was showing him about the trim and really followed through; he was rewarded with a quick recovery. The muzzle he mentions is something I told him about. For more muzzle info, Click HERE
I have been using the Strasser method for some time now. Gretchen came out to my place
and showed me what to do. I have a 20 year old walking horse that had his first
bout with laminitis 16 years ago and several serious bouts after that. Through
the years I have found the key is not only the trim, but my constant management
of what he eats. I live in
I rode him yesterday and he was ready to go and in the best shape of his life. We even walked a 1/2 mile down a stream full of rocks and who knows what, with no problem. He used to have trouble going downhill and I would traverse back and forth to help him get down--now he flies down the hills. I use the natural trim on my others and have never had any problems, only sound horses.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org (434 361 1406)
Age, Breed, Problems: 21 y/o App. foundered '97, flat footed, ouchy on gravel, on/off lameness. 17 y/o QH, no hoof or lameness problems at all.
Trim for others?: not qualified - but can refer to others in this area
Six months ago, after finding the Strasser site and other barefoot sites, I located a nearby farrier who was doing the Strasser trim. Pulled my horses' shoes and have 6 months of gradual improvement in the App. Though the QH had never had a problem, I opted this trim for her as well and she is doing fine, also.
My dilemma is that I have relocated both
horses to a farm/barn in
IF ANYONE OUT THERE READING THIS IS AWARE OF ANYONE WHO MAY BE PERFORMING THIS TRIM IN THE BARNESVILLE, MD. AREA, I WOULD BE MOST GRATEFUL TO HEAR FROM YOU.
Thank you. Maureen Gall
Contact Info: 0043 676 350 49 15
Age, Breed, Problems: 4 y QH gelding, navicular\
Trim for others?: no, but will provide information
When I saw & bought him last year, I didn't know much about horses. After the examination by the vet, he came up slightly lame (his shoes were taken off for that). Vet said it is navicular, I bought him cheaper. Heels were under-run, hoof walls thin & unstable, feet cold while still shod. With the help of a Strasser trimmer and frequent trimming myself, the heels are upright now. The hoof is currently too short, though, so he's very ouchy on gravel--will start to ride with hoof boots this week. I feel guilty for not giving him enough movement which would speed up his recovery, for sure. I learned trimming on a 3 day seminar. The Strasser trim works, and I've learned much in this short time!
Contact Info: Meadybites@hotmail.com
Age, Breed, Problems: QH X
Trim for others?:
Although I have never had a horse suffer from laminitis I am still a big believer in the bare-hoofed horse. I have a 22 year old QH x mare who has never been shod nor has she ever been lame. I have just started her daughter and I have no plans shoe her even though we work on a large variety of soil types. I think is some cases the no--shoe method can prevent as many problems as it can fix.
Contact Info: 530-306-3109
Age, Breed, Problems: 15 yr old paint mare
Trim for others?: probably
Dancer, my paint, was my first horse
purchase. I didn?t have a vet check, and didn?t think I needed one since I
trusted the Ranch owner. Dancer did fine on the trail and I watched others ride
her while she did sliding stops, spins, etc., with no troubles. She would trip
every once in a while, but I see that a lot with horses, and wasn?t concerned.
I asked the ranch owner about her hooves with the rings on them, and why was her toe filed back--her reply was, "that is just
how she is made." 2 months later I had her re-shod. A few days later
Dancer didn?t want to do anything, and shortly after that she threw her right
front shoe and went lame. I took her to the vet, who knew right away that she
was a founder case. X-rays showed severe rotation, with
remodeling of coffin bone tip (long-term foundered horse), very near sole
penetration. The vet told me that I should seriously consider putting
her down. I agreed with her, and took Dancer home, thinking I would have it
done very soon. The next day I found this web site, made a couple calls, had
someone come out to give Dancer her first Strasser
trim. It was amazing all the bruised sole that she took off. I went to a Martha
Olivo clinic so I could learn to do it myself. I do the trimming myself now. It
has been terrible watching Dancer go through all the painful abscesses, and in
the beginning she would do a lot of laying down, and I
would have to use the whip to get her on her feet. After each abscess she would
have a period of relief and actually walk without me encouraging her. One
morning in early September she was trotting and bucking with the other horses--
granted, they were little bucks, but she definitely felt better. April of 2002
was her first trim--I took her in for more x-rays on
Age, Breed, Problems: 4yrs standardbred slightly lame in front
Trim for others?: yes
DEAR Sir/Madam--my name is John Ripley from
Yours, J. Ripley
Age, Breed, Problems: 11 y.o. Thoroughbred thin-walled, shelly, under-run heels--you name it...
Trim for others?: I'll help other people do it themselves
Cosmo is a 15.3, incredibly athletic
Thoroughbred gelding that has done eventing, dressage
and now endurance. I always kept shoes on him, as his feet were flat, and his
hoof walls were thin. I didn't know about the barefoot trim until his feet just
broke down completely and I found this site and began to read and learn. I
bought the Strasser book, LOS, and thought I have
nothing to lose. Well, we are almost 2 years into barefoot with a
"hopeless case," and low and behold, we finished one 50 mile
endurance ride and 2 weeks later 2 50's back-to-back, all barefoot, and not
even boots. Granted, it IS
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 6yrs, qtr, navicular right fore
Trim for others?: still in the learning process
Friend gave me her navicular horse, who had been treated by vets, corrective shoers, had blocks and the usual program given for conditions like this. On Feb 5, 2003 I got him after his egg bar & pad and other shoes were removed...hoof wall was torn carelessly when removing the shoes.
Anyway, he was so out of balance and all contracted. The right navicular hoof was round with a bulge in the front of the wall. Right fore heels were not overly long. The left front hoof was grossly out of balance with both heels being excessively long, and the outside 3/4" longer than the inside. The right hind had a bulge pushing out the front of the hoof wall and was round in shape. The left hind was so steep and round with a deep groove in the side wall by the coronet area. Both hind heels were not too long.
This is what his movement was like: He walked with a thud to the right fore, and a swing paddle limp on the left. His head and neck bounced deep with each movement. Going into a turn was awkward and sore. He was braced going down the paved driveway...and really had discomfort on the steeper part of the paved driveway. I began to trim with what I learned from Martha Olivo and her assistants Carol and Karen last November '02. I balanced the sides, opened the heels and lowered gradually every two days the first week. I stroked and massaged his legs and tendons each day. I also had him stand in the stream for 15 minutes each day.
On the eighth day he had already gained
measurable frog and bulb size. His hair line looked good, but his heels were
still a bit high and his sole was too flat. He still moved about the same in
rhythm, but easier. Then I took him to the
On the 25th day his soles, frog and bulb looked fantastic. His round rear feet now have an oval shape. He has deep depression grooves on two of his feet. Older bruises are still surfacing. The new horn is full and gives the image of what his angle and growth will be in the months ahead. These are the 1st month results--I take him for walks around the forest and on the paved 1/2 mile driveway. He did a perfect haunch turn, out-walked me, trotted when I let him go free to the lawn, and cow-kicked at another horse at a feeding site. Except for his showing a difficult stance, some limp and one stumble in the beginning of going down the steeper part of the driveway. You would not think he had any issues by his movement. I bought him some Old Macs and plan to get him on some longer walks. To encourage daily movement he is in with my other 9 horses on 15 acres of forest with a stream, rocks, granite, mud, packed dirt. I hide their feed in flakes throughout the area, making them all have to walk around to locate where it might be. All of this gain in such a short time! Makes me realize the benefits of a barefoot trim and movement are an amazing remedy. I am so happy for him.
Location: Floresville (South of
Contact Info: 830-216-7793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 18 year old foundered (penetrated both fronts) Arabian stallion
Trim for others?: No, but willing to take rehab cases here and CSHS available (comes every 3 weeks) for trimming.
Winsome Star foundered in July/August of 2000, after being "shot up" at a show by 2 strangers. Vet speculated on any number of tranquilizers, and I myself suspect corticosteriods because of the rapid and severe laminitis that resulted. "Winnie" rotated 15 degrees in both fronts, and was also a "sinker," where the coffin bone actually sinks downward in the hoof capsule. All advice at that point was to put him down, in spite of the fact that he came trotting off the trailer at the vet hospital to be x-rayed. We called in a leading specialist at that point, and worked with him for about 1-1/2 years, using fairly conventional methods, though he did try to lower heels, etc., when he thought the horse was beginning to recover. The specialist pretty much gave up when Winnie did not respond, and we called in Rachael Coggins, then a CSHS student (after Gretchen recommended her to me) to help. Before Rachael could even make it out to see Winnie, he had sole penetration. All vets but one said to put him down. The one actually saw him, and said "hey, he's still walking and trying, can't hurt to try." Rachael began trimming Winnie and teaching me in December of 2001, and Winnie had progressed greatly since then. He is still recovering, but is now chasing the 3 year old gelding around the pasture, neck wrestling and rearing to box with him, and walking/trotting to pace the fence line when we move his mare (almost ready to foal) up for the night. He is resting his hind feet more (like a normal horse relaxing), and can even buck (uh, oh). I've ridden him a few times, and will do more, I hope, this summer as the days get longer. The lack of riding is not due to any problems of Winnie's, but a lack of time on my part. He is again going through some bad abscessing on his right front (originally clubby anyway from an old trailering accident), but does not seem bothered by it. The addition of LaminaSaver to his feed seems to also be helping, though from what I've seen on their site, they indirectly support the Strasser method, or something similar, to make this product actually work.
Winnie--shod February 2001, and then sole penetration Dec. 2001
January, April 2002
Anyway, Winnie would not even be here today if it weren't for the Strasser method, and Gretchen's site!!! Thank you!!!!!!
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 10 jaar 3 jaar kreupel
Trim for others?: nee
Renate Huttman was de eerste die tegen mij kon zeggen, waarom mijn paard kreupel was. Dat konden de dierenartsen mij niet vertellen. En hij was afgekeurd voor de sport met andere woorden hij mocht naar de slager. Renate heeft hem getrimd en met succes. Na een jaar trimmen heeft mijn paard weer meegedaan aan een endurance wedstrijd een rit van 58 kilometer en met succes met een gemiddelde van 13.75 kilometer per uur.
Trieneke de Jager
Location: west TN
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 19 yr. old Arabian mare
Trim for others?: maybe after more practice
Discovered that our 19 yr. old Arabian broodmare (w/3 mo. old colt at her side) is actually foundered rather than arthritic, as our Amish farrier had indicated. Just a bad call on his part; he's usually VERY good and we trust him implicitly. We only acquired her about 2 1/2 yrs. ago and it appears that this is not her first case of founder. About 8 wks. back I'd had him put shoes on her front, thinking that it might help her 'arthritis' or tenderfoot or whatever. It worked for about 3 wks. and then she began getting worse again. The last 10-14 days she's really been spiraling downward. Finally, a vet call confirmed founder and I discovered the Natural Horse Trim site after doing an online search for a cure. By this time, she was bad enough that she spent much time lying down, with weight loss and obviously in much pain. Hubby & I managed to get the shoes off of her last weekend while she was laying down, and I then began working on trying to regain the ground-parallel coffin bone in her front feet. Bless her, she was MOST co-operative!! I've continued working on her almost daily, just a little at a time since I can only 'do' her when she's down and I'm far from expert. We have already seen improvement!! Her weight is coming back, her eyes look better, the back is more concave instead of arched upward, she spends more time standing and she's moving around a bit more. Unfortunately, while doing her back feet tonight, I discovered a small penetration of the coffin bone in her right rear foot. It's no larger than the tip of my little finger and I'm hopeful that the trimming that I did on her heels tonight will help to give her more relief and begin to affect a cure for the problem. Her toes have never been overly long, so I'm assuming that most of the problem has been the result of whatever initially caused the founder and the high heels. I have already told several people about the site and am so thrilled to see the old gal improving in such a short time! Both my hubby and I were dreading what we were sure was her impending demise; fearing that one morning we would find her dead when we went out to feed. The last couple of mornings she has been back to her former self of calling for breakfast and standing there waiting for it to be served! Same at nighttime! Bless her heart! Today was her most mobile and upright in days and days. I think there may be light at the end of the tunnel..... :-) Thank you for your website, Gretchen!!!
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 11 years warmblood (17h) foundered for 3 years
Trim for others?: no
My horse Harry was foundered for 3 years,
and the vet never found a solution for the problem. So the vet wanted to put
him down. I couldn't accept it. So I found a Strasser
Here is a photo of me and
Harry after a 30 mile ride, from
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 20, TrakX, navicular/ringbone
Trim for others?: no
This is a success story, but a bittersweet
ending. I have been working on my horse for over two years after attending my first
(of two) clinics with Dr. Strasser here in
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 13 /navicular
Trim for others?: no, but happy to refer to my farrier
My 13 year old gelding started having problems in March 2002.The vet wrongly diagnosed tendon problems, and after 1 year of unnecessary treatment and bouts of lameness with months of stall rest, said that there was no solution and that I should think about retiring him. My horse means too much to me to give up without a fight, so I moved him to a stable where he could be loose 24 hours, and called in another vet to check him out. In 15 minutes the vet diagnosed navicular syndrome, which I suspect was his problem from the beginning. Terribly upset with this news I decided to try and find somewhere for an an early retirement, but at the same time began searching on the web for information on navicular to increase my then very superficial knowledge. The sun came out, I found information on the Strasser trim and not only that, this marvelous lady actually answered my email. In July 2003 my horse's shoes were pulled and he was given his first trim, 4 days later he was walking almost soundly and now 3 months later I am trotting and cantering him. I have had the most invaluable help from my stable owner/farrier who has trimmed every 10 days and given my horse his new lease on life. I would never have believed it possible, and just hope that more professionals will bow their heads and just give it a try - it really works. I will never be able to say thank you enough to Doctor Strasser who has researched this method and Mr. Gomez who has helped me put into practice.
Contact Info: 336 698-0784
Age, Breed, Problems: 6 year old
Trim for others?: yes maybe depends
In fox hunt school, a woman came from the
local pony club with her daughter and horses to be the fox and hounds. We
chased them. I was impressed with her gelding until I looked down and saw him
standing buck kneed, and asked her if I could look at her horse's feet. She said
yes, and was very open to discussing his problems and telling me about him. He
is a 6 year old
Age, Breed, Problems: 5 year, Connemara/POA mare, foundered all 4 w/sole penetration
Trim for others?: yes
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 12 years, Quarter Horse, Severe Founder
Trim for others?: Yes
I wanted to write you and thank you for the
knowledge I received at your clinic in
It was really hard to tell if she was a good horse or not--she was so thin that she was literally hide hanging on a skeleton. She has a Quarter Horse tattoo, so I knew she was a registered horse and a race horse. I want to trace her through her tattoo and hopefully get her registration papers transferred.
Any way, the place I had her for the first few months was right along a highway, and she was in sight of everyone going by. I got several notes on the gate about my cruelty to animals, the sheriff deputy came to see me and the Humane Society sent an agent to check me out because the mare looked so bad and was so lame. Everyone checked me out and left satisfied that I was rescuing her, not neglecting her.
I had been studying the treating founder without
shoeing website and even though I used to shoe horses several years ago, this
was a bit out of my league. Your January clinic here in
She gained a lot of weight over the first three months and she even became butter ball fat. I was a bit concerned that she might be carrying too much weight and would be harder on her feet.
The joy I felt the first time I saw her trotting around the pasture, and the first time she ran and bucked just because she felt good is something I would have trouble relating, but I think you might know what I mean. It has taken several months, but her hooves are no longer elongated and she has good healthy sole on all four feet. She travels pain free and we have been riding her quite a bit. She is a great mare and a real joy to ride. My son rode her today, and when he came back he related how he had let her run full out back in the pasture and she was tremendous.
Anyway, I'm just rambling. I just wanted to say thanks. I have often wished I had taken photos of her original condition and the progress through her recovery, but I just kept trimming the way you showed me and she is near 100% today.
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: laminitis and crooked hooves
Trim for others?: yes
I got interested in trimming after my wife and I rescued a Tennessee walker with terrible hooves. I do not even have enough knowledge to describe what we saw in the hooves. One of the front hooves was about six inches long and kind of turned outward to the outside; the other front was so short it looked like it broke off, or someone tried to cut it off. The rear two hooves were not too terribly bad, but needed attention. The horse had laminitis and looked like it hadn't eaten for months. I had a farrier come out to look at this horse, but he seemed uninterested. He did an initial trim and basically said it was really a waste of time. So I started researching on the internet and came across the Strasser trim. I went down to the farm hardware and purchased my own hoof knife, rasp and nippers. The nippers didn't get used the first year. I was too scared! So I started paring and rasping every day at first for about three months. Not knowing much, I just tried to shape the hooves to what I thought was normal at first. Then I started to get into the natural trim. The horse was stiff and limping when we first got him, and wouldn't even trot. A note, "be careful, I did quick this horse--boy, did that teach me a lesson!" But after a \while I really couldn't believe what I was seeing; the hooves started to look so beautiful, and he would trot, canter and gallop through the pastures like a 3 year old. He now has a new home, and I wish I had pictures--he is absolutely gorgeous! I feel really good saving this horse's life. Since then I have taken on 2 more horses with laminitis. 1 is doing great, and one I am currently working on has laminitis in three of her four hooves. Still worried about her, but things seem to be improving. Just thought I would share my story with everyone! Thanks, Tom
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 9 year old Hanoverian mare
Trim for others?: no
Attached are two photos side by side of my mare, Dewees' left front foot. I regularly fox hunt and trail ride her. She is 9 years old and I bred her and raised her along with 2 younger siblings. I took the most recent photo in Dec. of 2003. The other one was taken 6 months ago on June 20th.
I've been trimming my horses with the Strasser method since June of this year. They were all barefooted approx. 2 years ago, but I had someone doing a Jaime Jackson type trim and I wasn't getting any progress on de-contraction, and they were starting to wear out their toes.
I think these photos speak volumes about the amount of de-contraction even a novice trimmer like myself can get in a short amount of time. Anne "Tree" Coley trimmed for me at least twice; once shortly after the 6/20 photo and once more about 8 weeks ago. I have done most of the trimming and all of the rehab in between. (The recent photo shows notches I cut for extra traction on slippery ground;. I had also cut an edge on the heel/bar triangle for extra stopping grip, but you can't really see that on this photo. She didn't slip much at all the last time I hunted.)
Her frog is obviously much healthier now that she is getting blood flow to it. It had been fungus-ridden and ragged. Both her front feet are much rounder, like they're supposed to be, and the central sulcus is completely open now. Her hoof wall doesn't show hardly any signs of wear, even after a hard hunt like we had during hunt week, where we went up and down a gravel road and negotiated trails and creeks with lots of rocks.
You can plainly see how pinched the foot was in the earlier photo.
Needless to say, I'm very happy. It's a whole different feeling riding a horse that can actually feel the ground beneath it! Even at a full gallop she takes care where she places her feet, and I feel confident that she can carry me anywhere the shod horses can go.
I think I can get a little more de-contraction, but I feel I have made a lot of progress, and it can me clearly seen in these photos.
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: TB. horse, attacks of laminitis since 4 yrs
Trim for others?:
I wrote to your site to say how my poor
horse was actually waddling about with his chums in the field after six weeks of
trimming and 24/7 turn out; this, after being condemned to death because his
pedal bone had gone through the sole. Thanks to our wonderful trimmer, Kathy
Clark, masses of mouse mats, and plenty of walking for the last six months, on
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 7 year old AQHA diagnosed with navicular
Trim for others?: learning to currently
This past summer I was offered a beautiful
jet black AQHA gelding for free. The horse had recently been purchased for a
hefty sum of money for their daughter as a hunter/jumper prospect. A short time
into the serious training, the horse became lame. After a series of vet
treatments, bute, several
different kinds of shoes, and even referrals from Dr. Rick Redden in
Age, Breed, Problems: 8, mini horse, foundered, and had what we call 'rocking chair hooves'
Trim for others?: NO
We got Zoe last year. I was told she had foundered before. I have 3 small boys, so we taught her how to pull a cart, and they rode her, but she was best pulling the cart. We got her in May and she was out on pasture, and did great until Dec., our first cold blast. She went lame. The person I got her from trimmed her before we got her, and I had someone who said he was a farrier come out and do her in the Oct. she hadn't grown much. I think the active daily cart rides helped. Anyway, he didn't take much off anywhere. Well, come end of Dec., she went lame for about 2 months coming and going. I tried to get others out, but no one seemed to want to do a mini. So I called up the guy I got her for and told him I really need him to come over and help me trim, and teach me how he does it. I felt so bad--we have a mini donkey who wanted to play, but you could see it in Zoe's eyes that she wanted to, but she couldn't. Her front feet were like rocking chairs; she stood on the back side of the heel. Well, I started looking on the internet about how to trim foundered hooves, and went to the library to find any info. on how best to do it. I found Jamie Jackson's book and I found Dr. Strasser's website, and have not stopped looking at hooves since. So Dan came over and trimmed her. He was not worried about taking the heel off, but the toe. I mentioned it to him, but he was concerned about the toe. That was on a Wed. I went out on Sun. and took off about 1/2" on the heels in the front, and it was like magic--she stood on her hooves. Before, she was still rocking back on them. So I left it until Wed., and did a little more on the heel, and she actually was trotting away from me when I went to get her later that day. On Sat. I again did a little more work on her heels, and she can rare up and kick now--she has always been able to roam around, but she is now feel like doing so. Today which is Mon. Dan stopped back over to see how things were going, and took the rest of the toe in the front off. I didn't mess with the toes a whole lot--not knowing when to stop was my worry. Anyway, I still plan on getting the heels down more. Her hairline slope is about 40 degrees and I am thinking that might be the reason she carries he back leg differently. Almost uncomfortable like. Anyway, THANKS for the great info. She would not be where she is now if I would not have took the heel down, and I still have a ways to go. I look at my mini donkey's feet--he will be a yr. May-- he has nice short heels, real flat frogs, and I am wondering if there is any difference in donkey hooves and horses? I wish I would have took picture, I am not kidding it was like MAGIC!!
Contact Info: 203 924 5644
Age, Breed, Problems: 18, Arabian, no major problems
Trim for others?: yes, currently for free, uncomplicated cases, for experience
I stumbled on the barefoot philosophy from searching the internet, and I am hooked. I now know that shoes have caused and are causing problems. I used to wonder what on earth was the matter with all these horses going lame, and thought perhaps it was diet, or some other global cause, but it makes such sense that the culprit is nailing metal onto a living structure!!! I have been trimming my horse from someone showing me in one session, and from all the wonderful sites online, and my horse is doing great. His feet are neat and round and look great. I trim him every two weeks, or just whenever there is something to trim. He did a hunter pace type event, and was so energetic and fun I nearly cried. At that same event, I gazed at feet with a new eye and saw pathological feet everywhere. So true that we have drifted away from normal! Barefoothorse.com is a wonderful site. I have also been riding in the bitless bridle and am looking into a treeless saddle. The less we do to this noble animal, the better, in terms of gadgets. I will trim for experience, uncomplicated cases, until I get some sort of certification.
Age, Breed, Problems: 18, Missouri Fox trotter, Founder and seriously contracted heels
Trim for others?: Yes
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: appaloosa, 15HH, 14 yr old-very heavy horse-flat feet
Trim for others?: a bit far for me to travel! If travel costs are paid!!
I began trimming my own horse, Banner, in May,2004, after attending a weekend trim clinic. I bought my boy back, lame and all after a 5 year gap of not knowing where he had been sold to! Vets said- "Put him down, or companion only", due to pedal osteitus and sidebone. It wasn't good enough for me- and I'd promised Banner I'd keep him forever- never to be sold again! So, I trained on my dead horse leg- but even the trimmer thought he would be a tough case. Banner abscessed straight away, left front. It has grown down to ground level. (December)In that time he has reverted back to totally sound-beautiful flowing movement-huge suspension in trot(too big to sit on !) We progress together- and we are back into dressage. I wish I could send you a picture of him- he is fantastic! His foot size has downsized laterally by 2 cm and lengthwise- 1 1/2 cm- he is still pretty flat- but its only been 7 months- he is growing out quickly- and lives on rocky hard ground, 24/7
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 5 year old Welsh Mountain Pony, constantly foundering in Spring.
Trim for others?: Yes! Let's spread the word!
Contact Info: (918) 653-3751
Age, Breed, Problems: 18, Missouri Foxtrotter, Foundered on both fores and the most extreme case of contracted heels imaginable
Trim for others?: Yes
As much damage as
X-rays of both
I do not advocate 'taking all the heel off.' I do talk about low heels, quarter scooping, opening cuts for contraction if the horse is moving enough on firm terrain, shortening bars so they are straight and end halfway down the frog, not letting bars lay over the sole in the bar/heel triangle, and backing up breakover.
The only photos of
Contact Info: 07889957580 MOBILE PHONE
Age, Breed, Problems: WELSH COB
Trim for others?: YES
My Cob, Tinker, developed severe laminitis in Feb. 2003. I tried the remedial shoes route. He was still lame. I found out about Dr. Strasser's methods, and duly had Tinks trimmed that way. We had some ups and downs, and some scary moments. I've been studying hoof care for over a year now, and trimming Tinks and my Dales pony, Henry, with very good results. I trim friends' ponies, too.
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: TN Walking Horse, 8 years old, trouble gaiting
Trim for others?: Will help
I was raised with TN Walkers my whole life. We mainly trail ride and shod all our horses....it wasn't even an option not to shoe...but whenever I would watch the farrier, I would cringe thinking how "unnatural" it all was..... In 2002 I was given a TN Walking mare who had been "ignored" for a few years...I jumped at the opportunity to "doctor" her...I spent hours researching...especially after owning her two weeks, she foundered (which had been a recurring problem prior to me getting her.) Unfortunately, she was too neglected and I was too new to the barefoot world. I kept her barefoot, but she was trimmed by a farrier. Eventually my mother went to some barefoot clinics....but only was able to trim her once...she then coliced and had to be put down. It was then that I realized "we" are killing our horses....they live very crude, inhumane, and uncomfortable lives....
I was very depressed, but my parents pushed me into getting another horse (which turned out to be great!!) But at the time....I didn't want any horse ever again.... Mother found Strut, an 8 yr. old TN Walker gelding, the very next day. He had been out to pasture and barefoot for two years (with regular trims by a farrier). We bought him, and before we even trailered him home, my mom was trimming him the natural way. Unfortunately, he had really contracted hooves. He also would not gait properly. We thought it was because he had been used in an "English" manner, and taught NOT to gait, but we soon noticed he was landing toe first and was choppy. We continued to do a natural trim. About two months after getting him, we did a trim and then went trail riding. In the middle of the trail ride, his behind all of a sudden dropped (I thought he was spooked and going to rear), but instead he began to rack down the road and pass all the other horses...it was SO amazing! My mom commented, "What kind of horse did we get???" Everyone was SO impressed. Upon closer inspection later, we discovered he was starting to land heel first, and just looked more flowing and smooth in general. His body was lining up correctly to do what was natural to him. God created this gaited horse, and if given a natural environment, they will do what God intended even better than when infringed upon by all of man's cruel contraptions.
I have owned him over a year now, and his hoof is still transforming. He was really tender in the beginning, and I had to use boots, but just recently I decided to go without boots, and over gravel and rocks he flew--he paid no attention to any of the terrain--he just flew over it. I consider him "COMPLETELY" sound and HAPPY. I even plan on showing him this spring, which other walking horse people laugh at me for mentioning because he is barefoot. Unfortunately, the walking horse receives the most abuse to their hooves, more than any other breed....talk about barbaric. I board my horse with other "show" walking horses, and when in the field (the ones that are actually allowed out of their stalls for a couple hours a day) I can pick my horse from a distance. He is the one walking or gaiting in a flowing fashion--no awkward steps or movements. There are also some padded horses where I board. I can hardly stand to look at their hooves. I cry regularly, especially when they are "soring" them (a common practice). I can no longer stand to be witness to the abuse, so I am moving my horse to my parents' home an hour away. I will miss having him nearby, but will be pleased to no longer have to view the abuse done to these horses every day. TN Walkers have such a docile temperament, they take this abuse and still are calm and affectionate. It is really sad...
Anyway, without natural/barefoot trimming, I would more than likely ignorantly resort to all the mechanical methods of shoeing my horse. Thanks to the more natural option, my horse is happy, I am happy, and my pocketbook is happy....since I now do all my own trims.
I highly recommend the trimming books by Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 15 y.o. 16.3hh QH Gelding. contracted heels
Trim for others?: Maybe
This gelding belongs to a very good friend of mine. When she bought him 7 years ago he had been trimmed & shod to obtain tiny QH feet. This guy is built like a dually! He is 16.3hh 1300lbs & like sitting astride my coffee table. He has since been shod all kinds of ways to get his feet bigger. Latest theory was new balance shoes, which have front half of shoe bevelled towards toe to move the breakover point back under the horse more. I have been working with the Strasser method almost a year, & seen great results with ALL my horses, so I discussed this with his owner & we agreed to try it. We pulled his shoes last Thanksgiving. We trimmed him 2x a week & lunged him. Two weeks after initial trim I was riding him. We do dressage, so that is what I was working on. Immediate differences we noticed: Saddle fits better. Much longer stride. Happy to move forward & keep moving. Much more relaxed & much improved self carriage. He has continued to improve with reduced oversensitivity in his back. We showed last weekend & beat a whole bunch of extremely nice Hanoverians & thoroughbreds who were all very good movers! This stuff is so cool! I would recommend it to anyone. I also noticed this spring that when the ground near the creek thawed, got pocked & refroze--the only horses that had sensitivity issues with it were the 3 with shoes on. The only horses that abscessed this spring were 2 of the 3 with shoes on! They are all scheduled to go barefoot in very near future!
Age, Breed, Problems: 5 year old paint
Trim for others?: no
Date: 06 May 2005
My paint gelding foundered in July of 2004. We assume he foundered because of grass (even though he had been on pasture 24/7 since birth). The bone was almost through the sole. The vet said he should not be able to walk in his condition (it was that bad). I followed the vet's recommendation of shoes, but I decided to quit after reading your site. The shoes were not reset. I have been using the rasp on him weekly. I took him back to the vet 8 months after the initial founder. The pictures showed a hoof that was almost "normal". He is not on any medication and runs the pasture like a frisky colt. DO NOT SHOE - TRIM!!!
Contact Info: email@example.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 9 yr. old Quarter horse mare diagnosed with navicular
Trim for others?: yes (enrolled in 2005-06 SHP course)
If any of you have read some of my other stories on this site, you may be interested to follow up with this new one. I met another mother while we were watching our sons in a golf tournament. There's lots of time to talk between 18 holes! Anyway, I told her I would help her get started, as her mare was currently shod and diagnosed with "what might be navicular." I explained about the trimming and lifestyle adjustments when we were watching golf, and she had gotten the books and had her farrier take the shoes off her horses 3 weeks prior to me coming. I took pictures, and here are the "before and after" of the whole body shot. What a difference I was able to make in this mare's conformation! She still has some severe problems: contraction beyond the vertical, etc., but at least she has a start. The mare is bred, and she figured this was a good time to "try this barefoot stuff." Since this was the first trim, I expect the success story to follow soon, but I thought you might like to see how much difference one trim can make.
Age, Breed, Problems: 19, Quarter Horse Mix, Ringbone and Severe Arthritis on Both Front Legs
Trim for others?: NO
My horse has SEVERE arthritis and
ringbone. I had stumbled across a site talking about barefoot horses and
I thought I'd give it a try. I just got him trimmed for barefoot on
Location: Weston super
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Age, Breed, Problems: 11 yrs old cobx 15.3 with sidebone - lame for 3 years
Trim for others?: no - contact me by email for name of my Strasser trimmer
Meesha has had sidebone for 3 years. She was diagnosed after nerve blocks, x rays - the works - as we were being told that sidebone on its own does not usually cause lameness. However, the sidebone is large on all four feet, but on the offside front it's huge - the largest the vets or farrier or my trimmer had ever seen.
I tried everything--bute had effect at all, the rest seemed to have no effect. We tried magnotherapy boots, pads in shoes etc and were having sidebone shoes fitted.
I always had a nagging doubt at the back of my mind about the shoeing - sidebone is caused by a number of things, one of which being concussion!! When I approached my farrier, who Meesha has had from day 1 of shoeing, he told me that she would not be sound without shoes - so, even though she wasn't sound with shoes, I kept with it even when she was sectioned off on a small area of field. At the recommendation of vet, she had front shoes on, as I was told this would help her (was told to put her on box rest, and I refused to cage her up for that long!).
After trying everything, the only thing that seemed to help slightly was soft ground and cortaflex, but she was very up and down - hopping lame one morning and slightly better later on - it was a while before she was back into ridden work, and it was then that we realized that she was much better with exercise as well.
At my wits end I searched the internet and came across the details of a site and they put me in contact with my Strasser trimmer. I had Meesha's shoes removed 4 days before the Strasser trimmer visited, and the farrier was very scathing about Strasser, and said I would be calling him in the next few days. He also added that horses like Meesha are usually ok without shoes. (Why didn't he tell me this 3 years ago !!! She was never in hard work and had good feet). After much laughter from the farrier, he removed her shoes and was on his way - I held my breath as I untied Meesha (her feet hadn't been trimmed at all yet) and walked her over the very very hard stones in my yard to the field - I watched gobsmacked as she didn't bat an eyelid and walked over them like they were grass. The next day the vet came for injections and her comment was that this was the best she had seen Meesha since the sidebone had been discovered 3 years ago - she was also gobsmacked at how Meesha would walk across the stones without even thinking !!
I was over the moon - the Strasser trimmer visited 4-5 days after the shoes were off and I was astounded at how much care and time she took before even touching Meesha's feet to find out the full history and talk me through the procedure. She trimmed Meesha's feet (taking off very little) and the result was fabulous - Meesha was not only walking better than she had in 3 years, but for the first time in a long time was happy to pick up the good front foot whilst putting all her weight on the bad one. Before the trimmer arrived, I had tried to pick up her good foot, but couldn't even get it off the floor to pick it out.
She is improving every day, and she is also having equine touch (very reasonably priced) to help. All I would say to anyone in a similar position is - FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS - LISTEN TO ADVICE - TAKE IT IN - EVALUATE - BUT THEN - FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS.
My only regret so far is that I did not do this 3 years ago !!! If I can be of any help to anyone else in a similar position please contact me and I will pass on contact details of those who have helped me.
Contact Info: 208-457-9954
Age, Breed, Problems: 9 YO Quarter Horse, Ringbone, long heels, bars, toes
Trim for others?: Yes
I met her about a month and a half ago.
Beautiful horse, but she could not walk at all on her right fore. She had to
hop, and her right front leg jutted out at a staggering angle, her muscles were
severely atrophied on her right side and she was on her way to being euthanized
for "incurable" ringbone. She had high heels, long bars, long toes--and looked very painful. I trimmed every week,
twice a week. It took about a week to see that her hop was slowly turning into
a lame walk, Then slowly her lame walk turned into
being able to stand square, and almost look relaxed! Then she could walk pretty
well going UP, but going down a hill would cause her to still look lame. Today
she can walk freely both up and down hill, she is not
trotting or galloping around just yet, but WOW! What a wonderful difference!
Thank you, Strasser and everyone who had added to the
knowledge pool of this wonderful lifesaving normality for our friend, the
horse! Yaaay!!! Bonnie bates,
Contact Info: Bruckzim@aol.com
Age, Breed, Problems: 23, QH, Contracted feet, lameness, thrush, COPD, skin allergies
Trim for others?: No
Lewis is a 16 hh bay QH gelding who has been my good buddy since I bought him in 1994. He and I had enjoyed trail riding for many years, but our time together took on a whole new dimension when we joined the Sherburne County Mounted Patrol unit in 2002. Lewis and I loved the challenge of working with the public, representing our county in parades and competing at state Mounted Patrol events. Unfortunately, Lewis' health began to decline shortly after we joined the Mounted Patrol. He had always had poor quality, contracted hooves which I, as an uninformed horse owner, tried to take care of by having him shod frequently and treating his recurrent thrush as effectively as possible. It seems strange to me now that my interest in all other aspects of horse health didn't apply to hooves. I cleaned out Lewis' feet, shined them up a bit for parades, and left everything else to our farrier.
A critical incident happened just after Lewis and I had to do some hard, fast work on pavement at a Mounted Patrol event (related to a child's injury during a parade). Cantering on concrete with his borium tipped shoes seemed to push Lewis over the brink into a health crisis. Within weeks Lewis went from a healthy horse with "bad" feet to an animal that couldn't breathe, covered with welts that he chewed and rubbed to a bloody mess due to extreme itching. Lewis' medical record during that awful period doesn't adequately reflect the distress we were both were experiencing. Dexamethazone seemed to help the itching, but he broke out in new hives from any bug bite, so I invested in a Swedish bug blanket which covered him from hocks to nose. As long as he didn't get new bites and was covered completely, he seemed to be recovering--at least while he was on his medication. When we tried to wean him from the Dex in late fall we found that he had developed a severe breathing problem. He was put back on the Dex, along with an anti-histamine granule to deal with his dry cough and now recurring skin allergies. The vet discussed management options for COPD and we tried Azium and Ventipulmin Syrup, but we still were dealing with critical breathing events that required IV Dex. Lewis' labored breathing was so distressing to us both that I began to consider having him euthanized.
During this period Lewis' hooves were so bad
that the farrier left his feet bare, saying that
there was not much wall to nail to anymore. Lewis was very tender footed over
the winter, but since he couldn't walk due to his heaves, anyway, the sore feet
didn't seem to be an issue. In spring of 2003 I was giving Lewis a week-by-week
extension of life, hoping to see an improvement in his breathing, but
determined not to let him suffer. So when my daughter, Tracy, called with a
suggestion that Lewis' health problems might be related to his feet, I was
hesitant connect the two.
Cynthia Niemela and others at the seminar were very honest and made sure that I understood that Lewis might be too sick to deal with having his hooves worked on. They also made it clear that there was no documented evidence that connected these two problems. Since I felt this was Lewis' last chance, I told them I understood the situation, accepted the possibility that he could die during the process, and sent him to the clinic.
To make a long story a little shorter, not only has Lewis developed real-honest-to-goodness healthy horse feet -- but within several weeks of his first trim, his heaves disappeared! His allergies to bugs have diminished so much so that I was able to not blanket him totally last summer for the first time in three years. He still gets bumps from the bugs, but does not develop hives or the extreme itchiness that drove him to throw himself on the ground in a frenzy and chew and rub his skin to a bloody pulp.