Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Barefoot Horse: Trimming the Bars

Are you noticing a pattern?

A week or so after trimming Harley's feet, I gave the bars some extra love.  These photos were taken after our ride, so his feet were polished clean by the sand.

Left front: Hello central sulcus!

Left hind: Basically no bar material to trim.

Right front: The camera was not level over the foot, but you still can see how the bars are lower than in the autumn pictures and smoothly blend into the heels.  I should use my left hand to take the picture.  Silly handedness.

Right hind: I love the textured, concave sole and fat frog.  These feet are rough and ready

Special thanks to smazourek, the author of It's Quarters for Me, for the tip to smoothly ramp the bars up to the heels.  I always use caution when taking advice regarding my horse's feet, but this was definitely some sound advice (pun, intended).  Harley licked and chewed and snorted with happiness as I gently removed the high points from his bars.  That was the seal of approval!

I recently spoke with the talented young woman who originally trimmed Harley with the performance barefoot approach and started my trimming education.  She has some exciting opportunities coming up which may include working with the feet of some high level competition horses.  I did not realize that Performance Barefoot was present in the competitive world.  That is something that I am very happy to hear.  When she becomes famous for her expertise I will get to say "I knew you when."  :)


  1. awww... the first photo is gorgeous :)!!
    He has pretty nice feet. I'm glad more people are getting interested in barefoot trimming especially the people in the higher levels of competition. it's great to hear.

  2. Hi Ruffles- I am glad, too! It feels validating.

  3. Aaahhh, much better, no more points!

    How exciting for your trimmer friend! Personally I'd be a little nervous. Some of those people get pretty intense about their horses. I'm sure she's up to the challenge though.

  4. smaz- Yay!

    If all goes as planned, she will be working with a professional who already trims the horses, so she will be in very good hands. She has helped many, many people transition to the barefoot path and is even recommended to clients by a local veterinarian. I am so amazed and proud of her.

  5. Val - Harley's feet look great! What beautiful frogs he has. You're doing a great job and I commend you for your dedication to your horse's foot health. :0)

  6. More and more people are converting to barefoot, even the upper-level folks. My trimmer does quite a few high performance horses, including racehorses. :)

  7. Karen- You made me smile. :)

    Now That's A Trot- I like that barefoot is becoming a legitimate option not just a last resort or something that only pleasure horses can tolerate. Maybe one day Performance Barefoot will be a part of the total package if riders and trainers want to be competitive. I think that horse management in general would have to be adjusted for the health of the whole horse, like at Rockley Farm in the UK.


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