Read our blog tips, tricks, and what you need to know about Barefoot Equestrian Riding and keeping your horse healthy.

Horse (Human!) Health Care

Horse riding has physical health, psychological and over-all benefits of happiness and well-being. This is just a reminder for us and the non-horsey around us, who wonder about our level of sanity as we brave the winter weather to get out there and ride. And the research is there! Check out www.bhs.org.uk (study published in 2011). Really I don’t think there needs to be any research done – the fact is we horsey people feel good when we ride. It’s good to know, though that we can tell our family and friends that we are not just crazily addicted to some half ton four-legged furry monster for no reason; it actually is good for us to partake in this activity! Read the study! horse & riderThis activity, this joyful pastime, this, oh well let’s say it – addiction to riding is linked to a sense of well-being which affects mood, anxiety, self-esteem, balance and loads of other personal emotions. In fact, this helps us adjust better to life’s events even outside the time with our horse. Many of us just are not in good form if we work hard all week and then something goes awry and we can’t get even get the weekend ride in!

While plonked up on your horse going out for a leisurely trail ride around the forest may not be the equivalent to running a marathon, sufficient energy is expended to class it as a moderate intensity exercise. And even if you do choose those chilled out session more often than a brisk schooling session in the arena, all that mucking out and winter grooming definitely burns extra calories. The vast majority of horse riders are female, ranging in age 4 to 94, and for some, horse riding is the only form of exercise to be taken. This shows the sport is an integral part of society, and not only for the able-bodied. Many riders with a long-standing illness or disability can partake in just an intense session of exercise as those without such challenges.

Some may wonder, is it worth it? All the manual labor and work and effort and money we put into these creatures, for what may seem very little return. You can answer this for yourself.

Life is Simple……Just Ride.

 

Horse Hoof Boots

All Things Barefoot

If you are struggling with your horse’s bare feet, don’t give up. It is a huge commitment but it is one of the most worthwhile things you can do – allowing your horse to be free of metal shoes. He may be a little tender in the beginning as he adjusts but stick to your plan and review the following potential issues:

  1. Irregular trims: the aim of good trimming is to promote good growth in the right direction, so regular trims need to be maintained to encourage this. It also helps to avoid overgrown walls and heels, which will not allow for toughening of the soles and heels – imperative for good feet.
  2. Diet: a high fiber and low cereal diet is the basis of the horse’s eating regime but other elements must also be considered. Too much fresh, lush grass will ensure a high sugar and starch intake which can be problematic, the onset of laminitis being only one example. Zinc and copper are frequently deficient in horses’ diets and these minerals are crucial to good hoof health. Too much iron can block the absorption of these minerals so watch out for this too. All in all, the intake of major and trace minerals must be in good balance.
  3. Not enough movement: movement promotes circulation, encourages natural wear and toughens hooves. Allow as much turn-out time as possible, preferably with the horse living outside 24/7 in a herd and on varied terrain.
  4. Soft pasture: I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about how the hoof will only be as strong as the ground the horse lives on. If they live on soft wet pasture, you cannot expect the hooves to be hard. Vary the terrain in your pasture, or ride more frequently on harder ground (allowing time to build up the hoof strength). horsegrazing
  5. Long-term shoeing: sometimes a horse has just been in shoes for too long. This is another area where Cavallo Hoof Boots are a life saver, for you and your horse. Many animals will need boots while they are transitioning from shoes to barefoot, even when not being ridden. Perhaps you cannot provide the ideal environmental and dietary circumstances for your horse. Boots can help here too, because comfortable movement encourages circulation and fresh blood can prevent a plethora of problems. Or in a few cases, you have done all you can do but the damage is too far gone. If you put shoes back on, you will start from square one all over again. Keep with it and use hoof boots instead so you’re horse can rumble around comfortably with freedom and protection.horse hoof boots

 

Are you Addicted to Horses?

Welcome to the most rewarding addiction in the world: horses. What is an addiction? “An addiction is a condition that results when a person engages in an activity that can be pleasurable, but the continued act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities.”

Sound familiar? I can certainly think of many an occasion when I spent time with my horses rather than cleaning the house, doing the shopping or sorting my taxes!!! And while you may spend a hard day slogging in the barn, scrubbing tack, mucking out, grooming those horses until they shine, schooling until you both sweat…… you still get up the next day and do it again, and again, and again……. for the love of the horse, for the addiction of equestrianism.

Yes, we can live with it being an addiction but the expense can be hard to swallow sometimes. Well, Cavallo has the solution, not only to ease this expensive habit but also to help keep your horse healthy and the hoof functioning as it should! Cavallo Hoof Boots! Remember – No Hoof, No Horse

**The world’s most affordable hoof boot**

elb

 

 

 

 

Yes, introducing ELB – ONLY $49.95!!! (USA pricing)

The ELB (Entry Level Boot) Hoof Boot comes to market allowing for a perfect solution to those still nervous about transitioning to barefoot and for those who only need a boot occasionally. The ELB is ideal for rehabilitation and therapeutic purposes and makes an excellent ‘spare tire’ for a lost shoe. With the industrial grade nylon, replaceable Velcro, drainage slots, two sole width options and seven size options, it is most definitely on a par with all our other boots so you do not lose on quality.

And best of all? There is a 180 day ‘repair or replace’ warranty, so you really have nothing to worry about! Get your Cavallo Hoof Boots today.

horse hoof boots

Travel & Adventure – Costa Rica

I recently blogged about an idyllic holiday ranch in Spain offering a more natural experience with horses in Andalucia: Barefoot and bitless riding.

I have now discovered another place that also sounds out of this world. They were awarded the ‘Trip Advisor Hall of Fame Award’ for receiving the 5-star certificate of excellence 5 times!

Discovery Horse Tours in Jaco, Costa Rica, offers unforgettable trips through rainforests, on the beaches or into the mountains. Small groups are catered for on a stunning 1500 acre private rainforest reserve, where the trails are shared with none but the wildlife. Secret waterfalls, deserted beaches, remote villages, pristine rivers and private mud baths are just some of the luxury destinations that are on offer. You might even get to ride bareback in the Pacific Ocean!

rainforest

Most of the horses are rescued and retrained using Natural Horsemanship, and all are barefoot and bitless. The owners, Chris and Andrea Wady, are renowned for caring more about their horses than profits, and their attention detail, knowledge, and expertise are only second to their friendliness, professionalism, and customer care.

There are daily tours, weekend packages or weekly vacations on offer, one of which combines yoga to ensure a completely relaxing holiday. ‘A picture tells a thousand words’ and this is very true of the stunning scenery and smiling faces in the gallery on the website: http://www.horseridecostarica.com/index.php. I might see you there for a glorious adventure in the season coming, Cavallo style of course!

horse hoof boots

The Holidays are Here

by Carole Herder

Well, the holidays are fast approaching and everyone is making their plans. There’s so much to do for entertainment, besides visit the man in red! Trail rides in the snow, snowball fights, family visits, trips abroad, sleigh rides, tree decorating, home cooking, eggnog and mulled wine, gift shopping (do check out the Cavallo shop for some ideas!) – the list is endless. One of my ‘must do’s’ over the season is to curl up and catch a couple of good movies. There are always the traditional Christmas movies on television but just for fun, I thought I would list my top ten horse films – what do you think?

  1. Buck (2011) – based on the real life of American cowboy Buck Brannaman, an acclaimed horse whisperer with a unorthodox style of training
  2. Secretariat (2010) – heart-warming story of a housewife from the 1970s who knows nothing about horses but manages to navigate her way through the racing world and foster a horse that ultimately wins the triple crown
  3. The Horse Whisperer (1998) – a traumatized horse and girl team are reborn on a Montana ranch under the watchful eye of Tom Booker, legendary horse whisperer
  4. War Horse (2011) – a tear-jerker movie set in World War 1 and based on the 1982 novel of the same name
  5. Seabiscuit (2003) – based on the American legend of a small horse who became the symbol of hope during the Great Depression
  6. Into the West (1992) – a magical Irish film about travellers starring two young boys and a white horse called Tír na nÓg (meaning ‘Land of Eternal Youth’)
  7. Black Beauty (1994) – cannot be forgotten as an all-time classic, definitely a box of tissues needed
  8. National Velvet (1944) – starring Elizabeth Taylor, another classic about a young girl who wins a horse in a lottery and turns him into a champion
  9. Flicka (2006) – a young girl claims a wild horse as her own, thus proving she is capable of one day taking over the family ranch
  10. Hidalgo (2004) – my favorite: based on the legend of American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo and their adventure in a treacherous long-distance race called the Ocean of Fire in the Middle East

    horse hoof boots

How many bare hooves can you spot? Happy holidays!

horse hoof boots