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

Selecting PATH Volunteer of the Year Award 2015

Karen Province,  Membership Coordinator for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH), recently asked me to help in the selection process to choose a winner for the PATH Volunteer of the Year Award.

PATH International

Though PATH International began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Equine Services for Heroes, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines, is specifically to help war veterans and military personnel.

The individuals served by PATH International members may face any number of challenges, including paralysis, multiple sclerosis, autism, Down Syndrome, drug addiction, traumatic brain injury, amputation or PTSD.  And the amazing thing is that all of these issues can be eased by the power of the horse.

Horse Hoof Boots
PATH Volunteers (human AND equine) showing off Cavallo Hoof Boots!

PATH Volunteers

When reading through the list of nominees and what they had contributed to their PATH Riding Centers, my eyes opened up to a world of people who believe strongly enough in helping others that they donate their time and knowledge for the sole purpose of seeing a smile on someone’s face, or knowing someone’s life has been enriched.  Some of these PATH volunteers perform a range of farmhand duties, such as fixing fences, stacking hay, turning manure and driving a tractor to keep the therapy centers running.   Many lend their time and business expertise behind the scenes in the offices, sitting on boards or tirelessly fundraising.  Others teach lessons or assist with riding lessons.  Many regularly put in full work weeks of volunteering – some have held these volunteering positions for decades.  They do all of these things for the joy of it, while asking for absolutely nothing in return.

Some PATH program participants  have lifelong physical and emotional injuries from living through wars they fought for their country.  Other participants have developmental disabilities that make living in our loud, fast-paced, modern world very challenging. The volunteers have looked deeply enough to recognize what these people are going through and they have truly extended themselves in the purest, most compassionate way.  I feel honored to have been part of this process of recognition and I extend my own personal thanks to these rare and lovely people.

Cavallo Horse & Rider

The PATH mission is one that Greg and I  both feel deeply connected to and we are proud sponsors, working hard to make Cavallo Horse Hoof Boots available to all PATH members so they may  keep their equine therapists healthy and comfortable while they do their great job!

Keep an eye out for the announcement of the PATH Volunteer of the Year Award winner – results will be posted on PATH International Website: http://www.pathintl.org/path-intl-conferences/international/awards/2015-award-winners

horse hoof boots

Treat Your Horse (And Yourself) This Summer!

Summer is well and truly here (for one half of the globe anyway!) and many of us are enjoying the bright mornings and long evenings. Where else in the world would you be except out on the trail on a lazy, late summer afternoon, taking in the smells and sights with your best equine pal. Many out there are also in the middle of competition season and there is much work to do!

So for those picnic trails or busy competition venues, why not treat yourself this summer and purchase yourself a little something from the online Cavallo store. We are more than just horse hoof boots, you know!

Horse Hoof Boots
Cavallo Flume Boots

Our saddle pads are always a firm favorite and perfect for those hot summer days. With their closed-cell high-density foam, open-cell memory foam and merino wool, they are comfort epitomized! Soft, lightweight, breathable and water absorption free, they promote blood circulation which is all good news for sweaty animals under the saddle.

Flies bothering your fella? Cavallo fly masks (with or without ears) are simple, durable and comfortable. What more can we say!

And something for the riders? The Cavallo Cooler Chair is the perfect accompaniment to any event giving you a comfortable seat and an insulated cooler below. It even comes with free ice packs!

Still trying to find those perfect summer boots? Check out Flume Comfort Footwear. Lightweight and slip-resistant, they provide the Total Comfort System for your feet.

We have it all this summer at www.cavallo-inc.com

horse hoof boots

10 Steps to Barefoot Bliss!

Your First Ten Steps to Going Barefoot

So, you want to get your horse barefoot but you are not sure where to start. Here are the top ten steps on getting you going the right way to a better life for you and your horse:

1.  Read, Read, Read: get your hands on as many barefoot books as possible and ‘read all about it’. Authors such as Hiltrud Strasser, Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey  are excellent sources of information to give you a good foundation for this learning curve. Review online articles, journals and websites to gain even more knowledge about regular barefoot hooves and those with pathologies. Give us a call at Cavallo with any questions you might have. Check out our articles and the information on our web site. Try these links for more access to information: https://www.cavallo-inc.com/why-barefoot

Horse Hoof Boots
Cavallo’s ‘The Bare Facts’

2.  Join internet mailing lists, forums and Facebook groups: these are great to gather ideas, review opinions and start discussions.

3.  Integrate some basic principles of Natural Hoof Care into your horse care management:

-Turn-out as much as possible( if not 24 hours a day) to encourage movement

- Turn-out with other horses as much as possible to simulate herd lifestyle

- If stabled, keep it immaculate – standing in manure/urine is detrimental to barefoot hooves

- Access to free choice hay/grazing when turned out

- To ensure the healthiest and strongest barefoot hooves, turn-out terrain should be similar to the terrain they work on

- Adopt natural trimming techniques to maintain a strong and healthy hoof

 4.  Find a local professional barefoot trimmer to support you. If you can’t find one, ask your farrier if they are willing to learn and support you. If this won’t work, learn trimming yourself. Check out the Cavallo Barefoot Trim https://www.cavallo-inc.com/product/trimming-guide-with-dvd/  If this is unfeasible, send your horse to a rehabilitation centre.

5.  Purchase some trimming tools – even if you have a farrier/trimmer to look after the feet of your horse, it is very handy if you can do some maintenance trims in between (after attending suitable clinics of course!). Some basic tools like a rasp, hoof knife and decent gloves will manage any small chips or imbalances in between farrier visits

6.  It’s time. Do it: take the shoes off!!!

7.  Measure and photo – taking measurements and photographs is a great way of keeping track of changes and improvements in your horse’s feet and body. Measure and photo before shoes are removed, after shoes are removed and after each trim to really see the differences.

8.  Order Cavallo Hoof Boots to keep you in the saddle while giving the hooves the protection they require. You can even use them for turn out to get your horse comfortably moving around.  https://www.cavallo-inc.com/products=hoof-boot

9.  Start the barefoot trim: keep this regular as prevention is better than cure.

10.  Be careful but brave! And congratulate yourself.

And don’t forget, always keep learning, learning, learning.

horse hoof boots

 

“Horse Shoes Will Be Obsolete” – A Farrier’s Insight

“Change the degree of farrier by podiatry, without the systematic use of horseshoes. Have serious studies of feral horse populations in the world to give us more accurate information than we have today. Create greater synergy between society and what is a healthy horse with pedagogy, collaboration and disclosure because we have to reset the old stereotype of horse that is deeply rooted and is doing so much damage.”

This is a quote form a blog by Marc Ferrador, which outlines some of his visions for the future. Marc is an ex-farrier now promoting barefoot in horses.

horse hoof bootsIn this article he speaks about his journey from a career of 14 years shoeing horses, to converting ninety percent of his clients to keeping their horses barefoot. He took his time through this change and did his research. In the blog he talks about the reactions he received from other farriers and how utterly harmful shoes are to the hoof. He constantly refers to the health of the horse and that this is paramount over all other reasons for going barefoot.

His top tips when going barefoot? Be aware of the horse, not just the hooves, and focus on a balanced diet, the right environment and good handling.

Click here to read more on this interesting story where Marc claims that “horse shoes will be obsolete”.

And of course, your alternative to nailing metal into horses feet, are Cavallo Hoof Boots. Horse Hoof Boots provide protection and allow you to ride comfortably on any terrain at any speed.

horse hoof boots Continue reading

Rubbing Your Horse the Right Way

“Balanced muscles protect the horse from the jarring forces of landing, improve energy, prevent injury and relieve fatigue……Fatigue is the primary cause of sports injury in any species”.

This is a quote from a very detailed article on balanced muscles in our equine friends. The article speaks about the importance of posture, proper nerve transmission and how everything has an effect on everything else within the body. This is called adaption and is prominent in equines, and probably most other animals too. In order to hide a weakness, they will adapt their body so as not to appear injured. The strain on the area taking the adaption can in turn become a weakness so another area adapts, and so on. This is one of the basic principles learned when studying bodywork: the idea of onion layers. Often when treating a horse, an area of concern will show itself and will be treated. The following week another area of concern will show itself, as this was what was hiding under the previous area, and so on. When doing bodywork on an old horse or athletic animal that hasn’t had any treatments, the issues build up and each session is like peeling away the layers of an onion.

You can read more about balanced muscles in the above mentioned article: http://www.equinewellnessmagazine.com/articles/balanced-muscles-mean-a-longer-athletic-career/

Horse Hoof Boots

I particularly love the reference to how we blame injuries on everything but the source itself: a fatigued and undertreated horse. When a horse gets a massage, some might say, “Gosh, he’s spoiled, isn’t he?”  If this horse is  an athlete and a lot is asked of him in competition, they get very puzzled because, as many people still do think, they see him as an animal fit for the purpose and why would we give him any extra attention?!  I would love it if more people realized that horses are just like human athletes, and when they compete they work hard and thus deserve therapy, rest and a good diet… just like any sports person.

And if your athlete is suffering a little joint discomfort or arthritic changes, we heartily endorse the relief provided by the supplements Natural Stride:  https://www.cavallo-inc.com/?products=natural-stride-supplements

horse hoof boots