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

Hoof History – Time for a New Story!

Oh the horrors! My friend sent me this picture when she was visiting an old castle in Europe. You can see a display of some the horse shoes used over the last 1,000 years or so for horses, ponies, donkeys, and even oxen.

The list on the left of the exhibit explains what each shoe was used for and it describes different shoes for different horse types and purposes. For example, there are plowing shoes, general purpose shoes, lightweight shoes for farm work, heavy shoes for draft horses doing roadwork, heavy shoes for carting, etc.  Aren’t Cavallo Hoof Boots fantastic? Equines get the benefit of total hoof protection – just one boot for every purpose!

Horse Hoof Boots

Yet again I ponder – how is it that so little has changed over time? Hundreds of years of metal horse shoes, as far back as medieval times, and they all look the same! Technology has advanced so much in such a short period of time and it is only recently that we can offer and produce a better product for our equine friends. Cavallo Hoof Boots are only about 10 years old (although primitive hoof boot versions were actually around even before the metal shoe – remember the hippo sandals?!).

At the rate we are expanding now,  I expect some significant advancements in the next 50 years. Will we look back and say “Can you believe we used to nail metal on horse’s feet?” Will the future of horses determine the future of hoof care? Will the future of our world determine the future of our horses? Perhaps a ‘space-age’ earth will have no need of these noble beasts. Perhaps hoof care will evolve into recyclable protective products. Perhaps the human race will spend another thousand years using metal shoes! It’s possible, but highly unlikely and certainly NOT if I have anything to do with it!

horse hoof boots

Trail Riding? There’s an App for That!

Wrapping my head around today’s technology can be a bit challenging. It all changes so fast and the actual process behind smart phones, GPS, and Wi-Fi baffles me. My kids are fluent – They don’t know any different. Yet, I almost dread the learning curve required for the gadgets and devices the next generation will be using!

The equestrian world has not been left out of this advancement in technology, and just for fun, I’ve outlined two trail-riding apps below.

Horse Hoof Boots

The Horse Trail App is perfect for those trail riding enthusiasts wanting to explore new trails to ride. It is an ever-changing database as users can continually add and update information. Each trail listing includes map style directions, description of trail scenery and difficulty, lists of amenities available for horse and rider, and locations of local equine vets and overnight stables.

There is also the option to upload photos and descriptions of your own experiences on the trails. A special key feature, which is excellent for safety, ensures that you can text your co-ordinates to a friend or relative so that in the event of an emergency, your location is known.

EQUITrail is another great app for trail riders. It has real-time GPS tracking, trail mapping and the ability to ‘mark’ different obstacles or landmarks along the route using photos. A mileage tracking feature is included, making this perfect for competitive distance riders. Your route is tracked in the background while you ride (no need to hold on to the phone!) and you can access the data later, viewing the distance you traveled, your speed, and duration of your ride. You can also share this information with your friends and access their trails! And of course, your horses will be most comfortable on all terrain, at any speed, in Cavallo Horse Hoof Boots.

Happy trail riding, Cavallo fans!

horse hoof boots

OUCH – Lose the Bruise!

Bruising of the sole – what causes it and how can it be remedied?

Below are some of the more common causes of sole bruising in horses:

  • Stepping on a rock
  • Laminitis
  • Pedal bone rotation
  • Excessive hoof trimming
  • Badly fitting shoes or shoes left on too long (leading to bruising and/or corns)

First of all, if your horse is prone to sole bruising and they wear metal shoes, PLEASE take them off! You may think the shoes are protecting his feet but they are not – they are more than likely the cause. Shoes can cause sole bruising in a number of ways:

  • Badly fitted shoes can deform the growth of the hoof and impinge on the sole area thus causing an unnatural exertion of pressure, which in turn can cause a contusion of the solar cushion and corium (the soft tissues between the sole of the hoof and coffin bone)
  • Shoes left on too long can cause underrun heels and thus excessive force will be placed on the heel buttresses, resulting in corns
  • Excessive trimming done to ensure the shoe fits correctly can cause thin soles which become easily bruised when working on rocky ground
  • Flares, long toes and underrun heels caused by shoeing can result in pedal bone rotation which will be seen through bruising of the sole

Horse Hoof Boots

Bruising if often not even seen, except when the farrier/trimmer comes to do their work and by cleaning and rasping the sole – the bruising is soon revealed as reddish areas become apparent. Lameness, heat and an increased digital pulse can also be indicators of sole bruising.

Homeopathy and Epsom salt soaks are great treatments for sole bruising. Usually a few days rest does the trick to relieve the symptoms. However, chronic bruising can lead to abscesses or even pedal osteitis, so always be sure to call a vet if unsure. If you are removing shoes, remember that horse hoof boots are a great protector and are ideal for using until the hooves have healed themselves and re-grown into their natural shape. Always use your Cavallo Hoof Boots when riding on aggressive terrain, and feel free to use your Horse Hoof Boots for turnout too.  Some horses are tender even on their own home terrain, and when their soles are totally protected, you know they won’t be bruising!

horse hoof boots

Getting a Handle on Things – Respectfully

Horse Handling & Riding Styles

I still find it mildly amusing when people joke about how badly behaved their horse is, how he constantly invades their space, won’t stand still and drags the owner around. They think this is hilarious and laugh it off because he is okay to ride most of the time. They comment about him being unruly as though he’s quite a character – almost like they’re proud of him.

Here’s my penny’s worth for earning some respect (the non-violent way) from your equine friends (the four legged type!):

Horsemanship 101:  Be able to touch your horse all over

Horsemanship 102:  Gain respect through controlling the movement of your horse on the ground

Horsemanship 103: Learn the three R’s (Request, Response, Release)

Try these exercises:

1.  Ask your horse to come forwards from a long rope, smoothly and in a straight line

2.  Ask your horse to back up, including one step at a time

3.  Ask your horse to stand still for 1 minute, 3 minutes, and 4 minutes, maintaining a respectful distance

4.  Ask your horse to step sideways smoothly and easily – try this over a pole

5.  The “L” exercise – ask you horse to move through L shaped poles ensuring they bend in both directions, including one step at a time (and for the more advanced, try it going backwards!)

All of the above should be done without pulliHorse Hoof Bootsng, yanking, tugging or hitting. Owning and riding a horse is about building a relationship and this is done through looking after them correctly, and training them correctly.  Very basic tips, but sometimes a little reminder is required.

Oh, and above all – KEEP HIM COMFORTABLE!  Cushion his feet and back in Cavallo Hoof Boots and Cavallo Total Comfort System Saddle Pads.

horse hoof boots

Hope to See You at AETA 2015!

American Equestrian Trade Association

Equestrian trade exhibitors and buyers spend three days in January and August viewing English and Western merchandise, networking with each other, exchanging ideas on marketing and learning the latest in equestrian products and services at the AETA International Trade Show.

New Cavallo Horse Hoof Boot to be Unveiled at AETA

Both Greg and I will be attending AETA 2015 in Pennsylvania to personally present a NEW and exciting Hoof Boot by Cavallo!  We are thrilled that Fran and Jack Levy will also be there to welcome you to our Booth,  #520.  Collectively, Jack and Fran boast over 60 years as trusted authorities, marketers and all-around skilled professionals in the equine industry; most recently Weatherbeeta, and prior to that – Millers. Now as Cavallo Brand Ambassadors,  Fran and Jack will lend their polished skills and matchless industry expertise to provide support for the Cavallo Brand of innovative quality products; most notably Cavallo Hoof Boots.

Horse hoof bootsThe demand for Horse Hoof Boots has been growing rapidly in recent years – Hoof Boots are quickly taking the place of archaic metal horse shoes.  Initially, horse owners like the idea because of the health benefits Hoof Boots offer, as they allow the hoof to flex naturally, promoting vital blood circulation in the lower leg area.  Boots are now being used widely for therapeutic purposes, and are commonly recommended by veterinarians and farriers.  The financial savings of the Barefoot & Booted lifestyle is a significant added bonus.  These features combined are making Hoof Boots staple equipment for every stable!

For more information about Cavallo, please check out our website, at -home to the most popular hoof boots in the world. Here you will find the most economical alternative to metal horse shoes, technologically advanced horse saddle pads, and valuable information for equine health. Cavallo horse boots are easy to size, easy to fit and easy to care for – the simplest, safest, most comfortable hoof boots in the world.

horse hoof boots