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

Hoof Care for the Winter Months

Now is a Great Time to Transition to Barefoot…

snowy horse

You’ve had another magnificent summer with your horse—Invigorating rides, cantering through emerald green country sides, lazy picnic lunches, and refreshing dips In your favorite local swimming spots. It’s been a fantastic season and it is now coming to an end.

Maybe you’ve considered pulling the metal shoes off your horse for the winter. Perhaps you’ve heard about the benefits of re-establishing proper hoof mechanism. You like the idea of allowing blood to flow freely into the live tissue of the brilliant structures that support your horse. You are well aware of the axiom – no hoof, no horse and you want to do the best you can for your horse’s health and well-being. You want fresh blood circulating to provide nourishment and oxygen to your horse’s feet.Blood Supply (3)You want their weight and the shock of impact to be properly absorbed. And you know all about those debilitating conditions that so many horses are plagued with; navicular disease, laminitis, ring bone, side bone, splints, arthritis and chronic thrush can all be deterred by a practice that is simple, beneficial and cost effective.

Have I got your attention?

Now is the time to pull off those metal shoes. Allow the frog to make contact with the ground and pump fresh blood through all the coriums of the hoof—allow shock to be properly absorbed by the hoof, rather than referred back up the structure by the impact of jarring metal. With various studies concluding that horses receive an 800 Hz vibration as metal impacts a hard surface at a trot, now is a good time to relieve those debilitating effects and encourage the hoof to expand and contract as it should. Cavallo Hoof Boots can help make this happen!

Take responsibility and be non-negotiable with your horse’s comfort and well being. SONY DSCCarole Herder has a genuine passion for educating horse owners worldwide, especially on all matters related to natural horse care. Given her strong belief that keeping horses barefoot assists to alleviate hoof problems, Carole designed and developed Cavallo Simple, Sport and Trek Boots. In 1993, she also designed and developed Total Comfort System Saddle Pads to address the other “hot spot” for horses ridden under saddle – sore backs. Providing comfort for horses is Carole’s passion. In 2010, she won the Royal Bank of Canada western division Trail Blazer Woman Entrepreneur of the year award. Carole is an author of several publications and is currently finalizing her first book. She presents training at numerous horse events worldwide.

Meet me in Belfast on Monday!

Hello Ireland!

The word is spreading far and wide – Barefoot and Booted is the way to be!  I’m currently in Belfast, Ireland, where the Barefoot & Booted lifestyle is growing quickly and being embraced by horse lovers who are enthusiastically wanting to increase their knowledge base. The Old Mill Saddlery is putting on a free clinic at 1:00 pm this Monday, September 28th and I am so excited to be there, speaking about hoof health and the use of hoof boots.  If you happen to be in the area, I’d love to see you there!  Please check this link for more details and the location of the clinic:

I am also feeling honored to have received many testimonials coming in from Ireland recently.  Here’s a very thoughtful one I’d like to share with you that came in from a new Cavallo Hoof Boot customer:

My Cavallo experience:

Horse Hoof BootsI live in Ireland, and I got my Cavallo hoof boots through a UK website. It took several emails back and forth, measuring Ollie’s feet and choosing boots. The website salesperson could not have been more helpful. I learnt loads from her. I finally decided to try Cavallo Hoof Boots for the front feet. The salesperson told me that it was paramount that I bought boots that would fit the horse well.

The Cavallos are:

* Really easy to put on, take off and maintain

* The extra velcro strap (Trek Boots) is great, as the velcro can become worn

* The Gel Pads I bought also help when I want to give my horse extra comfort

* They are the best I have tried so far on wet muddy ground

* Good in the arena – stuff gets into the boots but it doesn’t seem to matter

* Ollie’s heels have not gotten sore from the boots

* Cavallos have lasted well, Ollie would wear metal shoes out quickly even just in the fields

* We do jumps in them with no bother

* He has not pulled them off. (He never wears them loose/unridden). Ollie was forever pulling off metal shoes in the field, even with overreach boots on

Ollie is a 17.3hh Dutch x Irish draught and is 11years old. He was bought to do dressage but we have gotten tired of continuous circles.  He has poor hoof growth and soft hooves. They have got stronger but will never be really strong.  I am thinking about getting them for the back feet as well, for extra protection.

Co. Meath, Ireland

horse hoof boots

“Cowgirl Up” With Cavallo!

There are several fabulous riding adventure holidays around the globe and, of course, we at Cavallo are sponsoring the amazing trip to Alberta’s Sierra West. Chasing cows – how exciting! This is a real challenge to “cowgirl up”.

Check out Sierra West at:

Horse Hoof Boots
Sierra West Cabins

And if one wanted to venture outside North America for something more relaxing, there are many other “interesting” rides to be had – For example ‘Cortijo Los Lobos’! The prefect place to unwind. Self-catering villa rental or all-inclusive holidays. Rustic cottages. Unrivalled mountain views. Stunning Spanish countryside. Walking, cycling and birdwatching breaks. Wonderful hosts. A perfect piece of paradise. Want more??

Bitless and barefoot riding!

Yes, you read right, bitless and barefoot riding holidays in Spain. “Cortijo Los Lobos is an exclusive holiday retreat with heated pool and horse riding set in the beautiful olive groves and pine clad national park of Andalucia, Southern Spain.”

Weekend, midweek or full week riding holidays can be arranged, either self-catering or full board. The holidays are tailored around the guests…around their riding ability and plans. Non riders, beginners and children are welcome and offers of picnic rides and restaurant hacks are available. A wonderful mixture of terrain and views awaits you, with open fields, cool shady pine forests, olive groves and streams to make for memorable rides.

Many of the horses at Cortijo Los Lobos are rescues and all are ridden in bitless bridles and without shoes on their feet. It came about when one horse became terrified of farriers after a bad incident. The only way they could continue to ride their lovely horse was to find a different way that would be more comfortable for the horse and safer for them. After removing the shoes and learning to ride with a loose contact using a halter bridle, there was no stopping them, and all their horses are now kept in a natural environment and ridden the same way.

Find out more at Think I will plan a visit myself, Cavallo Hoof Boot style! Anyone want to come along?

horse hoof boots


Warm Words from Ireland to Cavallo

Here is a testimonial I recently received from a Cavallo customer in Ireland. It was so nicely written that I couldn’t help but share it with the Cavallo Community…as it’s always a great joy to hear of an older horse finding comfort again.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:

So I bought this new horse; he may as well have been made of gold. He was fantastic, a real gentleman, a confidence-giver and a sweetheart. The only thing was, he was old and was physically feeling the effects of a hard life of hunting. Previous bad saddle fitting had left extensive muscle atrophy and his withers stuck up like the sail of a ship.

Horse Hoof Boots

I wondered how on earth I was going to find a saddle and pad to work comfortably for him? I tried a few variations but never felt he really moved well under them. Finally, after much research, I settled on a Cavallo English Raised Wither Saddle Pad. I waited with anticipation for the courier to arrive, and when it did I was still unsure about my purchase.

Against better advice, I initially used the pad with a numnah underneath and found it was ‘OK’. After a couple of weeks of still wondering about my horse’s comfort, I braved it and threw off the numnah. I placed the lovely New Zealand wool against his back and settled my saddle directly on top. Within ten minutes of riding I felt the difference in my horse. He responded better to my aids and I could feel him move more freely underneath me.

I follow the sport of TREC which involves trail riding and obstacle challenges. This requires my horse to be completely comfortable on the long rides whilst being supple and steady through the courses. He no longer got tired quickly and our scores increased with every competition we entered.

Thank you Cavallo, for making such a wonderful pad (and for the free session with Monty Robert’s Equus University!). I still love to watch my fellow’s shoulders move every time we ride, unrestrained and relaxed.

- Sheaffe Monteith, County Kildare, Ireland

horse hoof boots

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