Matty’s Barefoot Journey Part 2
With Annette Kaitinis (Co-Founder of Scoot Boot)
For those who haven’t read my first blog in late April, 2020, Matty found a new home with me... He had been purpose bred for the show ring (Wesswoods Mastercaste) and became a champion show hack. He had been shod for most of his life, but that all changed when he arrived at my place.
Of course, being the co-founder and owner of Scoot Boots, and passionate about keeping horses as natural as I possibly can, Matty’s shoes came off all four hooves the day after I got him home (on the 4th of May 2020).
Riding Matty in Scoots
For a horse that had worn shoes without a break for possibly 10 years, I was surprised at how good his hooves were. This made the transition way easier for me. I started riding Matty approximately a week after his shoes were removed. Scoot Boots were used to make him more comfortable.
Matty’s Beach Adventures!
There were times I didn’t use Scoots... on soft sandy trails and the beach. Matty had never been to the beach before! On his first visit he powered through the sand, down to the water, with absolutely no hesitation, and then wanted to head out into the deep water.
He’s had a few beach rides since then, and is now very excited (a bit too excited at times) to be out on the long, winding, sandy trails and beach with his riding mates.
Matty’s Third Barefoot Trim
I had Matty slightly trimmed 2 weeks after his shoes came off and his second trim was 4 weeks after that. Although his digital cushion and frog were in good condition at the time his shoes were removed, I could see massive improvement in just 6 weeks! These two following images show before and after Matty’s trim.
My trimmer, Libby Franz, didn’t take too much off the hoof wall as it's winter time in Tasmania, Australia and I’ve been riding him approximately 8km to 10km each week, and sometimes without wearing Scoots.
Libby said that he has become a lot stronger in the heel buttress and he’s sharing the load with the frog. His quarters have scooped quite a bit because of all the work he’s been doing. The toes have been breaking away from where the nail holes were previously.
Libby said his sole is solid, good and strong. Libby took the bars down a bit as they were a bit overgrown and she only needed to give the hooves a bit of a tidy up. You can see a beautiful new hoof connection growing through and the old cracked hoof wall below the new connection, as shown in the above picture.
Once the new hoof wall grows out, Matty will have perfect hooves! It’s evident that Matty’s blood circulation has improved as so much more blood is pumping throughout his hoof providing much needed nourishment.
Matty’s Barefoot Trim
Everyday Life with Matty
Matty’s diet consists of hay 24/7, as well as a small quantity of lucerne and oaten chaff, sugar beet, copra, rice bran, barley, essential minerals and a mineral-activated charcoal dietary feed supplement each day.
Several weeks ago, it looked like Matty had a touch of mud fever and I couldn’t use Scoots for rehab as it was located around where the heel bulb strap is placed. I put chamomile, echinacea, hawthorn and white willow bark in his feed and the mud fever cleared up within 7 days.
Our Journey Moving Forward
Libby told me that I needed to promote hoof wall growth and that I should use Scoots every time I ride out, so Matty is now ready to hit the trails again...
Annette Kaitinis & Matty
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Building a Supportive Barefoot Community
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