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Feet First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation Hardcover – 31 Jul 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Feet First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation
  • +
  • A Barefoot Journey: The story of one woman's fight against horse shoes
  • +
  • The Barefoot Horse: An Introduction to Barefoot Hoof Care and Hoof Boots
Total price: £35.31
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: J.A.Allen & Co Ltd; 1 edition (31 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851319602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851319605
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Who should read this book? This can be answered very simply; it should be read by every horse owner, farrier, trimmer, vet, and owner." --"The Horses Hoof"

About the Author

Nic Barker and Sarah Braithwaite trained originally in the US before founding UKNHCP (UK Natural Hoofcare Practitioners), a training and research organisation for farriers and trimmers working in the UK. Nic is based on Exmoor where she runs an equine rehabilitation centre specialising in hoof problems. She and her partner. Andy, hunt their own horses regularly with the Exmoor Foxhounds and compete in eventing and hunter trialling. Sarah lives in North Wales and has a busy hoofcare practice, focussing on hoof rehabilitation and performance. With a background in endurance, she works and competes her own horses not only over long distances but also show-jumping, cross-country and hunting.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book should be required reading for every horse owner, farrier, trimmer vet and yard owner.

Although from the title it looks as though it is a treatise on barefoot horses, it is not. The book gives a clearly written holistic approach to hoof health

It covers both healthy and unhealthy hooves and hoof mechanism, with good line drawings and illustrations. The importance of diet, environment and exercise on maintaining a healthy hoof are explained, as is the fact that trimming or shoeing is only the tip of the hoof health iceberg

The track system for keeping horses is explained with some nice drawings of tracks

The book presents balanced arguments for and against both shoeing and going barefoot with your horse and at the same time accepts that going barefoot is not for every horse owner. Much of the information presented in the book is valid whether your horse is barefoot or shod.

At the end there are numerous references and further reading lists for people who want to delve further into the subjects covered in the book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book helps educate those of us who have previously left the entire issue of foot health in the hands of our farriers. It poses valid questions about so many practices that have always been taken for granted. It is written in a very accessible manner with useful pictures. Although the authors are clearly very passionate about their subject, they provide a balanced, pragmatic approach to hoof care without being too evangelistic, giving due credit to established farriery whilst proposing alternative possibilities.

If you having hoof problems or are just interested in the importance of hoof care, I would thoroughly recommended this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I went down the barefoot route last summer with my horses - well before this book appeared on the shelves, so I gleaned all my information from Jaime Jackson's and Pete Ramey's books and websites. After reading those first this book is a little light on detail however for the person totally new to barefooting or just thinking about it this book is a great starting point. It explains all the basics and gives some good advice on taking the plunge. I was disappointed however that the use of hoof boots only gets the very briefest of mentions. Hoof boots are essential for most horses in transitioning from shoes and as such this book really should have had a chapter on them. It's a big omission and I really don't understand why it's not included. I also thought the section on setting up track systems was a bit naive. As the vast majority of people keep their horses on livery yards setting up a track system is not an option, but the book brushes over that issue, and I fear may put people off trying barefoot. Track systems are great but not essential for successful barefooting. Why so much emphasis on track systems and so little on hoof boots when the former are not essential but the latter are? That's why I can only give the book 3 stars but it's still well worth reading to give the person new to barefoot an idea of how and why. Hopefully those people will then be interested enough to do further reading - Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey's books are the next step up the ladder. It should also be noted that there are a number of different schools of trimming, with slightly differing methods, so please do research the subject thoroughily before taking one school of thought as gospel.
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Format: Hardcover
As other reviews have said this is an excellent book for for anyone thinking about going barefoot, or wants more information about the subject.

The sections on diet are particularly helpful, good chapters on healthy and unhealthy hooves and on the environment. I think the book falls down a bit on not giving enough information on booting horses, this is nearly always necessary to start with, and not enough information on the actual trimming. I know the trim is the tip of the iceberg in many ways but it helps owners to assess whether the hoof care professional who trims the horse is doing a good job or not, and a poor trim is definitely detrimental, no matter what you feed!

I found Pete Ramey and Jaime Jackson more helpful for practical trimming/hoof assessment and this book more helpful for dietary advice.
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Format: Hardcover
Feet First has its place as a 'starter' book, but lacks enough breadth or depth to be a single source.

I suggest if you are really interested in researching the barefoot world that you try one of Jaimie Jackson's books; perhaps starting with Horse Owner's Guide to Natural Hoof Care which is available on Amazon.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have any interest in keeping your horses barefoot then this book is ideal to help you decide if its the right thing for you. Its easy to read with lots of information on diet and the best enviroment to keep a barefoot horse. There are lots of examples of different horses that have gone barefoot for a variety of reasons.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really helpful as an introduction and should be required reading for every owner, vet and farrier. Some excellent hints tips and moving success stories. So many people think that it is impossible for horses in the UK to be barefoot, but we see here the proof that it can and does work.

I hope there is a second edition, because like another reviewer, I think that there should be information for people with less than perfect conditions, and the use of hoof boots and that there are other "trim methods." However, overall an excellent book.
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