Feet First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation Hardcover – 31 Jul 2009
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"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.
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Top customer reviews
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.
If you having hoof problems or are just interested in the importance of hoof care, I would thoroughly recommended this book.
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.
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.
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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