How-to Articles

All Articles are protected by Copyright 2005-2013

 

"The best things in life are free! We hope these articles help your horses.

Ivy and Pete Ramey


Modifications of Easyboot Gloves and Glue-On Shells   (5-20-17)   Pete Ramey

Since they were only prototypes in 2008, the Easyboot Gloves and Glove Glue-On Shells from Easycare, Inc. have been my primary tools for hoof protection. There are many great boots and gluing options out there and I have tried a majority of them but these have remained my favorites.

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Feeding the Hoof   (7-30-08)   Pete Ramey

If you are having horse problems of ANY kind, this may well be the answer......

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Hoof Casts   (5-12-08)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" and "The Horse's Hoof" magazines)

.....We have desperately needed something that combines the healing mechanics of barefoot/boots with the convenience of horseshoeing. I (and many other practitioners) believe we have found it: Hoof casting. This is a tool so wonderful, it should be immediately added to every farrier and trimmer's “bag of tricks”....

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One Foot For All Seasons?   (9-8-06)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" and "The Horse's Hoof" magazines)

......The problem is; many farriers and trimmers were incorrectly taught to evaluate and think about hooves while the horse is standing square on concrete, with less thought given to the hoof and limb mechanics in motion or the terrain the horse lives and works on......

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Reversing Distal Descent of P3   (1-12-06)               Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

Can't be done? .....

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Frog Management   4/14/06 (Updated 5-22-07)        Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

It may seem dull to read an entire article on frog trimming. Please suffer through it, though. Since I started being more conservative and particular about frog trimming, the performance increased in my horses across the board and rehabs seem to fall into place much sooner.

As simple as it may seem; this may be the most important article I've written.

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Toe and Heel Length   (11-25-06)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

If you've read my work before, you know how much I stay away from "always and never"; the horses taught me that. In this article you'll read those words repeatedly. Please know I do not use them lightly.

........The problem with trimming theories that enforce specific hoof lengths based on measurements from the coronet to the ground is that they don't take into account the fact the coronet is highly dynamic and easily moveable. It is the last place we should measure from! I'm going to try to 'spin your brain' into seeing past the coronet and the hoof wall; everyone who cares for horses' hooves needs to see the internal structures first..........

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The Bars   (10-25-06)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Horse's Hoof" magazine)

.......What is "the right" bar length? As discussed at length in the previous article "One Foot For All Seasons?" it varies dramatically with terrain. The bars need enough relief (or slope from the heels) that the hoof can expand, but more importantly, they need to be in place to "bottom out" to provide vertical support at peak impact loads. On hard, flat terrain, a 1/4 inch taper from the heel buttress might be perfect. On rocky terrain, much more taper or concavity may be necessary. On soft arena footing the same goals and support ratio may require a bar to be longer than the hoof walls. Severely foundered horses; particularly "sinkers" often love to have all or most of their weight carried by the bars..... I wish it were easier, but honestly listening to the hoof will take you to the right place. ......

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Newly Discovered Shock Absorber in the Equine Foot   (7-24-07)   Pete Ramey

(Edited by RM Bowker VMD, PhD)

(Published in "The Horse's Hoof" magazine)

Important note: These are just preliminary observations. They are my interpretation after several conversations about it with Dr. Bowker. The completed research project is coming eventually, but people who went to his last clinic are buzzing about it, so I thought I'd try to clear it up.

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Preaching to the Choir   (4-01-06)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Horse's Hoof" magazine)

Have we stepped out of one box; into another? This article is specifically for Natural Hoof Care Professionals everywhere and designed simply to provoke deep thought about everything we do. The second we decide we know it all, we'll stop growing; stop getting smarter.

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Boots and Pads: A True Breakthrough In Healing       (12-28-05)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

Founder and navicular magic!!!

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. At this point I have realized my biggest one has been under-use of hoof boots. I was in so much hurry to get to the unequaled traction, health and energy dissipation of the barefoot horse, I was overlooking the quickest way to get there!

The use of different padding systems inside hoof boots can give you the best of both worlds: You can immediately make horses comfortable when nothing else will work, while also setting up perfect mechanics to fix the real problems.

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Understanding the Horse's Soles   (8-16-05)               Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" and "Horse Country" magazines)

Since the sole is the first line of defense between the horse and the ground, its proper management is crucial to soundness. I would love to see a rasp designed to deliver a strong electric shock to its handler if it gets closer than 5/8 of an inch away from the bottom of any collateral groove for any reason.  A hoof knife that shocks its handler if it gets closer than 5/8 inch away from a coffin bone or lateral cartilage would be nice as well. I would spend my very last dime; buying them and distributing them all over the world. There is no excuse for such a blatant misunderstanding of the foot.

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Hoof Care for Angular Deformities   (8-17-07)          Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

Little has been written about hoof trimming for angular deformities. Most writers have avoided the subject and with good reason. Every situation is different, and nothing could be written that would work every time. The professional in the field must be willing to pay close attention to detail, adapt and switch tactics; following a rigid protocol of any kind will be detrimental to some cases. That said, I’ll lay out my basic protocols and the way I approach the hooves on crooked limbs. Somebody has to do it.

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Laminitis Update   (5-20-05) (Important new research added 8-7-07)   Pete Ramey  

Laminitis research is a fast-moving field, with new discoveries being reported almost every day. I am not a scientist; just a farrier who specializes in founder rehabilitation. I spend my days working on foundered horses and my nights reading veterinary research papers, so I’m writing this only as an interpreter; providing reference to some of the latest understandings of laminitis to help farriers keep themselves current. Also of great importance are references I will make to human medicine.

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Wall Cracks   (8-17-07)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

The “magic bullets” for growing out most wall cracks are simply a well shaped “Mustang Roll” (bevel or chamfer around the perimeter of the outer wall) and enough time to grow them out. So to discuss wall cracks, we really just need to focus on the exceptions to this; the things that can throw a big wrench into this simple process.

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Wild Horses   (3-27-05)   Pete Ramey   Copyright 2005

(Excerpts published in "Hoofcare and Lameness" and "The Horse's Hoof" magazines)

So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse. I literally had no idea of their potential.

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Heel Height the Deciding Factor (5-22-05)         (Updated 12-28-05)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

The mechanics and theory most experienced trimmers apply works well for rehabilitating the hard cases, but then fails to carry the horse the rest of the way to the “high performance bare hoof” we know every horse should grow. Many otherwise successful trimmers fall short at taking hooves to the highest levels of soundness and performance. Fortunately, that is usually a very easy problem to fix, and if this is sounding familiar; I can probably help you here.

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Breakover   (2-15-05)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

Please don’t read this article out of context and try to apply it to your horse. I am assuming that you have read my book, all of the other articles on this site, and have been succeeding with the methods in the field. Then and only then, should you start to bring this more advanced technique into your trimming. It’s like driving a car. You shouldn’t worry about tweaking up the engine, until you know you have mastered the use of the brakes!

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Auburn Case Work/Documentation- Ivy and Pete Ramey update   (3-14-09)

Debra R. Taylor DVM, MS, DACVIM (Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine) is recording and studying the results of natural hoof care on chronic laminitis cases. Ivy and Pete Ramey are currently traveling to Auburn every 3 weeks to expand the preliminary study- hopefully to include 50 horses. The study has consistently shown rotation reversal, increased sole thickness and profound improvement in levels of soundness. Several case horses have also demonstrated reversal of distal descent of P3.

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“Making Natural Hoof Care Work”  Updates          (updated 7-1-05)   Pete Ramey

The toughest thing about writing a “how to” book, is that what you write is frozen in time. Even if you do a revision, all of the old copies are still out there. In the four or so years since I wrote my book, I have been studying, trimming horses, and learning every day. For the most part, only a portion of hoof trimming (particularly rehabilitation) can be written down or taught anyway, so writing about the subject is tough business. It seems that every time I tell someone never to do something, I find myself needing to do it on the next hoof I trim. Experience is the real teacher, and when the chips are down, the intuition and experience of a professional will succeed before “book knowledge”.   

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Club Foot   (2-28-05)  Revised 1-8-06   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Natural Horse" magazine)

A “club footed” horse is defined by most people as a horse with one hoof that grows more upright than the one on the other side. Normally we’re talking about the front pair of hooves. Most farriers have treated it as a hoof problem and worked to make the pair of hooves match each other, but it is my opinion that this is a backwards way of looking at the problem.

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The Politics of Hoof  Care   (updated 10-22-04)       Pete Ramey

Okay, let’s do politics. The problem with political discussions is they usually turn into heated debate. The nice thing about writing about politics is that you can fully present your view while the reader quietly reads. That is much easier. So this article is just that; no more and no less than my opinions about the politics of hoof care.

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The End of White Line Disease (updated 5-5-05)       Pete Ramey

First of all “white line disease” is a misnomer. It is not a disease at all, it is an epidemic, and teaching farriers to deal with it has become my top concern. The telltale signs are stretched white lines and deep grooves filled with rotting material, where healthy hoof walls and white lines should be; flares that won’t grow out, hooves that won’t hold a shoe, soles that remain flat in spite of the most diligent care, and recurring abscesses. This list goes on. The bottom line is that the hoof wall becomes detached from the lamina and it seems impossible to most professionals to do anything about it.          

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Digging for the Truth About Navicular Syndrome           12-12-04 (updated 12-28-05)   Pete Ramey

(Excerpts published in "Western Horse Review" magazine)

One of the most mind boggling areas of hoof pathology for a farrier to attempt to research is navicular syndrome. Every old text contradicts the next, and mountains of new research are being done every day. The good news is that farriers studying the hooves of feral horses and trimming domestic hooves to a closer facsimile to what nature intended, have been routinely restoring total soundness to “hopeless” navicular cases. Veterinary researchers have been studying in this new direction and are steadily unlocking all of the old mysteries about navicular problems.

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Balance and the Live Sole Plane (updated 10-22-04)   Pete Ramey

 Let’s take it all a step further. In my book (Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You) I taught the typical hoof balancing methods practiced by most farriers with a footnote added that said I felt that this “cosmetic” balancing was wrong, but wasn’t quite ready to talk about it. After four years of constant experimentation since writing that, I am ready now. I now am convinced that the “little bit of sole” I would have had you to remove to achieve balance, is a direct violation of everything the horse is trying to do to protect himself and optimize performance.

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Is Barefoot an Option for Your Draft Horse?   (1-10-06)   Pete Ramey

(Published in Rural Heritage Magazine)

It is so difficult to keep well connected hoof walls on draft horses, many owners and trainers have incorrectly decided draft horses are supposed to have flared, split hoof walls. The weight of a heavy draft is often more than the walls can take and the very finest shoers can really struggle to keep everything held together. On top of this, the expense of draft shoeing often causes owners to “stretch out” the shoeing schedule to save money. This makes the farrier’s job of keeping the hooves healthy almost impossible.

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"Western Horse Review" magazine; April 2006:

"New Thoughts On Navicular Syndrome" by Susan Kauffman

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You can also check us out in:

"Dressage Today" magazine; Feb 2013: Barefoot Dressage with Shannon Peters by Kelly Sanchez

"Western Horse Review" magazine; April 2006: New Thoughts on Navicular Syndrome by Susan Kauffmann

"Horse and Rider" magazine; Dec 2006: New Ways To Beat Laminitis by Debbie Moors

"Practical Horseman" magazine; Dec 2005: Can Your Horse Go Barefoot by Elaine Pascoe

"Horse and Rider" magazine; Feb 2006: Is Barefoot Better by Jennifer F. Meyer

"Horse and Rider" magazine; Dec 2007:  Interview with Pete Ramey: The Benefits of Barefoot  by Jennifer F. Meyer

"Horse and Rider" magazine; Aug 2008: New Strategies for Going Bare  by Jennifer F. Meyer

"Clinton Anderson's Downunder Horsemanship" RFDTV Show; Natural Hoof Care With Pete Ramey

                      (A second show debuts on March 6, 2007)  


Please Read:

Timing and Rate of Skeletal Maturation in Horses ©2005 By Deb Bennett, Ph.D.    Read Article


And They Call Us Horse Lovers, By Robert M. Miller, DVM

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Please Read:  Finding and Testing Low Sugar Forage by Kathryn Watts

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When you get done with that, study Kathryn's whole website! www.safergrass.org


 

 

 

 

Horseback Magazine Series  (2013-2014) Pete Ramey

This will be a 12-issue series of (1,000-word Q&A format) short-but-informative articles published in the paper and online versions of Horseback Magazine. These articles are written for a lay horse-owner audience and feature pictures from the new book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot . A great introduction to general hoof care.

Link to Article Index

 

Hoof Care In The 21st Century (10-01-10)   Pete Ramey

(Published in "The Horse's Hoof" magazine)

A letter to "Natural Hoof Care Practitioners":

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Hoof Rehabilitation Protocol  (05-21-09) Pete Ramey

This is the basic protocol written for the "Methods and Materials' of Dr. Taylors navicular and laminitis studies. It is too condensed to be much of a teaching tool, but is an effective, brief overview of what we do and might be a good handout for veterinary hospitals. You are welcome to print it out for viewing.

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