Are you looking to heal your horse, donkey or mule from from neglect, laminitis, founder, navicular, white line disease, thrush, cracks and chips or poor hoof quality? or Maybe you only need regular hoof trimming for your horse? Regular Farrier care is needed every 4-8 weeks for hoof health and soundness.
My depth of knowledge of the structures of the hoof inside and out will guide the hoof trimming to restore the foot to soundness and comfort. X-rays from your veterinarian always helps and if you need a referral there are a few horse vets to choose from in our area. As a Farrier part of my job is to work with your Veterinarian and I will gladly do so when needed.
The hoof is a dynamic structure constantly growing and changing. Paying close attention to these dynamics while hoof trimming is what helps heal the horse's hoof. Helping you with diet adjustments and after care plans that you can easily implement into you daily animal care routine is the extra detail that can make or break a tough case of rehabilitation. My goal is to help you help your equine to achieve healthy barefoot hooves.
Animals have always been a part of my life from the very beginning. Horses in particular because my mother loved them and started us with riding lessons when I was 5 years old. By the time I was 7 we had a good sized farm and were amassing a collection of equines . Myself and my siblings were active in 4-H in order to learn all we could about horses. While my mother and father also advanced the learning curve with educating themselves. Mom is a registered nurse with a masters in nursing and quickly attended to equine medical needs with the help of our large animal vet. New animals were treated for parasites and thrush while in quarantine.
Farriers were either not readily available or when they did show up they would be impatient with the horses and hit them. Leaving us with the fall out of trying to care for frightened animals. My father watched closely the few good farriers we did come across and purchased several of books on the subject of horse shoeing and trimming, He immediately knew that these long intervals without hoof trimming were causing suffering to the animals. He started doing the trimming of the hooves out of necessity and the love of his animals, it is not an easy job ! My fondest memories are of learning along side him as one after the other i would catch up horses and bring them to our hitching spot and hand him tools . Eventually learning how to wield the nipper and rasps myself, this was the 1970's.
Dad named our farm, Indian Fields Mule farm. At one point early on, he purchased a pony sized mule, a tri colored paint, with several brands on him. Everyone in the family either rode Gizmo or drove him. Dad even used him to pack out fencing to the farther fields when building and repairing fence. This creature fascinated him so much he purchased a mammoth Jack, called him General Black Jack Pershing and started the breeding of mules both saddle and draft sized. Pershing was a "mule Jack" raised by a surrogate mare as a foal . He didn't even know what a donkey was when he arrived on our farm! We had a few smaller donkeys that frightened him so much we removed them to a friends barn until we could re-introduce them slowly !
At times we kept nearly 30 equines on the farm, between brood mares, their foals, weanlings and up, the Jack and also a stream of animals that rotated through that Dad would pick up at the auction. All new animals had their shoes pulled and hooves trimmed. Our riding animals and the working teams all were barefoot . I never even questioned it, long before Pete Ramey and Jamie Jackson with the barefoot hoof care revolution, we had great success. My sister and I rode rock gravel roads, trails and paved roads, some times for several miles when we had to go to our local 4-H horse shows. Rode at the show and then rode home, all bare foot with no boots and no soundness issues. How could that be? I literally grew up never thinking horses needed shoes. That was back when people were in their own little worlds, published books were the only way to get new information and learning. My father was a life long learner and had an impressive library of all things farming , animal husbandry and farrier related. ... continued on next page ...
Jerry De Gennaro driving a 3 mule hitch , Indian Fields Mule Farm, Groesbeck Rd , Feura Bush, NY
Why did the barefoot hoof trimming work back then in the 1970's with hooves trimmed by what some would have not considered farrier? Back then I never knew and didn't even know to question ,I just rode my horse every second I could in between animal chores, making hay and going to school.
Now with my current continued education that I have been compiling over the last 25 years . Knowledge and research by Jamie Jackson , Pete Ramey, Dr. Robert Bowker and Dr. Chris Pollitt on the horse's hoof , New knowledge on nutrition and how to feed horses and how the nutrition changes in grass as soils get depleted. Studies by Eleanor Kellon DVM and Kathryn Watts. There are reasons why it worked when possibly it didn't work for other horse owners around us back then.
It worked because we fertilized and limed pastures and the hay fields that produced the forage for winter feeding. That gave better nutrition and very little grain was fed and only when needed to lactating mares. We kept the horses, donkeys and mules in a free moving herd situation with run in shelters with free choice hay available 24/7. No stalling except for mare and foal bonding immediately after birth. ( The Jack General Pershing did get stalled at night and did not live with the herd, we practiced controlled breeding. ) The exercise kept the hoof functioning as it should and did not leave them standing in their own urine and manure. The water source was a spring fed well that was so old the well lining was rock. Thus eliminating excessive iron that is now known to interfere with other minerals like copper and zinc absorption in the body.
The other thing was the way my dad trimmed the hooves . He paid close attention to balance both Medial/Lateral (side to side) and Dorsal/ Palmar ( toe/heel). He had an eye for detail, ( I inherited that eye) he would carefully round the edge of the hoof wall that prevented chipping and cracking between trims. Jamie Jackson termed it a "mustang roll", my dad called it giving a good finishing to the hoof.
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Ruth A. De Gennaro with mares & mule foals at one of the sheltered feed stations age 14
After attending State University of New York at Delhi Veterinary Science Technology program adding credits to my A.A.S. Degree in Medical Lab Technology, I moved west. For the last 20 years my job has been caring for and trimming hooves on equines here in South West Washington State . The environmental challenges in the land of too much rain alternating with drought can make caring for animals well, a challenge.
For the first 10 years I took a position as animal health manager for small diversified farming operation with an attached private equine sanctuary.. Those equines lived out their lives here on the Back Forty Farm in Winlock, WA. Retired pony club horses and assorted donkeys totalling 15 equines. Each with their own hoof challenges mainly brought on by not frequent enough trimming and unbalanced trims when they did get trimmed. Some chronic laminitic from the pasture grasses and improving their feet ment getting them out of the grass during all but the dry season. All that kept me pretty busy until the retirees and donkeys passed away over time. I still keep my one surviving Donkey brought out with me from NY, she's 22 now and my current horse who I am restarting with positive reinforcement training. She had some hoof issues and I could not resist bring her home. She is doing quite well now.
For the past 10 years I have been trimming for the general horse, donkey and mule owning public in the Lewis and Cowlitz county area. My old website and FaceBook Page name was Ruth's Natural Hoof Trimming but this year I decided to change it to shorten it. My Initials seemed perfect, not only is RAD an slang term for " Awesome' which my hoof rimming certainly is. However it also stands for Rehabilitative , Anatomical and Dynamic. Which describes important aspects of my barefoot hoof trimming techniques.
I hope that by getting to know me a little, you will entrust me with the trimming of your beloved horse , donkey or mule's hooves. That together,we will provide the best care for your equines. There are numerous pictures contained in this website and if you click on the picture it should open up in full screen and you can do a manual slideshow. Please keep scrolling this website to find more information on the care and feeding of equines because it is not only trimming that keeps hooves in healthy condition.
Ruth A. De Gennaro with her donkey
Having a place that is dry to store hay is needed. Hay will make up most of the equine's diet. Pasture also fills part of their forage needs. Dry Hay is needed at minimum part of the year, if not year round for feeding your horse.
It was told to me in Veterinary Science college that water is the most important nutrient. For your horse It truly is !
If you water source is high in iron filtering it can improve the results you get from feeding supplements. You may already have a water treatment system for your house water but does your horse get the same quality water?
Free access to a run in shelter is best. There can be occasions when a horse needs to be stalled due to illness. Sometimes certain animals need to be forced to get dry in our rainy climate during winter too! Even the best farrier care and hoof trimming cannot cure bad feet if the horse stands in manure and wet bedding. Keeping the shelter or stall clean and dry is important.
Jamie Jackson coined the term "Paddock Paradise" for the track system of horse management. Even a mud track is better than no track, it is not clean mud that damages hooves. Standing in manure and urine is what contributes to poor hoof health. Building and upgrading horse facilities takes time. The majority of horse owners learn along the way and improve their facilities over time.
The track encourages the horses to move more than square "dry Lots".
Exercise is essential to your equine's health. We had the track for several years before investing in rock and sand, this was a big project !
Our wet climate is a perfect breeding ground for thrush. Thrush can be very painful. This horse was limping from thrush infection
There are many thrush remedies for horses on the market, no single remedy works every time and you may have to experiment or rotate products. Hoof trimming and cleaning helps clear up infections.
After hoof trimming your horse if there is any sign of thrush I will apply (at no extra charge) Triodine or Blu-Kote to disinfect the hoof. This is part of good farrier care. Successful treatment will be up to the owner to continue the after care plan.
Feeding a good hoof supplement such as California Trace will help combat thrush. Reviewing your current feed program comes with the Set Up hoof trimming price. Have your current labels or names of the products you feed your horse ready for me to analyze. Together we will set up the best feed program for your situation.
Paying attention to good care and feeding ( ie. husbandry) will keep you in the saddle and enjoying the outdoors with your horse. The horses hoof is the window into the health of his whole body and without it he is nothing. Hoof trimming, nutrition , exercise and environment are the foundation of a good horse. No hoof, no horse !
Making an appointment for hoof trimming is as easy as a phone call, text or email. I do prefer calls and Texts at 360-880-3264. your address will be needed if you want a price quote, texting works great for that :)
If you have detailed questions or your horse has lameness issues i would prefer a call to discuss the best plan..
Before hoof trimming a horse with lateral wall flair.
First time with RAD Hoof Trimming giving a balanced trim same day
A horse's hoof growth cycle is about 9 months and can be shorter or longer depending on age and nutrition.
Hoof trimming on a regular schedule to maintain the proper form and balance. Horse's hooves can be rehabilitated with a farrier care program!
The first hoof trimming can make a dramatic difference for the animal. However it is the continued maintenance trimming that restores the horse's hoof and ends suffering. Farrier care every 4-8 weeks is essential. My service area includes Chehalis, Onalaska, Ethel, Winlock, Toledo, Vader, Napavine and Castle Rock.
Months later ,with trims every 4 to 6 weeks the hoof has transformed into a much more normal shape for a donkey.
Getting your equine back on track with hoof trimming is as easy as calling or texting me at 360-880-3264 .
There are several reasons for a horse's club foot, genetics , injury, incorrect hoof trimming or lack of farrier care, as well as upper body issues. For this hoof it was genetics, so only so much can be done.
The low foot happens for the same types of reasons as the club foot. This horse had suffered an acute laminitis attack several years before due to a neighbor throwing grass clippings over the fence!
They will never be perfectly matched , however we have been maintaining soundness for the past 7 years that I have been doing the hoof trimming on this horse.
The trick to maintaining a club foot is not taking too much heel and maintaining the horse's comfort level when it is a congenital defect. If lack of or improper trimming is the cause, then heels can be lowered gradually as long as the horse remains comfortable.
The low side has its own hoof trimming challenges to bring the toe back and get the horse's hoof back under the bony column. It is often the foot taking most of the weight. Proper diet with mineral supplements will help in getting a healthier hoof to grow .
The high/low horse will need to stay on a short hoof trimming schedule to achieve the best balanced trim and maintain that balance. ( 4-6 weeks is the norm) A set up trim can be scheduled by calling or texting me at 360-880-3264
During a normal set up trim the horse will be examined for the health and soundness of the hoof. Photo tracking will start if possible. A clear working area that the horse is accustomed to is preferable.
Photo tracking the hooves is important even for horses that have been trimmed on a regular schedule in the past. Slight imbalances can be noted and improved over time with hoof trimming.
The after trim photo shows some slight change in heel height. This horse has an upright shoulder angle and pastern angles, the heel can only be lowered so much. You will notice not all horses can have the low heel of the mustang model hoof. There are no cookie cutter trimming methods with RAD Hoof Trimming.
The finishing touch to hoof trimming that makes or breaks a good trim that lasts a trim cycle without chipping or cracking. No trim will outlast a reasonable farrier care cycle though, the horse's hoof grows daily!
Straight hoof walls are a good thing . Over time they will happen when the diet, environment and hoof trimming all are adjusted for that individual horse.
Notice this hind hoof has a naturally lower heel. A healthy hoof is your horse's foundation , creating it is up to you. Farrier care is important so start with getting in my calendar for regular hoof trimming , call or text me at 360-880-3264
Laminitis means inflammation of the lamina which are the structures that keep the hoof wall connected to the coffin bone. Once the signs of laminitis are seen it is critical to get to the root cause of that inflammation before damage is done and the hoof capsule gets displaced. This hoof shows the tell tail sign of a deep ridge from an acute laminitis attack. There are several reasons for laminitis but the most common one is diet related.
Founder is when the coffin bone is no longer aligned in the hoof capsule. Sometimes the coffin bone sinks and the sole becomes very thin. In some cases the bone can penetrate the sole, this is of course very painful for the horse and Veterinary intervention is needed. Without X-rays we only have outside appearance of the hoof to try and determine the best trim for that horse.
First trims are difficult on foundered hooves. The horse's hoof did not get that way overnight and it will be a long rehabilitation process. Horses are in pain and reluctant to lift the hoof for trimming. Pain relief from your Veterinarian can help , there are links at the end of this website to local Veterinarians. If your horse is in pain please call the veterinarian . Heels cannot necessarily be lowered all at once or it will cause additional discomfort for the horse. First trim priorities are to relieve pressure and forces at the break over area of the toe wall, without thinning the sole. lowering heels as much as is tolerable for the horse's comfort. Trimming schedules will need to be on a short interval in order to bring gradual change to the hoof and maintain those changes as it grows out, 4 weeks is an average hoof trimming schedule for laminitic horses, donkeys and mules.
Insulin Resistance ( IR), Equine 's Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), Cushing's disease aka Equine Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction( PPID) these are all metabolic diseases that can result in lamintitis and founder. Two of these can be controlled by diet the other PPID can be managed with a veterinary prescription drug. It is important to get to the real cause of the laminitis, that can be done faster with veterinary diagnostics. There are also other causes like a retained placenta in a brood mare,
Often laminitis is caused by unlimited grazing in the spring. Our PNW cool season grasses have high sugar fluctuations in the active growth stage in spring and fall. Top it off with any feeds containing cereal grains and molasses , that's a recipe for laminitis. Horses evolved on dry plains grasslands and need low carbohydrate high fiber foods to remain healthy. Hoof Supplements can add the needed minerals and amino acids for a strong hoof without extra calories and sugars. Feed your horse a species appropriate diet and a lot of health and soundness problems can be avoided.
Recovery will take more than hoof trimming. the reason for the laminitis must be addressed. Was it a one time accidentally getting into the feed room and gorging ? Was it a longer term feed program that inadvertently let to too much weight gain and a tipping into EMS or perhaps true Insulin Resistance? The diet will have to be changed and maintained that way for the life of the horse, donkey or mule. Will the horse need additional hoof protection in the form of hoof boots while the hoof heals and for riding once the recovery is going well? These will be things the owner needs to learn about and do to care for their their horse and be successful in rehabilitation. Please call me at 360-880-3264 to address your needs if your horse is laminitic or you think they are and need help in setting up a rehabilitation plan.
Keeping a donkey's hoof normal is also a big part nutrition and resisting the urge to over feed. Hoof trimming alone doesn't usually solve everything. Donkeys are a desert species and do better with limited or no grazing, do not feed them like a horse. Feeding hay out of slow feed bags helps stretch the small amount of hay that they need out
Mules hooves are generally more like a donkey hoof. They also require less feed than a horse pound for pound. Both donkeys and mules benefit from an adjusted portion of hoof supplement.
Donkeys and mules are very prone to thrush because their hoof is deeper and narrower than a horse's. Daily cleaning, a hoof trimming schedule and treating is needed to fulfill their farrier care needs.
Donkey and Mule hooves grow at about the same rate as a horse. The hoof wall is thicker and tends not to flair, chip and crack giving an illusion that the hoof is not ready to be trimmed. Keeping the breakover point optimum, heel to toe balance, angle and medial/ lateral balance requires the same 4-8 week trim cycle as a horse.
Many donkeys suffer neglect from unaware owners that think they are a cute small pet and are easy to care for. They buy them as lawn mowers or let them clean up dropped fruit in their yards. They never think of the hoof trimming needs until it is a dire situation. These slipper feet are so common that some think it is normal. Most people know horses need hoof trimming, there are still too many people that do not know that donkeys need farrier care! It is not normal and I am more than happy to get hooves like this fixed up and educate owners on species appropriate husbandry.
With staying on a hoof trimming schedule and adopting better husbandry practices these owners turned a down trodden, neglected animal into a happy healthy pet. If you have questions on donkey and mule care or need someone experienced in the farrier care for these unique hooves please call 360-880-3264. I would be happy to help you keep or restore your equine to health and happiness.
If your horse is struggling with a parasite load it will eventually compromise it's health. There is an increasing problem with parasite resistance to common dewormers. Fecal egg counts only measure the amount of large and small adult strongyles and round worms in your horse. Equines are bothered by several other parasites both internally and externally.
Starting in August you might see a fly buzzing around your horse's legs , shoulders or flank area. Look closely, is it shooting out tiny eggs that are attaching to the hair? That's a bot fly, the egg laying adult form of this parasite. The horse ingests the eggs while grooming it's self. The eggs hatch and burrow into the mucous membranes of the mouth and digestive tract, eventually grow to become a larva, attaching to the stomach lining and sucking blood.
As part of your parasite control program the bot eggs should be removed asap in a safe manner. Never remove them where your horse will be eating off the ground and ingesting them. Since the eggs are on the hair they will never be seen on a fecal egg count (FEC).
In late spring and early summer the bot larva leaves the digestive tract of the horse and ventures forth to pupate and become a fly completing the life cycle unless you stop it with Ivermectin.( moxidectin only kills one species of bot) Heavy infestations with bots can cause colic and even stomach ruptures. That may be rare, but do you want to risk it? The constant stomping at the fly can also compromise the farrier care and hoof trimming program with creating cracks, chips and bruising.
Lice are tiny and are very hard to see with the naked eye. They may look like moving dandruff, this one is under the microscope. They cause the horse a lot of irritation in the case of this chewing louse. Sucking lice look a bit different with a long mouth part for attaching and sucking blood. Heavy infestations of sucking lice can cause anemia!
Sometimes it's easier to find the louse eggs or "Nits" at the base of the horse's hair near the skin, this one is under magnification. Nits are tightly attached to the hair shaft.
There is another parasite that doesn't appear in FEC and is rarely seen in the manure and that is the Tapeworm. Working with your veterinarian to develop a parasite control plan can improve your equine's health and hooves.
Renegade hoof boots can be adjusted heel to toe length and I carry the fitting shells to help get the right width for your horse. Hoof trimming every 4 weeks is normal to keep boots fitting well. You can order directly from Renegade, it takes about 3 days to get your order. I can help you with adjustments and fit at any time, even if you already have the boots.
California Trace is my usual suggestion for a hoof supplement in our area. Another good one is Arizona Copper Complete. Feeding your horse well and staying on a hoof trimming schedule will be the best farrier care plan.
Do you know what you are feeding? True hay quality can only be known with hay testing. Yes you want it free of mould and as dust free as possible but do you really know if it is providing the right level of nutrition for your horse? I carry a hay probe for taking samples and sampling kits from Equi-Analytical. Their testing costs do change so check out their website for more information on cost.
Does you feed program include fresh grazing? you may be interested in how the nutrients change in the grass during the day and during the different seasons. I can give you the abbreviated version in person at your trim visit on how to let your horse graze without risking laminitis. But a visit Safer-Grass. org might help you learn more too. clicking the next action button will bring you there..
If you never heard of Pete Ramey, you probably have not researched very far into the barefoot hoof care. He is one of the main nationally well known natural farriers doing barefoot trimming and booting. I have learned so much from the books and instructional materials he has put out, he truly is a master. Learning is a life long process, Check out his website thru this action button..
HayStack feeds are the most common source in Lewis County for hay pellets and other forage based horse feeds that are unfortified to be fed along with your choice of vitamins. Choose Timothy or Orchard grass hay pellets or HayStack Special Blend for hard keepers or finicky eaters. These products are available at most local feed stores.Hoof trimming and good nutrition grow good hooves. Click the action button to go to their website.
If your horse does not have access to some good quality fresh grazing supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids will improve hoof and coat quality. Good sources are Ground Flaxseed and Chia Seeds. Omega horseshine is a stabilized ground flax seed product. Chia seeds can be fed whole. There are other Omega 3 fatty acid supplement sources too, my tendency is to want to feed whole foods.
Fighting thrush, white line disease or deep cracks in your horse's hooves sometimes take powerful medicine that will kill both fungi and bacteria. After hoof trimming and staying on a regular farrier schedule. The next step is using White lighting a hoof soaking product that works by creating chlorine dioxide gas that will penetrate all nooks and crannies killing organisms. It involves a soaking bag held tightly on the leg and keeping that on for 30-45 min. A few days of aggressive treatment before switching to an easier treatment can speed healing of these types of aliments. Use the action button to go to the manufacture Grand Circuit Inc.
Equines need added salt to their diet. If you are feeding a good hoof supplement they are already getting all the other trace minerals. Buy Plain white livestock salt in granular form with nothing added. Put some in their feed according to the animal's size and have a block available for them to lick. Equines cannot get enough salt from licking a block alone. Most feed stores carry 50 pound bags of granular, blocks both big and little of livestock salt. For more articles on how much salt to feed and other nutrition go to Dr. Elleanor Kellon's blog Dr.K's Horse Sense by clicking on the action button..
If you suspect your horse has Insulin Resistance, Equine Metabolic Syndrome and/ or Cushings Disease (PPID) there is much to learn to successfully manage your animal. Dr. Kellon has a website and organization devoted to the complicated diseases . Click on the action button to go to the ECIR Horse website
Some times hay is low in Phosphorus and Uckele was the only company i could find that had a single source of supplemental phosphorus for horses. They also have some other things like Vitamine E sold separately. Click on the next action button to go to their website
A Paddock paradise is one very good way to manage horses, preserve and cultivate good healthy grass for either hay or fresh grazing. Here is a link to Jamie Jackson's website, look under his products to find his book. Click the action button to go to it.
Rolling Hills Veterinary clinic is located in Winlock , WA . It is mixed clinic for both large and small animals. They do make farm calls for large animals or you can haul in. It is important to form a relationship with a veterinarian in case of emergencies and for routine care like vaccinations and developing de-worming strategies. Fecal Egg counts are becoming a part of good parasite control programs and need to be performed by a veterinary laboratory. Use the action button below to go to their website.
Located in Littlerock, WA, just north of Rochester. Dr, Mike Vanzowl is an equine specialist. Only providing care for horses, donkeys, mules and perhaps a zebra if it's tame. There is the option of haul in to clinic care and farm calls. He is an expert in diagnosing lameness as well as other equine specific illnesses. Click on the action button for more information.
Dr, Mike Paros has an all mobile veterinary service and treats all species of large farm animals for both routine and emergency care. He is highly skilled in emergency situations and has expert suturing skills. Please use the action button to find out all his services on his website.
110 Roe Rd. East, Winlock, WA 98596, us
Phone, Text & email hours 8am - 7pm every day leave a message for call back
farm call and haul in Appointments 11am - 2pm start times every day including weekends