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My Zimbio

Hoof Pick Winner
Hoof Pick Winner
Monday 31st of March 2008 05:58 PM

Oh this is so fun - i get to announce the WINNER.  If you don't know what i'm talking about you need to go to and quickly sign up for yourself. You could be the next winner.  Ok ..

The Hoof Pick winner is ..............  Drum Roll Please

Dumm de da dumm - duum duuum de dum..............

None other than the wonderful Pam Roche of Lafayette California.  Congratulations .                 Enjoy Pam.

I don't personally pick the winners - today someone i don't even know picked the winner. But Pam happens to be a personal friend of mine. Which leads me into this short story for today.

I got an email one day from Pam. She said a friend of hers told her she should "Check this guy out" (me). Her friend had found my articles at or my blog at Http:// and recommended Pam check me out. This was slightly over a year ago. Pam was fairly new to horses and had bought Mickey, her first horse and a big thoroughbred. Mickey was in trouble - his feet were off - had been coming up lame and was on the verge of blowing up and possibly coming up permanently lame.

So Pam and i talked and agreed i'd come out to the barn ( 1-1/2 hour drive for me ) to look at Mickeys feet. Poor Mickey obviously not happy. Feet quite out of balance. Pigeon toed as 98% of horses are (even if their feet point straight ahead) low in the heels and also very long in the toe. By long in the toe i don't mean length from the hairline of the hoof to the ground surface of the foot , i'm talking about length out in front as in Bozo the Clown feet. You remember - those really long toes Bozo has ? He couldn't walk right in those feet remember ? He'd have to flop around all the time. Same thing for a horse except with horses they come up lame from it.

The problem with Mickey is he's the type of horse that if his feet aren't just right he's going to start to have problems, and for Mickey at that point he was in serious trouble. So Pam and i met and talked and Pam liked what she heard and we both decided we'd take on the project of fixing poor ole Mickey up. Today Mickey is a happy camper and so is Pam. 

So the question is why did Mickey the big ole thoroughbred come up lame in the first place ?  Aren't the Farriers supposto know these things ? Well this is my pet peeve, and the exact reason why i write, blog and teach. The Farriers just don't know, they just "Don't get it". The schools and textbooks don't teach the right stuff and the viscious cycle continues. Honestly - i didn't know how to do things right when i graduated the Farrier school either - they just didn't teach the right stuff.

So i don't blame you if you don't know these things, i didn't either , i just got lucky and found out the truth for myself. That's why i'm here. I want you to get it. Mickey got lucky. He's one of the lucky ones, others are not so lucky.

So i need to go put some photos up on Photobucket so i can start showing and teaching and preventing horses from coming up lame - and lucky you get to follow right along.

How fun .   Pam , Congratulations again.  see you soon

As usual happy and safe riding.

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira 



The consequences of thinking you know too much
Don't make these mistakes
Friday 28th of March 2008 11:54 AM


Hello Riders , The Foot Doctor here. TGIF and looks like a great weekend on it's way.

I'm going to get alittle real with you , you'll find i do this a bit , remember i won't pull any punches here. Over my years as a Farrier i've witnessed alot and have to deal with clients attitudes and let's just say the pitfalls as well that horseowners fall into. Since The Foot Doctor is about lameness and preventing lameness the point is the pitfalls i'm talking about are the ones that lead horseowners to dreaded , unsuspected horse lameness and sometimes worst of all , permanent lameness and horses being put down as a result.

So i'm setting the stage here right off the bat , don't set yourself up for a fall by thinking you already know everything about horses feet and legs. Don't think that just because your horse has been sound for this long that everythings ok. I have alot of reasons why i am saying this and for some reason (For me so far) it's one of the most critical aspects of horseshoeing and lameness prevention that's the hardest for me to drill in and get the message across.   If i could just snap my fingers and you'd get this message loud and clear it would be great -  Lameness Sucks OK ? YOUR horse could end up that way.

I need to reiterate something again to get this message across. I personally have a 17 year 100% track record (Not One Single Lame Horse) due to my shoeing method. There's a reason for that - a deep reason that has to do with tying a great many aspects about shoeing all together into a system. This system wasn't taught me in what's considered the worlds greatest horseshoeing school where the 3 month mastery class tuition is close to 10 thousand dollars. Now think about this  - if it wasn't taught in the Farrier Schools or textbooks what do you think/feel is the chance your horse is not being shod correctly and at a risk of lameness / permanent lameness?  easy - HIGH.

My shoeing record isn't just due to working on a few horses ( you may only own a "Few" horses throughout your lifetime ) - my record is due to working on hundreds of different horses over periods of years of time and spanning 17 years. That accounts for something - namely "Something's being done right".    

I need to warn you . I get alot of emails from people all over the world who find my information on the web and tell me horror stories of how their Farrier ruined all their horses feet, how this and that horse is now lame. I have clients locally that have horror stories about when the Farrier came out he trimmed the feet so short both horses could only lie on the ground ( FOR WEEKS ) and she had to come out every day and pull them up off the ground and turbulate (water treatment) the feet.  And the list of these kind of horrible events is long and continues to grow.  You need to know without a shadow of a doubt your horses feet are correct or the risk of Lameness raising it's ugly head on your horses is surely a possibility. 

Don't take your horses feet lightly.

Here's an example: A couple weeks ago a client of mine introduced me to one if his friends ( a woman ) who was interested in me trimming her barefoot horse. When i was introduced to the woman and took a look at her barefoot horse the feet weren't lineing up correctly and there were some definate out of balance issues. When i started explaining to the woman these principles and mentioning lameness she was rather closed minded and for the most part had an attitude of "I've had horses for years and know it all". She wasn't getting the message as i was explaining why her horse could very well come up lame. It happens all the time. What makes her think she's immune to it. Part of my conversation with her was pointing out her horses feet were seriously out of balance and really the only way to get the horse into true balance was through a shoeing method ( to generate hoof where needed as well as moving direction of feet where they should be along with several other principles only achieved through a shoeing process.) She wouldn't have any part of it at first - refusing to accept the truth " Her horse was at risk ". I had to keep telling her "Your horse is at risk of lameness" - if you ride it like this you may get away with it for a long time - but one day you also might go out for your ride and finally the repetitive incorrect motion of the horse's joints and feet finally take their tole and now you have a lame horse. I had to continue to tell her she's not going to like having a lame horse and possibly one that will be lame for life. She finally started getting the message but it wasn't easy getting it through to her. A closed  mind is a terrible thing. Horses don't give a warning they're going to come up lame - It just HITS - and HITS HARD.

                            So don't be like her. Open your mind up here.

     I've said this before - in 17 years in this trade not one of my clients already knew what i showed them to be correct shoeing. So stick with us here as we'll go through all the ins and outs and the inside information of correct shoeing and balance. On the other side of this you and your horse will be much better off for it.   

Ok - so next post i'll be starting to share photos and examples , the good , the bad , and all the rest .  The world of horseshoeing and how it relates to the animal really is and has been a FASCINATING one.   Let's get this going.

Thank you again . As usual happy and safe riding.

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira .    See you next time.

PS.  By the way - i'm giving away (FREE) Custom Hand Forged Horse Head Hoof Picks from my webpage     Just go there and sign up - that's all it takes.    

                                  Have a GREAT weekend

Response 1
Thursday 17th of April 2008 12:03:30 AM
Submitted by: Iroc
Nice article Thought you might find this interesting. We own a Horse who's right rear foot was severed by a flying stop sign in a bad thunderstorm. The foot was left hanging only by a couple of tendons. After an extensive reattatchment surgery and months of rehab, the horse, now 9 yrs later, trail rides every weekend and you could never tell(other than the scar) that he was once a near amputee. In fact he's very rambunctious The Secret? Love, work, and a little Chiropractic help. Its not always a lost cause.

Evaluate If Your Horse is at Risk of Lameness
Identifying Risk
Thursday 27th of March 2008 06:24 AM


A quick note to start the process of digging into and understanding Lameness.

Did you know , are you aware there's a 98% chance your horse (Any Horse) is at risk of lameness? Seriously, it's most likely you (with your horse or horses) could be in this 98% group and not even know it. That's a high percentage isn't it? Make you worry alittle bit? It should , horse lameness is serious and worse yet could be permanent. We - you (hopefully) are here to learn how to ward off and beat the odds.

Textbooks and conventional wisdom regarding your horses conformation suggests perfect conformation of the feet to be feet pointing straight ahead. This is the ideal. Unfortunately the ideal is very seldom the case. Equally unfortunate is even if your horses feet do point straight ahead ( as if perfect ) there's still a 98 percent chance your horse is pigeon toed. How can that be ? Well - that's what we'll talk about next so you can start to take a serious look at your own horse or horses and come to know exactly where you - and your horse stand with regard to your horses risk of lameness.

In the 17 years i have worked the Farrier industry , every time i have explained to a new client certain aspects of what make up the real correct shoeing process, not one of them were ever able to say to me " Hey i already knew that " , none of them had ever heard before what i was explaining to them.  That is interesting yes , but scarey. To come right to the point - too many horses are put down "Euthanized" from permanent lameness as a result of improper foot care/shoeing.  Don't let it happen to you.

You like to ride ? Well hold on to your horses cause this ride is going deep, pulling no punches and leaving no stones unturned. We're going to stir things up here - so hold on ok ?   (-: 

Till next time happy and safe riding. Thanks much.

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira    

The Foot Doctor Introduction
Wednesday 26th of March 2008 04:11 AM

Hello Hello. 

It's my pleasure and honor to be here this beautiful day. Thank you for showing up here.

 I would like to introduce myself. My name is John Silveira. I'm a Farrier for 17 years in the San Francisco Bay Area California. I graduated at the top of my class from what's considered "The Worlds Greatest Horseshoeing school". I have a 17 year 100% track record  "NOT ONE SINGLE LAME HORSE" with my  very unique shoeing method not taught me in the schools or textboks

 The Intention here is simple : Open discussion of new breakthrough Horseshoeing methodologies, viewing old school methods which lead to problems, and reducing the risks of lameness. Here we'll go deep into all aspects of shoeing.

 Your encouraged to take an active role, ask any questions, talk about your biggest concerns. Shoeing horses is still a very controversial subject surrounded by much confusion, we're going to shed alot of light on the subject and most important , Keep your horse's from going lame in the process.

 Thank you very much, you're going to want to continue coming back here often as the discussions will be a succession of amazing discoveries. 

See You Soon!

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira

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