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My Zimbio

May Hoof Pick Winner Drawing Near
Tuesday 20th of May 2008 02:36 PM


Another Hoof Pick Giveaway is drawing near. By the end of the month we'll be announcing the winner of one of these hoof picks , you'll need to sign up for the giveaway just once - leave your name and physical mailing address with me and you're in . Go ahead -  Name and email at   .  

                                       Hoof Picks


      These little hoof picks are hot forged by hand out of half a horse shoe. The horse heads are hammered in to the metal and to finish it off your name will be hot stamped right into the metal .  They fit the hand awesomely and work really well. There's good heft to them so you feel like it's a substantial tool instead of a lightweight  hard to control type.   

              Leave name and email at

               You can also get any horseshoeing or horse related questions answered and any consultation at no cost to you whatsoever - that's FREE just for the asking. Again just leave your questions with me at , this is a limited time offer as not sure how long i can keep up with the demand load and time factor. 

               I took some great photos of another horseshoeing blunder the other day that i will be talking about here very soon .  Keep in touch .

       As usual happy and safe riding and always remember to

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira

ps. The Ebook " Inside Horseshoeing Secrets of lameness Prevention " is on it's way - you can get a quick preview at     

Your Equine Source signing out.

Unsuitable practice
Destructive Practices
Tuesday 6th of May 2008 01:24 PM


    I get alot of emails from people needing help with their horses feet and lameness. You can contact me as well for any reason at . Feel free to send photos just as the person did with the photo below , it's a huge help.  Lets talk about what you're seeing below.

    What you are seeing is a freshly trimmed ( by a farrier ) foot. You'll notice several things , 1- the foot is getting flare at the toe - if you follow your eyes from the hairline at the front of the foot and then toward the ground surface of the foot you'll detect the flare.  2 - you'll notice the sole of this foot protruding farther than the actual hoof wall by quite a bit. This is somewhat as though standing on a rock in your shoe , if this horse is the sensitive type it may be experiencing some pain or at the least be feeling reluctant to walk on it's own foot. 3- With so much sole left this foot is much longer than it should be and giving another 8 weeks between the trimming by next trim this foot will be in worse shape than it is now.

     None of the above conditions are healthy for this horses foot and soundness.


       The fix for this foot is simple: The Farrier ( if he knew his job ) would simply take his nippers and grab the area of sole at the toe with his nippers and start to give a slight tug and the whole extra old sole would start to pop out. Then trim the extra bars of the foot and reshape the sole with the hoof knife and you'll easily see another half inch or more of hoof could be nipped / shortened. Half inch or more is easily 8 weeks plus of hoof growth. As this foot stands ( even with it just having been trimmed ) it's as though there is already at least 8 weeks of growth. Not good ! 

        Obviously the Farrier doing this work is leaving this horse at risk of getting worse and lameness - This could have been your horse. This is just one aspect - one of many things that Farriers don't do correctly that lead to lameness . This person who owns the horse above is relying on her farrier , just like everyone else does , in this case she is informed and educated enough to notice the problems , had she not been educated this horse would remain at risk. So i encourage you to get informed . You'll be finding alot of information here as we keep covering all the nuances.  Don't miss out and leave your horse at risk.

      In the mean time if you want some help with anything you know how to get ahold of me --->    

     Also would like to announce the Ebook "Inside Horseshoeing Secrets of Lameness Prevention" , you can take a quick look at 

Thanks again - happy and safe riding

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira 


Response 1
Thursday 8th of May 2008 08:48:26 AM
Submitted by: W. Boggs
Looks like the same farrier's work that worked on one of my horses. Darn near made my horse go lame. The best farrier I ever has was keith Curtiss from Riverside Washington.

Eight Belles
Sunday 4th of May 2008 01:48 AM


It's with sadness i write this post. As you are most likely aware Eight Belles the first filly to run in the Kentucky Derby in 9 years broke both ankles after finishing second place.

Of course this event is a highly controversial subject. Eight Belles was a great horse, the best of the best, and when i heard about this i've been troubled all day.

I'm a Farrier and i specialize in lameness prevention, not only that but i've also spent alot of time riding, particularly bareback. I ride bareback because i feel it's healthier for the horse and it accentuates the feel i have between horse and rider. Better feel better contact lead to better horsemanship and a better horse.

I studied videos of the way Eight Belles moves her body , she was heavy on the front end and throws her weight down her legs when she travels. One thing all the bareback riding i have done has taught me is the extreme sensitivity horses have to what we tell them while on their backs, the ever so subtle clues. Eight Belles may not have been taught to run heavy on the front end but she surely was allowed to continue on that way.

Horses develop , just like athletes. They go through stages , and stages of learning , if we don't teach a horse to improve they'll stay at a certain level. It's up to us to teach these animals.

When i was doing more bareback riding i did so while riding my Arab Stallion Khero. My training program was a one hour long canter up through the hills in Los Altos California then a half hour break and the one hour canter back home. I taught Khero to travel very lightly on his feet , he was extremely fast but placed his feet on the ground with surgical precision. At the height of my training with Khero he and i moved as one , him reading my thoughts with almost what seemed like telepathy. Certainly not a horse that was heavy or throwing his weight down his legs while running. Khero was taught these qualities and abilities.

I didn't come here to place blame about Eight Belles handling or training , i came to voice a concern and some philosophy. Could Eight Belles euthanization have been prevented ?  Well i didn't come her to judge openly either so i'll leave the judgements up to your own sensibilities. Horses give clues when they're developing problems. It's up to us to recognize them. How a horse moves is our responsibility , how a horse moves is a reflection of what we think and feel and what we're imparting into our horses.

One lap around the race track is not that far - for Eight Belles though it was too far. Had her training come too far too fast as well. Was the sensitivity of her trainer and rider lacking , was she pushed past her limits , did they not read the clues ? Again , i'll leave that up to you to think and ponder.

Race horses are shod for speed - shoeing for speed usually means long toes on the horses feet. There's a reason i'm not in favor of this type of shoeing and Eight Belles epitomizes why for me , maybe for you as well.

The intention of these words is to bring an increased awareness of our responsibilities when it comes to horsemanship and handling/training/riding and to encourage some thought.  Eight Belles was a great horse and i believe she deserves honorable mention.

          Eight Belles may she rest in peace , and may we all become better with our horses.

                                      Eight Belles

                                        Eight Belles  2005 - 05/03/08 

Response 1
Sunday 4th of May 2008 11:00:39 AM
Submitted by: Kimberly
John, Loved your Blog very sad story.

April Hoof Pick Winner.
Hoof Pick Winner
Thursday 1st of May 2008 12:16 AM


    Happy to announce the April Hoof Pick winner :

Lu Rubink , Elizabeth Colorado , Congratulations there. Lucky you.

These hoof picks are hand forged by myself from half a horseshoe, The winners get their names hot stamped right into the metal. They work very well , fit well in the hand too. Quite novel ( you can't find them in the stores ) and make great conversation pieces when you're out using them. 

When you win one of these it's absolutely free to you. Shipped straight to your mailbox no cost to you.

To put yourself on the list to win one of these just leave your name and physical mailing address at that simple, Just do it now

                            Hoof Picks

Would like to wish you a great rest of the week and as usual happy and safe riding and till next time have fun.

John "TheFootDoctor" Silveira

PS. I'm doing Consultations for any horseshoeing needs at no cost . You can send photos if you need me to look at conformation and foot characteristics. Again - this is at no cost to you whatsoever.    Just want these horses to stay sound.


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