A barefoot four-in-hand team in New Zealand, in a harness class the day after a 30 km. (20 mile) endurance race. The owner, Karen Hampton, had written to me three years ago about one of the horses, Flynn, who had "recurrent sore feet and pulled shoes." She went barefoot and reports Flynn "is doing so much more than he could previously."
A hind foot that has been trimmed too long. Note the "bullnose" at the arrow. The long toe, rather than flaring forward, has bulged away from the coffin bone at the arrow; if we could see the laminae, we would find them stretched inside the bulge.
It's a little hard to see, but the sole has curled up in the toe area (white arrows). When a toe is overgrown this much, you can shorten the toe even though you will be trimming some sole.
I have marked where the heels are also too long (white markings). Pink arrows point at overgrown bars with a dirt line between the bar and the sole. These bars can be trimmed until there is no more dirt line.
Note also that the back 2/3 of the frog has very typical layers of a fungus infection. We will cut away all the layering (with a very sharp hoof knife) to let air reach the very bottom of the layers, and soak this foot with borax laundry/cleaning powder in water, or other anti-fungus treatment. The frog can then grow quickly from the middle, and will help to spread the slightly contracted heels.
After the first trim. The bullnose still shows (arrow) but the hoof is a better length now.
I would mustang roll the edge more; this will prevent the crack at the quarter from growing.
Here is a foot living in South Africa in a dry area. Notice how round it is, with a wide frog.
The owner said the hoof wall had been torn away in an accident (the side with the arrows) and had grown back but was still flared. I explained how she can use the mustang roll, and roll the damaged side to the edge of the sole until the wall has grown down with a tight white line connection.
Front view showing the flare on the side that had been torn away. Line shows where the side wall will be when a strong white line connection has grown down.
Overall, this is a nice foot that we can all aspire to.
A barefoot "fox" hunter. (They chase coyotes in Oklahoma.) This horse has boots but I believe the rider has several others that hunt without boots.