About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Hugging barefoot man

So today I had my 10 o'clock appointment with barefoot specialist, Cliff, who was as kind in person as he was on the phone. We met at my Vet's along with my uber supportive BO's to all hear methods, thoughts, etc.
Cliff has the sweetest personality and calmness to him. That being said, I'm always on defense when it comes to my brown baby, so it's sometimes difficult totally embracing a stranger that is coming to work on my horse. BUT...Cliff quickly won me over. After our meeting at the vet, we went over to have him see Lazarus in person (in horse?). Cliff talks to the horse, introducing him by touch and smell which was sweet. He was unconventional and crawled around on the ground along Laz's legs and hooves. Yikes, I thought, but Laz was fine. Cliff hugged Laz. Ask Laz to lift his feet, didn't tell. Cliff even hugged all of us when he was finished looking and talking and making me feel comfortable. AND..he didn't charge a thing to come today. Totally cool in my book. Cliff really seems to love what he does, as he informed us he is battling his own health problems but still somehow finds the strength to want to help hurting horses.

Crazy...this whole thing is crazy and I hope it's crazy enough to work. Or is it crazy? Maybe my old methods were crazy? My farrier was amazing though, I do want to say, he never yelled or mistreated the horses ever...and I'm hoping he wants to learn from Cliff for the future possibly.

As of now, with Laz's Megashoes still on, we are going with barefoot Cliff (he wears shoes, his horses don't, lol) and have our appointment set for March 19th in the late afternoon.
He felt Laz will be fine until then and being he has heartbar shoes on, for just a little over a week, I'm assuming, he may want to wait for a bit more hoof growth.
Cliff's intentions are to keep Laz on a bland diet; 1st and 2nd cutting grass hay switch his senior feed to Triple Crown L/S (low starch), no supplements until he is stable. We are aiding Laz with a 1/3 of tube of Equioxx (anti-inflammatory) but the goal is to wean him off of that, if Laz can' tolerate. Also, Cliff wants to open his 16' x 16' walkout and create a larger paddock to encourage movement to help with blood flow, etc for hoof as I'm sure it's only helpful for the horse's delicate GI system.
Cliff will fit Laz to the Easy Boots as well, on March 19th and wants me to continue with wrapping his legs for support but may look into using Pegasus leg boots during day/turnout and then removing them at night to allow to breathe.
Lazarus's mental attitude remains to be of a Champion (puppy) and I hope it remains.
I have to say, this is difficult and I'm SO NOT used to this method of thinking, but am really VERY excited.
Lot's of learning to come.
I hope, hope, hope this works....and have to say, I'm nervous Laz won't be OK to wait until March 19th but Cliff assured me, he will. We are putting our trust into Cliff's experienced hands for now.

Sorry for the sideways video, it's from my crackberry and I don't know how to flip it. My purpose was so you could see how well Laz is still moving.

So, off to do more homework given by Barefoot Cliff

a book called "Founder" that he mentioned was a bit outdated but still had good info on understanding methods, etc


  1. I am SOO SOO happy that I met Pat. I'm happy I told you about her, and I'm SO SO Happy that she was able go give you some idea of where to go! I am still going to keep my fingers crossed, I'm excited to see where this ends up! (Which I hope is you on Laz's back walking around a field)

    (Happy dance continues)

  2. As long as Laz is feeling okay, hoping is free and a great thing to do. Here's to miracles! (I have a miracle outside on the swing right now, believe me, they happen).


  3. He still looks very content. Hold on Buddy, for 20 more days. Lets hope he can work some magic! Fingers crossed and still sending you good thoughts and strength.

  4. I just found my way over to your blog and it's all I can do to hold back the tears... Many, many prayers for you and Laz, and I do hope you have found a solution.

    Last November my mare tore her tendon and it's been quite a struggle for me to stay strong, but I can't imagine having to go through what you have.

    Laz still looks comfortable and happy, and it's amazing what something like this can do for the bond between horse and human.

    Good luck on the 19th!!

  5. Kristen - There is an award for you over on my blog! Please don't feel that you have to work on the award now (or ever) just enjoy your time with Laz!!! Everything is looking up - I love that Cliff hugged you and hugged Laz! I just feel good vibes about Cliff.

  6. Cliff is definitely pointing you in the right direction! Safergrass is a great site filled with very helpful info.
    It would be good for you to have your hay sent out and tested to know exactly what you're working with. And Triple Crown's Safe Starch is another good option.
    Best of luck to you and the Laz man! I have a really good feeling about this. :-D

  7. Here's some more "homework" for you -- http://www.thehorseshoof.com/Art_Bowker.html
    It's a recap of one of Dr. Robert Bowker's clinics. As you will find, Bowker is "The Man" when it comes to barefoot -- he is a DVM/PhD and the ONLY thing he studies is horse hooves. I highly recommend anything and everything Bowker (including the links to two of his research papers, which you will find on the bottom of that page).
    Another big name in barefoot is Dr.Chris Pollitt. He's another one to Google and read up on.

  8. I'm back again -- lol, I am blog-stalking you! I was glancing over that article I sent you and it reminded me that I should tell you to get some pea gravel for Laz. It's SO good because it gently supportsall structures of the hoof. Foot-sore horses will often stand in pea gravel because it makes their feet feel better. You should have a few inches of sand underneath it. So, go buy some pea gravel for Laz's paddock! Just make sure the individual pebbles are small, round, and smooth. If you take your shoe off and stand on it, it should not hurt your foot.
    OK, I will stop stallking you now. :-D

  9. Great that you're willing to try this - I'm not pro or anti barefoot - I go with what works. Some people have had great success with this for horses with laminitis, and I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed that it will work for you and Laz. Besides, what's to lose at this point?

  10. OK, just kidding, I am not done blog-stalking you. :-D I just saw over on Denali's blog that Laz's X-rays are being taken to Michigan State University -- that's where Dr. Robert Bowker works! Seriously, I have a very good feeling about this. I think the planets are aligning to help your sweet boy.

  11. Juliette- (insert blushing cheeks) thanks for the award..I'll get to it soon and how fun!
    Kate-agreed, I'm trying in hopes it will work and thinking positive thoughts. It's all based on Laz and he told me he wanted to try. :)
    Frizzle-I like to be stalked, it keeps things interesting, lol. YES, Dr. Bowker is like a 1/2 hour from Laz and its the the school my younger sister attended, MSU. I've attended a few classes they offer their on equine health, etc-they are free and SO COOL. My Vet knows him and although he is amazing at research he doesn't practice in field with horses himself. Only with the deceased bodies...so although he's a genius I want him to never meet Laz, if you know what I mean. At any rate, it's incredible that based on Denali's suggestion out there in Washington that I was lead back to someone like Cliff who is known, and lives a 1/2 hr away! We are lucky!!!

  12. I got chills reading this. The 3 mares (ages 5, 8 & 21) at our barn are all barefoot and have very healthy feet. We wouldn't have it any other way. I am keeping positive thoughts for Laz and you! Stay strong.

  13. Such great news, Cliff sounds amazing!! I am so excited you are going to give this a try. This is such a learning experience for me! I like Frizzle's pea gravel and sand idea too, that sounds like a nice cushy place for a horse with sore feet to stand.

  14. HEY! I used Cliff when I was in Michigan for two months! He only trimmed my horse twice so he probably wouldn't remember me but he did a great job and he was a NICE guy. Haven't read your blog before but I am majorly jingling!

  15. Andrea-Hey too cool! Great to hear and I love your blog, I'm a newbie.
    Frizzle & Ponygirl-yes we are going to discuss the pea gravel as he works from shoes, into his easycare boots and from there totally barefoot. He is currently in sand. He loves the sand. :)