No Foot, No Horse

STEVE: There’s an old saying, it goes back eons. It’s probably the truest thing, maybe the truest statement ever made about a horse. Is that, if you have no foot, you have no horse. What that really all melts down to is quite simply that you can have everything else perfect, but it takes into consideration the one basic thing, the horse has to have a foundation. His foundation is what he stands over. It’s what he exists over on a daily basis. If he is compromised there, then he can’t perform, they can’t exercise. They can’t really do much of anything.

So it really speaks to the basic premise that if you own a horse, you better have a good foot to start with. Meaning that it better be good to start with when you purchase them and then as you have that horse and you’re utilizing it. You’ve got to maintain it, know how it develops, how it changes and how to maintain it correctly in order to get the maximum benefit of your horse’s productivity and usefulness for you, your enjoyment, and the horse’s value and usability as far as that’s concerned.

ALEX: Care of the horse’s foot is paramount and parallels every other thing that you do with your horse. As a trainer myself, that’s the first thing I went to, every day when I looked at my horses was check their foot, from structurally to see if they had any heat in there, to see if they were shod properly, that was really my go-to spot pretty much every day.

STEVE: Balance, cleaning. Well even if a horse is barefoot..we bring our horses in when they’re turned out. Every day we bring them right here into our own wash stall. We check their legs just to be sure everything looks good, make sure their shoes, make sure shoes, if they have shoes on, they’re still intact and in good position. Their balance stand, that their feet are clean, because if there is a layer of mud or debris on top of that foot, you can’t see what’s underneath it.

So we clean them out, look at them, wash them up, dry them up and then if it’s horses that need their feet addressed, we put hoof packing in them. If the horse has got a problem we address the problem locally, whatever, and then we put them away that way every day. It’s a very religious event here at this barn, in my barn, because I’m a firm believer that if you have no foot you have no horse.