Friday, September 21, 2012

Donkey Trimming

I am now offering my E-Book 'Trimming for Comfort' for a special price for a limited time only.The book covers the basics of trimming donkeys. 

I have written the book as it has become clear to me over the years that throughout the world there is not enough time spent teaching the differences between a horses and a donkeys foot. The problem with this is that there are many, many donkeys worldwide being trimmed as if they were a horse, leading to hoof problems and lameness.
I have been shoeing horses for more than 15 years and have in the last 5+ years specialized in the trimming and orthopaedic shoeing of donkeys. A field that for one reason or another not many people specialize in.

I have worked in many different countries for different animal welfare organizations that rescue and find loving homes for mistreated and over worked animals. This work has introduced me to many different kinds of hoof problems. It still surprises me in this day and age the condition of the feet of some of the donkeys that I treat.

You can purchase the book from my website

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Winter Shoes

Yes, I know, It’s still only September! However, you can never be too prepared when it comes to the weather.

So, the question is What will you do with your horses feet this year?

You have luckily a number of choices to suit your personal situation. Many remove their horses shoes for the winter. An excellent choice if you will not be riding much when the weather is bad. A few months without shoes can be beneficial for your horses feet. There is also less chance that the feet will fill up with snow causing discomfort and possibly a dangerous situation.

If you will be riding a lot during the winter or your horse just doesn’t quite like the feeling of going barefoot, what are the options?

Standard Shoes or Concaves

Of course you can stick to the same setup as for the summer. Greasing in the soles before riding is believed to help against snowballing to a certain extent. I would however recommend the use of a concave or self-cleaning shoe. The inside of the shoe is tapered to a point against the foot, this vastly reduces the chance of mud or snow sticking in the foot.


               Standard Shoe                                              Concave Shoe        

Pins, Studs & Pads

Another option available when Shoeing in the winter is to use Tungsten anti-slip pins or nails, for use on ice and hard ground. Studs with tungsten tips are a little more extreme for use in hard snow and ice. Application of a full pad also helps reduce the snowballing effect within the sole.


Personally, I use and recommend Snow pads. The shape of the pads help to stop snowballing, but dosen’t cover the whole sole. This allows cleaning of the frog and sole. I use these pads in combination with Pins or Studs, depending on the weather conditions and riding schedule.

Your farrier will be able to advise you on which combination best is for your personally situation. 

Also feel free to email me any questions to

With the right shoeing you will be able to continue riding right throughout the winter.
Just don’t forget to wear warm socks!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Caring for a Horse with Cushing's

Cushing's disease can be scary. This endocrine disease is caused by a tumor which affects the pituitary gland. It is often seen in ponies and elderly horses, and results in high levels of cortisol and various symptoms such as excessive thirst, excessive urination, hyperglycemia, excessive eating, and a shaggy coat.

While these symptoms may be daunting, you may be asking why this disease is thought to be so scary. Cushing's compromises the immune system in your horse, threatening your horse's health and even life. As of now, there is no cure for this disease.

However, not all hope is lost. With proper care and a close eye on the horse's nutritional needs, many horses suffering from Cushing's disease can live longer, happier lives.

Caring for a Horse With Cushing's

Horses with Cushing's disease need routine care. Any changes to their horse feed, diet, or medication can negatively impact their already compromised health. While many areas of care may seem mundane and small, they are all essential to providing your horse with a better quality of life.

Consider the following horse health tips when dealing with Cushing's:

Deworming - Horses with Cushing's are more likely to contract parasites due to their compromised immune systems. Make sure to contact your vet and schedule regular appointments for deworming, as well as other basic care, such as ongoing horse health exams and dental care.

Farrier Care - Hoof abscesses, laminitis, and other hoof and leg conditions are often seen in Cushing's horses. Horses may display a tender footed stance or act as if the leg is bothering them. If you notice any signs of trouble, contact your farrier for an appointment. Be sure to also schedule regular appointments with your farrier, even if you do not notice any signs of trouble.

Grooming - Many horses with this disease have trouble with temperature regulation and their coat. You can assist your horse with this problem, however, by taking the time to groom him on a regular basis. Always ensure his coat is clean and dry, especially before you blanketing him or using a saddle. This will help prevent skin conditions from developing. You may also want to consider body clipping when the weather becomes hot or humid.

Feed - Feeding a Cushing's horse correctly is essential to a longer and happier life. Many need help regulating their insulin and blood glucose levels. This means you must ensure the sugar and starch in their diet is controlled. This may mean limiting the amount of pasture your horse feeds on and using supplements to control your horse's insulin level.

Consider feed that contains mehionine, biotin, lysine, complete trace minerals, and vitamin E in. These will support the growth of the hoof, assist in maintaining muscle mass, and support the immune system.

With these tips, you should be more equipped to keep your horse's health in check and provide him with a happier and brighter future. While there may not be a cure for Cushing's disease, proper care can help to extend your horse's life.