Category Archives: Equine Podiatry

Dare To Be Bare. Natural Hoof Care

SimplyHorses Podiatry Clinic  Sole_before-and-after-trim

As you know we are all very keen on allowing our horses hoofs to become the very best they can possibly be, with regards to genetics, local environment etc. A core part of this is Natural Hoof Care and this article featured on Simply Healthy Hooves is a great read and up to date summary of the state of the Barefoot horse.

It also tackles my favourite question why do we shoe our dressage horses working on a surface in an equine discipline that is supposed to illustrate all the natural athleticism and grace of our horses!

Read the article linked CLICK HERE is a wonderful summary.

Always remember “NO FOOT NO HORSE…”


Equine Barefoot Basics Guidelines

See this post on FB  click the link below note the image is before the shoes were removed and the correct balance attained, but it shows the basics very well.


Hi my mantra for hoof trimming regarding the absolute basics to start from 🙂

Ideally a 3-8 degree palmar P3 angle: This is the angle of the bottom of the coffin bone in relation to the ground accurate x rays are essential to get this correct.

50/50 base of support from toe to heel around the center of rotation of the hoof capsule and in some cases ideal is 60% behind and 40% in front!

Minimizing flare and distortion in the hoof capsule but do not weaken a very thin wall.

Hoof-pastern axis in alignment.




Simply Healthy Hooves: Natural Hoof Care

The Bare Facts

On the 8th April Simply Healthy Hooves and Finchale View RS organised an interesting afternoon course for our clients and anyone interested in Natural Hoof Care,  together with farrier Jeff Mordey at the Finchale View Riding School in Leamside, Durham.

The afternoon started with some practical lectures from Paul Proctor and Jeff, focusing on the anatomy of the hoof, explaining the benefits of barefoot trimming and giving a step by step approach for an easy transition to get your horse barefoot in a healthy way.

victor hoof 1

Barefoot Hoof TRANSITION

After a short tea break it was time for our clients to get more hands-on. Thomas and Cougar were available as our volunteering horses, so everybody could see the anatomy of the hoof in real life and learn how easy the day to day care of a barefoot horse can be.

By the end of the afternoon the feet of Thomas and Cougar were very shiny and well polished because everybody had a go with the hoof care following instructions from Paul!

Jeff gave some great demonstrations of barefoot trimming, showing what the foot should look like for the horse to move as naturally as possible.

There were also different kinds of boots on display, so everyone could get a feel for what’s available nowadays. In addition, Paul used some specimen hooves to show the cross section of the foot and carried out some x-rays on Thomas and Cougar so we could see the alignment of the bones inside their hooves.

horse hoof transition-ridden

It was great to see everybody so excited about learning more about the subject and Paul, Jeff and the Simply Horses team had their hands full with answering all the questions.

In conclusion it was a very interesting afternoon, and everybody went home with a little more knowledge than they arrived with and lots of things to think about.

Mariet Klomp ( Simply Horses Vet Clinic)

The EasyShoe a Way To Shoe The Barefoot Horse | Simply Horses Vets

On the 19th February Simply Horses Vet clinic will be hosting the first live demonstration in the UK of the brand new revolutionary Easy Shoe from easy care.
A group of 20 local farriers will be having a practical demonstration on how to nail and glue these innovative shoes. At long last we have a shoe that is flexible and good for the hoof, for those horses we cannot boot or are unable to go totally barefoot for whatever reason.
We will be doing an online webinar / video after the event if anyone is interested.
For more information contact the clinic on easyshoe @
A new dawn in shoeing horses, at last a flexible shoe that allows the hoof to move, especially the heels so essential for good hoof function.

Introductory Video


News of Equine Flu Outbreak in Northumberland

We have received news of an Equine flu outbreak in Northumberland.
We at Simply Horses advise that any horses that have not been vaccinated for flu in the last 6 months should have it done as soon as possible. This is especially important if your horse is very old or young or regularly competing. If your horse has been out & about in the last couple of weeks they will be at a higher risk. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us at Simply Horses.

Simply horses find out about farriery in Italy

How the Italians do it!

As an Italian vet working in the UK there are many similarities with how farriery works.  In Italy a farrier is called a Maniscalco (which is derived from the words ‘mare’ as in horse and ‘shall’ meaning duty/responsibility).  Incidentially, the English word ‘marshal’ derives from the German words ‘marah’ (horse) and schalh (servant) – meaning who is responsible for taking care of horses.

In Italy farriers can train at local level or train via military farrier colleges which are now open to the public rather than just military.  It takes 2-3 years of both theory and practical work (apprenticeship) before an Italian farrier is qualified to European standards.    However, there are other shorter courses for farriers in Italy but these do not give qualifications for working outside Italy.  Unfortunately, there are also people who call themselves farriers, who have learnt the ‘skills’ from their fathers, ie family businesses carried down.  Whilst they may have experience they have no recognised qualification.


Recently, in Italy barefoot farriery has become popular resulting in the craft of farriery gaining new impetus.  Obviously, barefoot farriery requires learning new techniques and farriers have had to adapt and learn these new techniques.



As in the UK Italian farriers work closely with owners (who know the type of work the horse is required to do) and vets (who, for example, will ensure the appropriate measures are undertaken when a horse has joint problems, etc).


At equestrian sporting events in Italy a farrier would be present, along with vets and first aid personnel for people.

Simply Horses Laminitis research update

Vets have announced plans to conduct a clinical trial evaluating an experimental drug that has shown promise in treating horses stricken with the debilitating hoof disease laminitis.

They have treated four horses suffering from laminitis with the investigational anti-inflammatory drug so far. They said that one horse experienced remission that has lasted for more than a year, and three others have shown some improvement. A paper on the first laminitis case has been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed Journal of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia.

Alonso Guedes, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVA, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), School of Veterinary Medicine, plans to begin the clinical trial to assess the drug’s safety and establish a tolerable dose in the spring. Further clinical trials would be needed to establish the drug’s effectiveness as a laminitis treatment.

The experimental compound, known as t-TUCB, belongs to a group of anti-inflammatory compounds called sEH (soluble epoxide hydrolases) inhibitors. It stems from a discovery made more than 40 years ago by UC Davis entomology professor Bruce Hammock, PhD, while doing basic insect biology research. He and colleagues have identified a group of anti-inflammatory compounds, including the sEH inhibitors, that have proven to be effective in relieving inflammatory discomfort and pain related to nervous system disorders in mice and rats. Their work has been published in scientific journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Guedes noted that the safe management of laminitis-related pain is one of the biggest challenges for equine veterinarians. Often, euthanasia is the only humane alternative for alleviating pain and suffering in horses afflicted with the condition. Consequently, the survival rate for laminitis is estimated to be only 25%. Very few surviving horses return to their previous levels of activity, and laminitis often reappears.

Funding was provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the UC Davis Center for Equine Health.

Simply Horses Vet Clinic try out the new Equine Fusion Jogging Shoe hoof boot

The Equine Fusion Jogging Shoe is the new hoof boot market and here at Simply Horses Vets we have clients that have already purchased these new boots. The boot is different from any other on the market because it has a three way axis allowing the horse to move its hoof as close as possible to the barefoot horse. The boot is incredibly flexible whilst providing shock absorption and comfort.

The Jogging boot conforms to the ground and to the hoof. This flexibility aids the natural hoof mechanism enabling the horse to feel the ground and achieve frog pressure. The clients that have purchased these boots all have different horses but have the same idea that the horse needs time to grow a better, stronger foot. The boots give them the time to do this but also provides them with the protection and added comfort when they need it. So far we are impressed with these new boots and the team at Simply Horses will keep you updated.

Equine Atypical Myopathy

Equine Atypical Myopathy

Equine atypical myopathy (or Atypical Myoglobinuria) is an emerging disease in the UK and Europe that causes muscle damage. The cause of this disease is currently unknown, but there is speculation that it is linked to a toxin producing bacteria called Clostridium sordelii.
According to data from the Equine Atypical Myopathy Alert Group from Spring 2012, there were 23 new cases reported by 2nd May 2012. 18 of these were in France, 4 were in Great Britain and 1 was in New Zealand.

Risk Factors:
Although the exact cause is unknown, there have been several risk factors identified, that make a horse more susceptible to the disease. Some of these risk factors are listed below:
• Young horses, typically less than 3 years old
• Horses that are in poor body condition
• Unvaccinated and un-wormed horses
• Seasons – most cases are seen in the Spring and Autumn, following periods of heavy rain, warmth and humidity
• Low levels of Vitamin E and Selenium in a horse (important anti-oxidants) may increase the risk
• Dead leaves within the pasture, or a watercourse running through the pasture
• Previous history of aytypical myopathy on the pasture

Clinical Signs:
Most cases occur rapidly, with severe, generalised muscle weakness. Horses can be found lying on their side in the field, or found dead. The mild initial clinical signs listed below are not often seen:
• Lethargy
• Decreased appetite
• Lameness, especially of hindquarters
• Muscle tremors
• Signs of colic
• Dark coloured urine
• Dark red (congested) or purple (cyanotic) coloured gums
• Low temperature (hypothermia)

What to do if you suspect a case:
Equine Atypical myopathy has a high mortality rate, but the chances of recovery are increased with early intervention and treatment.
• Call the surgery to request a visit
• Minimal movement of the horse, as any movement will further aggravate the muscle damage.

There is no specific treatment available for Atypical Myopathy and current treatment is aimed at the symptoms and potential cause.
• Pain killers
• Fluids – can be given via a drip if needed
• Antibiotics – for potential Clostridium sordelli infection
• Supplement vitamin E/selenium

• Avoid grazing on affected pastures during Spring and Autumn, especially young horses
• Keep up to date with vaccinations and worming
• Assure your horse is in a good body condition (but not too fat)
• Remove excessive amounts of dead leaves from the pasture

Further information:
More information can be found at:– under services, client information, equine health notes, medical conditions
• – where alerts from the Atypical Myopathy Alert Group (AMAG) are also posted.