Welcome to Allison Acres ~ Galt, CA ~ (209) 748-2658

Barefoot horses at Allison Acres

Summaries of how they started and how they are now, problems along the way, things like that.  I might have pics of their feet you can find from the previous page.  I don't have hoof pics for most of these horses - the ones who are sold I mainly only kept one photo for my records... There have also been many haul-ins and boarders' horses and other sale horses who I don't have pics of. 

This page was created Jan 26 '09.

I'll start with my current group of horses.  You can click their pictures to go to their regular webpages on my site and see more pictures, links to videos, and maybe more info.

You can read Rain's story here

Rain is a little cowhorse bred paint mare.  Here she is doing the extreme ranch trails, a few years after I had been advised to put her to sleep due to her bad feet.  She had laminitis and was a "sinker".

Update September 2009: Sounder than ever.  :-)

Casper: grade Appy.  He had great feet in shoes when he came to me, had great feet barefoot.  Never had any issues whatsoever with his trim.  Here he is in his 5th year being barefoot, working cattle.  Whoever was shoeing him before I bought him knew what he was doing - he had big juicy frogs that were in contact with the ground.

Update September 2009: Feet doing great!

Q is an APHA gelding.  Q was a finished reiner, a stallion, who had been shod since he was put into training, stall kept continually, and he had very high and contracted feet.  He was a tad sore on and off during transition.  When we got Q, he could not cross a shadow on the ground without tremendous dramatics - anything raised he'd refuse to cross at all.  He'd peer down at it for hours on end but refuse to budge.  Now that his feet are functioning properly he's doing the extreme ranch trial obstacles (at left) and learning to jump. 

Update September 2009: Feet doing great!

Oak: Cowhorse bred AQHA gelding.  Oak came from a bigtime working cowhorse barn.  I got him at the '08 Horse Expo, which is in June.  I pulled his shoes and discovered white line disease pretty much all the way around in the fronts and he even had some in the hinds.  Flat feet, thin soles.  The white line disease was resolved by September/October, and then he was still sore from thin soles.  My vet said shoes are the only thing that will fix him, but he went totally sound in December.

Update September 2009: Feet doing great!  Sound and happy with his new owners.

Buster: AQHA gelding also bought at the '08 Horse Expo.  Pulled his shoes and he had a sore week or two and then never took a lame step.  His feet are not "perfect" but they work for him.  At The Wright Ranch in Jackson he spent two months doing turnback and riding the trails. 

Update September 2009: Feet doing great! 

Forrest: He is an off the track thoroughbred who had gone on to jump and do dressage.  Long story with this guy.  He was a boarders' horse living here.  He has a hygroma on the front of the left knee - it had been there since he raced years before.  He had developed some minor lameness and his owner's vet assumed it was the knee as well as an abscess.  The vet had the owner spend thousands on knee injections and special shoes and pads after a partial hoof wall resection looking for that elusive abscess... This vet never did a true lameness evaluation to try to pinpoint the exact location of the pain...

The owner decided to put him down as she was just out of money and he was not getting better.  Luckily he was insured, and the insurance company wanted a second opinion.  We hauled him to Pioneer Vet Clinic and they discovered right away that it was not the knee.  He had some inflammation around the soft tissues in the heel area and sesamoid area.  They wanted him shod but my husband bought him on the spot from his owner and we did not shoe him.  He is wonderfully sound barefoot and is an awesome lesson horse. 

Update September 2009: Feet doing great!

Tarzan: off the track thoroughbred, did OK racing but bowed a tendon.  What can I say about this great horse?  He has been sound barefoot from day one.  Here Allison canters him around without using the reins. 

Update September 2009: Feet doing great!

Wren: Grade QH mare. New mare for me, but she was boarded here for a while.  I don't have any good pics yet, just this tiny one.  She has been sore on and off during her transition.  She developed some shoulder issues, possibly from altering her gait due to her sore feet.  She is not sore on her feet anymore and her shoulders are loosening up.  Her feet look great.

Update September 2009: Feet doing great, shoulders freeing up some more.  Has had 3 Legend injections that seem to help a lot.  I might consider a shoulder injection after a vet consultation.

Jewel: she'll be 13 this year, AQHA mare.  We've had her the longest of any of our horses.  She was unshod when we got her but had long flared toes and high heels.  She was sore on gravel but ok on soft footing.

We had her shod and my daughter rode her for most of 2002 that way.  She was sometimes sore in shoes but mostly sound.  Then she had her first foal and we re-bred her.  We kept her unshod during her pregnancies; she hates having shoes nailed on and is very reactive to the pounding.  Her feet have always been funky with that dishy toe.  It was just too long and no traditional farriers knew what to do with it.  Chronic low grade laminitis - ouch.

She started with barefoot hoof care and went sound - sounder than she had been, at any rate.  But she was never totally OK. 

For the last 3 years she was sound mostly toward the end of her 4 week trim cycle but usually very lame for the first two weeks after trims.  She is totally sound now that I switched to non-invasive trimmers.  Diet and trim style were so important for her.  She can have no grass, no regular grass hay, and must have low non-structural carb feed only like Teff grass hay, alfalfa hay and pellets, and low carb complete feeds.

Update September 2009: Still sound with her wonderful new owners!

Captain and Scarlett:  Captain, the black, is Jewel's son by a Fresian stallion.  Scarlett is Gussie's (see below) daughter by Dry Cody.  They are turning two this year.  There is not much to say about them since they've been barefoot from the beginning.  As long as they both stay with me they will never be shod.  I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes - so far every horse had at least some period of being shod and I always wonder what sort of longterm damage that created.  These babies are sound now over any terrain.

Update September 2009:  Still sound, amazing feet.  Everybody comments on how nice their feet are. 

And now, horses I used to own.  I'll do the whole group of sold TBs that I have pictures of so they will all be together. 
I was told by farriers, old trainers or vets for every single one that they would absolutely need shoes because of their breed.
It is REALLY EASY to tighten up their hoof capsule, deal with their flare, and give them stunning, functional feet. 

Young off the track TB, "The Great Milton", had chipped and cracked feet but had beautiful feet after his first barefoot trim and was ouchy for a few days but then always sound.
Young off the track TB, "Shek O Prospect", had chipped and cracked feet but had beautiful feet after his first barefoot trim and was always sound. 
One year older than the above horses, "Larceny Intended" had the funny pancake chipped feet also and was totally sound with barefoot hoof care.  He worked cattle while he lived here, if you can believe that!  And no, he didn't just step over them!  :-)
This one was a year older yet, I think 5 when we had him.  "Philthemountainman."  He had great feet that did not hurt with a farrier just trimming him, not even with a barefoot person doing it.  He had a track injury, a slab fracture, that he was still sore on and he went to a TB rescue place. 
4 year old off the track mare, "Appleness".  Pancake spreading feet tightened right up and she was sound from the first barefoot trim on.
4 year old TB, never raced, "Restless Rocket."  She had nice looking feet from the start with a chip or three.  Was sound, had a couple weeks of a bit of tenderness and then got even sounder with barefoot hoof care.  Look at that great movement.  She is a stunning jumper also; I think I still have videos up on Youtube of her.

Now onto other breeds:

Gussie: teenage AQHA mare with chronically sore, flat feet, lame even in shoes and pads.  Chronic cracks at the ground level mostly in the quarters and heels.  I was told it was bad genetics causing her bad feet which caused her laminitis, but I discovered it was bad trimming.  She developed concavity and went sound 2 months into barefoot hoofcare and never had any more cracking.  I had her when I started the barefoot stuff; she was the second horse I had trimmed and the other one besides Rain who was in danger of euthanasia due to always being sore. 


Pluto: grade gelding, maybe appendix.  Pulled his shoes and never looked back, totally sound.  Had him for 4 years, sound the whole time on any surface. Doc: arrived unshod and lame.  His feet didn't look too bad but he had been recently unshod and they were thin soled and tender.  We just cleaned him up a bit and soon he was sound; this pic was taken about 4 weeks after his first barefoot trim.  He got more sound and was sold a few months ago.
Roxy APHA mare: got her at age 3, in shoes.  Pulled them right when we got her in June of '05 and she's been sound ever since. She has a very obvious one up/one down, but we just even it out each time. Dustin, quarter pony gelding: sound after his barefoot trim, no problems.  Had come with some high heels but they were no problem.  Sound on any surface.
Bonnie, welsh pony mare. Was already unshod and sound, continued to improve barefoot. Tanner, grade appendix gelding: came here shod as a 2 year old, transitioned to barefoot wonderfully, still barefoot and sound in his new home where he's been for a couple years.
Peanut:  He's ancient and has other issues but his feet did not hurt him one bit after his first barefoot trim that removed about 1 inch of excess heel from both fronts.


Awful picture, but Brownie was owned by John Tucker and was sound as can be with her barefoot tootsies.  I sold her to a great family.

Tank, old grade roping quarter horse gelding: flat flat feet, only here for a month or two but was sound after his barefoot trim Mickey, aged QH gelding.  He had the highest most contracted feet I had ever seen here.  They were trimmed right down in one trimming and he walked off sounder. He actually began to lope easily and with suspension and beauty.  It was amazing.
Sam, teenaged QH gelding, purchased with Pluto, Tanner and the big grey gaited horse I had named Forest.  Was shod, was ouchy for a few weeks barefoot, then was totally sound. This sound little fellow is Tag-a-long, who I think would be sound no matter what was being done to his feet.
Nala, grade QH mare, always sound barefoot.  Blew a bunch of abscesses but they never made her lame. Forest, gaited crossbred gelding.  Came unshod, became a much better mover with a good barefoot trim.
Ace: big grade QH type gelding.  This poor guy was lame barefoot and shod.  It was not his feet as he was not responsive to hoof testers and his radiographs were perfect. We donated him for a nominal fee to be a companion horse - he was happy, friendly, would run and play, but was consistently lame on both fronts. Mouse, 7ish AQHA appendix mare.  Her feet were OK looking but the vet thought the heels were too low.  Even though sound, he wanted her shod, but we refused to shoe her and she remained sound.

Krista: pulled her shoes, was ouchy at first, sound within a couple weeks, sound on gravel as you can see here.  Krista turned into a great mover, calmed down, and we put some more training on her and were offered a price on her within a couple months of more than SIX times what we paid.  So we sold her... With these funds we were able to buy Tanner, Forest, Sam and Pluto!  She has a fabulous home with her own personal fulltime groom!


Maggie, APHA mare:  Maggie had been having barefoot trims for a long time.  One of my client's bought her so she was here for a while.  She had abscess after abscess and was sore quite often but eventually was sound.  I think she'd have been sound sooner if we'd had been using a non-invasive trimmer then, like Linda Cowles.

Two '05 babies who live here; they sold as weanlings and are boarded here. 

Star: Jewel's 05 baby.  Briefly shod while in training for about 6 weeks at the trainer's insistence even though she was sound and even though we trail-rode on the same rocky trails he intended to take her on and was worried about...  Barefoot before and after and totally sound. 
April: Rain's 05 baby.  Never shod, always sound.