The Hoof Wear of Tomorrow, here Today!
PERFECT HOOF WEAR AND
PERFECT HOOF WEAR PRO SERIES
Technology at work for Your Horse
Comfort, Traction, Lightweight, Flexible, and Durable
The Perfect Hoof Wear Pro Series was developed as an enhancement to the Perfect Hoof Wear System (PHWS). Where the Perfect Hoof Wear Standard System met the needs of those horses with weak internal structures and overall poor hoof capsules, the Pro Series includes inserts that take performance to an all new level. The PHWS by itself has proven to be indispensible in returning health to the equine foot. The Pro Series inserts make it possible to extend the wear of the kit to match or even exceed the traditional shoe. It offers increased performance in areas that no other type of foot wear can offer. The Pro Series offers superior shock dissipation, superior traction, superior flexibility, and superior wear characteristics, all while being lightweight, economical, and easy to apply.
Both the Perfect Hoof Wear Standard System and the Pro Series kits utilize a unique anchoring system that eliminates the need for glue or nails. The system increases flexibility, while directing the energies of impact to the palmar (rear) aspect of the foot where they can be dealt with properly. This makes the Perfect Hoof Wear System and Pro Series System ideal for treating many foot related diseases and injuries, such as Navicular Disease, Chronic Founder, Caudal Heel Pain, Solar Abscesses, Pedal Osteitis, Ringbone, Sidebone, and Deformed Hoof Syndrome.
The Flexible solution, when rigid won't do.
How it works
The latest research shows us that three dimensional distortions are required for proper foot function. As the hoof goes through the various phases of the stride, pressures are exerted on the internal structures of the foot. It is the responsibility of the hoof capsule to protect and to act as a vehicle for the delivery of the stimulus needed for correct foot function. If the internal structures are weak, they cannot withstand the increased flexion a weak hoof capsule induces. Because the internal structures are responsible for producing the external structures of the hoof, there is no way that you can have a good hoof while still having poor internal health. The PHWS allows us to create Dynamic Stabilization of the capsule, reducing flexion to a level that allows the internal structures to heal. The Pro Series take it a step further: The Pro Series inserts are for those horses that have progressed in their discipline and are placing demands on the hoof that cannot be met by the bare foot alone.
All Perfect Hoof Wear Systems aid in creating Dynamic Stabilization
Protect, stabilize, and provide needed stimulus
Pro Series increase wear, protection, traction, and shock dissipation
All Systems aid in isolating energies to the palmar (rear) aspect of the foot
All Systems are an ideal choice for the treatment of most foot related diseases and injuries.
Six unique insert sizes to custom fit almost every horse.
What others have to say:
I just wanted to send a big thank you for a great product. My horse will be doing his first Grand Prix in a couple of months, which will surprise many vets and shoers in our area. He is going as well as he did as a five year old (he is 10 now), after a couple of years of struggling with trying every shoe and pad combination we could find, and my horse still not staying sound, the answer is the Perfect Hoof Wear. My shoer cannot believe the difference in his hooves in just 12 weeks. He is impressed enough to try Perfect Hoof Wear on some of his other horses.
Thanks again for your great products!
S. Peters, San Diego, CA
I have several top level dressage horses that require the best of foot care. We decided several years ago to go barefoot for the health of our animals. Over the past year we have had two horses that required special care; we went with the Perfect Hoof Wear Pro. The results are amazing! The first was a big Thoroughbred with low heel syndrome. In just five weeks, he grew a beautiful heel, and his movement improved dramatically, developing back muscle where before he was weak. The second horse was a big Warmblood, that was wearing his hind toes terribly and weak in the stifle. After just four weeks of wearing the Pro kit, he is moving like never before. Thank you for an innovative product, it works!
J. Susser, Long Island, NY
Working as a farrier in Central Florida, I specialize in natural hoof care. I recently had a driving/working horse that was not capable of going barefoot on the roads where it had to work. I decided to try the Pro Kit; the owner is over the moon. The horse is sound, and extremely comfortable working over any surface. Traction on the road is exceptional, and the inserts wear really well. I am very excited about being able to offer such a great alternative to my clients.
Laura C., Florida
Things to consider before you pull those Horseshoes and go Barefoot with your Horse.
It should be clear that going barefoot is not just about pulling the shoes, and using the "wild horse" or "natural" barefoot trim. Equally important to being successful with the shoeless horse is taking into consideration your horse's entire environment. That being said, we want to be sure that we are all on the same page as to how we define "environment". We will venture to say that when asked what environment you keep your horse, that the first picture that comes into you mind is the pasture and stable. Environment is so much more. To better appreciate environment, try utilizing your five senses in painting a picture of your horse's environment.
Your horse's nutrition: It is said that a horse can develop ulcers in a very short period of time. One way to prevent stomach ulcers is to make hay or forage available 24 hours. Special attention needs to be paid to the amount of sugars in the feed and hay, as many horses become insulin resistant over time (see www.safergrass.org.) High sugar hay, and stomach ulcers, can contribute to equine digital elastosis. (read more on EDE) Also of major importance is hydration. Your horse should be drinking between 8 and 10 gallons of water per day. Seasonal changes can result in metabolic imbalances that can trigger mild equine digital elastosis. Read "Can a Horse be Allergic to Spring?"
Turn Out: 24 hour turnout in the ideal environment is preferred, but unfortunately many of us have less than ideal environments' for 24 hour turn out. It is true that hooves need continual movement for health and healing, but this movement must be controlled, as not to cause damage to the hoof by exceeding the foots' spectrum of usablity.
Dental Health: Timely and proper dental care, using the techniques of modern horse dentistry that balance the jaw and the TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) is imperative. Imbalance in the jaw and TMJ results in incorrect development of the top line of your horse, asymmetrical gait movement, and imbalanced wear and improper development of the hoof.
Exercise: Rider input, correct saddle fit, and proper exercise are imperative to correct hoof development. Horses will always move in the most comfortable way possible, and pain or rider imbalance will result in poor hoof development. At the Institute, we teach what "physiological sequencing" means, why it's important, and how to use it to improve your horse's performance overall. Read "Did Ido That?"
Correct Conformation: We have had excellent results using barefoot or "shoeless" to rehabilitate foundered horses to full soundness and usability. The HPT Method (High Performance Trim)balances the hoof to the foot within, resulting in less strain on the sensitive structures of the foot. Correct break over and heel placement (correct conformation) is achieved and soundness results. Applied Equine Podiatry is more than just a mustang roll to shorten a long toe. We focus on stimulating the foot from within by changing the foundational confirmations, thus changing the tubule orientation all together, so a new correct hoof emerges from within.
Time: Due to damage and loss of structure within the newly de-shod hoof, the dimension of time plays a vital role in transitioning to barefoot. The amount of time after you remove the shoes is dependent upon the severity of damage, and how well you can establish an environment that is conducive to healing. The health of the internal tissues, recognized as the foundations of the hoof must become healthy if you have any hope of growing out a high quality, tough hoof wall, and hoof capsule with the correct conformation need for performance. While this may seem vague, the truth is that no one can predict how long it will take for your horse to achieve peak performance after removal of its horseshoes. I will say that in my experience, taking longer than twelve months likely means we are missing something. Leaving shoes on is not the answer, the traditional horseshoe negates correct foot function and the hoof will not have a chance to heal. To repeat what good friend and renowned trainer of mine often says, "Take the time it takes, so it takes less time." Simply ignoring the facts can and often do result in the loss of many useful years of life for the horse.
Hoof Boots? Hoof boots are not recommended as a tool for the transition from shod to barefoot. Boots can be used to allow you to ride your horse, but they should not be look upon as a rehabilitation tool, or transitional tool. Boots are often ill fitting, clumsy, heavy, and do not offer the correct stimulus for the development of correct internal conformation. We recommend using Perfect Hoof Wear or the Perfect Hoof Wear Pro Inserts, both of which provide needed stimulus for the return of health, while allowing for use of your horse. They are truly a "No down time solution to transitioning from horseshoes".
Wet Environments: Horses that live in wet environments and show signs of metabolic syndrome, or insulin resistance benefit from Perfect Hoof Wear when transitioning to harder surfaces. If your exercise your horse over harder, rocky surfaces, and are stabled in a wet environment you would do well to use the Perfect Hoof Wear to not only protect the hoof, but also to stabilize the hoof capsule. Horses that work on paved roads should use the Perfect Hoof Wear Pro inserts, to prevent excess wear of their hooves and provide traction. Once again, the benefits of using hoof wear over boots are: dynamic stability, increased stimulus, and perfect fit
Soft Footing: Horses that work on soft arena footing will exhibit a foot for that environment. This type of horse is often sore when asked to work over a surface that presents increased concussion. In any transition program your horse should be exposed to a wide variety of surfaces working with its spectrum of usability. This could mean simply walking 20 minutes on a firm surface before and after your arena work. The hoof is designed flexes at every step, and it is this controlled distortion that is responsible for correct foot function. Are you aware that the back half of the foot finds its foundation in cartilage? And that cartilage does not derive its nutrition directly for the blood supply, but rather via pressure on surrounding tissue? Increased circulation without correct distortion does little to help return correct conformation and health the back half of the foot. Also you can use Silvetrasol to aid in keeping the hoof tougher.
Who do I get to trim? It is a fact that in many areas around the world there are simply too few well trained trimmers, and if you want a good barefoot trim, you will need to learn to do it yourself. You can join the thousands of other concerned horse owners that have done just that by attending a practical course at IAEP. Learning to trim to trim is rather simple, but as stated elsewhere on this site, it is not knowing "how" to trim, but rather "why" to trim.
How the typical "pasture trim" often falls short of expectations.
While some farriers are helping their clients go barefoot, others have not yet taken the time to understand the needs of the shoeless horse in domestication. Most are comfortable with the simplicity the horseshoe and the pasture trim offer. There are many different ways to approach trimming the horse's hooves. The pasture trim is the inadequate approach. At our Institute, we teach the HPT Method, (High Performance Trim) and the science of Applied Equine Podiatry which brings hoofcare to a whole new level of learning.
Sole: In the pasture trim, the sole of the hoof is often concaved, with little regard to the function of horn type in the sole.
Hoof Wall: In the "pasture trim", the bottom edge or ground surface of the wall is left flat to the ground, this being a habit develop when preparing the hoof for a shoe. A flat wall encourages wall separations, and incorrect loading of the coronary band in the barefoot horse. Flare often causes undue stress leading to changes in the conformation of the foundations of the hoof, changes that can result in lameness. At the Institute, we focus on the development of the Hoof Wall "Matrix" which surpasses the ordinary pasture and natural trim hands down.
Hoof Capsule Migration: The "pasture trim" often ignores forward migration of the hoof capsule. Farriers are taught to use the white line to determine hoof shape, and as a result following forward migration of the white line results in a long hoof. The added stress of imbalance on the dorsal to palmar plane (toe to heel) can result in any number of hoof deformities, ranging from toe cracks to navicular disease. IAEP focuses directly on the health of the "Internal Arch Apparatus" (IAA), a seperate organ, not to be confused with the so-called solar "arch" of the hoof which does not represent sensitive structures.
Heel Placement: Heels placement is critical and often in the pasture trim heels are left long. You may have heard of the saying "Long toe, Low Heel" syndrome. Well low heels are often long heels. That's right, low heels are not short heels, but rather long low heels. The ground surface of the heel has migrated forward, resulting in a long low heel. This type of conformation is devastating to the function of the foot. The hoof cannot distort correctly adding to stress about the coffin joint. Extended heel horseshoes only exacerbate the forces on the palmar processes and coffin joint. The HPT Method is a conscientious effort to avoid torque around p3, creating postive energy management within the foot and hoof by providing the stimulus to the IAA.
Frog Infections: Farriers often become frustrated and then complacent with frog infections, learning to ignore them. In the barefoot horse that lacks the protection of the horseshoe, frog and heel pain often develops mostly due to frogs that are not trimmed properly if at all, without regard to the relationship the frog has with the bars and caudal aspect of the foot.
What benefits do we see in taking the horse barefoot?
Improved Performance: The horse often shows an improved quality of movement. The hoof is perfect by design and when allowed to take its proper form, will make it possible for the horse to achieve its peak performance.
Traction: I have been designing hoof wear for the better part of three decades and one thing I learned along the way is that surface area translates as increased friction. A flat surface has provides far less traction than an uneven surface. In addition to surface area, the drag coefficient of the material comes into play. The hoof of the horse when healthy will always provide greater traction than a steel horseshoe on dirt. I am not saying that traction devices don't work; I am saying they work at a cost. The sound, healthy barefoot horse is surefooted over its natural terrain while allowing for proper distortion and stimulus to the IAA.
Endurance: Proper foot function aids in achieving correct metabolic performance.
What can you do to improve the quality of life of the horses in your care?
Learn about their nutritional needs, and the importance of having a properly hydrated horse. There are several articles posted to this website that will provide you with guidance.
Find ways to exercise your horses within their given "Spectrum of Usability". KC La Pierre's book the Chosen Road explains how to use the spectrum to aid you in your hoof care program. Take the guesswork out of your rehabilitation program by understanding each structure and knowing its foundation, thus allowing for proper stimulus. Knowledge is power.
Get proper dental care; it affects the balance of the entire horse.
Develop an understanding of back motion and saddle fit. Have a Pegasus Gait Analysis done on your horses. A gait analysis will give you a base line of data that you can refer to.
Is Heel First Landing really correct?
Obvious Heel-first landing in the front feet can be a sign of lameness! Because the hoof is essentially a weight at the end of a pendulum, the speed at which the pendulum swings will determine how the weight acts. That all sounds logical, but the fact is the horse has a brain and will react to environmental stimulus. Pain is a very important nerve function, its purpose to protect the horse. Excessive heel first landing at the walk or trot often indicates toe pain. Trimming to achieve a visible heel first landing is incorrect. I have seen more horses lamed by this type of trimming than I care to record. In the sound horse at a normal trot, the hoof should appear to be landing flat (often referred to as achieving dynamic balance). Understand that heel first landing is achieved in the sound horse, but the timing is subtle. The back half of the hoof is designed to allow for distortion, with its foundations being made up of cartilage. Trimming for heel first landing is not addressing correct balance.
That being said, toe first or true flat foot landing is detrimental to the health of the foot. We use podiatry impression pads to measure impact. These pads offer an accurate, affordable, and efficient means of determining hoof load while in motion.(See Sole Mate Therapeutic Pads)