Joe Lyford's Natural Hoof Care
Serving Western New York & the Southern Tier to help horses live a more natural life
Like many other natural hoof care professionals, my journey began rather unexpectantly when my wife Amy purchased her dream horse "Maggie." Maggie's previous owner was a friend of ours who took very good care of her horses. When we heard that Maggie was for sale, we jumped at the chance to bring her home to our farm.
Maggie was a real sweetheart and Amy was quite fond of her. Unfortunately after riding her for a few months we found that she just wasn't going very well. She wore metal shoes and was actually quite tender footed. She surely wasn't pasture sound without shoes. A conventional farrier told us that Maggie would always need shoes on her front feet and that she would never get much better. Sadly, she was very thin soled so walking on a rocky surface or frozen winter pasture was totally impossible for her.
Getting into horses later in life became a blessing for us and for Maggie. We had no preconceived notions as to how to solve this problem. With an open mind we became determined to find a solution for this beautiful horse that had become such a special part of our family. Being a "do-it-yourselfer" by nature, I jumped right in. We were acquainted with natural horsemanship coaches and friends that provided invaluable guidance. Both Amy and I took to it all rather quickly and began studying everything we could get our hands on. We couldn't stand seeing Maggie suffer. One thing led to another and I became determined to learn how to do the barefoot trim to help Maggie.
Maggie is 20 years old now and is totally sound. We transitioned her gradually using hoof boots and today she is sure footed on any type of terrain. She has an incredible amount of energy and is healthy inside and out. In fact, our entire herd is barefoot and sound. The successful rehabilitation of Maggie and taking over the hoof care of all my own horses gave me a sense of confidence. It wasn't long before our friends and other horse owners began to ask for my help.