In which I try to measure Fiddle's feet and have too much caprine help

The first step in getting hoof boots to fit my horse is, according to Garrett and Tara at Easycare Inc, to measure my horse's feet. Here's the image from the website of the measurements needed:

Out I went this morning, into the rain (aside: hooray, it's raining! the stupid sn*w is gone at last!) , armed with a ruler (and the camera, of course) to get some measurements.

Fiddle's feet are really different from each other. This photo was taken right before her shoes were pulled for winter.

Notice that her right front foot is visibly different from the other three--this is the foot that she paddles with at a trot on trail. When she's working at a collected trot in the arena, this leg/foot travels much straighter. This foot is always her forward foot when she's grazing at home, and it tends to grow hoof tissue faster than the others.

Here are the measurements I sent to Tara at Easycare:

Left Front:
length: 5.5"width: 4.75"heel: 3.00"

Left Hind: <--this foot has some flare on the outside, shown in photo

length: 5.25"width: 5.75"heel: 3.25"

Right Front:
length: 5.5"width: 5.25"heel: 3.25

Right Hind:length: 5.5"width: 5.0"heel: 3.25"

Does that seem funky? I'm not a hoof geek, but I know there are some hoof geeks reading this. Opinions, please?

And here's a situation that the Easycare people do not address: Goat Assistants.

One photo will suffice:

Notice that the Easycare hoof photo doesn't have an extra nose on one corner, nor does it show a little goat-foot in another corner. That experience, apparently, is special just for me.

Then, there's this picture. I have quite a few like it:

Argh. Goats! Move out of the way!

It's a good thing they're cute.


  1. Aww Mom, they were just trying to make sure Fiddle gets the right size boots.

  2. I have no idea how to measure feet. I mean, obviously, you need a ruler and a hoof, but that's like saying all you need to make puff pastry is flour and butter. Honestly, I've been putting off the boot thing because I know measuring is going to be the second worst part. (The worst part is when I get the boots and realize they're the wrong size.) I applaud you for boldly blazing a trail which I shall attempt to follow!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. FUNDER: I wouldn't use boots if Fiddle wasn't such a weenie about the soles of her feet!

    The first 18 months I had her, I kept her barefoot (we were mostly walking on trails anyhow).

    I put shoes on her in the spring and her stride got HUGE! I pulled the shoes the next winter, and strides got small again. Clearly, it was a pain issue, and shoes fix it.

    But winter is a time of not-much-riding, and the farrier recommends pulling if I want to ride, boots are pretty necessary for her. EasyBoots (the old kind) were adequate, barely.

    I'm hoping that with help from Garrett and Tara at Easycare, I'll be able to use a boot that actually works well!

    Stay tuned--I'll do a post about fitting the boots when I get the fit kit in the mail.

  5. it looks like you and me (and funder?) have this same right front foot, the straight one. i don't think it's extreme in fiddle, though.

    her feet look lovely, top and bottom.

    look how wide those heels are. look how horribly contracted most shod horses' heels are! my goodness fiddle has a working advantage here.

    tenderness? boot her. and you are, woo: ) comfort pads might also help, ask the easycare guys.

    she has beautiful feet. gosh i'd hate to see someone mash them. especially those heels.


  6. Greetings. . .I found your blog and discovered you are a fellow Washingtonian who is into barefoot hoof care, very cool! I have a blog as well:
    I live on San Juan Island and do three-day eventing with Sweet Water Farm Akhal-Teke. Where do you live?

  7. Lytha: she DOES have beautiful feet! When she first got off the trailer (I'd never seen her before the night she was delivered to me as a "foster") my first thought was, "she's HUGE! I'll just keep her for the winter..."

    But later that evening I picked up her feet, and thought, "OMG, I cannot send these beautiful feet away!!!" All four of her feet are beautiful. Huge foot, strong tissue, excellent cup, wide heel.

    I'm gonna break hearts here by saying that she really goes best in steel shoes. Really.

    I have tried keeping her barefoot. She isn't as comfortable as she is in steel.

    I kept her barefoot until she was 6 years old. She wasn't comfortable until the day we put shoes on her. That day, her stride length DOUBLED.

    I have a great farrier who works with me, and doesn't mash her feet or contract her heels. The heels in the photo have been bare for less than a week--that's what they look like coming out of shoes. Steel shoes don't have to be evil (see, I'm breaking hearts, I can hear them cracking!) even though some horses get mashed by them.

    Hana could easily compete barefoot. Fiddle can't. Leaving her bare hurts her. I want to explore the helpfulness of boots, but I am not swearing off steel shoes, because I *know* they help Fiddle.

    But of course I'm always willing to try like boots something that might help her MORE.

    So, stay tuned.

  8. Goats have always helped measure horse's hooves. You see them in ancient tapestries.

    Of course even there the images are blurry. :)

    And the horse's shoes are HUGE.

    Can't wait to hear how the boots do!


Post a Comment

To err is human. To be anonymous is not.

Popular posts from this blog

In which we take (metaphoric) coals to Newcastle by boat and barge

In which we go to the Highland Games and there's a Henry photo dump