An email from Leslie:
Just thought I would share our barefoot story!
Two years ago, if anyone had asked me if a barefoot horse could be a successful barrel racing horse, I would have told you it was rare, mostly impossible... I have been a member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Assn for 28 yrs and have trained many nice rodeo barrel horses. My husband Ross Maynard is a pretty darned good farrier, he has shod everything from Zsa Zsa Gabor's Gaited horses, National Champion Minis, to World Champion NFR Barrel & Rope horses.
We moved to AZ from swampy Western Oregon in 2004 and had nothing but hoof problems. In 2005 my own sorrel gelding FastTime started showing "naviculoid" symptoms. After 2 yrs of therapeutic shoeing, consulting with top vets and farriers, and no improvement, we decided to try NHC. Jeff & Claudia Lors and Melissa Rider were a great help sharing their Barefoot barrel racing experiences and giving encouragement. After much consultation and the guidance of Courtney Vincent we pulled his shoes in Jan 07, and began this barefoot journey. 10 minutes after the first trim with boots, FastTime was moving better than ever. After 4 months, he showed so much improvement that I decided to try all my barrel horses barefooted.
I've received my share and more, of skeptical looks and flack from other rodeo contestants as I warm up my booted horses. I don't compete in boots, but keep use them in rocky rodeo parking lots. We live in AZ where all the arenas have a hardpan under shallow footing, yet I've not had any traction issues, and during 2007 both FastTime and Torch placed at a few rodeos even though they were going thru transition.
LRM Lightning Watch was in training during 2007 and was working nicely. He debuted as a 5 yr old in March 2008. His 7th race ever, he placed at a PRCA Pro rodeo! Since then Lightning has won jackpot rodeo barrels, placed at several PRCA Rodeos, and won in Futurities. Because he is young, I decided to focus on the Women's Professional Rodeo Assn. Futurity Division, for 5 yr old, first year barrel horses. We have been chasing points all summer throughout AZ & NM, and are now it's official, Lightning is #1 in the World Standings WPRA ProFuturity Division!! http://www.wpra.com/futuritystandings.htm
We have enough points to secure the title before we ever get to the World Finals in Tulsa in November!
I'm completely sold on Natural Hoof Care. Ross is still a farrier, but he incorporates NHC techniques as much as possible in his set up trims. He'll work with any customer who would like to transition their horses to BF.
Feel free to contact us or check our website, we'd love to share barefoot stories!