A Change in Perspective
By Karen Pickering
“Hoof Boots? No Way! I’m not going through that hassle every time I want to ride.” This was my reaction when barefoot and boots was suggested as an option to April’s lameness.
It’s interesting how we never seem to agree with something until it actually works. I never would have looked at this until I felt I was out of options.
I hadn’t thought of myself as close-minded, but I never would have considered going barefoot as an option for my horse. April was diagnosed with navicular in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried a multitude of options from bar shoes and pads to aluminum shoes. They all worked… for a while. Then, in 2015 when I was unable to ride or work April because of my husband’s illness, things changed dramatically. Lack of exercise was the biggest culprit and I learned that good circulation was key to healthy hooves.
I expand on April’s recovery process in a feature article on page 20. The article explains more, but it’s important to consider all the options when it comes to your horse’s health. No one person has all the answers, and I believe we each need to find the truth for ourselves. My hope with the Northwest Horse Source magazine is to give you options, ideas, and to share my story so perhaps you can learn from my experiences. With so many new things coming at us, it can be overwhelming to investigate the best way to care for your horse’s health. All I can say is, choose your sources carefully.
April has been barefoot since this past spring. While her heels are still underslung and her soles are thin, I am riding her in boots. Cavallo was the first company to jump in and send me a pair of boots to try. I will be reviewing two other boot brands but I have been using the Cavallo Treks since we removed her shoes. While I couldn’t ride the first couple of months, we’ve since been on several fairly long trail rides. She’s been a little sore but no more than expected.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey of recovery. I know most of you would do just about anything for your special horses. I encourage you to always be willing to try something new. I’m sure glad I did! Let me know if you’ve had a similar journey. I’d love to share your experiences.
Quote: “By changing nothing, nothing changes.”
Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages. Since then, it has grown into beautiful, all-gloss magazine with the largest coverage of any free equine publication in the Northwest – a distribution of over 16,000 copies and over 600 locations monthly. Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!
Today, Karen remains involved with every aspect of the magazine and treasures the community of thousands who share a common passion. Somewhere in the wee hours of the early mornings and late evenings, she still finds time to care for April, her gorgeous and sweet-tempered Quarter Horse.