Home made hoof clay 

I’ve been meaning to pick some hoof clay up for some time now, having horses living out 24/7 through winter (by choice obviously) can have its drawbacks when it comes to feet. They often come in with wet stinky feet and I end up just scrubbing them out and sending them back into the trenches, hoof clay is an invaluable product when it comes to abscesses, hoof cracks, white line and the sulcus of the frog and will keep holes plugged and feet clear of infection. 

So, making your own hoof clay! The main ingredient in this initial batch is green French clay, a natural, organic and mineral rich product which has numerous benefits for both people and horses. 

there’s lots of different types of natural clay, and I’m tempted to mix the next lot with another type but my research hasn’t determined which yet, so I’ll go on with this one. 

 I also added zinc oxide, which has been documented as being used for its skin healing properties since 500 AD. It’s a little more lab manufactured now that it would have been back then, but it still prevents infection, helps with wound healing and even has sun screen related properties!  

And finally tree tree ( need I go into the billion amazing things tea tree does?)

You will need a plastic or glass tub and the same applies with a spoon. Using metal will mess with the natural properties in the clay, and you definitely wouldn’t want that.  

After adding your tea tree you want to mix the lot while adding a little bit of water at a time untill you get the consistency that you’re happy with. (I use water that’s just boiled so it’s sterile) 

I use cotton wool to pack the clay into gaps, holes and cracks. My two suffer a little with thrush and are over due a trim, so I’m using the clay to pack down into their feet. 

It needs to be left to set for a little while, the less water you add the thicker it will be, but similarly if it’s wetter it will seep into more small cracks and fine lines. If you have a bucket handy, you can leave their clean packed clay in a bucket while it sets, or better yet hoof boots! 
If you try this yourselves send me the results! I’d love to see what variations people are making. 
Much love 
Jess xx 


Hoof Jack Genuis. 

I’ve been meaning to get hold of a hoof stand for a while, I tend to tidy the boys feet between farrier visit and I think it’s important for any barefoot horse owner to know the basics of hoof trimming. 

Now Hoof Jacks are beautiful and come in fancy colour and certainly look super smart, but the £200 price tag just seemed so steep for someone who just wants to be able to tidy feed up. That and I’m too frugal for my own good. 
Yesterday I went and picked up car axel stands (£15 for 2 in halfords) and I’m super happy with them. They can hold up to 2t and are a little easy to tip but okay if you can teach your horse to stay extra still. 

Derwent Reservoir – Peak District 01.12.16

This is a dead easy one (and boy is it beautiful!)
So, to Derwent from us is around 45 mins. We boxed up with thermals, maps and lunch. The aim really was to get our bearings today, there’s a lot of potential riding round here but much of the routes look fairly untouched. 

Henry was back in action after a strange lame week, and the route being dead easy was a brill choice to get him back in the swing of things. 

Our starting point is the main car park at Derwemt, which is easy to park in, has really helpful staff and a cafe and loo (RESULT!) from here you pretty much follow a quiet lane/road all the way round the outside of the reservoir. With our lunch stop being the top point of the route (and my favourite little spot in the Peak District) Slippery Stones. The route is brilliantly quiet, occasional bikes and cars but very few and far between and enough space for everyone, the second part of the journey is a footpath and we barely saw a soul. 

Now in summer, this would have been a very different ride. I’ve been to slippery stones before and it’s been like a tourist attraction, I’ve never been the only person there, untill now. 

Lunch spots just don’t get much better than that now do they H? 

The way back the footing is slightly harder for a barefoot horse, Henry was fine but took it slower. The Tarmac at the beginning was much easier than a gravel track for him. Nevertheless the ride is nice and you follow the windy route back along the water until you reach the car park. 

All in all it’s about 3.5 hours, but there are several options for routes up and over the surrounding hills and mountains that we’re eager to explore.

There’s a hitching post so you can tie up and have a tea/coffee on return which is lovely. I found this a really nice stress free ride. Here’s the route for you!

 Happy trails