International Healthy Frogs Make Healthy Feet

Fall & Winter, 2009

I put up the Healthy Fall Frogs web page for horses I trim in Northern California following concerns that some owners and trimmers didn't know the difference between healthy and unhealthy frogs.

Then I decided to ask other folks from around the world, owners and trimmers, to send me pictures of their healthy frogs with brief bios.These pictures are great! Some are from the desert, from wet climates... I hope to see this page grow over time,

A healthy frog is an important component of barefoot. If YOU are having trouble attaining barefoot soundness or comfort? Check your frogs...

ASA's Healthy Nevada Frogs

Dawn's Jas The Scottish Shetland

Jeannean's Healthy WINTER New York Frogs
Barb McCray's Western Colorado Frog
Karen's Lake Co. California (Lava Land) Frogs
Dawn Saunders Scottish Frogs (wet!!!)
Todd Osborne, Georgia (lots more wet!)
Marie Daniels Louisiana Frogs (even more wet frogs...)
Claudia Waldman - New Zealand Frogs
Anne Buteau - Central Virginia - 4 feet from a variety of horses
Kay Stowers - Western Oregon

Go to Healthy Fall Frogs - Linda's feet


Asa's "Healthy frogs in desert area"

Asa is a super lady who rides and trims in the Las Vegas, Nevada desert. She is a member of both AHA and PHCP.

I got to ride with her in 2009 at Jack Brook Horse Camp in the Coastal Santa Cruz Mountains and she was amazed at how the moisture changed Sirocco's feet!

Åsa Nuttal
Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners
AHA Member
702 296 6925

Three year old QH living in a herd situation on gravel and sand and Adult QH living in herd situation on pea gravel. (Cheyenne)


Above: Eleven year old Breeding stock paint living is same conditions (Sirocco) front and hind foot

Jeannean's Healthy WINTER New York Frogs

Cricket is 3.5 years old in these pictures. Jeannean is a PHCP trimmer.

Jeannean Mercuri
Ridge N.Y

Jeannean  :-)

. <'\___~
.... ( \...)\.....
Ride Naturally, Go Treeless!!
Natural Barefoot Trimming




Barb McCray's Western Colorado Frog

This is a neat Before & After frog shot from Barb McCray in Colorado. Barb is one of the esteemed Moderators of Dr Kellons Equine Cushings list She sent the Before shot into the Whole Horse Health email list and asked me what I thought. I told her it looked really good, all it needed was a trim. Then she immediately sent me the trimmed frog - and it looks good! Not perfect, perfect isn't necessary!! This frog looks very comfy and is a good landing pad for this horse. That's the secret.

Here are Barb's comments:

"Not perfect but it'll be ok now that so much moisture won't get trapped in.

Owner said the mare was great on a trail ride with lots of rocks, etc the day before. Here's a picture after I cleaned it up as best I could. Four weeks ago, this frog was rock hard like it had been all summer but we had some rain and snow last week. I am in western CO - high desert terrain. Here in the valley, our summers are bone dry. Our winters can go either way - wet or dry. The horse lives in a dirt lot and pasture."

- Barb


Karen Sullivan's Lake County, California, Frogs

Karen is a PHCP trimmer who works out of Kelseyville Ca., and these feet belong to Coyote, her 9YO BLM mustang. This mare has awesome feet and is a true gravel cruncher who, for the most part, self trims her feet. She's become a bit of a legend locally. Coyote has a fluid comfortable body with very nice muscling, and moves out eagerly and comfortably on all terrain in this very rocky abrasive part of California.

It took me years to get Karen to consider barefoot because she and her friends thought that horses couldn't even be sound in pasture barefoot. They ride frequently and several ride endurance, so they thought that barefoot was a ludicrous concept. When they realized how lucky they were to have this environment for their horses? Karen's group of friends went barefoot, They ride a frequently and cover penty of distance.


Dawn Saunders, Scotland

AHA Trimmer

Jas The Shetland Scotland is VERY wet, in case you didn't know, and Thrush is one of Dawns big challenges. The comments below are from Dawn.

" I brought her feet back from being horribly laminitic, you can *just* see the last of the lamellar wedge at the toe, her frogs used to be really thrushy but the pic just shows what a tight diet and regular trim schedule can do."




" No, it's not a special effect!  It is so humid here after all the recent rain my camera fogged up!  This is Murphy, a Highland Pony, his frog is more typical of what we see here in Scotland at this time of year."  "Yes it is healthy...... just "soggy"  - no infection at all."



Todd Osborne, Georgia

Keeping It Natural
Natural Hoof Practitioner  - AHA Trimmer

White Horse Ranch
1000 Rahn Station Road
Rincon, GA 31326


Beauty (above right) is an approximately 11 year old Missouri Fox Trotter.  In the spring, she suffered from a fairly significant thrush infection at the central sulcus.  A pick would drop 1/2" or so before bottoming out.  Her frogs are now very calloused and she can cover much of the Augusta, GA area barefoot.  When she travels a little further north, she wears boots for protection, to ensure comfort and keep her moving out correctly.


Trigger (above) is an approximately 8 year old Quarterhorse.  Up till a year or so ago, he was more or less abandoned in a field of oats.  He has a very low tolerance for excessive carbohydrates which shows up in more than just his feet.  Fat deposits accumulate rather quickly in the Spring and Fall at the underside of the neck and along the mane.  Some horses are easy keepers but it takes a bit of extra management to keep Trigger in check.  You can almost tell the periods that he has been exercising vs. simply adorning the pasture.  His frogs are now fairly calloused and he can go barefoot anywhere within the low country of coastal Georgia.  For what it is worth, this past Summer was the wettest we have experienced in more than 15 years and part of this guy's pasture never dried up.


Romeo (above) is a 10 year old Kentucky Mountain Horse who was taken out of shoes almost one year ago.  His improvement has been dramatic and a testimony to the adaptive abilities of the horse's hoof.  This little guy can go anywhere he wants.  The owner used boots for about 5 or 6 months and now can gait down a driveway surfaced with #57 gravel.  Interestingly, the frog is always very supple and not nearly as calloused as other horses I would think to be more sound.  However, Romeo is like a Singer sewing machine and never flinches.  Romeo spends his time on sand, gravel, pine needle laden trails and grassy pastures near Savannah, GA.

Marie Daniels

AHA Trimmer
Louisiana Frogs

These frogs belong to an 8 year old TWH who lives on soggy clay pastures and is trail ridden infrequently, but is sound and lands heel first on trails and gravel roads.  Her feet are cleaned out a couple of times a month "whether she needs it or not". 

This time of year the horses are often hock deep in mud when going through the pasture gates.  IMO a fairly careful diet (starch wise) and strict mineral balance would account for her soundness. 


Claudia Waldman - New Zealand Frogs

AHA Trimmer

Here are some assorted healthy frogs from the Southern Hemisphere. They are all from different horses (TB's, WB's, cross breeds, ponies) that are mostly turned out 24/7 and are mainly fed grass, hay, or haylage, some extras.

New Zealand enjoys beautiful summers between November to February, with pretty high rainfall in the remaining parts of the year. Pastures are uncomfortably lush, mostly populated by rye grass and clover, but other grasses like Yorkshire fog, Timothy or brown top are around, too.


Anne Buteau

AHA Trimmer

Serving Central Virginia.For Annes help, call 434 263 4946

"Dixie" ia a 25yr old(at least) percheron cross who is basically retired. She lives on pasture, has a stonedust area by her barn and mainly gets exercise keeping the younger horses and ponies in order. When she IS ridden she can go anywhere..a true gravel cruncher!

Starlet (below)

"Starlet" is my 7yr old 13.1hh Dartmoor pony cross, who is ridden usually once a week in a stonedust roundpen or on the trails by an adult and is totally comfortable on the various terrain. She lives out on pasture and has a stonedust area under the run in shed. Thought I'd show a front and a hind foot again!




"Luna" is my 11yr old Arab who is starting the sport of Endurance Riding. She lives out on pasture and has a run in shed with stonedust footing. I use boots some of the time training, depending on where we are riding. We do a lot of miles on tar roads and it wears too much foot away.







"Ella" is a 5yr old "Spanish Norman" horse(andalusian/percheron cross). She does dressage and is ridden a couple of times a week in a stonedust ring. She is out on pasture during the day in winter and during the night in summer. These two photos really show the difference in shape between the front and hind feet


Kay Stowers - Western Oregon

AHA Trimmer

Kay Stowers (503) 957-3332


This is a fall/winter frog in a very wet environment in western Oregon. Magics owners are working to improove his diet, so stay tuned for more great frog pictures in the comong seasons!