Turtleback Zoo of Essex County, NJ Opts For Natural Hoofcare




dantethedraft.jpgDante is a 9 year old rescued Belgian Draft Horse. He was once an Amish work horse.  Upon entering the zoo he was lame regularly and needed bute often for pain control.  The zoo’s farrier could not control him even with sedation, and ended up only rasping the tops of his feet for months.  Finally, a natural barefoot hoofcare professional was sought out, in a last ditch effort to get him sound and controllable before giving up and sending him away again.  What a turn around!!!  Dante has been sound since his first trim.  The trim addressed his overgrown bars, frog, and major flaring, and took almost 3 hours!  Four months later, he is getting better and dantethedraft-21.jpgbetter.  He no longer needs sedation, thanks to time and patience, but mostly due to some natural horsemanship techniques that have encouraged him to give his foot and stand quietly.  Dante is a pleasure to work with now and the zoo staff is amazed at how far he’s come.  He is one of the most popular animals at the zoo.  Check him out one day!!



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  1. What a sweet-looking guy; he looks like a big ol’ teddy bear. 🙂

  2. His foot looks great considering what he started with.
    It’s interesting that he is displaying the ‘hole in the sole’ at the toe, which can result from high heels causing the tip of the coffin bone to pinch off the circumflex artery. You can see it in the white colored line (inside the actual white line), and how it dips down and back up right at the toe.

    For some reason it seems to be very prevalent in draft horse feet even if they don’t have very high heels to start with. Or maybe their heels just don’t look as high because the foot is so big?

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