The following are just a small sample of some of the many comments, success stories and testimonials we receive via e-mails and letters. We have divided this page into 3 sections, however many of the letters could fit into more than 1 section, so please don't hesitate to read all the sections.
Thanks for all your help,
I wanted to send you this message to say thank you for all the research and effort you do to help horses and educate people.
I have a 9 year old paint mare that is the 2003 APHA World Champion Open Barrel horse. She started being noticeably sore in her front feet in May of 2003. This was an off and on scenario, and I even had a problem at the world show in June, that I thought was a hot nail. After struggling with her being sore off an on for a few months, I took her to a Texas University, to the top lameness vet around. I spent a ton of money and countless hours in what turned out to be a futile attempt to figure out what was going on with my mare. The best result we got was after they injected the coffin bone area in March of 2004. (Keeping in mind that I had been making trips to A & M every 6 weeks with stall rest in between) After the injection, I rested her for a couple of weeks, and was able to ride her enough to leg her up and put her in a competition to let her “cruise” through a barrel pattern thinking that she may get lucky and hit one of the money places in a low division. She ended up winning the barrel race, but was lame after she came out of the arena. Back to the University I went. We did every test that the University had including x-rays, ultrasounds, even a bone scan. We tried different shoeing techniques, and had even at one point tried the Natural Balance shoes. (I have since figured out that they weren’t applied correctly) After each trip, the standard answer was to “try this and come back in 6 weeks”. We did the bone scan, and the only thing that showed “hot” was the navicular area, but she didn’t show any changes radiographically. They put some funky shoes on her and once again sent her home for 6 weeks. After chasing this problem for over a year she was still too lame to ride.
My last trip was in Late July, and the shoes hadn’t helped much. She was better on soft ground, but on hard ground she was still very lame in her turns. The only thing that was left was a new technique that they had just gotten in to try on lameness issues, or nerve her.
Luckily, about a week before my appointment, I was scanning the TV for something to watch, and on the RFD channel, a segment came on with Gene talking about the Natural Balance shoeing technique and about horses with “navicular syndrome”, low heels, etc. Needless to say, I was VERY interested. I called the next day and talked to Cody, and he was very informative and really felt like the EDSS method of shoeing could help my mare. He helped me to understand that it’s not just the shoes, but also the way that they are put on. Helped me to understand abut the importance of frog contact, and explained why what they were trying wasn’t working. Some things that I “thought” were right but didn’t know if I was correct, and also wasn’t sure how to get a farrier to listen to me and not just patronize me and go ahead & do what they wanted. After talking to Cody, I figured that everything he told me made perfect sense & it certainly wasn’t going to hurt to try – nothing else had worked. I ordered the tape on Natural Balance Shoeing, so that I could better educate myself to the EDSS principals. I also needed find a farrier that was very familiar with EDSS and had all of the products, and knew about the specialty methods, and not someone that was going to be learning on my horse. Cody gave me the number to a wonderful man about 2 hours from where I live and I made an appointment.
At my last appointment at the University when the vets were about ready to throw their hands in the air, and had decided that nerving was about the only viable option left. I told them that I wanted to try a new shoeing technique first. I just wasn’t ready take the drastic step of nerving.
The next day I met with the new farrier. He instantly saw the problem with my mare, and saw a potential problem with another horse that I had brought along. Long story short, after each shoeing my mare got better. It only took 3 or 4 times of being shod CORRECTLY with the EDSS method and my mare is sounder that she has been in over a year! I am so excited to have her back! Seeing her feel good enough to play and buck in the pasture just makes my heart swell. I now have all of my horse's shod with Natural Balance, and they are doing wonderful! I probably know just enough about the EDSS way of shoeing to be dangerous, but at least I feel like I can watch my horse move and tell if he/she is landing heel or toe first etc. Tom, the farrier that I am using, has really helped me a lot to learn and understand more and more. He is even helping me to learn how to trim my 2 babies. He says I’m not doing too badly either! (I’m still not confident enough to not have someone I trust check their feet and make sure I have them balanced though)!
I know this is a little long winded, but I wanted you both to know how grateful I am that you have done the research and developed these methods to help horses. Cody was so helpful and understanding that first day, he was so patient with me as I rambled on about my experiences trying to get my mare sound. He really made me feel like there was hope for my horse, he knew what I didn’t, there WAS hope for her! There are a lot of people who know my mare and know how long she has been out of commission. So I have a lot of opportunity to sing your praises. I tell EVERYONE who will listen what I have learned and I am a true believer in your methods. Also how important it is to have the shoes put on correctly. Thank you again for what you do, and for getting me together with Tom. He is a wonderful man, and a fantastic farrier.
I just had the shoes and pads pulled off Dooley today so I thought I would give you an update.
You will recall Dooley foundered in May of 2002. I had 3 different vets try to help and the last one in July 2002 suggested I might have to put him down. They reported he had rotated as much as 14 degrees in both feet and that his coffin bones had sunk some.
Through the internet I made contact with various people that reported success with recovering horses that had foundered with appropriate barefoot trim. I started to do my own trimming and trying to pick up as much information as I could. By the spring of 2003 he had stabilized somewhat and it appeared I was making some progress but it was slow and he would have times when he was sole sore. I also found out about this time that he was insulin resistant.
Finally I attended your clinic in PA but was unable to bring Dooley, I believe that was in May. Then in Aug 2003 I brought Dooley to your clinic in Vermont. He was still sole sore and of course his toes were long and stretched at the white line. At that clinic you applied, flat pads, dental impression material and natural balance shoes. I came home and started riding him - one of your recommendations and benefits of the pads. I made contact with a farrier here in Canada and shared with him all the material I had on your technique and we reset his shoes and pads in December. Then in March we reset the shoes and pads with magic cushion instead of the dental material. Each time we reset the shoes we were able to make some progress with the trim as the hoof wall grew out to have the foot looking better but he still had that long toe.
Just today we removed the shoes and pads. Tested the sole with the hoof testers and both feet tested fine. We started the trim checking the sole as we went. We were able to trim each foot to the standard of the "The Natural Trim". His feet look great and he walked away landing heel first.
I cannot thank you enough for your help, guidance and encouragement. It is such a thrill to have him sound again. Your research and efforts have proved invaluable for both me and my horse, keep up the good work.
I look forward to when we can meet or talk again.
Three weeks ago you were in Rock Springs and used my horse as a demo horse to shoe for a pretty severe case of founder. Since you put shoes on her, she is a different horse. I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for her. Last night I loped her for the first time in a year and a half. I cried. The soreness in her back has completely disappeared and she so obviously happy and comfortable by the display of kicking and bucking in the paddock that I have not seen for so long. I hope that through the continuation of using Natural Balance shoeing and the EDSS system, my mare and I will continue to have a long partnership together, perhaps even back into the show ring at some point.
Thank you so much
After you left today we worked Majic and the little lameness he was showing disappeared with 5 minutes of work at the trot. Then he started extending the trot and boy was I impressed. He was floating and his head bobbing went away. I am sold on what you have done for him and us. I think my daughter will start showing him at the end of this summer in dressage and maybe start jumping him again. We are not fooling ourselves that he would be able to sustain upper level dressage or 3 foot jumping, but if he will stay sound like this we'll get several more years out of him. I was stressed thinking we might have to send him down the road, because my daughter loves him so much, but I couldn't afford to keep him if he wasn't able to stay sound, now we have hope that he will do fine for a long time. The vet we use said the x-rays look the same from a year ago, so that's good. And now that we have found a shoe method he likes we're on our way.
The one thing I love is to watch my horses run in the pasture and yesterday for the first time he wasn't ouchy and was on the left lead most of the time. We'll contact you in a few weeks and let you know what we need to do. Are you planning to be gone for any length of time in the next month? Just so we'll know to work around your schedule.
Very satisfied customers,
~ Sherry, Bruce and Tiffany