Interview with Vet and Barefoot Advocate, Dr. Tomas Teskey


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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13 Responses

  1. Diane says:

    Amen to this article. There is a turning of the tide and we as responsible horse owners need to get educated and take into consideration the health of our horses. As a barrel racer I see the over use of supplements and drugs just for that win and long term these horses don’t last and “retire” before their time. How can their bodies work and heal and function properly when its bombarded with sugar based feed and drugs? Here’s to a holistic future for our dear equine friends.

    • then5925 says:

      I agree, Diane. I’m a former barrel racer and have witnessed the things you mentioned. Kudos to Dr. Teskey for being such an advocate for the horse though!

  2. A brilliant article by a brilliant man. It takes courage to step forward and challenge tradition. Tradition is flat out wrong here, not by opinion, but by science.
    Keep up the good work Dr Teskey, you’re an inspiration!

  3. rhea benko says:

    Wonderful advice…………..I can picture “know it all trainers, farriers and owners” eyes glazing over after the first few lines 🙁

  4. John Calder says:

    Oh music to the ears and food for the soul…………………..thank you Thomas.

    Lou, my partner and I are based in the south west of England and for the last ten or so years have been promoting and advocating exactly the same horse management philosophy that you preach.

    So much so that we formed a small feed company supplying high fibre, low starch fibre feeds containing a balanced, high quality minerals and vitamins pellet. We’ve tried to put 30,000 acres of grazing into a bag allowing the horse to eat what it evolved to eat. Incidentally our Company slogan is ‘feeding the horse as it evolved to eat.’

    We’ve also kept our own horses barefoot for the last ten years , our amazing barefoot trimmer and our dentist are regular visitors. A foot geek and tooth geek but so knowledgeable and true experts in their fields.

    Funnily enough, besides great feet and teeth, there are other natural benefits too – I used to call them ‘side effects’ but have come to the conclusion that the term ‘side effects’ summons up negative thoughts so I now just call them natural benefits – for example we haven’t seen a gastric ulcer or , touch wood, a major colic, our horses don’t tie up and that’s keeping between 50 to 80 horses year in year out over the period.

    We are now down to a few horses and are concentrating on getting the diet and nutrition philosophy out there through our little feed Company.

    I’d love to publish your article in our monthly newsletter so I guess this is a long winded way of asking permission to do so.

    Many thanks

    John and Lou

    • then5925 says:

      Hi John and Lou,

      You have my permission to publish the article in your newsletter. 🙂 Great information and I’d love to keep putting it out there for the public!


    • then5925 says:

      Please list ‘The Naturally Healthy Horse’ as the source website when you publish it though. Thanks!

  5. Canadian Cowgirl55 says:

    Awesome article. It’s very matter of fact and true in every sense of every word.

    We have team roping horses. We live in a northern part of western Canada. We used to remove their shoes for the winter to give them a break. Then we started wintering in Arizona. Our horses were then kept shod year round as we were led to believe by the industry that our horses needed shoes to function and compete. WRONG!

    I’ve personally taken our horses from shoes to barefoot and it is truly the best thing I have ever done for my horses health. The transition from shoes to barefoot wasn’t a matter of just removing the shoes and riding off into the wild blue yonder. It took some transitional time for their hooves to adjust and heal from the damages of shoes and farrier incompetence. We used the Easy Boot Gloves as a transition boot when necessary for their comfort, or when the trail becomes too rocky.

    It is very empowering to Natural Trim my own horses hooves and keep them as healthy as I possibly can.

    Thanks Dr Tomas Teskey. I hope to meet you one day 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    Dear Dr. Tesky,

    I hope you can offer some advice. I have a 6 yo Belgian warmblood gelding who was diagnosed with PSSM via muscle biopsy about 6 months ago. We have altered his diet to free choice grass hay, fed with a small hole slow feed haynet. He is also turned out on a large pasture 24-7, except in the spring when he is in a large dry lot. He gets a small amount of beet pulp, 1/2c coconut meal (as a fat source for his PSSM) and a handful of alfalfa pellets. Two feedings per day.

    His muscles have loosened up considerably due to the diet changes but his front feet are very tender. He has beautiful feet except the soles are close to the ground and I assume they are thin because he is just so ouchy. He seems more comfortable when he has boots on but is still lame at the trot. His mother was the same so she spent her life in shoes and often pads in the spring. I have been committed to barefoot for many years now and my three other horses are successfully barefoot and loving it. I’m very frustrated with my PSSM horse however and am considering shoes again to see if they help him. Have you had any experience with a PSSM horse? If so, what worked? I appreciate your time.


    • Casie says:

      Hi Michelle– You may want to e-mail Dr. Teskey directly at the e-mail listed at the bottom of the interview. Not sure if he’ll see this here.


  7. I find this topic very interesting and am intrigued by all you have learned. Thank you for sharing. I am wondering if this will eventually be the way the horse community goes.

  8. Dana says:

    I adopted a rescue Paso Fino mare in late 2002. By Spring 2004, she had settled down and recognized people as okay to have around, with me as her personal friend and safety. I was going to ride her in Competitive Trail so intended to have my farrier put shoes on her. She had been fine with having her feet handled with trims (Pasos are notoriously difficult about having their feet handled.). He sized the shoe, hot fitted, all was well, until he placed the first nail . . . She whipped that foot up under her belly so quick, you’d have thought she’d been snake bit! Again and again. She didn’t run off, just wouldn’t let him have that foot, and certainly not any other! He finally looked at me and said we could twitch her or sedate her and get those shoes on. I emphatically said no, because of all that she had given me so far in her long journey from dark rescue to bright companion. Then he told me he had been to a Pete Ramey clinic on barefoot trims and had become quite interested in the concept. Was I interested? What? No steel shoes on a trail horse? What a novel idea! What was my lovely mare trying to tell me? NO SHOES ON MY ALREADY PERFECT FEET! It’s been 13 years now, I boot her sometimes, no shame in that. All my horses since that day have been barefoot. Off the rich grass and onto the track. No sugars, etc. Listen to the horse!

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