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Cytek Shoes. Still here, still winning, but moet in cupboard
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thebundychick
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Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Cytek Shoes. Still here, still winning, but moet in cupboard Reply with quote

Ok. I promised I was going to Catalogue our Journey with Cytek shoes, and so it begins. Feel free to post questions / feedback / experiences

This post will be a little background -

The next will be about the Cytek Shoe itself.

The next will be photos

So -

I'm a barefoot advocate.

...

I know! I know! Why the hell does my horse have shoes I hear you ask!

Quick summary:

Got Sante as 8yo thoroughbred four years ago.
Pidgeon Toed
knock kneed.
Massive cracks in his feet
Barefoot.

Was told by all and sundry that he needed shoes because he was a thoroughbred. Me - not knowing any better - went & got him shod. And while sure he wasn't as picky on his feet, over following years i watched his toe get longer... and longer.. and the cracks get wider.. and wider.. Every time I asked the farrier about the cracks the response was "Oh they're just sand cracks, nothing you can do about it, don't worry"

So after being encouraged by a friend of mine to do a trimming clinic she was organised. I ripped the shoes off my horse, got the toe length back and proceeded to ride him in ezyboots.

The day the shoes came off (sorry about the angles I knew NOTHING about getting a good photo then)


Front right - 1 week after taking the shoes off


Immediately the cracks started to receed. However, It seemed if I was a few days late with his trim, or got it slightly out of balance the cracks would run back up and settle a centimetre below the coronet. They never went all the way back up to the coronet (like they were when he was shod).

I've put metho, peroxide, iodine, blue stone, pine tar you NAME it - I've stuffed his feet with it.

Never been able to get rid of the cracks.

I've read forums backwards. I've got all Pete Ramey's, Jaime Jacksons books. I've read their websites backwards.

My horse still has cracks.

Every farrier I spoke to criticized me because his toes were to short! My agistment managers told me he needed shoes with heart bars, and a brace across the front of the foot to "screw" the crack together.

In the two years he's been barefoot. He's had one abscess, and other than that NEVER been lame. NEVER had a day off due to lameness. Riding in the ezy boots he's been pretty sound.

But I was still missing something.

The more I read. The more I realized "seedy toe" doesn't start out a fungal infection. Seedy toe exists because the toes have got too long.

But I'd got the length back right?? RIGHT??

Enter Cytek farrier extraodinair John Briggs. When a friend of mine told me she'd been told to get him out for her horses, i was typically cynical.

My Initial reaction was .. "Here we go... another farrier"

But I saw this friend a few weeks later and saw the barefoot trim on her horse - and actually said to her "Far out! That is a NIIIICE roll on those feet" She was grinning from ear to ear and said "Yeah, its Johns trim. The guy is amazing!"

I saw him a few weeks later, shoing a horse with the Cytek system. I'd always cringed when i saw this horse. Feet about 5cm to long. Lost a shoe every week. Owner had to learn to put shoes on because the cost of getting the "farrier" out every week was killing him. Horse tripped daily. No top line, appeared like a 30yo horse.

So I stood back and watched. After he did one foot, he trotted walked the horse out. The difference was ASTOUNDING. So after he'd done all 4, the horse trotted off for his ride. Its been 5 weeks since that horse was shod. Hasn't tripped once. Hasn't lost a shoe. Looks younger!! Has topline. Increadible.

I watched him work all day. I asked him questions. I saw the horses come in lame, and trot out sound. I realized he was quoting verbatim the books that I had read. The forums that I had read. He had the same Cadaver pictures I had. And a book full of success stories, Navicular horses, Osteo Arthritic horses, Ringbone, all having been reversed by this shoeing system.

I was very very interested in what he had to say. So I finally confessed: "My horse has seedy toe".

His immediate response without missing a beat: "His toes are too long"

It wasn't the response i was expecting from a farrier, so immediately i was interested. I explained that Sante's feet were tiny, and that I already copped so much criticism for having his feet so short.

He said he totally understood, but it didn't change the fact that his feet were to long.

WOOW!!

So after watching him work all day - I bought Sante over for him to have a look at. He commended me on my trim. Said that I'd done a really good job. wall length wasn't bad at all, frogs looked fantastic. heels were brilliant. BUT the toe was to long. He basically said with to length, it can be taken back to the white line.

Which is what he did.

Immediately Sante stopped "paddling" iwth his front feet, AND stood squarer.

So, for three weeks, he reviewed Sante every week. Was very impressed with his rate of growth, and for three weeks, the cracks have grown out.

Always lurking in the back of my mind is his comfort. And while his stride seemed nicer, I was always aware (ever since he's been barefoot) that he has been slightly tentative. even in boots he will be "picky" about where he walks, He always felt like he was "holding back" on me.

So I thought what the heck. Got absolutely nothing to lose. Why not try the Cytek System


Last edited by thebundychick on Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:45 pm; edited 17 times in total
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thebundychick
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Location: NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. so its probably best to start with what a Cytek shoe isn't.

Cytek ISN'T a normal rim shoe. Yes it nails through the outer wall of a horses foot, but it is by no means a rim shoe. If you look at the photos (below) you can see that its much much wider than a rim shoe.

It also sits a lot further back on the foot than a rim shoe.

So what IS Cytek? Cytek is a shoe designed for sole support. Its a lot wider than the rim shoe, and fitted correctly, supports the pedal bone & sole, not the outer wall.

Cytek works on the principle that there is nothing on the bottom of a horses foot that wasn't intended to touch the ground. Or, in the case of shoeing, there's nothing on the bottom of the horses foot that isn't design to bear weight.

They DON'T trim the foot in order to accept a shoe. They trim the foot as if the horse were to be barefoot - optimal trim - short toes, heels back, walls level with live sole - never never never touching live sole.

Once the trim is done, THEN they fit a shoe to the foot.

The shoe sits further back on the foot, keeping the toe open, so the horse can self trim. The position of the shoe is more "under" the pedal bone, giving support and protection to the sole whilst still allowing the frog contact with the ground (helping the hoof mechanism).

Because the outerwall is level with the live sole, and the shoe is much wider than a rim shoe, the "load" is spread evenly throughout the entire foot. instead of the wall taking the full force of the stride.

The shoe is steel, and due to the way its fitted doesn't actually require fitting. That said, you can give it a couple of good whacks with the hammer to give / take a little concavity as needed.

Over the following days, the shoe gets a build up of fine grit between the shoe & sole. This shouldn't be cleaned out. it acts as a perfect cushion between the two surfaces, and actually helps with exfoliating the sole, as the hoof mechanism keeps working the dirt through the shoe and out again.

OK, so what has changed for my horse?

His Stride has become slower, and more relaxed.
His gaits & transitions are smoother.
His stamina has increased - Had a massive ride on Sunday are a VERY NOTICABLE reduction in sweating.
Offered me gaits I didn't know existing in him - extended trot.
Offered me collection! Pretty much all day- I ride in a rope halter, so this was pretty awesome. It just took the slightest bit of pressure on the halter, and a little leg pressure and voila we were all fancy! He kept this up all day.
After a 1/2 rest on Sunday he looked like he was ready to go again.
Very nice forehand turn - no longer "pivots" around on his HQ.

Video on youtube showing before and after shots. I really like the fact that he appears "softer" in his stride. Will take more footage this weekend to show 1 week on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBjzdmbFQxE


Last edited by thebundychick on Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:29 pm; edited 4 times in total
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The barefoot photos were taken three weeks ago. The shod photos were taken on Saturday (few hours after the fact)

Front left


Front left


Front right


Front right


Shoes.



Front right


Front right


Front right close up of toe


Other angle


Front left


Front left close up


Front left


Last edited by thebundychick on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:28 pm; edited 4 times in total
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thelmanelle
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All my horses are barefoot.  But, John can not take a pebble.  It really hurts him.  I have tried for years to help him.  Finally, I accept he has to at least have front shoes after6 years.  Why should I make him suffer over my trying to make his hooves tougher?

So I made a choice to help him when we ride...He is my best gaited horse, a smooth ride.  But, he needs shoes for his tender hooves.


It is not a guilt trip.  I have finally realized it is not a guilt trip.
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thelmanelle wrote:
All my horses are barefoot. †But, John can not take a pebble. †It really hurts him. †I have tried for years to help him. †Finally, I accept he has to at least have front shoes after6 years. †Why should I make him suffer over my trying to make his hooves tougher?

So I made a choice to help him when we ride...He is my best gaited horse, a smooth ride. †But, he needs shoes for his tender hooves.


It is not a guilt trip. †I have finally realized it is not a guilt trip.


Your right. I feel so much *BETTER* I'm very happy with this shoeing method. I'm convinced that its not detrimental to the hoof mechanism, and that puts me at ease. When i get time (later today) I will discuss the ins & outs of the Cytek shoe and why its different.
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Julie
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that it sounds like a good farrier, rather than a good system. We have been through cyteks and out the other side, now use natural balance, all with the same farrier, who was cytek trained too,
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Julie
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that it sounds like a good farrier, rather than a good system. We have been through cyteks and out the other side, now use natural balance, all with the same farrier, who was cytek trained too,

I remember him saying its the difference in a horse running in trainers and running in wooden clogs. its about optimum breakover
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Julie wrote:
I remember him saying its the difference in a horse running in trainers and running in wooden clogs. its about optimum breakover


Yes!!! Yes!!!
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karmikacres
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but if horses were meant to have square toes, they would have square pedal bones....


Mike
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karmikacres wrote:
Sorry, but if horses were meant to have square toes, they would have square pedal bones....


Mike


I'm not 100% convinced either way. I've seen wild horse feet with a squared off toe, as well as perfectly cyclindrical. I think a lot depends on terrain.

In terms of Sante's trim. the Square toe is a result of unloading the wall while he was barefoot. Something you can't reverse straight up. I will talk to John tonight to discuss this with him, but i'm fairly confident that now that I have the shoes on, his toe doesn't need to be that square, and will probably change over the next few weeks. Will be taking plenty of photo's so will be interesting to map the changes in his feet.

Its good to note the shoe itself doesn't have a square toe †


Last edited by thebundychick on Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Spitfire
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woaaahh! That's a hairy little TB you have there! Don't worry, I love OTTBs - we have three in the paddock at home, all as quiet as quiet and with lovely feet. One has full shoes as she works on rocks, one is barefoot as he works on sand, and one has front shoes as he lives on rocks and spits out less foot then him trims.

Anyway.

The part that worries me is the "no fit required" part. I have my horse hot-shod (yes, I'm an ex-BFer) and my farrier fits those babies like nobodies business. I couldn't come at having shoes "fitted" to my horse without them being in some way altered to actually replicate the horse's wall. My gal has wonky hind feet - just the way she is built, and any farrier or trimmer who says that they can trim it out of her will not be touching her! - and it's important that her shoes match her foot, otherwise she'll rip her legs open on them.

It's not that her walls are flared, but that the wall (which grows tight to the white line) follows a bone structure that is kinked slightly. Interesting hooves, and confirmed by two vets and three farriers that her "kink" is actually quite ok.

Erm, how this turned into "about my horse" I have no idea...

Oh yes. I am very sceptical of any shoe that doesn't require some degree of fitting. I believe you can trim Eponas to fit? The Cytek (BTW Cytek shoes are actually BANNED from being named on one of Australia's biggest horse forums. If you post the work "Cytek" your post will read C**** - interesting!) doesn't look too easy to actually custom fit.
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Woaaahh! That's a hairy little TB you have there! Don't worry, I love OTTBs - we have three in the paddock at home, all as quiet as quiet and with lovely feet. One has full shoes as she works on rocks, one is barefoot as he works on sand, and one has front shoes as he lives on rocks and spits out less foot then him trims


Heeeeeeeeeey, you knocking mah poneh's feathers †

Quote:
The part that worries me is the "no fit required" part. I have my horse hot-shod (yes, I'm an ex-BFer) and my farrier fits those babies like nobodies business. I couldn't come at having shoes "fitted" to my horse without them being in some way altered to actually replicate the horse's wall. My gal has wonky hind feet - just the way she is built, and any farrier or trimmer who says that they can trim it out of her will not be touching her! - and it's important that her shoes match her foot, otherwise she'll rip her legs open on them.


The thing that took me three weeks to get my head round was the huge difference in the fitting of the shoe.

John is adamant that you shouldn't have to make the hoof fit the shoe. He trims the hoof without a shoe anywhere near it. And he's always saying to the customer as he's trimming. "You trim from the bone out" "you trim to suite the pedal bone". "You look at nothing else but your foot markers, trim from inside out" Its like a mantra!

Once you get your head around the fact that the shoe is there to SUPPORT the hoof mechanism the horse has, not to correct it, not to get in the way of, the fact that "it doesn't get fitted" isn't a bad thing. The Cytek simply acts as an "even weight distributor" and sole support. Thats it. Its not corrective shoeing. Its simply protecting what the horse has.

John has shod nearly 20 horses at my Agistment facility, all different hoof shapes / sizes / problems using the same technique. 1/ Trim from the bone out 2/ Support the foot

Its mind blowing!!!

And As Julie said - so much depends on the farrier, and his understanding of the foot

And funny you say about the reaction to it. I'm on another farrier forum, and they HAAAAAAAATE these shoes. OMG The reactions they have when you mention the C word. You'd think they're going to have a heart attack!
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karmikacres
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thebundychick wrote:

Its good to note the shoe itself doesn't have a square toe †


It sure looks square in the pictures.

IIRC, the wild horse study referencing square toes was done in the spring, so the horses were digging for forage.  

Mike
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thebundychick
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karmikacres wrote:
thebundychick wrote:

Its good to note the shoe itself doesn't have a square toe †


It sure looks square in the pictures.

IIRC, the wild horse study referencing square toes was done in the spring, so the horses were digging for forage. †

Mike


I might duck out there tomorow and take a few pictures from a few different angles, remember when I uploaded them that I wasn't fussed with my photography  
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Clarissa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly hope this works for you Bundy. If I trimmed Sonnyís feet back that short he would be lame for days!

You are just trying to fix the toe cracks arenít you? Your horse is not soft footed usually is it? Will take the shoes off after his feet are better?

What are those little studs for under the toes? You wouldn't want them to get caught on a wire fence for example.  
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