He was training for a barefoot trimming qualification. ( However the smell lingers and when i pop to the shop afterwards people learn very fast about personal space stood in the cue next to me.) It determines whether you can recognise the horses needs, and owners needs beyond your own needs and ego. Trimmers aren’t taught through an apprenticeship scheme. of coarse farriers try to find the perfect balance with all components of the horse considered, which is mostly modeled by the newborn. Here is a list of trimmers based on the professional assocation they are a member of. Would have like to see some info about barefoot horses and the bio-mechanics of a horse’s movement and hoof structure to back up your opinions. There is good and bad everywhere. Thank you. I am constantly learning about the remodeling properties of the hoof, how changes in diet, trimming protocols and lifestyle can make positive or negative changes in soundness and hoof quality. Not just in terms of right side equals left side, but if you have a very strong wall, but weak bars or weak frog, then it’s not in balance. With the proper aplication of a corrective shoe and occupational therapy the atrophy can be rehabilitated and thus improving the performance of the horse. I totally agree that to trim (or shoe) a horse, we need to consider more than just the feet we are working on. Saddlebred horses (while they do carry a lot of foot during show season, which I don’t particularly care for) are NOT sored. They are both based on science. BAREFOOT WHEN POSSIBLE, SHOD WHEN NECESSARY. And that’s great. It comes down to bread and butter. These are what I term the five basic structures, heel, hoof wall, bar, sole and frog. For the third year in a row, (apart from one mare who we bought in) I have not had lameness or hoof complaints or soreness over winter. As you begin to care for the hoof on a daily basis, you will soon realize that all hooves are trying to grow the same, that’s not to say that all hooves are growing the same. Taking in all aspects of the horse well-being is something that barefoot trimmers more often do, just like you said. Date: February 14, 2017 Author: Jennifer Stoltz 0 Comments. This is crazy! Safety, clearance, and compatibility with other components of a landscape are all major concerns. What a wonderful post! In the real world they would have been losing shoes and lame. I expect the rider to condition the horse and hoof, and to train the look they expect in their discipline with their aids, not by creating imbalance in the horse’s hoof. The digestive system? Thanks so much and still waiting for the day I can come to the homeland of my grandparents! also, i do not trim them down as far as possible, i leave healthy sole and only remove the frog that is either diseased or where they grow to far to the side and catch debris, which is usually diseased because of bacteria. I’m so glad this blog has helped Good luck with your appointment next week! And also whether any particular product / ingredient seems to be better than others? For instance when I qualified I could draw a sagital or longitudal section of the horses leg and hoof at any point from the knee down. We are starting to colour in the 2021 workshop calendar. Barefoot Hoofcare is focused on providing you with a high quality service involving not only hoof trimming but also nutritional advice and exercise regimes. It’s whether the hoof capsule is in balance with the internal hoof structures. An ouchy foot can be caused by the trim or conformation or both. Having a good foundation of knowledge to build on can be invaluable. The advantage of training and qualifying as a farrier is that you can work (more easily) in those countries that frown upon or attempt to persecute barefoot trimmers – like France. I wish that I could send you pictures terrible job. Lovely bloke, he taught me how to remove shoes, and how to get round my problem of very long legs when trimming horses with very little legs. A good read. Good article. I am going to talk about hoof boots briefly, my horses are sound barefoot in their field and on a had flat surface, if im going on a 5 mile ride with rode work, some forestry tacks then i dont bother with boots, their hooves are tough and can manage this no problem. . There are farriers who do great trims and farriers who do horrible trims. there are some horses that can not be ridden without shoes, they have very sensitive feet. I’m curious to know if a horse with flat soles can ever develop more concave soles. The number one mistake I see being made by anyone trimming hooves is removing too much sole. Money was a concern for most horse owners so 2 months was a good compromise. (and as a result don’t call themselves trimmers either) They use environment to make the changes. Superb article, and confirms my opinion that I’m blessed to have the best of both worlds in a ptruly amazing “farrier” who loves shoeless and always does the minimum shoeing for the needs of the horse at any given time – my horses vary through the year from barefoot to front shod to fully shod due to their lifestyle and workload and they really are in the best hands of a man who fulfills your descriptions of the best of both professions – yyp, I make coffee and buy a bottle at Christmas!! There is a difference for trimming barefoot I run barrels. Some horses have body issues and as a result have flare and land on one point of the hoof more and as result that part of the hoof wears away faster, no problem just ride in boots it will still take over a thousand ridden miles to wear a boot out. Is the growth of each structure in the correct direction for the confirmation? I am a Barefoot Trimmer qualified with the UKNHCP. !, horses! We are very pleased to announce that we have a barefoot trimmer taking on new horses at the clinic and surrounding area. I think you hit the proverbial “nail on the head” The difference is absolutely mindset. Taller trees can influence the trunk, crown and branches. Nerves, blood vessels, tendons ligaments etc. I couldn’t agree with you more about gaited horses. Farriery approaches balance from a static point of view. Categories Introductions. Whose first sentence was “I don’t like shoeing horses unless it’s necessary” and second was an instruction to me to buy the book “No foot, no horse”. The arborist understands that all trees are trying to grow the same. The Association’s aim is to regulate and support Equine Podiatrists working in the UK, promoting responsible shoeless hoofcare and providing information to anybody wishing to find out more about Equine Podiatry. Farriers don’t, as far as I’m aware roll the wall when putting a shoe on, which may be where the idea that farriers don’t roll the wall comes from. Performance barefoot trimming. Barefoot trimming thinks about healing, not about applying artificial structures. My one horse is now having issues. I can be reach by email: email@example.com. This process with average movement takes between two and five years to complete in the wild. When we first started, it felt as if we were the only people working barefoot horses in the UK – now there are thousands of barefoot horses and dozens of websites! Page 1 of 2 1 2 Next > horsman PetForums Newbie. The more you learn about the hoof, the more you realize that perfect hooves are few and far between, but sound horses are a dime a dozen. The horse has low heels on the back being barefoot would of caused his heel bulbs to rub on the ground making him very uncomfortable, however with boots and common sense we can now grow the heels and get the feet correct through time. “Because each cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree, no branch should be removed without a reason. being a farrier is a skilled trade/craft, it doesn’t mean just putting on shoes. I scoured other alternatives and finally came upon the Barefoot Trimmer site and directory of trimmers in my area. Studs in shoes stop the horse short, whereas the hoof allows for steady traction. The objective should be to make the hoof as self-maintaining as possible for current lifestyle of our domesticated horses. Also, the desire on the hoof care professional’s to continue to learn- the best trimmers/farriers will always consider themselves to be students of the hoof. You become frustrated trying various trimmers and you’re not fully happy with your horse’s soundness. I have spent thousands of hours studying hoof care, attending seminars, reading texts and visiting hoof care practitioners websites. With ground control shoes, which outlast steel three to one, do not slip on pavement or on rocks, still allows the flexion, expansion, and contraction, and compression of the hoof and sole to fully function for maximum circulation which is the very science of physiology which promotes healthy stronger hoof tissues I would think that with the horses best interest in mind that more and more people would begin to use these. Each structure has its own unique cellular design forming different degrees of hardness and flexibility. This is where he looks to the wisdom of the carpenter for some good advice, “measure twice and cut once”. I also think farriers got a bad wrap by trimming a horse for shoes and then using the same trim for a barefoot ‘pasture’ trim. Barefoot South has a very a strict code of ethics which puts your horse's welfare at the centre of any care recommendations. try wearing shoes that are off right to left, your back will be sore in minutes. I’ll give you an A* for bothering to read it and taking the time to comment. Personally, I feel that anytime you can avoid nailing rigid metal to a dynamic, flexible structure, you’re doing better than what tradition tells us we can do. I am a farrier of the horse, I’ve been shoeing and trimming for 28 years. I see now that most trimming methods have little influence in correcting the hoof growth direction for the basic hoof structures. Boy am I glad this article came to me on Facebook! How can I get across not to trim them as if they’re getting a shoe, or so short the wall is above the sole? Thank you again for this article and your site. Thank you! The Natural Barefoot Trim: The Middle Way . I now realise, just because you have your horses hooves done every 8 weeks – if it’s not done correctly – it’s pointless. But what they’re used to seeing; what looks right to them, is a shorter foot. Common reasons for pruning are to remove dead branches, to improve form, and to reduce risk. Thanks for this article, it puts words to a lot of my own thoughts. What determines necessary? Take notice of the lawyer wording in those last sentences, “should not”…“do not” this is a common theme in my thought and in my writings. Weighted shoes aka “pads” (sometimes filled with cement), along with chains are called “action devices” that are used Along with cruel behavioral training methods, chemical applications on hooves & pasterns & sometimes a practice known as “pressure shoeing” as a way to achieve the Big Lick. Some farriers do bevel or hem the hoof before fitting a shoe. I could ride with the wind……anyway, I would be thrilled if you would approve and send me this article for my book and I will give proper credits and use it as a reprinted article. I trusted and never questioned my farrier/s. TIA. She was so lame she could barely move, and the x-rays revealed coffin bone rotation. You’re the boss, but they tell you what to do , There is no right or wrong. I tried a keeping him barefoot for 3 years but he couldn’t handle the rocky terrain, he went back into shoes and was sound. Barefoot trimming is typically more conservative (it’s really such a simple trim). Shoeing would double my income per horse. I guess I’m trying to make noise for us quiet ones! I can trim a horse for $30. No one size fits all. Most hoof deformities that cause lameness seen later in life are the result of overgrowth from lack of movement or overprotecting the internal structures of the hoof. I’ll be the one to leave a comment about a wonderful farrier, who studied barefoot trim and looks at the whole horse, not just the hoof. It doesn’t approach the hoof like it’s a biological structure. He’s now out 24/7 with a run in, over various surfaces and has had processed feeds cut out of his diet. Barefoot trimming is my preference and works for us (my 3 horses). Fantastic! My advice to any horse owner is to do as much as you can with your horse(s) barefoot. A shoe is a tool. The farrier can no longer be a carpenter where his job is to cut or mold using synthetic material to acquire the “right” measurement for the external shape. Farriery, as a science, is based very much in mechanics. An experienced barefoot trimmer or farrier will know by examining the hooves if they will be sore or not. Exfoliating dead tissue plays a huge role in the misdirection of growth. The first year is the theory and practical modules and then students have an additional 12 months to complete a series of case histories which are assessed by your trainers. Bill with Sharp Hoof Care has been trimming horses for 8 years and holds his certification from Liberated Horsemanship. Just thinking about mustangs or brumbies. watching and seeing barefoot trimmers my observation is barefoot trimmers don’t have the ability to put on shoes. I qualified in 2011. Hoof changes can tell us when the limb has developed a shorter stride or is being loaded with an imbalance. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog I do like to point out the obvious, so expect lots more of that…. In this case shoes are almost an instant fix, at least until the bruising is healed and the sole has time to regenerate. Where insanely huge “packages” are nailed to their horse’s feet to exaggerate the gate. The idea that a “weighted contraption” is the only thing that contributes to the exaggerated gait known as the “Big Lick” is false despite what your farrier friend says. Yes they’re trained in trimming hooves, but most of the work they do is with shod horses (unless they’ve decided to specialise in barefoot horses). What I hear and see from all points of the industry is everybody is on their own soap box. My girl has never been shod and I am lucky enough to have a new farrier who understands this. Have you told him that the horses are sore after he’s trimmed? Looking for some suggestions? There is always another option. They are both scientific approached coming from two completely separate ideals and separate directions. As soon as I see the hoof geek blog come on my news feed I stop to read it straight away. That might be management, or it might simply be your expectations (for all I know your horse is over 30 years old and you’re trying to go eventing every weekend. I enjoyed your article. Some trimmers do think all about the trim, just as much as some farriers think all about the shoes. Presently I am writing and gathering stories and especially articles from all I can for my book ironically called “The Hoof And I”. Above the hoof before the shoe was removed by the vet. The Five Basic Hoof Structures Horse has thin soles? A farriers wife once said to me that if you put 10 farriers in a room, they’ll come up with at least 11 ways to balance a hoof. The Farrier’ that I fired said that that he New I was going to be hard to please. All horses *can* go without metal shoes, but not all people can have horses without metal shoes. At the same time, in 2001, my horse foundered. There are horse owners who do great trims and there are horse owners who do horrible trims. There are many outside considerations, however, that make it necessary to prune trees. Love your posts, for not only the content but the humour and passion, keep them coming. We did not want anything that suggested barefoot or farrier because we have a whole horse approach we wanted the name to not be misleading. No amount of trimming is going to give that horse the 14″ foot it needs. For the latest in the anti big lick cruelty movement, check out billygoboy.com & FOSH (friends of sound horses). Knowing how and when to correct hoof growth direction helps us to better understand what our horse needs now and in the future. I realized it wasn’t just the trimming that needed to change, everything else had to follow suit. That started my journey to learning how to trim and learning all about barefoot and any negative effects of metal and nails. Pete Ramey style trims to create a sound performance horse. Before any trimming can begin, the good arborist knows that every cut he makes has the potential to improve or destroy the tree. I know that’s not a neat little answer that lumps all farriers in one box and all trimmers in another box. It determines whether you look at new things and expand your mind, or whether you keep to what you know and repeat more of the same. Two extremes of the Big Lick industry, Your article was very good, but I would like to expand on your comments on soring as I felt they left a misconception on soring. Thanks Michelle. Farriers reach for metal, “barefooters” want to know the cause and use things besides metal to fix it. The Hoof Health Laid Bare course takes the big puzzle that is whole horse hoof health and presents one small piece of that puzzle at a time. My answer to this is with a question, was the horse traveling on flat ground, up a hill, sideways along the hill, or downhill…was the terrain soft like a pasture or deep footing like a sand arena or hard packed like a paved road…was the horse conditioned for the terrain? The point I want to make is what I was taught, ‘ Shoeing is an evil necessity. You’ve really enriched my life, Just a great article, thanks for sharing it! It has become clear from widespread experience since 2000 that success in going barefoot is not just about pulling the shoes and using the "wild horse" or "high-performance" barefoot trim. What’s this dynamic balance thing all about? Too often the hoof is thought of as a block that is molded into a uniform shape needed for function. The login page will open in a new tab. Metal shoes is middle ages science and the only improvement is that you can now buy shoes off the shelf. No hoof, no horse and what works for one might not work for another. I’ve actually considered going to school myself to provide this service in my area. So back to my question "can every horse go barefoot?" That is where the soring, both mechanical and chemical is taking place. Proper pruning, with an understanding of tree biology, can maintain good tree health and structure while enhancing the aesthetic and economic values of our landscapes.”, http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/resources/Pruning_matureTrees.pdf. It can only get more complicated when we try to prevent wear, or lock the hoof into the current situation. We make it easy for your customers to pay you at very competitive rates. Lymphatic system? It’s an aid to direct flight and landing path, much as a rocker shoe or shoes with trailers help correct and direct traveling issues with other horses. Their hooves are constantly growing and in the wild being trimmed by movement. After one year of barefoot trimming, my horse was completely sound. I also want to say that I agree on your philosophy re: the mind set, in order to grow you have to allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. Is the right side of the hoof the same height as the left side. Every horse is born with a hoof deformity in that the hoof is “rolled-up to protect the mother. It’s a strange dynamic. Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum. Thanks for your input. The result? The ultimate test always being 'Sound or lame?' The hoof cannot move as it is designed to do when metal shoes are applied. You certainly need good feet for barrel racing (though admittedly, I don’t see much of that in the UK) , Great article, most especially the ”There is no right or wrong. The horse can outgrow fungus when the lifestyle and mechanical forces causing separation are corrected and hoof wall, and bar growth is accelerated with diet, exercise and frequent trimming. “Barefoot trimming” advocates may also point out – quite correctly – that horses don’t necessarily need shoes. Yes lifestyle greatly takes effect on the soundness of horses. Most of my work 90% is Barefoot trimming. I think if there were more farriers who thought like Performance Farrier, there’d be far fewer trimmers at all! A couple of which shoe the gaited horses and I’ve seen it done right from three and four year olds to 20 year old saddle breads who have never had any lameness issues. My thoughts The way their feet were being trimmed and shod for showing was ridiculous. The next hurdle is "Hoof boots are expensive" Well yes if you buy everything brand new, however i aim to help my clients work within their budget and a set of 4 second hand boots with pads cost around £140 which is roughly two set of shoes and the set of 4 boots would last you years. Possibly me included! Yes they’re trained in trimming hooves, but most of the work they do is with shod horses (unless they’ve decided to specialise in barefoot horses). It’s not dissimilar to judging the horse on it’s ability to bark. You can improve concavity. But please don’t confuse weighted shoes with torture. But old habits die hard and cognitive dissonance plays a big part in people not wanting to change. The trunk tries to grow high and straight to the light. Long story short, I ran the gamut of every diagnostics test and we found he truly had Navicular. Reality dictates that a horse’s hoof care needs may change or be different from his stable mate’s. Thanks Susan. I’ll email you about it . Knowing how these five basic structures should be growing allows us to identify incorrect hoof growth. i always urge clients to go barefoot rather than have shoes as it is healthier for the horse. Anyone know any online and/or training schools? The edges are rounded to help prevent chipping . Lee. I can’t wait to have pony, I’ll finally be able to hack out again. When left barefoot , the hoof is left a little longer and with a little more soul to give it the protection that a shoe would. Now this question does have a straight answer, the answer is "Yes". Hello, I … Copyright 2020 © Hoof Geek Ltd. All rights reserved. I would just raise a couple of points. An experienced barefoot trimmer or farrier will know by examining the hooves if they will be sore or not. Thank you for allowing my comment. Come to think of it, neither can horses or horse owners be lumped together into neat little boxes. For horses kept in mucky stalls do not fare well being barefoot unless their stalls and hooves are cleaned twice a day, hooves treated for thrush each time, and plenty of exercise daily or turn out time with varying types of terrain in their turn out space. If you have a farrier who works with a lot of barefoot horses, they may not have this perspective issue. The hoof can be perfectly balanced but the horse can’t walk. The owner has changed the bedding from straw to wood pellets and is using red horse products to treat the thrush next time i am their i will post the after picture. Killing fungus also opens pathways in the white line and hoof wall for anaerobic bacterial to flourish, which is much more evasive than fungus. I accidentally became a trimmer after my Fell Pony Prince transitioned to Barefoot. The short answer is attitude and mind set. Once you understand each puzzle piece you will be able to put the jigsaw together to see the whole picture with far greater clarity and new insight. Think about what kind of mindset and attitude you want. I did not want potential clients to be mislead by are name as to what to expect from our services. My horse is gaited, not a mustang who runs many miles over the plains and with what goes on with her front hooves-possible laminitis but not bad, I could never trail ride her without shoes on her front feet. I do shoe horses with a bit more wall than some farriers as i shoe hunter/jumpers which require that extra support and i feel all horses do.