Category: Hoof Care

The Correct Way To Trim Barefoot Hooves

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Fancy horseshoes.Photo Courtesy evanstanley.deviantart.com.art

A lot of people would like to try letting their horses go barefoot but have reservations because they know or have heard of many horses that have had tender feet or even gone lame once their shoes were taken off. And that’s not good, whether your horse is a serious or semi-serious competition horse or just a buddy that you like to do trail rides with.

In this informative and detailed article, Maureen Tierney discusses the real reason that horses can be sore and need boots when they go barefoot  – they have either been incorrectly trimmed, or simply over-trimmed.

Drawing on her intensive research of the horse in his natural state, she reveals that the culprit is the person who trims the horse’s hooves and their lack of knowledge as to how the hoof, in its natural state, works differently than when it is shod.

Read the article to learn the correct way a barefoot horse should be trimmed …

One of the main reasons people quickly give up on barefoot, or don’t even try it, is due to the infamous “transition period” which follows taking a horse’s shoes off. The other major reason that people give up on barefoot is because their horses remain ouchy – for years. This is great for boot companies, but not for owners and certainly not for the horses themselves.

The sad truth is that neither the uncomfortable “transition period”, nor the prolonged ouchiness are necessary. Both are the result of over trimming. Over trimming is the removal of any material from the hoof which should not be removed. After 12 years of being a barefoot trimmer, and seeing lame and over trimmed horses, I still do not understand why trimmers continue to over trim. Why do they continue – year after year!!! – to accept lack of soundness as normal? To view it as acceptable?

If you were to survey trimmers you would hear how successful they are – how all the horses they trim are doing well (though many need boots). However if you were to survey the owners of barefoot horses you would hear that many are not happy or satisfied with their horse’s level of soundness. There is clearly a huge disconnect.

Let me put it in black and white. If a horse is ouchy and needs boots, and has not been diagnosed with founder, navicular, or some other real hoof issue, and has been out of shoes longer than 3 months, the odds are that he or she is being over trimmed.  [Read the rest of the article here]

[Source:  http://www.barefoottrimming.com]

Also, be sure to check out Maureen’s excellent and thorough book, “Natural Barefoot Trimming: The Hoof Guided Method“.