Finding a natural barefoot trimmer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-01-2012, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Finding a natural barefoot trimmer

I just recently moved and am looking for a new natural barefoot trimmer. I've found a few local farriers but I'm not sure what to look for. Does anyone have any recommendations for me as far as credentials or questions I should be asking?

Not sure if it's important, but my new horse is an OTTB who is just starting to be retrained. Eventually I'll be eventing with him but this year we're just doing fundamentals and hacking around.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-01-2012, 06:19 PM
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Having recently pulled a TBs shoes, I can say without doubt that there is a big difference between someone just pulling shoes and doing a mustang roll and a barefoot specialist who can make all the necessary small tweaks. My TB was sore to the point of not wanting to move when we first pulled his shoes. I used hoof boots for awhile and then decided to try a barefoot trimmer (instead of my farrier) for a tuneup. She made some adjustments that gave him instant relief, so I am a believer in using a specialist.

I don't know what local sites you have your area, but I definitely would recommend looking for referrals from other barefoot horse owners. To me, they just seem to be more in tune to what the whole hoof needs instead of just pulling the shoes and letting the horse "tough it out".

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-01-2012, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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He's been off the track and barefoot for about a year now so we're over the soreness issues. The reason I ask is because I don't know a whole lot of horse people out here yet and my new trainer's farrier just likes to take the shoes off and doesn't seem to do a very good barefoot trim. I definitely want a specialist to keep trimming him, especially since we're now in a desert area which is something neither of us are used to.

I have found a specialist in the area so I guess I'll do a consultation with him and see if I like him and the way he trims.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandyLonglegs View Post
He's been off the track and barefoot for about a year now so we're over the soreness issues.
That doesn't mean your horse will stay that way - no two Trimmers and no two farriers look at a hoof exactly the same.

Unless they are completely void of ego, they all want to put their "mark" on a horse's hoof health. Sometimes that is very successful and sometimes it isn't.

I'm slightly acquainted with a Trimmer who believes in letting the horse "tough it out".

I fired my Trimmer of 3+ years because his work started getting shoddy.

He sored up my younger metabolic horse three times in a row and blamed it on diet. He sored up two horses of a friend and one ended up with an abscess; he blamed it on diet. He was the best for three years; the crux of the problem was him because he suddenly couldn't keep his personal problems from between the rasp and the hoof.

The person that now trims my horses hooves is me. I'm retired and would much rather save my waning energy to ride but the closest Trimmer to my farm that does consistent, high quality work is two hours away. He is my age and just had both shoulders operated on, so the trimming job has become mine, foreverafter.

My point is to find the best person you can, hope they stay that way and don't sore your horse. NO horse should be sore after a trim; if they are the person using the knippers has taken too much of something at one time and is not giving the hoof and/or frog a chance to acclimate.

Mainly because they want to see "results" in a hurry and most horse owners schedule trims for 6 - 8 weeks apart.

That is too much time in between but owners can't afford more frequent visits. I scheduled every five weeks and my Trimmer would get upset because, sometimes, there wasn't enough hoof for him to cut with the knippers; he had to rely strictly on the rasp

My next point is --- it might not be a bad idea to learn to trim yourself. That way the job's done correctly and it gets done when it needs done

If this sounds like a rant and that I am growing disgusted with a lot of trimmers and shoers, it's because it is and I am.

Apologies to the ones who truly their job but I'm beginning to think there's a lot more chest-pounding these days than quality work; especially after some of the hoof pics that get posted on all these forums

When asking around, don't just ask any horse owner. Ask folks that have not only owned horses for a few years but that actually get their nose in the horse's hooves take a genuine interest in how that little thing works that keeps 1,000 pounds of horse going down the trail.

If a person can't even tell you what the heel bulbs or the whiteline are, they might be clueless as to what constitutes a quality Trimmer.

I wish you the best in finding a quality trimmer
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:59 AM
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My guy was fine until I tried th "natural barefoot" farrier. I never ever will again. He trimmed WAY too much sole off, then, when my horse was sore, had me buying Emu oil to put on it. GRRRRRRRR. Not only did he lose me as a customer-he lost several others as well, whose horses were also sore, just not a bad as mine. I will stick with a regular, well treined farrier who does a great job.

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post #6 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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A good barefoot trimmer isn't always easy to find. After searching for a long time for a decent farrier in my area (that would trim just one horse), I took up doing my own. Its interesting stuff. You can learn a lot about your horse, his soundness and health, just with a more indepth look at the hoof. It is a lot of work though. I enjoy it.
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:12 PM
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I was lucky and found my trimmer easily because he's my vets uncle, and he came to me highly recommended by friends who use him. I love his work and it's at a very reasonable price; $25 per trim! He doesn't mind coming out for doing just one horse either. My trainer uses a normal farrier to trim her horses hooves, and she has the same complaint as some of you have: her horses always end up with too much sole taken off. My horse doesn't get sore when his hooves get trimmed. (well maybe a tad) If you DO choose to trim your horse's hooves on your own, please attend a workshop, or apprentice someone for a while and make sure you do it RIGHT. My horse's old owner trimmed his hooves himself, and he messed up his heel. Luckily it wasn't too bad....
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:25 PM
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Wow, guess I lucked out the first time. I do know there are two very different methods of trimming in the barefoot world. The Strasser method involved taking off a lot of sole and is very invasive. I thought it had died out, but I guess not from some of these posts. The other method is associated with trimmers like Pete Ramey. No sole trimming, mustang roll, and relief for load bearing areas and bars. In any event, once I found a recommendation, I did contact several of her customers before proceeding. It's really the only way to know if you're going to have a good experience.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-02-2012, 08:27 PM
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I too have had many bad farrier experiences... I have been looking up different farrier schools to attend (largely just daydreaming about it...lol). I would love to do my own guys but feel insecure about doing it until I can actually attend a school. My advice would be to ask your vet for suggestions... We lucked up, and for the time being our riding instructor is taking care of our guys. She is a phenomenal farrier! My goal is to be able to do my own before she retires. Our guys are all bare, but we don't necessary focus on the strict natural hoof profile. We just focus on keeping them healthy, sound, and happy.

For some good bare hoof reading... check out Pete Ramey's books! He is by far my favorite natural trimmer.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
My guy was fine until I tried th "natural barefoot" farrier. I never ever will again. He trimmed WAY too much sole off, then, when my horse was sore, had me buying Emu oil to put on it. GRRRRRRRR. Not only did he lose me as a customer-he lost several others as well, whose horses were also sore, just not a bad as mine. I will stick with a regular, well treined farrier who does a great job.
Frankn, understand your angst... as I had a similar opinion about 'regular' farriers for a number of years, big part of why I started learning myself. However, 'barefoot trimmer' is a broad umberella encompassing a wide range of principles, practice, experience, education... or ignorance, as does the lable 'farrier' in most parts. I just wouldn't 'cut off your nose' so to speak, by tarring all trimmers or all 'regular' farriers with the same brush.

So... back to my harping on owner education, I think that's the best bet in learning what's needed, what to expect and what to accept from any trimmer, whatever lable they have.

BTW, Walkin, enjoy reading & agreeing with your post, as usual, except for the bit 'NO horse should be sore after a trim' in which I'd just add 'generally, but there are rare exceptions, such as diet related 'mild' laminitis'. Not saying that was the case with your trimmer tho.
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