Four point trim? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-01-2014, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Four point trim?

In our wet, wet, wet area my horses' feet are not the best, and they pick up tiny rocks which of course leads to rots, chipping, etc. To help deal with this my farrier has filed back the sides of their hooves, so that the weight is on the front, and the back. The side-sections now don't pick up rocks, which is great!

She calls it the Four Point trim. I Googled it, and it seems it's mostly done just before putting on shoes. My horses are barefoot.

Any comments on this?

Also, she said (and I'd agree with this) that the hoof, being flexible, actually lowers somewhat when moving, so that there IS some wall support at those times.

I generally don't trim this way, because I'm not really sure how, and I usually only call the farrier when I have a problem---but I'm thinking of trying to maintain the arch she's made.
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post #2 of 44 Old 04-01-2014, 07:04 PM
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IMO, I would run from a 4 point trim. Granted, the toe quarters have more compressed tubules making them harder, but it does not need a pillar. Hoof wall was meant to bear the load equally , not at certain points.

If you get a nice balanced trim with the walls supporting the weight equally, and "roll" the edges, you shouldn't be having problems with. Chips and such are caused by the outer hoof shell making some contact with the ground, and rolled edges will shorten the outer wall just enough.
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post #3 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 01:26 AM
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I'm guessing Patty is the one to answer this accurately. I have only personally seen a few(bad) egs which looked like they were done by people who believed horses should have square feet! One farrier I met who preached 'Natural Balance'(bite your tongue on that one Patty! ) actually argued with me that all horses have 4 'pillars' on each foot(inc hinds), being heel corners and precisely at 10 & 2o'clock on every foot of every horse...

I personally feel that it is just one more observation that's worth understanding & considering, but that individual horses, postures, etc, etc mean that, as with most things, it's not relevant or same for all & so not something to force onto a foot. I also didn't think it was about peripheral loading, but it was a long time ago I looked into it & perhaps I'm letting more recent info colour my memory on that note.

At any rate, I don't believe in 'peripheral loading' - that is, the hoof wall is the primary weightbearing structure - but that the *internal* wall shares some of the load. And generally speaking, in unshod hooves, quarter walls shouldn't really be loaded. For application of a shoe, the farrier must trim the hoof flat on the ground surface, to best distribute weight around the walls, but bare hooves tend to be trimmed to the sole plane, which naturally tends to have an arch at the quarters. Peripheral loading tends to promote flaring & separation, especially at the quarters, if they're left trimmed to be flat.

So... based on what you have said, sounds like your horse's quarters have been too long & have started to separate, which was allowing stones to get stuck there. So, whatever lable you want to give it, sounds like I would indeed 'scoop' those quarters, as much or as little as the sole dictates, and due to the separation, would probably bevel them pretty strongly.

Yes, the hoof flexes, but more to the point, it's not just the walls but more so the frog & to a degree, the sole which is bearing the load. Also consider how much work/life the horse spends on hard, flat surfaces(where bare or shod, the horse may be peripherally loaded to some degree) or on yielding footing, where regardless of trimming, the entire base of the foot is supported & supporting the load.
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post #4 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 05:27 AM
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Now both you and princess are right:
The whole hoof, wall - sole - heal & frog should bare the weight load as much as possible.
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 10:09 AM
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Sounds like, as Loosie said, she may be scooping the quarters. Which is a good thing as long as it follows the sole plane. I go through the same thing with my coming 2 year old. He's got pretty concave feet, so I need to follow his sole plane. If I leave the entire wall flat, he gets white line separation, which picks up rocks and mud. If I "scoop" the quarters and bevel the entire hoof, no more separation! His hinds are more concave than his fronts, so his quarters are more bevelled in the back than they are in front.

I had always thought the a 4 point trim was only leaving the toe pillars and heels in contact with the ground? Where the quarters and front toe are bevelled back? I never really looked into it, as from the little I did I didn't like the sound of it.

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post #6 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 07:44 PM
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She calls it the Four Point trim. I Googled it, and it seems it's mostly done just before putting on shoes. My horses are barefoot.
A "4 point trim" is NEVER done before putting on shoes. Leaving 4 points of contact on the foot and nailing a shoe on top of that could cause a very sore horse. The "4 point trim" is a type of barefoot trim developed by a veterinarian in Kentucky. (DrRic Redden) .

Whenever a farrier shoes a horse, even if he uses "4 point shoes" he makes the bottom edge of the foot perfectly FLAT.( Even Dr Redden, who developed the trim.)
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post #7 of 44 Old 04-02-2014, 08:58 PM
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I know nothing about the subject, but this is a video on the 4 point trim by Dr Ric Redden. It might help others as ignorant as I am to at least see what is being discussed.

I did a screen capture at 3:31 that I think shows what is meant:

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post #8 of 44 Old 04-03-2014, 09:54 PM
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I think pillars are what nature has formed to protect certain elements of a hoof. It's just tougher areas. But, as I rasp at the heels, I can't say they are very tough. They rasp pretty easily as compared to the toe area.

I just never thought that horses were made to stand on 4 points. I think they're healthier standing on the wall all the way around, provided that the hoof has a nice roll on the edge and the quarters get a deeper roll if need be.
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-04-2014, 01:26 AM
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Like the film.
The vertical line in the middle of the hoof wall is a typical sighn of a hoof pron to Seedy Toe.
I posted a video earlier of my friend Bjön Berg "specialist in founder and seeding toes horses) doing a seminar last year before the veternary/farrier summit in Fort Lauderdale Florida on just this subject.
Will be meeting him this week, like for him to see the film and see what he thinks.
Will get back later on this one.
Many thanks.
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-05-2014, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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That's good video! Explains a lot. I don't think I could ever trim so closely, if I see pink I panic.

But I really like the results he shows.
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