Switching farriers...NHC model - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-03-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Switching farriers...NHC model

I love the farrier I have been using. He is well respected in the community, great with the horses, and he made Cruiser's transition from shod to barefoot when I bought him very smooth with minimal discomfort. However, Cruiser still has horribly flat soles and constant flares. I have made the decision to try someone else. I feel so disloyal and awful about it , but I really think his feet can get even healthier.
I found a trimmer locally who is trained by Jamie Jackson and certified with AANHCP and follows the Natural Hoof Care model.

I am just curious if others have experience with this model and what I might expect?
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-03-2014, 11:47 PM
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If you have a good shoer now then I suggest you Think again Before changing! It sounds like your setting you and your horse up for a jack pot.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 02:34 AM
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Hi,

Your horse's feet have to become healthy & tight before the soles will start to thicken up. Unless your farrier is paring them, he's not really responsible for thin soles. Diet, nutrition & ability for good hoof function are necessary 'ingredients'. Flares on the other hand, are pretty easily dealt with & *may* be a sign of incorrect farriery. But still, without knowing how long you've had your horse, how frequently you get the farrier... it may be too much to ask that flares are gone yet.

It sounds like, if you right on hard/rough ground, your horse is not up to going bare. He may go along without complaint - horses are usually very stoic - but if hooves are so compromised, stone bruises & using his feet badly due to discomfort are likely. Your horse will do best with protection wherever necessary, at least until they become healthy & strong. Hoof boots are a great option for times when they need protection.

Don't know much about the AANHC except that a number of years ago I looked into what it took to be a member & it seemed rather fanatical & you had to follow their 'rules' precisely or be 'excommunicated'. Granted, as said, know little about them & that was just my impression a few years back.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. I have had this gelding for 3 years now, using the same farrier the whole time. I *think* he is getting the right nutrition: orchard grass hay with oat hay filler available almost 24/7 via small mesh hay nets (the other gelding is a pig and it is hard to make the hay last with him!). He gets a vitamin/mineral supplement to cover the imbalances in the hay, some alfalfa pellets, and a joint supplement (joint supplement for mild arthritis in his hocks, he is very post legged behind). I have no irrigation and the dryland pasture is still being established, so he is dry lotted on about 1/2 acre. We are in the midst of making a paddock paradise to encourage more movement.
The soil here is very rough, abrasive sand with lots of volcanic rock outcrops. His living environment and our riding environment are very similar. I use renegade boots when we go on very rocky trails, or on longer distances.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 05:59 PM
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In regards specifically to the actual original question, some AAHNCP hoof trimmers are very good and some do absolute garbage work.

I recommend evaluating the actual work of this particular trimmer through photos, and recommendations of clients and local veterinarians before committing.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 06:02 PM
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Also thin flat soles CAN be a direct result of poor trimmer/farrier work . But not always. Failure to reduce flares and remove the excess leverage around the foot can literally stretch the sole and thin it. BUT you also must insure there are no metabolic issues going on that are chronically weakening the laminae connections in the hooves.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 06:35 PM
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^Thanks for clarifying - got half way through my thoughts about farriers & thin soles & must have forgotten to finish...
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-04-2014, 07:03 PM
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I've become soured over these barefoot trimmers. Too often these trimmers attend a two day session and figure they can hang out the shingle and make easy money under the table. The Weekend Wonders. I'll take a good schooled farrier who's also apprenticed for a year or more any day. At least if my horse needs shoes he's just the man to do it. I am all for a horse being barefoot but there are times shoes can help with corrective work. Just think, in the UK they have to apprentice for 5 years before they can hang out the shingle.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-05-2014, 02:51 AM
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^I find it interesting that people say this - yes it is indeed true that many 'barefoot trimmers' have little education & experience, but it is due so often to people getting 'soured' to farriers - either with little education, or lots but no skill... - that they get into the 'game' in the first place.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-05-2014, 10:25 AM
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Loosie, when I lived in Alberta, my farrier served a 5 yr apprenticeship with a top notch British trained farrier. When he became my farrier he'd been at it on his own about 15 years. The guy was a genius when it came to horse anatomy and vets often consulted with him. He didn't shoe a horse unless it was warranted. I still have that expectation of knowledge from a farrier. In most cases, when people have become soured to farriers I think it has a lot to do with the brainwashing of the "natural" hoof movement. Many push the notion that farriers just want to slap shoes on a horse when they aren't needed. Thus a trimmer is sought out. Any time I've had a farrier, he's asked the type of riding I do, if the horse is sensitive over certain terrain. He'll watch the horse move, then tell me what/how he'd like to work with the horse. I've never had one recommend shoes yet.

Last edited by Saddlebag; 06-05-2014 at 10:33 AM.
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