I started leasing my horse, Woody, back in February and moved him to the barn where I've been taking lessons for the past several years. Never having had a horse of my own, I went with the barn's regular farrier.
Woody has aluminum shoes on his front feet (required by the lease; there's no real reason the shoes are aluminum except that the owner feels like it's a "treat" for him) but is barefoot in back.
About 5-6 weeks ago, I noticed that Woody's back feet, which had been trimmed less than two weeks ago were chipping at the quarters. On closer inspection, I noticed the chips were at the base of pretty obvious flares. Talking to my trainer and a Pete Ramey-style natural trimmer at my barn, it sounded like this was pretty typical of a farrier-style trim. Taking a closer look at Woody's hooves, I'm not convinced my farrier is doing all that great of a job in general, but I'm also wondering if maybe I'm just being too critical since in the "real world" no hooves are perfect and this is the first time I've been paying this much attention to a horse's feet.
I took photos last week after Woody's latest trim (literally about an hour after the trim) Instead of posting all of them (there are a lot of them, and they're pretty big), I'll post a couple here, and the rest are here: Photos of all Woody's Hooves
Woody's front left, side view. To me, it looks like his heel is a bit underrun and the shoe doesn't fit very well:
His rear left, toe view. Can you spot the flare?
Woody doesn't have any problems with lameness, tripping, etc. So should I be worried about his feet and look for another farrier?
The owner doesn't really believe in natural trimming, but I'm trying to convince her to let him go barefoot for the winter at least. I'm hoping that if he does well over the winter she'll let me continue indefinitely...