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to start natural hoof trimming or not

This is a discussion on to start natural hoof trimming or not within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Starting a natural hoof business
  • Horse trimming from big lick to natural hoof

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    03-01-2012, 05:14 PM
  #11
Trained
I don't get the having to have someone that is specifically a "natural" trimmer. If a farrier is any good they should be able to keep horses barefoot with no problems, but also still have the ability to shoe a horse when/if needed. 99.9% of the barefoot/natural only trimmers I know of can't/won't/don't know how to properly apply shoes.
     
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    03-01-2012, 05:22 PM
  #12
Trained
Right THERE^^^ Why limit the help your hoof professional can offer your horse.
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    03-01-2012, 07:34 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by NdAppy    
I don't get the having to have someone that is specifically a "natural" trimmer. If a farrier is any good they should be able to keep horses barefoot with no problems, but also still have the ability to shoe a horse when/if needed. 99.9% of the barefoot/natural only trimmers I know of can't/won't/don't know how to properly apply shoes.
I would dearly love it if I could have a farrier that did both.

However, I live in an area where most horse people are extremely ignorant about the animals they care for. That goes for the trainers, the BO's, the farriers, and the general horse people.
For instance, the lady I used to board with, who used 3 separate farriers in the 2 years I boarded at her house, was told by all these farriers that it was acceptable for the horse to not be trimmed during the winter/spring (she fully believed them and she's been keeping horses for over 30 years...). According to them, that extra hoof "helps" pasture-kept horses function better with mud. They saw nothing wrong with leaving shoes on until the hoof grew out so much that the shoe fell off.
They also saw nothing wrong with never trimming a constantly foundering mare because "she's not ridden". They'd pull her out of the pasture, look at her seriously long, cracking hooves, and tell the owner that the mare was fine trim-wise but that thy could add some shoes to help with the cracking.

When I had one of those farriers check this hoof out (during their visit to the farm for another horse) because my mare seemed "off" on it, I was told that she could probably go another couple of weeks before being trimmed:



I didn't know any better at that point and I believed him.
Thankfully that was also about the time that I decided to find my own farrier/trimmer and happened to find a barefoot trimmer in my area (the one sane, really knowledgeable horse person I have ever met in my area). My trimmer doesn't do shoes. I'm sure she could (she used to be a "real" farrier) but she doesn't. My mare doesn't need shoes, ever, so it doesn't bother me. If I had needed shoes done, I wouldn't have chosen the trimmer I did, or I would switch to a farrier.

I completely agree that all farriers SHOULD be able and trained to do barefoot trims but in my area, that's not the case. Because of the experience I've had, I'm nervous recommending farriers for barefoot work. I know that some/most farriers are much better than the ones we have around here, I'm just still nervous about it. Hopefully you can understand that.

Really, OP, if your farrier is competent, he/she should be able to do a good barefoot trim.
     
    03-01-2012, 07:47 PM
  #14
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by NdAppy    
I don't get the having to have someone that is specifically a "natural" trimmer. If a farrier is any good they should be able to keep horses barefoot with no problems, but also still have the ability to shoe a horse when/if needed. 99.9% of the barefoot/natural only trimmers I know of can't/won't/don't know how to properly apply shoes.
It depends greatly on the farrier in question. For me it was a no brainer to go with a "natural" trimmer as you put it. When I first had my horse's hind shoes pulled, all the farrier did was roll the edges and told me to give him some time off. He was there a grand total of 10 minutes. After watching my horse not want to move for a week. I called the farrier back. He put hoof testers on him, said he was sore and to give him more time, gone again in 5 minutes. I then did some checking around for recommendations, brought in a "natural" trimmer. She showed me how unbalanced the foot was, evened it out, trimmed the bars, relieved some areas of upward force, and put a mustang roll all the way around. We walked him out after each tweak to make sure we were on the right path. The horse I had to drag in under the persuasion of carrots was suddenly running around like a nut having a good time. Again, that's just my story, but that's why I would not consider a traditional farrier for a barefoot transition.
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    03-01-2012, 07:56 PM
  #15
Trained
And if you read my post instead of reading only parts of it I said "if a farrier is any good." You both gave examples of bad farriers.

I stand behind what I said. If a farrier is worth their salt, then they should have no problems keeping a horse barefoot, transitioning a horse to/from shoes AND/OR doing just shoes.

Being a farrier is not just about slapping a shoe on a horse.
     
    03-01-2012, 08:02 PM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by NdAppy    
And if you read my post instead of reading only parts of it I said "if a farrier is any good." You both gave examples of bad farriers.

I stand behind what I said. If a farrier is worth their salt, then they should have no problems keeping a horse barefoot, transitioning a horse to/from shoes AND/OR doing just shoes.

Being a farrier is not just about slapping a shoe on a horse.
It's a free country. Do what you want. Just know a farrier that shoes your horse well might not be so great once the shoes are off. That was my point of my former post. Once the shoes are off, if your horse is wobbling around three legged a week later, acknowledge that and know that something is not right.
     
    03-01-2012, 08:04 PM
  #17
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by NdAppy    
And if you read my post instead of reading only parts of it I said "if a farrier is any good." You both gave examples of bad farriers.

I stand behind what I said. If a farrier is worth their salt, then they should have no problems keeping a horse barefoot, transitioning a horse to/from shoes AND/OR doing just shoes.

Being a farrier is not just about slapping a shoe on a horse.
From my post:
"I completely agree that all farriers SHOULD be able and trained to do barefoot trims but in my area, that's not the case. Because of the experience I've had, I'm nervous recommending farriers for barefoot work. I know that some/most farriers are much better than the ones we have around here, I'm just still nervous about it. Hopefully you can understand that."


One would hope that the OP has great farriers who can do a good barefoot trim in her area, but how are we to know? That's why I recommended a "natural" trimmer. I'd love to recommend the OP's local farrier to her/him but I don't want him/her to have an experience like I (or MBP) if the local farrier is bad.

I really do agree with you. If the farrier is worth their salt, like you said, they should be able to do whatever the person paying them asks for and they should be able to do it well.

ETA- I don't mean to come off like a jerk, at all. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm being rude or anything.
     
    03-01-2012, 08:19 PM
  #18
Trained
Just don't get hung up on labels. Let your horse tell you if you need to look elsewhere for trimming. Do as much research as you can about barefoot trimming and what you should be looking for in terms of your horse's feet changing. Have hoof boots with pads on hand before you pull the shoes. While you can't use them 24/7, it will give your horse much needed relief during the early stages of the transition. Movement is the big key to a successful transition. The more he moves around, the more the feet will start to do their own thing. Understand there is a difference between lame and what some call footiness. Some horse will just act odd like they didn't know there was ground down there. You can help your horse along greatly by hand walking him every day on every different surface you can find. Pavement and concrete are great for getting the frogs and heel bulbs to start doing their thing. There is no set timeline. Your horse will let you know when he's good on each surface usually indicated by a sudden burst of energy accompanied by bucking and farting. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
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    03-01-2012, 09:43 PM
  #19
Super Moderator
You would think that where I live (right square in the middle of a huge number of World Champion AQHA breeders and trainers and all the biggest shows and futurities) that there would be a good farrier and/or trimmer on every corner. WRONG!

I had twice as many GOOD farriers wanting my business when I lived in the wilderness in Colorado than I can find here. I literally cannot find one that does not think you should cut out as much sole as you can get and still have the horse semi-sound. I have had horses crippled (a couple permanently) and sored up and have had the worst trimming and shoeing jobs I've had in my lifetime.

I finally went to the nearby shoeing school and asked if I could get horses trimmed or shod the way they needed for them to do what I wanted them to do. They said they would try. [It probably helped that I keep shoes on 20 head year 'round and they all stand good to shoe -- even by a student that takes all day.] We keep at least 20 more trimmed with what is now called a 'barefoot trim'. Gee, how did we do it years ago before it had a fancy name?

When I was still showing, I had one of the instructors do my show horses but I have had student do my other horses the way I want them for about 20 years now.

Young ones being trained are ridden barefoot until they NEED shoes. We ride in solid rock south of the ranch. The limestone eats up a set of shoes in 6 - 8 weeks. They almost never reset. That means that we need horses shod or trimmed to stay sound and to stand the rocks. I wish I could live with unshod horses, but it just does not work here.
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    03-01-2012, 10:39 PM
  #20
Trained
Hmm. I went to "barefoot" a while back - from shoes to boots. I think "natural trim" has become a term that just repackages the old word "trim". It makes no difference, a good balanced trim is the same today as a good balanced trim ever was.
     

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farrier, hoof, hooves, natural, natural hoof care

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