What is your opinion on Natural Balance Barefoot Trimming?

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What is your opinion on Natural Balance Barefoot Trimming?

This is a discussion on What is your opinion on Natural Balance Barefoot Trimming? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-21-2010, 05:38 AM
What is your opinion on Natural Balance Barefoot Trimming?

So someone just recomended a new farrier to me. She is a Certified Natural Balance Barefoot Trimmer, Holistic Lameness Specialist. That was coppied and pasted from her website. Anyone know anything about this? Have you tried it? If you have what do you think? I have my first appointment tomorrow. Just wanted everyon's opinion. Thank you!
BTW here is a link to her site. Big Island Farrier Godmother
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    12-21-2010, 08:31 AM
My dad is a barefoot trimmer, all of our horses are barerfoot and they do very well, even through rocks and streams. There are some books with a lot of information, look for books by Pete Ramey or Jaimie Jackson. Both are very knowledgeable about the benefits of natural trimming. It is very easy to upkeep, and I personally reccomend it, however unlike the two authors above I do not believe it is for all horses. It is definitely worth checking out.
    12-21-2010, 08:35 AM
I have my horses bare foot Natural trim and they are much happier ... Playing more , more balanced & heaps healthier hooves. It was a great move .
    12-21-2010, 10:09 AM
My farrier has been doing my horses' feet since we got them. I have noticed a marked improvement in their hoof shape and condition since he's been working on them. Dancer's feet looked like bells - it's a good thing I didn't know what was wrong with them for a long time, or I'd have panicked!

I found out just this last time out that my farrier is also a certified "natural balance" farrier. I had asked him about his opinion on "barefoot trimming," and he looked at me and cracked up - he said "What do you think you've been paying for?" We all laughed at my ignorance. (ignorance is not to be confused with stupidity)

The farrier isn't as extreme in his opinions about shoeing as some barefoot trimmers are. 90% of horses can go without shoes just fine, but there are some horses that need shoes for one reason or another. Either because of their job, or for some sort of corrective purpose.

He made me feel good that we have been able to improve our horses overall health (Dancer's skinnyness aside - she's still better than she was) over the last year and a half. Their nutrition has improved so that their hoof health is great - no more cracks, no more bells, no more whatever it was that had Dancer's feet so misshapen. (Something about separation from something made them look like bells.) Totally abnormal, but with the great care he gave her and the change in her diet, she now has his favorite kind of foot - huge, hard as a rock, but not so dry it cracks.
    12-21-2010, 10:41 AM
Green Broke
I use a Ramey style trim and have had great luck with it on all of our horses. I do modify my technique a bit based on each horse's conformation, movement, and "preference," but they all seem to do better in a "barefoot trim" than a traditional trim IME.
    12-21-2010, 11:20 AM
A good trim is a good trim no matter who is applying it.

Good farriers trim almost like a natural bare trimmer will. Sadly, there are a real lack of educated farriers in alot of areas and the natural bare trimmers are picking up the slack.

Just beware..there are also terrible "natural bare trimmers" out there practicing just as there are terrible farriers. Do your homeworks and let their work speak for itself. Don't stay with a farrier or trimmer because of loyalty if your horse is not progressing or staying healthy after you have used them awhile!

The bevel is important and balance is huge. Leaving healthy frog and live sole alone is the biggest! Educating the owner about things like diet problems and thrush is also big. Overall, I want a healthy sound foot with no major problems.

If they do all that and can produce a healthy foot...they can call themselves anything they want to :)

I also follow Ramey generally. I think he is straightforward and on the right track.
    12-21-2010, 04:16 PM
Green Broke
<sigh> I don't know how old everyone is that is posting but let me just say that "natural balance trimming" has been around for a few hundred years.

It's how my grandpap taught me waaaaaaay back in 1959 when I was 12.

What HAS happened is that people evolved away from proper trimming and started to wear shoes on their horses whether the horse needed shoes or not. The fast way to "pasture trim" a horse for the winter evolved and the proper way to balance his hoof got completely forgotten about.

I learned to balance the hoof one section at a time --- sections being four of them ----- back in 1959 from a man that was in his late 60's and was "born on a horse".

I am amazed at the things Pete Ramey teaches that I already learned back when I was a kid. The only thing markedly different and new to me is the agressive toe roll some horses benefit from.

One of my four needs that agressive roll, so my Trimmer does it and I maintenance it, if needed, in between visits. 98% of the time I don't need to do anything, I just think I do because I can't keep my nose out of their hooves

Anyway, there's nothing new about natural barefoot trimming, but if I were going to avoid any methods at all it would be those who practice Strasser or Equiextion<or however they spell it.

And, as another poster stated, like anything else in this life, not all "barefoot trimmers" are created equal. They are just as capable of soring up a horse as the farrier that can't drive nails straight and quiks the horse up
    12-21-2010, 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
And, as another poster stated, like anything else in this life, not all "barefoot trimmers" are created equal. They are just as capable of soring up a horse as the farrier that can't drive nails straight and quiks the horse up
This x 50,000
    12-24-2010, 11:40 PM
All our horses that come home from the track are barefoot. For many years we only would go barefoot in the winter. Now we are competing barefoot. With the different ground conditions the horse can get a better feel for the ground barefoot.
    12-25-2010, 04:06 AM
I tried it with my horse and while I loved the idea of it and totally bought into the idea, my horse was not happy. He was never sound unshoed, and the day we put shoes back on he was sound.
So I like the idea behind it and if it works for some horses, then go ahead, but there are some horses that need the support of shoes.

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