I didn't say I go out and trim them at liberty. I said I could. They are just broke enough that I can pick up any foot on just about any one of them out in the pasture. I carry a hoof pick and pocket knife in my pocket at all times. If I see a horse take an 'off step' I will pick up a foot and check if there is anything in it. I sure would not bother to drag trimming tools out to the pasture.
As a matter of fact, I cannot handle a hoof for more than a few seconds without sitting down. If I have to trim a horse, it has to give me its hoof, let me put in on a hoof cradle and let me sit in a chair to trim it. But, I don't do it without a halter and lead on it and the rope thrown over the fence -- not tied. Since I cannot get out of one's way should it NOT want to just stand there, I want it to be able to go somewhere other than on top of me. Getting too crippled to do much has its disadvantages, but it means every horse I handle has to be well-mannered. That is just good manners that every horse should be taught.
Okay, sorry I misunderstood you.
I got this filly mainly for a companion for my mare. She definitely needed a chance. She had no training, zilch. Her feet were a nightmare. I had a farrier initially trim her and I held her. Thankfully, we were able to get it done w/o sedatives. It wasn't a matter of her not having manners, it was a matter of her not having ever been taught - anything
at all. But, she was even tempered enough for her age, just clueless. I prefer to trim at liberty for the exact same reason you mentioned - while I don't sit when I trim - I feel that if they did take a notion to leave while I am trimming they would, in all likelihood, go one of the other three possible directions and get gone - not knock me over. She also has a pigeon toe that needs to be kept
beveled - it couldn't "wait" until she was the perfect little well mannered lady. I rarely have "useful" help available to help me w my horses (outside of feeding and whatnot), and the ultimate goal was to trim her at liberty as I do my mare, anyway. I just threw this out for someone that might face the same challenges w the same preference.