Barefoot trimming - Good idea or better left to experts? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 02:51 PM
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I'm a certified trimmer (DAEP) and I can tell you that while trimming is not brain surgery or anything, there is quite a bit to it and you can easily mess things up if you're not careful. Interpreting from a book or DVD can be very tricky. There was so much I just couldn't "get" until someone showed me hands on.

My suggestion would be this - find a good farrier or trimmer that you trust, develop a good working relationship with them, and then offer to pay them for their time in helping you learn to maintain your horse by yourself. They can suggest a brand of rasp and hoof knife. You won't need nippers because you'll be maintaining the feet frequently. An apron is definitely a plus as the knife can be dangerous if it slips, but you can find inexpensive ones. You can get by without a hoof stand and maybe purchase one later down the road.

If your horse has good, sound, solid healthy feet that tend to wear nicely, you will be fine to learn to maintain them yourself. If your horse has any kind of pathology like cracks, laminitis, underslung heels, etc. then you might find it's too difficult to keep the horse sound by yourself.

You can have the farrier or trimmer come out say 2x a year to check on things and make sure you're doing ok.

That's exactly how I started, and in time I ended up doing a year long certification course, doing an apprenticeship, and now I have more clients than I can say grace over. LOL. If you don't want to trim for other people, then a certification is not needed.
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post #22 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Padrona View Post

My suggestion would be this - find a good farrier or trimmer that you trust, develop a good working relationship with them, and then offer to pay them for their time in helping you learn to maintain your horse by yourself.
Terrific advice!!!
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post #23 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 04:14 PM
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As a recently converted "barefooter" I purchased Jamie Jackson's book "Horse Owners Guide To Natural Hoofcare". I would strongly recommend this book. It gives a great over-view of a range of topics involved in the barefoot horse - the wild horses hoof model, what a good hoof should look like, hoof mechanism and the effects of shoeing, it takes you through trimming your own horses feet, common ailments such as white line disease, laminitis and navicular, keeping a horse barefoot incl diet, exercise and living conditions/paddocking.

It very quickly becomes clear that there is a heck of a lot more to keeping a barefoot horse than just going over the hoof with a rasp to make it look pretty. Bad trimming WILL cause just as much damage to the horses hoof and general health that bad shoeing will. For this reason I think it's very important that you do your research before beginning to trim - you need to learn WHY you trim the way you do, and how the trimming affects the hoof mechanism and the horse itself physically - only when you understand that should you try to trim your own horses feet. Make sure you are commited to what you are getting yourself into before doing it, barefoot isn't always easy!

Like previously said by others, find a good trimmer/farrier that has knowledge about the Natural Trim (ie: NOT the usual farriers paddock trim) and learn from them. You should find that most trimmers that truely care about the horse will be more than willing to share their information with you and answer questions.

Once my horse is done with transitioning and has much healthier feet I am going to learn to do the maintenance trim on my own, it's a great way to learn about your horses feet
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post #24 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 09:30 PM
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Just looked at the Rider's Rasp - I had a look at these a while ago, and while I think they are a good idea, I don't think they will work the way I like to rasp - It looks to me like it would kind of rasp away at the outer wall of the hoof, not just round the edges like I like to do when I get a chip, if that makes sense. I would go for the gusto and get a "real" rasp :)

Well said Padrona - there's certainly no substitute for getting a hands on lesson from a natural trimmer - I know in some areas there's a huge lack. Around here, it took me a year to quit trimming for others, I had to teach them all to keep up on it themselves over the course of the year, some of them were able to get on with another trimmer, but there's only one more around here and she's filled right up.

Best of luck though - keep your eyes open, I'm sure you'll see more and more availability for clinics, etc with qualified natural trimmers.
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post #25 of 29 Old 01-09-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks, I've been looking around, but someone should turn up eventually haha. I'm thinking I might ask the farrier at college if I can watch him, b.c. i'd have thought he's used to nosey students haha and might be alright with me lingering round!

Padrona: Thanks for the tip on the apron, that thought didn't even occur to me, even though my farrier always wears an apron!

I will deffinitely look into that book KiwiGal, it sounds extremely useful!

And thanks for the advice on the rasp, JustRide, I'll deffinitely go with a more traditional one
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post #26 of 29 Old 01-12-2010, 08:17 AM
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We have been barefoot for 3 years, now. We had a certified barefoot trimmer come and show us how she does it. Then she watched us, and came back a few times to check on our work.

Pete Ramey's "Under the Horse" video series is outstanding! You could probably trim your own horse after watching the videos. It is really very simple, as long as your horse doesn't have any special issues to deal with.

If your horse has never had shoes, it is really easy, because she won't have to transition from shoes to barefoot.

Good luck!
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post #27 of 29 Old 01-12-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I can see that his DVDs are reccomended by a lot of people, so I think I might have a look at that, even if I still need some more information, if it tells me the basics, then it sounds very useful
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post #28 of 29 Old 01-17-2010, 12:18 AM
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Here is Pete Ramey's website: Pete Ramey hoof care heals founder in horse’s navicular disease farrier

He has lots of good, free information there. Good luck!
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, Thanks!
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