natural hoof care--trimming--are there different theories? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-02-2014, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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natural hoof care--trimming--are there different theories?

We have two prominent hoof trimmers / natural hoof care specialist in our area, let's call them A and B.

My friend who trims with A, looks at hoofs featured on the covers of the Parelli magazine, and says they are done wrong.

My other friend who trims with B, looks at hoofs done by A and says they are not done right.

I've met dozens of people who trim with A, and dozen who trim with B, and all swear by their trimmer.

So what's going on? Are there different theories on what is "right"? Different approaches?

What books / videos should I get to learn more about natural hoof care which present a balanced view?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-02-2014, 11:20 AM
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There is another theory too, that of not trimming at all, but providing correct diet and movement and work to keep horses sound and self trimming. This method has proved exceptionally successful for rehabbing horses with end of the road hoof problems.

Rockley Farm: Hoofcare Essentials
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-02-2014, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clava View Post
There is another theory too, that of not trimming at all, but providing correct diet and movement and work to keep horses sound and self trimming. This method has proved exceptionally successful for rehabbing horses with end of the road hoof problems.

Rockley Farm: Hoofcare Essentials
Thank you! I will check the link. This is exactly what my DH (no horse involvement) has been wondering about when we discuss hoof care of our hypothetical horse: "Why movement and terrain wouldn't be enough?"

Off to investigate!

But are you saying there are more than one theory on the actual trimming as well?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-02-2014, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ojzab View Post
Thank you! I will check the link. This is exactly what my DH (no horse involvement) has been wondering about when we discuss hoof care of our hypothetical horse: "Why movement and terrain wouldn't be enough?"

Off to investigate!

But are you saying there are more than one theory on the actual trimming as well?
Trimming wise there are a few theories, from a basic farrier trim usually prior to shoeing to a carefully crafted "replica" of a wild horse hoof. I personally believe that the horse needs some say in it so he can grow the hoof he needs to create his own soundness as a trimmer can never actually know how the limbs feel to balance them. In the UK we do a lot of roadwork and so keeping a horse self trimming isn't that hard, mine all do it as long as I get out to ride.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-02-2014, 12:43 PM
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In my experience there are a multitude of different barefoot theories with slight, or large, differences. I like to break trimmers into 2 categories (not including traditional steel shoe farriers, which have their place, too):
Those who believe the wall should be load bearing and those who believe the laminae should be load bearing. The question becomes, should the wall touch the ground all around the hoof or not?
There may be other theories and experts, please correct me if I am off in left field. I just know I had a horrid experience with a trimmer who thought that to correct Cruiser's flares, he should take all the pressure off the wall. He was lame for nearly 3 weeks on both front feet. A new trimmer came out and left his wall on the ground and didn't even roll his toe. He is happy as a clam and his flare is tightening up considerably (a diet change was also involved).
Different horses seem to respond to different trims better than others. They are all individuals and the trim should address their individual situations.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-04-2014, 09:34 AM
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Great question OP! Yeah, whether you choose a 'traditional' type farrier or a 'barefoot trimmer'... or anything in between, there are a few different paradigms people work to in each. There are also a wide range of skill and education levels(or lack of), in such an unregulated industry. So if you want what's best for the horse, it becomes a matter of learning for yourself, at least enough to understand hoof function & the 'pros & cons' of different approaches, and what is 'right' for your horse.

The main differences in paradigms between the 'barefoot mob' as I see it are the peripheral loading v's whole hoof loading. There are other differences, such as the ground parallel pedal bone & trimming to precise measurements v's trimming to balance the bones correctly, not trimming at all(or 'correcting' imbalance, flares, etc) but ensuring the horse has an adequate environment & lifestyle to do it - and 'condition' his feet - himself(that to me is the ideal, but unattainable for most IME).



What's going on with a & b? Well, either one of them may be great & the other 'wrong'. Or maybe they're both wrong & doing a bad job. Or maybe they're both great...

IME people's opinions about farriers aren't necessarily very objective. Even very experienced horse people may not understand enough about hoof function to know whether their 'expert of choice' is doing a good job, or is himself very knowledgeable. And then there's the rest of us, mostly going on recommendations from others. Is that a double blind?? People seem to choose farriers because they turn up on time(or turn up at all), they're a nice bloke(or at least not as bad as the others, doesn't belt the horse) their horse can keep his shoes on for x weeks, so-and-so swears by him, he doesn't charge the earth, he already comes to the area...

Quote:
Those who believe the wall should be load bearing and those who believe the laminae should be load bearing. The question becomes, should the wall touch the ground all around the hoof or not? ...
trimmer who thought that to correct Cruiser's flares, he should take all the pressure off the wall. He was lame for nearly 3 weeks on both front feet.
I think that the 'wall vs laminae loadbearing' is a misunderstanding of the peripheral loading(wall and so laminae as well) bearing the entire load, v's the whole base of the foot - frog, walls and sole - supporting the horse. I'm of the 'whole hoof' camp and I don't believe the wall is designed to be a primary weightbearing structure. It's 'plastic' and becomes distorted and the laminae(& bone even) strained under too much force. So keeping it under excess load and failing to support the rest of the foot makes it difficult/impossible to address flares, and the frog and sole will also distort and weaken.

Without more info, I respectfully don't know whether the farrier was in error in this instance, or whether there was other stuff going on. Eg on the surface, horse lame for 3 weeks, took entire wall out of commission sounds pretty bad, but it's possible(just speculating, not assuming either...) that the horse had a 'laminitis bout' that just coincided with the trim, or was stone bruised from hard riding, and/or that it was your perception of 'removed too much wall', not the actual case.

I think it can sometimes be a bit of a 'balancing act' with some horses, to adequately address problems if they're severe, without going overboard. Eg. it's all very well to bevel a 'stretched' toe, so that *when standing on flat, hard ground* it may be slightly off the ground, but what if the entire foot is flared & disconnected? Especially in an already weak foot, the sole & frog is not in any condition to bear the whole load either, without some help from the walls. It always pays, IMO to consider the horse's comfort over the principles you trim to, and those that approach 'relieving flares' etc with a 'by the book' approach are either unaware they may be causing discomfort or they think it's unavoidable or such - there are some trimmers who still tell people to expect 'transition soreness' or such, like there are farriers who tell you it's normal for the horse to be 'a bit off' for a day or few post shoeing. As a rule, the horse should be feeling at least the same, if not better, after a trim, with very few exceptions(unrecognised laminitis or such), and IMO without exception, if the horse wasn't lame before the trim, he shouldn't be after it.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-06-2014, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Without more info, I respectfully don't know whether the farrier was in error in this instance, or whether there was other stuff going on. Eg on the surface, horse lame for 3 weeks, took entire wall out of commission sounds pretty bad, but it's possible(just speculating, not assuming either...) that the horse had a 'laminitis bout' that just coincided with the trim, or was stone bruised from hard riding, and/or that it was your perception of 'removed too much wall', not the actual case.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt until talking with more folks and then my current trimmer. He has done the same thing multiple times. I think laminitis in this instance is out, and I hadn't been riding him at all for 2 or 3 weeks before hand. I don't think the trimmer is really bad in all cases, I just disagree with his philosophy for that horse. It has been 16 weeks since his trim and his wall is finally back in contact with the ground, that is how short he took it! (Granted, they are not growing super fast right now. He probably would have grown out much quicker in the spring)

Thanks for clarifying on the peripheral loading. As I was typing my first response, I kept trying to think of a better way to phrase things!
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