Natural vs. "Normal" hoof trimming - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Natural vs. "Normal" hoof trimming

So I really want to know, what exactly is the difference between a farrier who does natural horse trimming vs a farrier that does "normal" horse trimming.

This is more out of curiosity than anything, my only experience with natural horse trimming is second hand, when I got Rocket he had been done by a natural trimmer (who must not have been very good because his toes were super long and chipping), now he and my new mare will be getting trimmed by a "normal" farrier.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 11:12 AM
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I'm not entirely sure of the difference myself, but am curious to know. I've tried both a "natural" hoof farrier, and loved the job he did on my horses, but hated him as a person (way too rough with my horses). And now I"m using just a normal farrier but he's the most popular one in the area.

There are many good natural farriers out there, I'm sure, but I am going to continue using this guy.

There's only one farrier that I would not let touch my horses....Jim Crew
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 11:51 PM
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Traditional farriers, usually employ a different trim style, and are sometimes more aggresive in how they handle the horses, but that could be any farrier, trim style doesn't dictate that, though most that think "natural" for trims, are often more apt to apply "natural" horse training and handling principles.

A natural trim is fashioned in a way to mimic the way a hoof would wear naturally, if the horse was able or inclined to move enough to actually wear off the hoof, after studying how WILD horses' feet wear and grow Natural hoof care providers are more often going to try to find a way to maintain that wear pattern and use it as a basis for healing hoof pathologies of any sort.

Traditional farriers often trim to more specific angles and lengths that they feel should be on the horse, after studying what other farriers have done and what seems to work, best for the horse, and attempt to make the hooves fit a mandmade image, rather than studying what is truely natural for the horse in general, or for the individual animal.

While I'm obviously supporting natural trimming methods, finding an experienced and well skilled hoof care provider, from either camp, is essential for your horse's health, as it's a fact that domestic horses almost never get enough exercise or proper diet to maintain their own feet while under our care.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-02-2009, 11:59 PM
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well i don't really know!! i have my horse barefoot currently as he doesn't need to be shod. But when he gets abceses in his feet i will get him shod for a couple months to get his feet strong again as i have found when he gets abceses he usually has more than one. i hope this helps in some way!!!

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-03-2009, 01:51 AM
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I recently tried out a new farrier. She did an excellent job and explained a lot of what she was doing. I don't know a whole lot about hoof care and anatomy, so it helped me. After the trim, I saw that her business card said "Natural Trimming."

Anyways, in addition to what barefoothooves said, I learned that "normal" farriers will often trim a barefoot horse the same as a shod horse (just not attaching a shoe). So, the horse's hoof is very flat across the entire bottom. A "natural" trim includes creating the (nature-like) groove in that area where the hoof wall meets the bars. Also, a "natural" farrier will often not trim off those extra chunks of tissue on the frog...this tissue wears off naturally with ground contact on a barefoot horse. A "normal" farrier may trim this down and then your horse's frog may be more sensative as it contacts the ground.

Of course, the "best" farrier to choose is one who treats you and your horse with respect and keeps your horse sound! :)

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-03-2009, 05:58 PM
Green Broke
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Barefoot for Soundness
this site explains the philosophy and benifits of barefoot v. "normal" trimming/shoeing techniques

as has been said before,
-natural trimming is done with proper balance,flexion,hoof health and comfort of the animal in mind...
*the first is a pic of natural hoof shape(minus the mustang roll on the toe...)

-"normal" trimming is a way to try to make a hoof look "prettier" without taking into consideration normal stress points and wear patterns of horses hooves...
*the second is a typical "normal"( sometimes called a "box" trim) trim
Attached Images
File Type: gif triangle-foot.gif (2.7 KB, 235 views)
File Type: gif box-foot.gif (3.0 KB, 236 views)

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