Chapter Six

Fitting Hoof Boots

Chapter Seven

Booting Different Sized Horses

Chapter Eight

Using Hoof Boots for Rehabilitation

Farriers - Who can trim my horse?

We recommend that your barefoot horse is correctly and regularly trimmed by a farrier or trimmer who understands the type of trim required for a working barefoot equine

This ‘barefoot trim’, ‘performance trim’ or ‘natural trim’ is not the same as a basic ‘pasture’ trim given to a non-working horses at grass. There are many farriers in the UK, where we are based, who are very ‘pro-barefoot’, and have advanced their knowledge base in this area. However, it is widely said by barefoot advocates that the majority of farriers ‘just’ perform a ‘pasture trim’. The definition of this can be contentious, as opinions differ! So here is our opinion on the matter:

A pasture trim generally just removes excess length, and tidies chips. Not all farriers performing a pasture trim will ‘dress’ the hoof’s outer edge, eg. bevel with a mustang roll, which strengthens the hoof capsule and helps prevent cracks. A farrier’s pasture trim may also not deal with compacted (dead) sole, or major hoof imbalances, such as under-run heels.

A farrier giving a trim to a barefoot horse should address all the relevant hoof balances, just the same as if the animal was being shod, with the possible exception of leaving a fraction more extended wall, for wearing purposes. Only non-essential equine sole should be removed when trimming, and bevelling the bottom edge of the wall to prevent chipping of the bare foot should be normal practise. If you want a farrier to trim your barefoot horse, seek out one that is ‘pro-barefoot’, and has advanced their knowledge base in this area.

Opinion does differ regarding trimming techniques, so seek recommendations from several hoofcare professionals before choosing one to trim your horse’s feet. Your chosen hoofcare professional must do no harm, and should work with you to create a sound horse.

Remember that lots of barefoot horses benefit from the use of modern hoof boots ;they not only give total protection to the sole of the barefoot horse, but with the use of specialist pads inside the boots, replicate the support and feedback that the horse would receive when worked barefoot on good going.

USEFUL TIP

If you want a farrier to trim your barefoot horse, seek out one that is ‘pro-barefoot’ & has advanced knowledge in this area.