If you want to be an Owner-Trimmer, in other words an expert of one horse -your own- I encourage and applaud you. That’s exactly how I got started.
I know it’s intimidating to watch farriers whack off huge chunks of hoof with there 14” long nippers. Well good news. Armed with only a rasp, you will learn to trim your horse’s hooves and do an even better job than any farrier and many trimmers.
NOTE: I offer on-line help. I can fly to your location and teach a clinic, working with each owner and her horse also.
So let’s get started. We will mark the hoof so that we can both look at the structure and discuss where the hoof is going. I will trim your horse the first few times, all the while explaining what I am doing.
We’ll take photos and measurements for our baseline trim and about every 3-4 months thereafter. Feel free to take photos before and after every trim. So often we see what we want to see, and not what is. But a photo doesn’t lie!
Then we’ll co-trim a front foot. Depending on your interest, ability and fortitude, we’ll co-trim the entire horse. Next, you can trim a foot while I chat with your horse; thereafter checking and discussing your work. Slowly but surely, staying in your comfort zone, you will trim solo and I will check the work right away. We’ll expand the schedule to every other month and so on. I will always be glad to come back as questions and issues arise. I will take you off my regular schedule when you are 100% comfortable. Typically I check back quarterly.
All the while your natural horse care will fall into place. For those lucky enough to own a farm, I encourage you to get a copy of Paddock Paradise by Jaime Jackson. Your trimming will be negligible once the horses are walking 10 miles a day.
My Starter Kit for the owner-trimmer includes a high end rasp and Hoof Jack Hoof Stand. I sell the same tools I use. They are perfect for our area. I can’t speak to their usefulness in an entirely different environment.
Your Reading Assignment:
- The Horse Owners Guide to Natural Hoofcare by Jaime Jackson. This is a real bible that you will read time and again. I am on my second copy as the first became so dog-eared and marked up. I don’t trim exactly as JJ does, but this overview of all things hoof, is excellent, bar none.
- Pete Ramey’s Site. Please print out all his articles and keep them in a binder. Some are pretty heavy going but read them anyway. More and more will sink in. If I can answer your questions, of course I will. Check back monthly as he posts all his published work. I can lend you his book; his trim has changed but it’s a good read.
- Check through the articles on my site. In particular the review on boots, Why I Now Ride in Boots and the highlights from the Arizona clinic will be helpful.
Get a notebook
For remarks during and between trims.
Check out and save as Favorites other Natural Hoofcare educational sites, for example:
- Paige Poss’ Iron Free Hoof
- Marjorie Smith’s Barefoot for Soundness
- Cindy “Hawk” Sullivan’s Tribe Equus
- Linda Cowley’s Healthy Hoof
Bring your digital camera or artist pad, and let’s get that horse of yours going down the right path of natural hoofcare and natural horse care.