Part of the process of uncovering your horse’s true value and potential is eliminating the factors that is keeping you from getting there. One of these factors are painful hooves, which not only impacts health but also mood and performance. In order for the horse to be able to grow anatomically correct hooves, the trimmer and/or owner has to know what that looks like and know enough about what’s inside to know how the trim will affect it. The inner foot (which sits inside the hoof we see) is what the hoof capsule grows from, and these two affect each other; the inner foot affects the growth of the hoof capsule and the trim on the hoof capsule affects the inner foot which again affects the growth.
Most of what I teach others and practice myself is based on the anatomically correct trim founded by Linda Harris. The importance of the heel buttress (or true heel) within hooves is one area that is greatly focused on (but not the only one), and it’s a fundamental aspect of healthy and sound hooves. This isn’t a one fits all story but can change from horse to horse and from trim to trim, depending on what each hoof needs in order to restore. It’s all about learning everything we can about what is inside, which is the whole inner foot not just the coffin bone, so that we can learn how the trim affects the inside.
This way of learning about and trimming hooves is constantly evolving as owners and trimmers around the world make new discoveries and add to the existing knowledge. I personally love this way of looking at hooves and it has helped my own horses through a lot of pain and suffering.
Online Hoof courses
The online courses TrulyTrust offers helps you to gain an incredible amount of information all in one place. There are theory lessons (teaching you the science/research in an easy to learn format) as well as practical lessons (teaching you a step by step approach to applying the theory in everyday life) to give you the most out of each course. These courses are typically completed over several months but is self-paced so you can work through it at your own pace, you’ll also have lifelong access. Please note that these courses are designed to expand your knowledge so you can go and help uncover your horse’s potential, it does not however qualify you for any profession. You will receive a certificate of completion at the completion of each course.
Hoof Evaluations are essentially an analysis of the horse’s hooves. It involves the owner taking a series of specific photos which I then analyse through looking at various aspects of the hoof. The hoof is full of detailed information and by looking at how it grows we learn about the inner foot and what type of dysfunction there might be. Every little line, crack, curve etc. has something to tell you about what’s going on. This is what I do and then explain to you. After the hoof evaluation you will be better equipped to “read” the hoof and pick a proper trimmer to help your horse’s hooves restore, or even go on to learn to trim yourself.
TrulyTrust also offers barefoot trimming services in the Bloemfontein area. Trimming is more than just using the tools correctly and making the hoof look “pretty”, it’s about promoting anatomically correct growth, about restoring the inner foot and promoting strong hoof growth. Before booking a trim for your horse it’s required for you to first purchase an online hoof evaluation, this way you know what to expect and we can start working on a proper trim plan for your horse and identify the issues beforehand. After your online hoof evaluation is completed you can contact me to book the trim for your horse. The trim and trimming schedule will be adapted to your horse as I learn how each hoof reacts, every trim will be documented as well and you can request a progress report every couple of months to make sure the hooves are moving in the right direction. Please note: TrulyTrust do not do shoeing or remove shoes, it’s also up to the owner to provide the correct nutrition and environment for optimal hoof function.
Not sure what your horse needs?
Share your story and receive our expert opinion.