What do you think of barefoot trimmers?

DancingJester

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2013
Messages
76
What do you think of barefoot trimmers?

So I used my first on tuesday, and since my horse is terrified of farrier, they fight with him, and hold his legs, won't let go then frighten him more. I decided that's it, its not improving with the numerous farrier I've used, he's still foot sore and can become lame easily, I have used many different farrier and finely found one what I'm happier with, but my horse still reacts badly to him, the farrier still hates my horse and my horse still (all be it less) goes lame and foot sore. I used a barefoot trimmer, she was lovely, has done years of training in the usa and new zealand, I very interesting, is not expensive, and for the first time ever, my horse gave in not because of fear but because he let her trim him, she was there for an hour and a half and because I'd said he was difficult she deliberately didn't book anyone after him, so she could spend as long as she needed. I was more than impressed. Also, yes he is still a bit lame, but he is definitely less lame. However I understand the difference in methods and trims and have heard people very anti bare foot. And people say they do it wrong and could cripple a horse. So far I haven't seen this in my bare foot trimmer, but what does everyone else think of them?
 

Spring Feather

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 December 2010
Messages
8,042
Location
North America
I'm sure there are good ones and bad ones; same as in any business. I'd wager that your horse was better behaved for her, because she was a she, rather than because she was a hoof trimmer instead of a farrier though.

I'd personally never use a barefoot trimmer but then I don't need to, I have a fantastic farrier who is wonderful with all of our youngstock and the rest of the horses here. None of the horses on my farm are shod by the way and none are lame after they've been trimmed. I'd be raising some eyebrows if they were tbh!
 

risky business

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 April 2010
Messages
2,437
Location
kent
I did yes, best thing I did for my horse.

Unfortunatly my farrier was a bit useless.. I would use a farrier for a bare horse absolutely though.

They were highly spoke of so gave them a try.
 

EllenJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 June 2011
Messages
2,576
Personally, wouldn't touch with someone else's barge pole - and that is after using one for 3 years.
 

DancingJester

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2013
Messages
76
We wasn't better behaved in the slightest haha, it took twice as long with her, I just mean she was so patient with him that we got there in the end without being able to hear is heartbeat, or him covered in sweat. But its interesting to hear others opinions (also I may not have stated properly if you misunderstood, he was lame before the trim and had been for a week, he was less lame 2 days after)
 

STRIKER

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 April 2014
Messages
727
Barefoot trimmers believe in the let nature do its thing and take less off, so I can see how they can cripple a horse bar allowing the feet to grow too long maybe so that there is no longer a natural breakover which could result in tripping etc. Mustang horses in the wild have very short feet and this allowed for good breakover and therefore no overreaching and brushing. I do find them rather expensive for the little bit of work they do, but as long as she was kind and gave the horse confidence then thats what you want. I paid £45 for a barefoot trimmer to pick up my cobs feet and say "No I dont think they need anything taking off", pay the man.
 

DancingJester

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2013
Messages
76
Oh and so sorry about the horrific grammar (this is to everyone) my phone keeps auto-correcting it wrong!
 

risky business

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 April 2010
Messages
2,437
Location
kent
Barefoot trimmers believe in the let nature do its thing and take less off, so I can see how they can cripple a horse bar allowing the feet to grow too long maybe so that there is no longer a natural breakover which could result in tripping etc. Mustang horses in the wild have very short feet and this allowed for good breakover and therefore no overreaching and brushing. I do find them rather expensive for the little bit of work they do, but as long as she was kind and gave the horse confidence then thats what you want. I paid £45 for a barefoot trimmer to pick up my cobs feet and say "No I dont think they need anything taking off", pay the man.

This isn't true.

Certainly not with the trimmer I used who kept the hooves short. Her feet looked much longer in her shoes than she did bare. No brushing or over reacting either.

They were no more expensive than a farrier it all depends who you use.
 

DancingJester

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2013
Messages
76
Actually, I was referred to her by friends and she was only 25, I asked her why and she said the man she trained with always said 'how can you expect people to open their minds if you charge twice as much' I thought she might be less qualified but she's definitely not, I guess I'm just lucky. She also makes more money from food orders, basic back specialist and handling/riding lessons so she doesn't really need the extra money.
 

STRIKER

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 April 2014
Messages
727
I hope you are not calling me a liar Risky Business, my post is very true to what I have experienced and been told, I may have been lied to but the fact I have personal experience of it by dealing with and speaking to a barefoot trimmer, in fact the one that is advertised in the Free Ad's mag in North Yorkshire, please do not ever say anyones post is untrue, how do you know?

Every conversation I have had with farriers and barefoot farriers I have been told they believe in taking the least amount off and allowing nature to do its thing and trim naturally. My farrier who shod my horse for years only ever charged me £25 for a set of shoes, he trimmed my cob for £15. Okay he was a friend, but he still would only have charged me £45 for a set of shoes, this guy did nothing but lift up my cobs foot and asked for £45 and they are not qualified.
 

YorksG

Over the hill and far awa
Joined
14 September 2006
Messages
16,119
Location
West Yorkshire
I hope you are not calling me a liar Risky Business, my post is very true to what I have experienced and been told, I may have been lied to but the fact I have personal experience of it by dealing with and speaking to a barefoot trimmer, in fact the one that is advertised in the Free Ad's mag in North Yorkshire, please do not ever say anyones post is untrue, how do you know?

Every conversation I have had with farriers and barefoot farriers I have been told they believe in taking the least amount off and allowing nature to do its thing and trim naturally. My farrier who shod my horse for years only ever charged me £25 for a set of shoes, he trimmed my cob for £15. Okay he was a friend, but he still would only have charged me £45 for a set of shoes, this guy did nothing but lift up my cobs foot and asked for £45 and they are not qualified.

May I suggest that you google Strasser, one of the early exponents of 'barefoot'?
 

risky business

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 April 2010
Messages
2,437
Location
kent
I hope you are not calling me a liar Risky Business, my post is very true to what I have experienced and been told, I may have been lied to but the fact I have personal experience of it by dealing with and speaking to a barefoot trimmer, in fact the one that is advertised in the Free Ad's mag in North Yorkshire, please do not ever say anyones post is untrue, how do you know?

Every conversation I have had with farriers and barefoot farriers I have been told they believe in taking the least amount off and allowing nature to do its thing and trim naturally. My farrier who shod my horse for years only ever charged me £25 for a set of shoes, he trimmed my cob for £15. Okay he was a friend, but he still would only have charged me £45 for a set of shoes, this guy did nothing but lift up my cobs foot and asked for £45 and they are not qualified.

I'm saying what you was told by that trimmer was not true. I never said you were a lier.

I was told by my farrier my horse needed a full set of shoes, because I used to use a lane to access my hacking which was a mile long. He also said I had to have road nails as all horses slip without them. Utter rubbish..Does that mean all farriers will do this? Of course not there will always be some that will spout crap.

Just because you had one bad experience with a trimmer does not mean they are all the same. As I said I'd happily use a farrier to trim a barefoot horse.
 

magicmoose

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 May 2007
Messages
320
Location
Perthshire
I hope you are not calling me a liar Risky Business, my post is very true to what I have experienced and been told, I may have been lied to but the fact I have personal experience of it by dealing with and speaking to a barefoot trimmer, in fact the one that is advertised in the Free Ad's mag in North Yorkshire, please do not ever say anyones post is untrue, how do you know?

Every conversation I have had with farriers and barefoot farriers I have been told they believe in taking the least amount off and allowing nature to do its thing and trim naturally. My farrier who shod my horse for years only ever charged me £25 for a set of shoes, he trimmed my cob for £15. Okay he was a friend, but he still would only have charged me £45 for a set of shoes, this guy did nothing but lift up my cobs foot and asked for £45 and they are not qualified.

Sadly there are good and bad in every profession. Like getting a builder or a plumber from the free ads without a reference, you may end up with a cowboy. I would always ask for references for anyone laying hands on my horse other than a vet and even then reputation still plays a part.

It sounds like your farrier is a treasure, I would stick with him if he is both cheap and good!
 

WindyStacks

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 April 2014
Messages
567
Of course there are good and bad - as in any line of work.

The best I've ever had was a man whose father was a traditional farrier, he had trained as a farrier and then under the aforementioned Hiltrud Strasser - herself a veterinarian - but also possibly a mathematician as she'd work only to rule. He also said that a lot of her bad press was because she wasn't much into people pleasing and could've used a good course in PR.

The worst I've had was the non-horsey husband of a horsewoman - I think she shoe-horned (baddoom tish) him into a horsey role - bit he had no eye for equine physiology.

Different trimmers work in different ways - eg I think Pete Ramsey leaves the bars on - which isn't the way I work and in my experience only works fr natives.

Some horses do require more "work" than others. I had a haflinger who barely required more than a quick rasp and yet my Warmblood needed a lot of tlc to make barefoot work.

I've been trained to barefoot trim and the many of the skills involved are things you should have in your armoury anyway - eg removing a shoe which is hanging off, paring the frog and clipping off chips.

In my experience, a good trim (not all done in one go a la strasser, but achieved over time when rehabilitating a previously shod horse) will ALWAYS leave both the toe and heel shorter than a shod horse.
 

DancingJester

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2013
Messages
76
Actually I'm with riskybusiness on this, sorry I'm not calling you a liar at all I'm just know what they said is exactly what my trimmer said, they are trying to keep the foot shorter, but they don't exactly trim it shorter unless it needs really needs it, mine said they are trying to keep it shorter by cutting in a different way, so they naturally gets shorter due to the type of trim, rather than actually cutting the foot short, the idea is to mimic (at leased get closer to) the mustang hoof shape. sorry if I explain that badly and it didn't make sense, its the best I can do online. Although you are correct, they don't deliberately shorten the toe, but they let the hood grow in a way in which the toe doesn't need to be shortened, if that makes sense.
 

MerrySherryRider

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2004
Messages
9,439
I prefer a farrier myself. Mine have been excellent in trimming my unshod, working horses.
I think sometimes owners have problems because they don't educate themselves, ask questions and have a good working relationship with the farrier.

If the owner isn't bothered and not involved, the farrier doesn't have the input that makes the difference between a good trim and an excellent trim that works for each particular horse.

Wouldn't use a trimmer due to the training and the lack of experience in dealing with the same number of horses that farriers do.
Mine charges £20 but the cost isn't an issue, I'm happy to pay for the best.
 

Emby

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 June 2011
Messages
75
My mare has been barefoot for a little over a year now. To start with I stayed with my original farrier who'd I'd used with my previous horse and had been very happy with. He was shod.
When I bought my mare the vetting had thrown up a slight issue with excessive flair on one of her back feet which although was not causing a problem at the moment, would need addressing by my farrier. I told my farrier this the first time he saw her and he just laughed and said that it had just worn that way and the vet clearly didn't know what she was talking about.
Fast forward a few months and my friend who was sharing her by then also started to comment on the shape of this foot.
I started to wonder about using a barefoot trimmer instead (by then she had been barefoot for about 6 months) I asked on various forums for recommendations for my area but all I got was lots of warnings of who not to use!
Eventually I was pointed in the direction of a farrier who did remedial work for one of the Newmarket vets. I haven't looked back. Her feet are shaped as they should be, he is a lot more patient and gentle with her than my old farrier and he charges a lot less than most trimmers.
I dare say there are some good trimmers out there but in my experience they are few and far between, so OP - if you've found a good one - hang on to her.
 

cptrayes

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2008
Messages
14,749
Wouldn't use a trimmer due to the training and the lack of experience in dealing with the same number of horses that farriers do.


Ummmm ... you may be lucky with your farrier MSR. The farriery syllabus has nothing in it about hard working barefoot horses, qualified trimmers learn far more about them, and the average trimmer will have far more working barefoot horses on their books than a farrier who shoes.

There are good and bad in both, and there are some really good completely unqualified trimmers too, just to completely confuse us all !
 

AmyMay

Situation normal
Joined
1 July 2004
Messages
65,655
Location
South
My farrier does a beautiful job, shod or simply trimmed. It's what he trained for seven years to be able to do.
 

Copperpot

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 February 2010
Messages
3,187
Location
Bedfordshire
I have a horse with no shoes and one who wears fronts only. I use a farrier for both of them. One of them it states in the contract that I am only allowed to use a fully qualified farrier and not a trimmer. Tbh I wouldn't have used a trimmer regardless. I trust my farrier and he does a fantastic job with all my horses.
 

Tinypony

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 December 2006
Messages
5,211
Just like farriers, there are good and bad trimmers. And just like farriers, different trimmers can have a different approach to how they trim.
 

MerrySherryRider

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 September 2004
Messages
9,439
Ummmm ... you may be lucky with your farrier MSR. The farriery syllabus has nothing in it about hard working barefoot horses, qualified trimmers learn far more about them, and the average trimmer will have far more working barefoot horses on their books than a farrier who shoes.

There are good and bad in both, and there are some really good completely unqualified trimmers too, just to completely confuse us all !

My farrier is good but it takes more than luck to get a good professional. Each time I move to a new area, it's a mission to find the best of the best. I'm quite merciless when it comes to getting the right person and will change farrier if their work doesn't fill me with confidence.

Like you, I take their foot balance and health seriously. Accepting the mediocre can be a death sentence for a horse, can't it ?

I choose to use farriers, because it's worked well for us over the years. However, it does vary in different areas. I think I've had a shock at the standard of farriery in the county where I'm based now, after having taken for granted the skill of farriers in my former county.

I haven't found farriers are unable to do a trim that keeps working horses sound and certainly none that have been surprised that I don't shoe. Quite the opposite really.

I'm sure there are good trimmers. I have used one once, quite well known, but he was a qualified farrier who also trained in one of the barefoot trimming schools.

At the end of the day, what matters is that owners have enough knowledge to know the difference between a good and a bad trim so they can make the right choice about who to employ.
 

cptrayes

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2008
Messages
14,749
You've hit the nail on the head there MSR, it's all about knowing enough to know what's good and what's bad, and taking personal responsibility for your horse's feet.
 

Spottyappy

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 September 2008
Messages
3,575
Location
Home counties
Although they do courses, none are to the best of my knowledge recognised by insurance companies, therefore you may find should you need to claim for a lameness related problem-even if not in or because of the foot- your claim won't be met.
I have met one, witnessed what she did, including talking the talk, and would say barge pole.
 

Holly Hocks

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 March 2010
Messages
5,402
Location
England
I've only had good experiences with barefoot trimmers. My horse was written off by vets and lame in shoes. I had a last ditch attempt with her and started using a barefoot trimmer about three years ago. My horse is now sound hacking, schooling and lightly doing some basic dressage again. I have nothing but praise for the ones I have used.
 

cptrayes

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 March 2008
Messages
14,749
Although they do courses, none are to the best of my knowledge recognised by insurance companies, therefore you may find should you need to claim for a lameness related problem-even if not in or because of the foot- your claim won't be met.
I have met one, witnessed what she did, including talking the talk, and would say barge pole.


Indemnity insurance is freely available for trimmers. If they haven't got it it's because they haven't bought it, not because they can't get it.

Insurance companies recognise insured hoofcare professionals as far as I am aware. Can you substantiate this claim you've made, it's pretty serious If no-one is insured if they use a trimmer.
 
Last edited:

mightymammoth

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 May 2011
Messages
2,952
I've only had good experiences with barefoot trimmers. My horse was written off by vets and lame in shoes. I had a last ditch attempt with her and started using a barefoot trimmer about three years ago. My horse is now sound hacking, schooling and lightly doing some basic dressage again. I have nothing but praise for the ones I have used.

I've exactly the same story apart from the dressage bit :)
 

BigPony

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 January 2011
Messages
89
Location
Staffordshire
Without my trimmer my boy would have been PTS, it's as simple as that.

I had some excellent farriers recommended by my vets but none of them could undo the damage done by previous substandard farriery.

It took a lot of work on my part alongside our excellent trimmer but we managed to get him from often lame in shoes, horribly under run heels, frequent corns, sole bruising and horrible infection to working on a surface/grass barefoot (including jumping) and hacking in boots up front. It was a forced decision when he lost a front shoe, was crippled and the farrier had run out of ideas, but it was the best decision I ever made.

She is without question the most knowledgable horsey person I have ever met and I trust her implicitly.

Horse no2 is a low ringbone rehab case and was going to be retired as he was lame but is happily hacking barefoot.

I wouldn't not use a farrier, but my experience with a trimmer has been nothing but positive and I can't say the same for farriers, both in terms of quality of care for the horse but also customer service and overall knowledge.
 
Top