Calatar competing barefoot at a Trail Challenge in 2010.
My obsession with hooves developed over time and for the past several years, I have done my best to absorb as much knowledge as possible. After reading books and articles by Jaime Jackson, Pete Ramey, Gene Ovnicek, KC LaPierre, and The Horse’s Hoof, I was ready for something more hands on. I participated in a trimming and dissection clinic taught by Marian Figley, who started trimming my horses when we moved out of Cindy’s service area. The dissection was a huge confidence builder and I recommend at least observing one if you plan on trimming. Once you understand the internal mechanics you are better able to recognize the external landmarks. I have seen many diagrams of the equine foot but they just don’t compare to being able to see things first hand.
Marian Figley trimming a sore older horse. Look at her stretch!
Shortly after the clinic, I moved out of Marian’s service area. When I asked her for a recommendation for a new trimmer, she laughed and told me I was more than capable. Now, over two years later, I have been trimming my horses full time and have loved every minute of it. Learning how to trim was such an empowering experience and I have developed a huge appreciation for the hard work of hoof care professionals. When I started, each new tool felt clumsy in my hands, but with the help of some great mentors, I became confident using them. Trimming your own horses isn’t rocket science, but anyone who wants to follow this path should work closely with a qualified trimmer or farrier. I think every horse owner would benefit from learning how to trim even if they choose not to do it regularly – but consider yourself warned, you may wake up one day and come to the realization that you too have become a hoofoholic.
As one of the customer service representatives, I am happy to help get your horse into the right boots. I have plenty of hands on experience since my horses have been barefoot and booted since 2003.