We have had numerous calls at EasyCare from customers who want to take their horse’s barefoot and start with natural hoof trimming but now they are faced with the decision of which trimming method? No matter which trimming method you decide to use, take things slowly, do lots of research, see what is available in your area and do what you feel most comfortable. Listed below are some of the natural barefoot trimming methods available today. EasyCare does not recommend one method over the other, it is a personal choice for you and your horse, we just thought we would show you some of the options available.

The Strasser Method – Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, German Veterinarian Strasser’s method is carried out officially by Strasser Hoofcare Professionals (SHP) who have graduated from her one – two year Certification Course. The Strasser Method is advanced and technical, hence the extensive training required to become a professional. The trimming techniques, based on the creation of hoof mechanism and rapid change of hoof form, are very advanced and powerful–and should not be attempted without extensive training.

Martha Olivo Standard Hoof Care – Martha Olivo, Former Farrier, graduate of Strasser’s course 2001 Martha was a farrier for 25 years before hanging up her hammer and committing herself to natural hoofcare. Martha graduated in 2001 from Dr. Strasser’s Certification Course, and then developed her own system that is based on Strasser’s basic principles of natural living conditions and trimming to create a healthy barefoot hoof.

Natural Balance Hoofcare – Gene Ovnicek, Farrier Gene Ovnicek is nationally and internationally recognized as a farrier, researcher and clinician. He is known for his research data compiled from wild horse studies done in 1986 and 1987. Many people find his guidelines very useful for trimming barefooted horses, such as balancing the hoof by using landmarks.

Hooftalk – Lyle “Bergy” Bergeleen, Farrier Bergeleen studied the hooves of the Pryor Mountain wild Mustangs in Montana and Wyoming, and noted that the hooves naturally stay short in the heels and toes, contributing to their durability and soundness. He has developed a mathematical formula for finding the point of breakover, the “critical 1/3 measurement,” that many people have found easy to implement.

Applied Equine Podiatry and the HPT Method – K.C. La Pierre, Farrier HPT stands for “high performance trim”, and it is based on his “Suspension Theory of Hoof Dynamics.” His hoof model is not based on the wild horse’s, but rather on the desire to correct hoof deformities in the domestic horse. Many people have found his systematic method easy to understand and implement.

Jaime Jackson & AANHCP (Wild Horse Trim) – Jamie Jackson (former farrier) Natural Hoof Care Provider Jaime Jackson was the pioneer of our modern natural hoof care/barefoot hoof care movement in America. Through clinics and consultations, he teaches horse owners and professionals a trimming system based on the wild horse hoof model. He is the founder of the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP) which provides training and certification for professionals in the wild horse model of trimming, as well as research, clinics, and support groups.

Pete Ramey, Hoof Rehabilitation Specialist (Wild Horse Trim) Pete Ramey is the author of “Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You”, and an instructor for the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP). He uses the wild horse model of trimming. His practical approach has appealed to countless horse owners, and he gives them knowledge that they can easily apply to their real life situations.

Marjorie Smith, Barefoot for Soundness (Wild Horse Trim) Marjorie incorporates some of the above methods into an on-line instructional format for amateurs. Excellent and safe trimming advice for the novice do-it-yourself trimmer/owner. She uses the wild horse model of trimming.

Natural Horse Trim – Treating Founder (Chronic Laminitis) without Horseshoes Gretchen Fathauer’s website has huge amounts of information for anyone seeking answers about laminitis and founder, or about hooves in general. Emphasizes applying a barefoot approach to founder instead of therapeutic shoeing. The trimming techniques advocate that the outside of the hoof should be a similar shape to the internal structure. This site is based around the work Strasser and Jackson, but does include information from other sources.

Posted by Chris Freeman