Although I have already written a few posts under the Customer Help blog, I feel I should officially introduce myself as a hoofoholic. It all started in 2003 with my first horse Calatar. Admittedly, I knew nothing about hooves but I had a friend who was taking her horses barefoot and I decided to give it a try. Cindy “Hawk” Sullivan pulled Cal’s shoes and I never looked back. The more time my horses spent barefoot, the more I realized how much stronger and healthier bare hooves are. Cindy is much more than a trimmer; she is also a wonderful teacher who got the ball rolling for my trimming education. She taught me how to roll the wall for maintenance and emphasized the importance of environment in regards to hoof health. At the time, I had no idea who Cindy was or the impact she had on the barefoot movement but if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Alayna and CalCalatar 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
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.


Alayna Wiley

Customer Service

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.