A few weeks ago Dawn Willoughby mentioned a new book at the end of her blog on the Masterson Method. As a self-proclaimed “hoofoholic” I like to read, watch and listen to anything and everything hoof related that I can get my hands on. Natural Barefoot Trimming; The Hoof Guided Method by Maureen Tierney is an easy read at only 56 pages. Although the photos in the book are black and white, there are full color versions of all photos on Maureen’s website.

Figure 4

Figure 4 shows the external structures of the hoof. Photo courtesy of Maureen Tierney.

There are a great variety of hoof trimming theories and many people hold strong convictions about which theory is best. This book is yet another resource for the hoofoholics out there. If you are new to barefoot, I believe you should study as many of these theories as you can and in time you will learn to take bits from each based on what works best for your horse(s). The topics covered in the Hoof Guided Method:

  • Natural Barefoot Method
  • Anatomy and Function of the Hoof
  • Trimming Theory
  • The Hoof Guided Method
  • Frog Health
  • Other Considerations
  • The Message – Respect the Foot

Figure 7

Figure 7 shows the internal structures of the hoof. Photo courtesy of Maureen Tierney.

From the Author: The Hoof Guided Method is truly a less is more method based on the theory that a barefoot trim should mimic – or simulate – the action of the ground on the hoof, and that the true purpose of the trim is to stimulate the foot to grow healthy. Simulate and stimulate. Learn to stop micro-managing the hoof and work with nature instead of trying to force man’s ideals onto the hoof. The hoof responds to everything it experiences, and that includes trimming. By trimming only what is indicated, then waiting for the hoof to respond, the foot is allowed to transform itself.

Alayna Wiley