My Trim

The Wild Hoof 

Let’s switch our paradigm for a minute and see our horses, as exotic pets, evolved to survive not on a pasture but in a large rocky territory. Always moving, they abrade their hooves as they seek out dried grasses, scrape at minerals, walk in water & roll in sand.

This photo is a wild hoof forged in the American Great Basin.  See how straight the hoof wall is, with no deviation in the angle from  the coronet to the ground?           (click picture to enlarge)                     


Compare it with this second hoof from a domestic horse.  This is a healthy barefoot hoof, pre-trim, under natural care for about four months.  The new growth at the top is the hoof this horse wants to grow, well connected to the coffin bone.  It is more upright and underneath the animal.  The deviation at the bottom was most likely caused by exposure to grass with too high sugar and not enough movement. 

Let's take a look at the sole of a wildhorse.  It is concave, but a natural concavity not cut, but built of compacted and abraded horn.  Note the rounded edge where the wall joins the sole – this is the mustang roll, placing the strongest part of the hoof wall on the ground. This raised rim of the inner hoof wall is the horse’s natural horseshoe.

Compare the shape of the bottom of this hoof with that of your horse.  Note where the bars end in relation to the point of the frog.  See the wide, healthy frog?  The size of your horse's hoof may be different, but the proportions should be the same.  A flat foot, long toe, high heel, contracted heel all can be remedied by trimming to the wild horse model.

My trim does not try to force the hoof into this shape, but it gently takes away what nature would wear away in this rocky environment. This allows the natural hoof, unique to each horse, to emerge over time. The healing the horse brings from within itself is truly remarkable.

Some ask how this is different than a pasture trim.  It is all in the details.  Careful measurements from the wild inform part of my judgment, the features carefully mimicked.  It takes about twice as long as a pasture trim to execute and the horse should never walk off sore. I will happily explain each step of the process as I work on your horse, if you are interested.




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