What Trim Style is YOUR Horse Wearing?

With all the talk about the methods of trimming out there I thought it would be a good thing to maybe compare a few of the most prevalent trim methods that are popular today and have been popular in the past.

Yes, unfortunately, it seems that there are many 'trends' for hoof trimming just as there are in the fashion world. It can be a mind-boggling event to even begin to think of having your horse's hooves trimmed.

So confusing!

So let's take a look at a few methods with real-life photos.

A number of years ago I did a 'contest' to see if anyone could tell the difference between a  farrier's trim, a Strasser trim, a "Natural Trim", a 'pasture trim', or what-ever-floats-your-hoof trim. I asked, online, world-wide farriers, barefoot trimmers, Strasser certified and others to simply send me their best trims ever.

The results were pretty enlightening.

I ran the contest for several months and during the course of the running not one person was able to correctly identify one trim from the other.


So what does that tell us? Either the trimmers were REALLY in tune with the hooves or that the 'natural' trim, regardless of method (back then) really doesn't vary that much, one from another?

Personally, nowadays, with so many different 'methods' of trimming out there that it speaks to me of how tuned in the trimmer is with the individual hooves. BUT ... I daresay that trimming hooves isn't for everyone. Not everyone can read hooves the way they need to be ultimately at their best. However ...

Let's quickly go over what affects equine hooves besides the trim.

We have to look at the diet, the environment, the work the horse is doing (or lack of work), the discipline being ridden (if ridden at all), the water and the minerals the horse receives, the social environment of the horse (in a herd situation?), the emotional well-being of the individual horse and even the emotional well-being of the horse's human!  That all makes a difference in the over-all health of the hooves. We've discussed this before in other posts. (see blog topic index for older articles).

So let's look at some of the various trims in photos ... see if YOU can tell one 'method' from another?  Keep in mind that these photos were from 2008 ... 10 years ago. Have good trims changed at all since then? I know I've tweaked my trimming a bit over the years as I've learned more from the horses (and more from other masters of barefoot trimming) but basically what I've found is .... a good trim for the individual hoof-in-hand on the individual horse-in-hand is the ONLY TRIM METHOD that is true and good for that horse.

So, regardless of the name of the trim ... it just really doesn't matter what 'method' of ttrimming is considered 'right' - it only matters that it leaves the horse in a better place from before its trim and with healthier, sound and fully functional hooves.


Gwenyth Browning Jones Santagate is the best-selling author of 10 Secrets to Healthy Hooves as well as a noted author for various international equine publications including The Horses Hoof, Equine Wellness, Natural Horse Planet as well as a contributing author for the 2001 United States Federal Mounted Border Patrol Training Manual. For the last 37+ years, she has maintained healthy hooves with natural trimming on thousands of horses and specialized in pathological rehabilitation hoof care for the last 20 years. She and her husband John keep a small herd of their own equine in SW Florida and continue to offer consults for horses in need. You can email to Gwen -- gwen.santagate@gmail.com or telephone in the US (774)-280-4227 NEW PHONE). For further information please click here:  www.thepenzancehorse.com

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