Its more than a trim, innit

There’s been a lot of traffic on facebook amongst trimmers recently due to a bit of a scare about a potential law change (for more information see the ‘Right to trim’ page). It appears that the situation isn’t as dire as first feared but it does seem likely that, at some time in the future more structure will be applied to/required of the profession… No bad thing in my book.

Equine Podiatry - trimming a little one

Trimming a shetland

So whilst there’s been some really good banter amongst the differing types of trimmers, some  are using the discussions to promote their particular school of thought.  One particular view has got me thinking over the last couple of days, because they propose that working, rather than trimming the hooves is best for the horse.  They believe this to the extent that have become very ‘anti-trimming’; arguing that horses hooves grow the structures that they need for their situation, and that any trimming weakens the hoof.  They promote the abbreviation DEW, for Diet, Environment, Work… i.e. no trimming at all!

What do I think?  Whilst I understand what they’re saying, I dont agree with it. To my mind, trimming to compensate for lack of wear on the horses feet makes utmost sense.  We don’t come close to providing the type of environment that replicates the work that a wild or feral horse’s hooves would have.  That means that trimming is required to keep the hoof growth and wear balanced.  In terms of what factors are most important, I thought up an alternate abbreviation – NEWT;  Nutrition, Environment, Work & Trim).

………Funnily enough, that is actually the order of importance that I would give to the factors affecting the hoof…!   Really what I do as a trimmer is only a platform for hoof health, its what you owners do to improve hoof health by means of diet, environment and work that matters most!

Read more here: dietenvironment and worktrim, horse & hoof design

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