Short vs long intervals was trimming from the top
Ideally hooves should be minimally trimmed.Okay, are you saying "hooves should need minimal trimming", or "you shouldn't do much when you trim"? There's a big difference, and what I'm saying is the former. My goal is a self-maintaining, functioning foot, and I seek to achieve that goal as quickly as possible.
It is much more effective to address unnatural imbalances that were created by improper shoeing and trimming (underrun or contracted heels for example) with frequent trimming,I don't know that "much more effective" is the phrase I would use. I might say "much less risky". With many horses I use that approach and we go quietly along where we intend to go. Sometimes however "first, do no harm" puts us in a situation where we don't move forward as rapidly, and some other times we really get stuck and don't move forward at all.
and yes, if the horse's hoof responds to trimming by just bringing back material that was just removed, the horse should be listened to - apparently the hoof needs the additional material at that time for some reason.Indeed. Of course I don't think that's what we were talking about, really ... but maybe I'm misunderstanding this.
My primary reasons for trimming the way I do are as follows:
1) I love all horses with a sort of absurd passion, and I can't STAND to see them uncomfortable. I want them to be happy and sound as soon as possible and I use the techniques that I personally can safely use to help them do that.
2) By using slightly more aggressive trim techniques and longer intervals I am able to visit many more clients in a cycle than I would if I had to see them all every 2-4 weeks.
3) I can travel much farther to trim because the huge travel charges are offset by the fact that the trims are quick and effective.
4) The money and time that my clients save on trims because I'm not there all the time, they can then spend on things like xrays, bloodwork, diet balancing, and adjunct therapy (lights, massage, chiro/acupuncture, dental work) - that allow me to do my job better and get the horses sounder & healthier faster.
5) The time that I save by not being out on the road I can spend doing stuff like writing this post. (I had a client cancel today because of the brutal cold & wind, after canceling last week because of a storm - I have no worries about the extra couple weeks on her trims because I typically look at her horses' feet & say "so what am I supposed to do with these?" ... self maintaining feet.)
Basically I feel that it is better to trim a little but more frequently than to take big chunks off at once because that can potentially cause more trauma than necessary to the foot and to which the foot might respond with excessive growth in some areas. However, if you are successful with your approach, then that's OK too :-)
Ute Miethe - LMT/LAMT NCTMB
Nationally Certified Massage Therapist & Natural Balance Barefoot Trimmer
Vicki Kline <vlk@...>
--- In ECHoof@..., "Ute" <ute@...> wrote:
frequently than to take big chunks off at once
I think Abby's point is that once you have the hoofs growing
properly, there are no big chunks :) to take off at once. The growth
is lovely and there's very little work to be done. I trim most of my
clients' horses at 6 weeks and have a quite a few at the stage that
Abby is talking about. I probably wouldn't need to do some of them
at 6 weeks, but I'm a little too lazy to let them go longer and have
that little bit of extra work. In the winter, it's too cold to take
longer, and in the summer there is a bit more to do since there is
My "newer" horses and/or rehabs are still more frequent trims, but my
goal is to get them all to the point where a 6 week trim is a
BTW, if you had told me 2 years ago that this would be true with any
horse, I wouldn't have believed it, but having experienced it, I love