Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 4:08PM
Belinda Taylor

The relationship and responsibilities of the owner and the trimmer, are what I like to call "The trimming partnership".  Healthy, functioning hooves are built over time.  In order to improve a horse's feet, it requires not just a good barefoot trim, but dedication on the owner's part to ensuring that all areas of their horses management are helping to build strong healthy hooves. 

So I like to think of the trimming partnership as this....

The trimmer's responsibilities:

1. to apply a good barefoot trim that encourages the correct biomechanics of the horse.

2. to inform the owner of areas of concern in the hoof (e.g. hoof wall separation, thrush, seedy toe, uneven wear patterns, signs that indicate laminitis etc.) and measures to manage them, and/or provide references for where they can find further information.

3. to inform the owner when the horse is not moving correctly (e.g. toe first landing or uneven gait.) 

4. to discuss options on positive management changes that will help to improve hoof health.

5. to discuss and determine in conjunction with the owner the best trimming interval for each individual horse.


The owner's responsibilities:

1. to provide the horse with a nutritionally balanced diet and manage the horse's weight through out winter/spring where the horse has access to grass.

2. to manage treatment of conditions such as seedy toe, thrush etc. regularly until these conditions are resolved.

3. to provide feedback to the trimmer on the horse's response to the previous trim. Were there any problems?

4. to get body work done on their horse, when hoof wear patterns indicate that soreness in the body is affecting movement.

When both the trimmer and the owner can communicate well and uphold their responsibilities, then the horses feet should improve over time and become truly healthy bare hooves.

Article originally appeared on Hoof Hearted Hoof Care (
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