Stephanie Krahl trimming her horse Ransom
Just imagine how wonderful it would be if you had the knowledge and physical ability to trim your own barefoot horse.
You think to yourself, “I’m athletic, smart, great at research, and my horse loves me, so why not?”
Now – what on earth would cause the thought of trimming your own horse to enter your mind in the first place?
I can think of several reasons. Does this scenario sound familiar?
As a naturally minded individual, you decide to find a natural hoof care professional for your equine companion. You’ve done your research and your expectations are high for hiring a professional.
You’ve created a reasonable wish list of qualities you’re looking for in a natural hoof care provider.
They’re as follows:
- It’s important they understand the principles of approaching hoof care from a wholistic standpoint.
- You want to ensure that your horse’s well-being – mentally and physically – is looked after in a heart-felt manner. Therefore, you want someone who has respect for your horse’s noble nature.
- They must be competent in the art and skill of natural hoof care and performing a natural trim.
Your Exhaustive Search Through Trial and Error
You start to wonder if you’ve set your standards too high, and you begin to feel exhausted trying to find a good barefoot trimmer that meets up to your expectations. You become frustrated trying various trimmers and you’re not fully happy with your horse’s soundness.
You blame yourself, not the trimmers you’ve tried, because you have this “flaw” that most in the equine industry consider a “tree hugger” approach to horse care. You don’t care what anyone thinks, it’s time to take another course of action.
You Decide to Take Matters into Your Own Hands
You come to realize that finding someone who’s a good fit for both you and your horse is difficult at best. After a significant amount of consideration, the words finally come out of your mouth.
“I want to learn to trim my own horse.”
I hear that statement often and it’s one reason why I’m writing to you today. Those same words came out of my mouth more than 10 years ago when I decided I didn’t want anyone else to touch my horse’s hooves again, other than me. Like many, it took a special horse in my life – who had lameness issues – to drive me to that point.
It was one of the best things I ever did and I’ll never regret my decision.
The truth – if you’re up to the task, the best barefoot trimmer for your horse is you!”
Here Are Three Reasons You Should Learn to Trim Your Own Horse
1. You know your horse better than anyone else.
Some barefoot hoof care providers are innately in tune with a horse in their care. When the intent to help a horse and do what’s best for her is genuine, you’ll see much better results. Especially when it comes to rehabilitating a lame horse.
However, if you’re as close with your equine companion as I suspect you are, your first mission is to do no harm and to only help. That intent is powerful and can reap a multitude of benefits far beyond what you’ll comprehend. It will drive you to want to become a great trimmer for your horse.
Who knows, you may decide to help other horses as well, but it starts with your horse and your desire to do what’s best for her, first and foremost.
The longer you trim your own horse, the more you’ll come to learn what works for her and what doesn’t. Again, you know your equine partner better than someone trimming 100+ horses per month. You’ll quickly learn to tailor the natural trim for your horse’s individual needs.
2. Your horse knows you better than anyone else.
You are your horse’s best ally. When you care deeply for your equine companion, she feels it. She can feel it across the pasture. She knows you, and if you have a good relationship with her, she would much rather have you trim her than a stranger.
This became clear to me after I started trimming my own horses. When the farrier would come, my horses were usually uptight and at times not treated well – that was before I knew what I know now.
We’ve all been there and have made decisions about our horse’s care that were not optimal. The key is to learn from those experiences and move on, don’t dwell on them or continue to beat yourself up. No one is perfect – remember, a mistake is when you knew better and you did it anyway. I’d be willing to bet that you’re not the type of person who makes mistakes intentionally.
I’m now particular about who I allow around my horses and who I allow to handle them in any manner. My protective nature is in full gear and I know the kind of damage someone can do to a horse in a short amount of time. It doesn’t take much, especially for the more sensitive ones.
3. Becoming self-reliant is empowering and can save you money.
Every horse guardian knows in detail where each and every penny goes and a large portion of it goes to hoof care. Learning to trim your own horse will have a financial benefit in the long run. Once you become proficient, you’ll be able to put that money to other good equine related uses, such as horsemanship clinics, hoof care courses and better nutrition for your horse.
You’ll become self-reliant. You’ll no longer have to depend on someone else to trim your barefoot horse – it’s all you now!
The best part is that you can trim her on your own schedule rather than waiting for the hoof care professional to schedule you in. Scheduling headaches go out the window.
Although trimming your own horse is not for the faint of heart, the struggles you’ll overcome to learn this skill are unimaginably rewarding.
Oh, one other thing, did I mention that trimming your own horse is a barefoot horse benefit because it’s much easier to learn to trim than it is to shoe?
P.S. I go into a significant amount of detail in my book Guiding Principles of Natural Horse Care about what to consider before making the leap to trimming your own horse. You may want to click here to pick up a copy.
Keep it soulful,
Picture details – Stephanie trimming Ransom