Natural hoof care (barefoot trimming)
Natural hoof care, also known as barefoot trimming, is keeping and working horses without shoes. It is not merely taking the shoes off, it is returning the hooves to the natural state of health that enables wild horses to travel 15 miles per day on rough terrain without shoes.
After discovering this practice and the work of Jaime jackson and Peter Ramey, we returned our horses’ hooves to their natural state in 2008 with the help of Dermot Mc Court, an ex farrier with huge expertise in the area of keeping horses without shoes. All our horses have been barefoot ever since, and we’ve been doing all the trimming ourselves.
It is important to realise that without trimming and with insufficient natural wear, domestic horses’ hooves would grow too long and distorted, and the horn would not grow strong enough for the horse to be working comfortably on hard ground. So regular trimming is essential for healthy hooves. Once a horse is fully transitioned to barefoot, they can be worked and ridden without shoes on any type of ground.
Keeping horses barefoot has many advantages: if you’re doing the trimming yourself, it is far cheaper that shoeing, you never miss a ride because of a lost shoe, but most importantly, barefoot horses are healthier and happier as their hooves are allowed to work the way nature intended them to.
We are very passionate about Natural hoof care and have been actively promoting it in Ireland, and running trimming courses for horse owners since 2009, see the course page for dates.
Barefoot trimming is also available as a skill session option.