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I started my journey in 2007

it was then that I started trimming other people’s horses.

I am an independent trimmer; as such I am not allied to any one school of thought or method.

To some people a barefoot trimmer hops out of bed each morning, dashes off and hugs the nearest tree. To many people’s surprise, tree hugging is not my thing. Robust logical thinking is.

I have nothing against tree hugging, I have nothing against traditions, as long as they stand up to robust logic or sound scientific principles.

 Doing something because it has always been done that way doesn’t make sense when there is evidence that there is a better way.




   It is sometimes thought that the equine foot’s only role is to protect the end of the leg from wear. Very much like a foot on a chair or table.

This view is rather like saying the purpose of your finger is for picking your nose. Ok perhaps not the best example but if you spend a little time   thinking about how complex a role our hands and feet play in our daily lives it will give you a window into understanding the highly complex role the equine foot plays.

There is another view that you may hear, along the lines of the equine foot is no longer fit for purpose.

This is really quite an odd point of view and I cannot think of another animal where we stand there, knowledgeably scratching our heads and say, evolution got it wrong. If you like, Darwin got it wrong. 

It is easy to think that we have interfered with nature, altered the way we breed horses. Breeding horses with weak feet.

 When did we do this, in medieval times? Tudor times? or more recently.

    The reality is, if you took all the horses in Britain today and turned them out, set them free in an environment that supported their health, most would survive without shoes or support from us.


I often talk about the function of the equine foot.

 By that I mean the role that the foot plays in everything from shock absorption, to blood flow. Even how it connects the horse to its          environment by allowing the horse to feel whether it’s standing on a smooth surface, slippery, stony, soft, muddy, hard and everything inbetween.

Only when we start to look at a foot in all its roles do we understand how we can help when things go wrong.

Wear is a really important part of growing a healthy foot.

Wear is one of the most important things that can happen to the equine foot, the trick is to allow the foot to respond to this stimulus and grow correctly.

I have some horses under my care that have recently been ridden for three days over Exmoor. When I visited the horses a few days later, they all still needed a trim and all were sound. These are not special horses with super strong feet , but normal horses that are regularly ridden. Whose feet are subjected to lots of stimulus and grow accordingly.

The picture above is of a healthy foot beloning to a thirty year old horse.