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Re: [RC] More Money (was: barefoot trim) - Karen Sullivan

On 8/12/08, k s swigart <katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

"Your horse doesn't need steel shoes, that will be $60 for the special
barefoot trim" is one of the biggest boons to ever come along for "hoof
care specialists."  
But your implication here is still that there is more value in the training and equipment to nail on shoes, than the training and tools and equipment to trim barefoot.  Many barefoot trimmers spend hours attending clinics, dissecting feet and learning to fit boots, plus buying an inventory of boots.....and the ones I know carry medications for thrush treatments.
Has to be put into perspective, I guess.....some observations from my neck of the woods......which would you rather do...spend $90 on shoes, and have a horse that trips month after month .....or $45-$60 on a "natural" trim and have the horse stop tripping and go sound over time?....this happened to at least 3 horses I know of....
The shoers in my area typically would come in, and shoe the horse, taking from 45 minutes to an hour and a half.  A trim takes 5 minutes to 20...and is just nippering the hoof, filing flat, overly trim frog and sole.......and the horse is generally not sound to ride barefoot! They do not first ask to watch the horse move, unless you specifically ask them to, and are not overly forthcoming about sharing information about what they are doing. 
In the case of the trimmer who taught me, she does a lot of teaching while she trims, keeps records on what issues the horse has, takes photos of the feet, watches the horse move, and does a MUCH better trim than any farrier I have seen.  It;'s well worth what she charges, and she has returned many, many horses to soundness.
Again, this is MY neck of the woods.  I happen to think we have a couple of fairly good farriers, but saw a lot of horses with minor issues that went away when shoes were pulled. 
I'm sorry, but I have to look at the $ spent and the results, NOT the fact farriers have to buy expensive and perhaps archaic equipment to nail expensive (and more expensive all the time ) metal shoes on a horse,- so what?  The cost is a bit irrevelent, and most people  who are  successfully riding barefoot are not doing it becuase it is cheaper....because if you have to pay a good trimmer instead of doing it yourself, and buy boots on top of that; it won't be!  But just about everyone I know who is doing barefoot does take that route  becuase they believe it's healthier for the horse.....
The other advantages of using a barefoot trimmer and booting, is that you aren't totally laid up if your horse loses a shoe and you have to wait for a farrier to nail it back on......., and many owners are encouraged to learn about form and function of their horse's feet, and are encouraged to pick up a rasp and do some filing between visits......something regular farriers don't seem to encourage.
Again, observations based on my little corner of the world in Northern California


[RC] More Money (was: barefoot trim), k s swigart