2022 update of this article is complete!
If you’re interested in learning more about barefoot hoof care, if you are curious about different trimming styles, or if you’re gearing up to learn to trim your own horses, there are lots of resources out there. There is so much conflicting advice available. Keep reading, keep thinking, and ask questions. An important part of this process is the journey to what works best for you and your horse, and that usually involves trial and error, experimenting, and slowly arriving at the conclusions that make sense to you, for this time or this season, and for each horse.
First and foremost, you should consider your local hoofcare provider as the best starting place for your questions and concerns. This is what we study constantly and do all day long. But there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion or wanting to know more information for yourself. Some hoofcare providers offer excellent services but are not great teachers.
Here are some Facebook groups you could join for more insight and information. I’ll post separate articles about books, DVDs, and websites that are also great resources. Educating yourself is a huge step toward the best hoof care for your horse!
If you are going to post in one of these groups asking for advice, it helps to take clear hoof pictures at the right angles (read here on how to do that) and share all relevant information.
I have added a special feature: drama level rating. Some Facebook groups are just not worth it, so those included on my list here have no drama, low drama, or medium drama. I don’t recommend high drama groups, not good for your blood pressure.
Some Facebook Groups to Join
Barefoot Trimmers Connect – if you’re looking for a barefoot trimmer in your area, try posting in the above group and this one. It’s solely for the purpose of connecting horse owners to barefoot trimmers.
Drama level: previously low, but now it’s medium.
Hoof Rehab Help – *This group has been archived, so no new posts possible. Excellent resource for trimming, booting/padding, nutritional advice, and more.
Drama level: N/A.
Hoof Care and Rehabilitation – I assist on the administrator team for this group. Good resource for hoof care and all related topics. Drama level: medium.
Hoof Boot Exchange – join this group if you want advice on different boots or want to buy new/used boots. Lots of once used boots/wrong sizes available at a discounted price.
Drama level: none.
Barefoot Horse Hoof Boot Exchange – this group is all about “inviting all barefoot horse owners and trimmers to list their surplus new or used but well maintained hoof boots/jogging shoes for sale, swap or donation. News on hoof boot sales and discounts as well as wanted postings and questions on the products are also welcome.” Drama level: none.
Barefoot Rehab for Navicular – This group, run by my colleague Alicia Harlov of The Humble Hoof, “was made to support those who have chosen to rehab their navicular horse barefoot. We encourage you to share stories, ask for advice, say what has worked (or not worked!) for your horse, or post barefoot related articles.”
Drama level: low, especially since trim advice is not allowed.
The Successful Hoof Care Group – this group is “is an open interactive team effort to help farriers, barefoot trimmers, hoof boot appliers and horse owners to take the best care of their horses’ hooves as efficiently and effectively as possible. Everyone is welcome to join and contribute their experiences, knowledge and, especially, tips for what is known as “best practices.” I haven’t interacted with this group much, but looks like another good resource where multiple voices/opinions are welcome.
Drama level: unknown, not currently a member.
Veterinary Issues in Donkeys and Mules – if you have donkeys or mules, this group is a great resource for your questions. They are “group to support and enable donkey owners by a neighbourly sharing of medical and all topics of longear use and care.” Drama level: low to medium.
Equine Biomechanics, Massage, and Chiropractic – chances are if your horse has hoof issues, they have body issues too. This is a great group to ask experienced horse people and professionals about how your horse is moving. Drama level: low to medium.
Hoof Care for Performance Horses – this is not a barefoot specific group, but those owners with performance horses can utilize this group for questions about shoes, boots, alternative hoof protection options like glue ons, casting, etc. Drama level: medium, occasionally approaching high.
Donkey Hoof Care and Trimming – this is a wonderful resource for owners wanting to learn to trim their own donkeys. Drama level: medium.
Equine Cushings (PPID) – if your horse has been recently diagnosed with PPID, you will want some support. This group can answer your questions about medication, lifestyle, diet and nutrition, bloodwork, etc. Drama level: low to medium.
Did I miss any good ones? Let me know if you are a part of any hoofcare related Facebook groups that you love.
Find my post on my favorite hoof care and trimming books here.
Follow me on Facebook for lots of hoof pictures and educational posts: Sole Purpose Hoof Care.