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, whether between barefoot trimmers and farriers, holistic vs. traditional mindsets, even within different methods in the barefoot camp, so don’t be alarmed if it gets confusing. 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 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
Questions, Discussions, and Advice
Barefoot Trimmers Only – all are welcome in this group despite the name, but it is a group promoting barefoot trimming, so you won’t find much advice on shoeing techniques here. This group is perfect if you want to post pictures and ask for advice on the current state of your horse’s feet, if you want your own trimming to be critiqued, or if you have questions relating to all things barefoot hoof care. Be prepared for completely conflicting advice – it can get a little overwhelming, but lots of great insight available in this group.
Drama level: medium. Not every one is nice or gracious in this group.
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: none.
Hoof Rehab Help – if you want advice from Pete Ramey, as well as other dedicated hoofcare professionals, join this group! Excellent resource for trimming, booting/padding, nutritional advice, and more. A lot less conflicting opinions given than in other groups, so a little less overwhelming for those new to the barefoot world.
Drama level: low – ish. This group continues to grow larger each month.
Barefoot Method for Navicular – “navicular” is not a diagnosis you want to hear from your vet, but it is often used as a catch all term for heel pain. This group was created 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.” This group does not allow specific trimming advice (actually a wonderful policy here). If you want a supportive community, and information on diet, then definitely try this one.
Drama level: low. Amazing people in this group.
Horse Vet Corner – I have a love/hate relationship with this group. Only approved vets are allowed to respond, so this is the perfect place to ask for a second opinion, get information about chronic conditions, or get emergency advice if necessary. However, I rarely see any responses from a holistic standpoint, and barefoot is not promoted or even respected, but it can be a great resources for other topics so it’s worth a mention.
Drama level: medium, though any non-vet answers to questions immediately get deleted.
*I have since left that group for my own sanity!* LOL.
New or Used Boots
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.
Heartland Scoot Boots – if you’re looking to buy, fit, or learn more about Scoot Boots, this is the place to go! I recommend this Scoot Boot rep to all my clients.
Barefoot Horse Hoof Boot Exchange: one more option for new and/or used boots!
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.