When I first started trimming, I was taught by someone who was dogmatic, abrasive, and didn’t allow for much curiosity. I perpetuated that for a bit before I learned to do better.
When I first started trimming, I thought:
I have answers that no one else had.
I have incessant questions.
I was doing an awesome trim.
Traditional farriers are ignorant + uneducated.
Steel shoes are bad.
Barefoot is best for *every* horse.
Any trim cycle longer than 8 weeks is wrong/bad.
You should do X and never do Y and don’t even THINK about Z.
Now that I have had more time to process and learn, I have changed several of my perspectives.
Now I think:
I have some answers! Most of which are commonly understood if you dedicate your mind to this craft.
Still have lots of questions…..
I do a way better trim than I used to.
Traditional farriers have a different education than I do.
Steel shoes are not bad + plenty of hooves need some kind of protection.
Barefoot is best for some horses and owners and not others, for very nuanced reasons on a case by case basis.
Trim cycles vary a lot depending on the horse, hoof health or distortion, time of year, and also having a full load of clients and scheduling to accommodate.
You can do what you want with your horse, but I recommend X and Y because….
Humility, open mindedness, and ability to collaborate with (be curious about) other professionals will get you a long way in this business. Individual hoofcare providers are set up to be isolated, but having a community is way more fun and enlightening.
It’s very easy to assume you have all the answers until you meet the horses who confound you. They are our ultimate teachers. And just like humans, they have their own stories and solutions that work best. I’ve had the privilege of having my eyes and hands on hundreds of horses full time for years now and I still learn something new every day. Horses will humble you and remind you to stay open and curious.