I once had no idea what good feet looked like. I knew my horse had feet, that she needed to see the trimmer every so often, and that I liked to ride. That was about it. Thankfully I have learned a lot more since then! You can read more about my journey into barefoot and trimming on my About Me page.
Owners have asked me to look at their horses feet and tell me if I think their farrier/trimmer is doing a good job. That is a loaded question.
It’s extremely hard to judge based on blurry pictures or even seeing the horse in person, if you don’t know their history. Some hoofcare providers could be doing a really bad job on good feet. Some hoofcare providers could be doing an awesome job on really bad feet.
If I posted pictures of some of my clients before, during, or even after a trim, people who don’t know me could easily rip my hard work to shreds because all they can see is that moment in time of a hoof in process. I love to take pictures at every trim because then the owner and I can remember together where these feet used to be, and predict where they are going.
Have you ever called into the hospital or urgent care and, hoping to avoid a visit or making an appointment, asked them a question that they wouldn’t really answer? It’s hard to tell without having all the information. Professionals of all industries take their jobs very seriously.
How can you tell if your farrier or trimmer is doing a good job?
- Your hoofcare provider responds to your questions and concerns.
- They offer you advice on nutrition, diet, turnout, exercise – any lifestyle changes that could be made to help improve your horse’s comfort level. Most hoofcare professionals will emphasize that everything is connected to the feet, and we know more than just how to trim.
- They work well with other professionals involved in your horse’s care – vet, trainer, barn staff, etc.
- Most importantly, your horse is sound, you’re happy with how their feet look, and they move comfortably.
- If your horse is not sound, they have a clear plan to help your horse heal and begin to thrive.
Give your farrier or trimmer the benefit of the doubt – if you’re concerned about your horse’s feet, say something. Ask questions, and don’t be satisfied with anything less than the best for you and your horse.