Is it right for you?

As it is a different approach to hoof care, here are a few points you may wish consider beforehand.

Equine Podiatry is not a 'quick fix'; it should rather be considered as a long-term, lasting solution.

More time will be required than a farrier would need for a pasture trim per visit, due to notes and photos, etcetera. A regular trim cycle will be set up depending on your horse's needs and growth rate, usually between 4 – 7 weeks.

For the best possible outcome, there needs to be a partnership approach between what I can do and recommend and the owner, as changes may need to be made to the horse's diet, environment, lifestyle and workload. Every effort will be made for the recommendations to cater for the individual and the practicality of application.

Boots, therapeutic pads and some topical treatments my be suggested if it is deemed necessary. This may require more time on the owner's part in looking after their horse's feet and some additional expense.

Hoof Health, Performance and Shoes

Whether your horse is barefoot or not, the most import thing is that the feet should be healthy. In some horse this is no longer the case and the hoof can get many pathologies such as poor conformation, cracks, under-run heels, thrush, white line disease, seedy toe, abscesses or, just unable hold a shoe. Sometimes there is no obvious defect in the hoof but the horse my present with tripping or stumbling, toe first landing, lack of impulsion, napping, refusing, inconsistency in work or a general problem with poor performance and attitude.

What Equine Podiatry can offer is a different approach to these problems. Working without the shoe means the true health and function of the foot can be assessed, as shoes can sometimes mask problems and lameness. Equine Podiatry is versatile enough to help and support owners wishing to improve hooves for later shoeing by a farrier. Modern hoof boots make it possible to keep your horse comfortable whilst he is undergoing rehabilitation or during a transitional period.

A permanent barefoot approach may not be suitable for ever owner, horse and/or situation however even a short time out of shoes can have many benefits. Whilst allowing the horse a break from shoes the route cause of any problem or pathologies can be assessed and a sympathetic trim applied.

'I have personally worked in the hunting and eventing industry and I fully understand the demands that are put upon these horses, I can also empathise with owners wishing to stick to a more traditional craft. I do however believe that Equine Podiatry can help many hoof related problems and see no reason why it should not be a complementary treatment working together with vets and farriers for the benefit of the horse.'

NB -This is a barefoot approach as Equine Podiatrists are not farriers, at no time will a horse be trimmed for any structure that is to be fixed to the hoof, or will any structure be affixed to the hoof by an equine podiatrist