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Full Version: Mustang Trim/Natural Trim vs Traditional Trim
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I have been interested in the natural trim or mustang trim for sometime, and I have often mentioned it to my farrier but he doesn't really do it, nor seem interested in learning. I have to first say my farrier is always on time, he comes every 6 weeks and CALLS the night before to confirm. I have bragging rights to the 'reliable farrier'! However I have noticed that Joe's front feet have begun to flare out and lately with all the flies and stomping both he and Rocky have had some pretty ragged feet.

My friend has a mare that is laminitic and her farrier is the true unreliable farrier, often a no-show and always late, never returns calls and won't come on a regular schedule. On Friday my friend has a farrier coming out that is AANHCP certified and was recommended through Easy Boot. I am anxious to see how she trims Muffin the laminitic mare and how happy my friends are with this new experience. They have kept shoes on the mare until recently when she lost her shoe and most of her hoof in the pond. *ouch*

Today my farrier was out and I threw the mustang trim theory out there again and some things he said to refute the trim didn't sound quite right.

1) The mustang trim chips and breaks just like the traditional trim

2) Our horses can't maintain the trim because they aren't traveling the same distances every day that the mustang does

3) All horses land heel first no matter how they are trimmed

>>>>>I am anxious to hear reviews about the trim my horses got today, WELL.... I will focus on Joe (go figure. [Wink]<<<<<

Joe and Rocky after trim:
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Joe R Front:

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Joe L Front:

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Joe R Back:

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Joe L Back:

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It was kinda hard to hold the foot while taking pictures on the right back side so I only got one when I made him stand toe down.
I tend to agree, horses today no longer need to work for their keep. Nor to they travel multiple miles a day that would wear down their hooves through the course of days travel. That being said I was having farrier issues and when a van passed me on the way to work that advertised Natural Hoof Care, Certified I called the number. That was over a year ago and let me say I am happy with how my horses feet wear.

There are many people in the barn that keep their horses barefoot like I do and trail ride. What I have noticed more often is that in the 6 weeks between trims these other horses feet look like hell with uneven edges and chips. It also seems like the "regular" guys trim fairly aggressively. My natural farrier takes very little off, slight adjustments and her way of handling the horse..they appear to adore her. We trim every 5 to 6 weeks.

I believe shoes have their place and not all farriers are created equal. Trying to find one that carriers any sort of certification is almost unheard of. For me it's working well and I don't really give much thought to the term "natural". Give it some time to see how you like the service.
Your guys feet look pretty good. Your farrier is doing a nice job.

I think utilizing the principles of " Natural Trim" will only improve their feet.

I heartily recommend that you get a copy of Pete Ramey's book, "Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You" (or check out his website below)

I have been trimming our own horses' hooves for the last 30+ years. We have had shoes on the horses when they were shown but have evolved to where we are now.

Profit had shoes when we were showing him quite heavy but has not had shoes for the last three years. Hookie, now 8, has never had shoes and the three four year olds as well as Cruiser have never had shoes.

I was really impressed with the knowledge and thoughts outlined in Pete's book and have changed my trimming style recently to reflect the basics of the Natural hoof trim. I am very pleased with the results. There is a definite improvement in sole hardness with less fraying or crack development in the hoof wall between trims.

We do have a set of "Old Mac" boots for the fronts of both Hookie and Profit but they do not get much use.

I have come to the conclusion that shoes are really only necessary for unusual corrective work or in cases of excessive hoof wear. A balanced diet which includes a ration balancer will, coupled with a regular 4 to 6 week trim program, generate a strong healthy hoof that will stand up to almost any type of normal riding environment.
Further down this page are links to websites for Pete Ramey and Jaime Jackson, two forerunners in the Natural Hoof Care movement.

[Edit] Related Links
Pete Ramey - Making Natural Hoof Care Work For You
Jaime Jackson - Helping Horses Naturally with Natural Hoof Carehttp://www.primechoice.com/jaime-jackson/
Hey PG get on www.ironfreehoof.com It's an awesome educational site!!!! Print the trim how to's and let the farrier read it. Lot's of pics and case studies. I spent about 3-4 hours one Sunday in February educating myself and wow!!!!
ILJ, in my opinion you're going to see chipping and flaring on any horse nearing trim time this time of year. Now is when the hooves are growing fast and lots of stomping for flies. Chips are going to be a fact of life. I believe about the only way to reduce chipping is to, either trim or file weekly, or to put shoes on. Shoes will definitely keep chipping to a minimum as they protect the edge of the hoof somewhat. However, I do not believe all horses need shoes, as Hook said, only if they are experiencing excessive wear or need some kind of correction. I, however, am not convinced that the "natural" hoof trims professed by some are any better than "regular" trims done by a good farrier. To me, a good trim, done regularly and conscientiously by a competent farrier, who is also reliable and fairly priced, are what I hope for (and have been getting!)
Didn't mean PG DUH. ILJ long week and not over yet.
I'm in the same situation as ILJ; my farrier isn't interested in the natural trim, but he is dependable and does a decent job, so I'm afraid to push it. And having been stood up countless times by other farriers before I found this one, I'm sure not interested in going through anything like that again.

But I admit I have wondered if it would work for my horses.

Wendi and Hook thanks for the link, I am finding very interesting information.

So it isn't a concern that the hooves still have chipped and cracked spots AFTER the trim? WHat about the flare on the front feet, esp on the left front?
Originally posted by ILoveJoe

Wendi and Hook thanks for the link, I am finding very interesting information.

So it isn't a concern that the hooves still have chipped and cracked spots AFTER the trim? WHat about the flare on the front feet, esp on the left front?

Joe has good solid feet and your farrier looks like, (as he should) he does minimal work on the sole, a bit of frog trimming and leveling the whole foot structure to his conformation. Pretty traditional looking trim, (looks like a quick job)although most farriers would do a bit more rounding of the edges to smooth out the chips. Looks alot like the trim I used to do.

The natural trim would leave the sole pretty well intact but remove the loose flaky sole, remove the flares, lower hoof walls, drop the heels a bit more to leave the heels level with the sole and round the leading edges of the hoof walls which will significant reduce chipping in future.

Perhaps you should just buy him a copy of Pete Ramey's book. I don't think he could resist reading it and would probably gain some knowledge that he could adapt to his own technique. ( A thank you gift?)
You may want to ease him into it unknowingly by adding a mustang roll to the toe and sides. That may help chipping. Shoot you can even do that yourself. Check out the site and see how they do it. I personally think this keeps the trim from chipping a bit longer. As far as flares, you yourself can easily keep that in check with a bit of filing once a week or so. Again look at the how to trim section. You're not going to hurt them with a bit of rasping so go for it!!!!
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