Landing Heel First

Take a moment and look and feel the way that you walk...heel, ball, toe. Now take a look at how your horse is walking and trotting and see which part of the hoof is hitting the ground first. If trimmed correctly they should land heel first and rock to the toe. The heel bulbs and back of frog should touch the ground first because the hoof is designed to have them bare the initial impact and weight of the horse. I am not a barefoot trimmer myself but I have watched and experienced this way of trimming and it is the best for the horse. The hoof is made to endure all types of terrain and will expand and contract as needed and is how they grip. A shoe will restrict that and is slippery. If possible have someone else walk or lunge your horse so you can really focus on what part of the hoof is touching the ground first. This is the first step in making sure the hoof is trimmed correctly. There are many differing opinions on trimming horse hooves but do whatever is best for each horse. I think if all farriers use that idea then horses will not be in pain because of poor trimming. Ask questions and watch and learn when the farrier comes to trim. If you think something does not look right then ask!

I have my horse trimmed every 5 weeks. People usually do anything from 4-8 weeks but I think it depends on each horse and the season/environment. This way her toes do not get too long and the hoof can stay balanced. In an ideal situation she would walk enough on varying types of terrain and naturally wear her hooves like wild horses do. Exercise is key in making sure that the horse naturally wears the frog and all other parts of the hoof and great for all over nutrition.

The picture is of my sweet,beautiful boy Jack Frost who was an inspiration to all. Look at how he is rocking to the toe and then landing heel first.

Knowledge is Power!