Today though I want to start by linking to a terrific post which I came across on Facebook - its an old blog post and I wonder why I never saw it before but here it is:
Lots of the writing resonated with what I have been trying to say on here this week but this one particularly jumped out:
"When you condition the horse, you condition it with exercise, not with trimming. A good barefoot form to the hoof is only the outward sign that it is functionally right. But it tells you little about the inner toughness of the hoof. You can’t trim the hoof into toughness. You have to work, to ride the hoof into condition."
- A trim can no more improve the health of a hoof than a haircut can improve the health of your hair - health comes from within.
- A trim can only remove structure, never rebuild - for the latter you have to look at nutrition and exercise.
- A trim can radically alter load on a limb and change foot balance - sometimes to the detriment of the horse's soundness.
- A trim will artificially simulate and stimulate wear (causing you to think your horse "needs" a trim every few weeks!) but is unlikely to mirror natural wear patterns.
- A trim is frequently (in my experience usually) neither necessary nor beneficial to a horse either in consistent work or kept on consistent surfaces.