A: That’s a tough question. In short, my trim protocol differs in that One, the entire horse, it’s situation, environment, diet, body condition, etc. are all taken into account before determining how to apply the trim to the horse. The basics of the trim pretty much never change, but the basics may be altered to accommodate some specific issue. I work primarily from a holistic approach, but I never rule out the fact that conventional methods may be necessary to help achieve health or balance. Second, the protocol differs in that whole horse is balanced as best as can be for that trim on that day for that foot, with an end hoof and body condition in mind somewhere in the future. The trim is based on pathological knowledge of the foot and logical, common sense approaches to caring for the horse and feet. There isn’t any one trim (or shoeing) that’s right for every horse. There are similarities with the trim between virtually every horse, but each trim is different for each horse. No recommendations can be, or should be, made without knowing specific information about said horse. Any person who simply starts barking orders about ‘you must do this or that’ without knowing history, condition, etc., is working off of a cookie-cutter type approach to trimming feet. This approach will have a hit-n-miss success rate. The care giver has to know specific information before advice can be given. This is the reason why I need to know so much information, see pictures, and even see x-rays when prudent, just to offer trimming advice. One simple, seemingly insignificant piece of information can change the whole approach to how the trim and care for the horse is managed.
A. The short answer at this point in time (2011), is no. There currently are very few farriers or trimmers who have been instructed well enough, or who have had the desire to change what they are doing well enough to learn what we have to offer. There are more and more farriers and trimmers who are changing or modifying what they do to come more in line with our protocol, but that number is still quite limited. There is one in N.H., a few in eastern Ohio, one in GA., a couple in central FL, one in Canada. and just a few in a hand full of states west of the Mississippi.
We have put together an apprenticeship type program and eventually a full-fledged school program for teaching our protocol to caring horse owners, farriers and trimmers who are looking for a more holistic and all encompassing approach to caring for the feet and body.
In the interim, we try to work with the on-site professionals and the horse owners in order to help your horses. If you have specific questions, please give us a call or send an email.