Natural Hoof Care (NHC) is a holistic or "whole horse" approach to hoof care based on the exemplary hooves and natural lifestyle of America's Great Basin wild, free roaming horses.  The "wild horse model", as AANHCP practitioners call it, is a proven system for giving horses not only the healthiest soundest hooves possible, but the healthiest bodies and minds too!  (AANHCP Field Guide to Natural Hoof Care)

    
 

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Natural Trim is a barefoot trim method that mimics the natural wear patterns of the wild free-roaming horses of the U.S. Great Basin. They are the exemplary model of what an equine hoof should be and how it is trimmed by nature in the environment where the species evolved.


The Wild Horse Model

  


Why Natural Horse and Hoof Care?

Direct experience, extensive training and study have proven to me, without a doubt, that what is natural for a horse is what is best for a horse.  There are many things one can do to care for the domestic horse in a way that works with his nature, his body and his mind.  

I am not someone who is easily convinced of things and I used to wonder what this "barefoot thing" was all about.  However, by managing horses in a progressively more natural way I have personally witnessed the following:

  • Chronic colics in an individual horse disappear
  • Shod horses with chronic lameness and weak/damaged hooves develop strong and sound barefoot hooves
  • An irritable cranky horse transform in weeks into a calm and pleasant horse who no longer attacks pasture mates.  What changed?  His shoes were pulled and he was given a natural trim.  When his pain diminished his attitude improved drastically!  If I'd not seen it for myself I might not believe it.

Given the right diet, lifestyle and a natural trim all horses can be successfully barefoot.  It is a holistic approach and is absolutely proven.  Strong, sound barefoot horses are competing in endurance, racing, barrel racing, dressage, hunter/jumper, etc.  

Horse owners understandably have many questions and concerns about going barefoot.  I welcome the opportunity to discuss all of them with you and help you to separate myth from fact.  I am confident that in the end you will find, as I did, that it makes so much sense!
 
Noteworthy quotes from the AANHCP Field Guide to Natural Hoof Care...

"The foot was designed to be unshod.  Anything that you add to the foot, like a horseshoe that is nailed on , is going to interfere with the foot's natural process" Emile Carre, Certified Journeyman Farrier, American Farriers Journal.

"The greatest advantage [to barefoot] is to hoof health.  By leaving a horse barefoot, one allows the hoof's natural functions of shock absorption, traction, and biomechanics to perform at their optimum.  Shoes inhibit natural function and the horse's natural way of going, and limb interference with shoes can cause injury."  Deborah Ash, AFA Certification Examiner