The benefits of natural hoof care cannot be overemphasized. As an alternative to unnatural barefoot trimming methods and horseshoeing, natural hoof care lets your horse develop the best possible hooves he can within his living situation. Natural hoof care has several components...all important to success; they are a natural trim, diet, psychosocial factors and lifestyle. To simply change to a natural hoof care professional and not be willing to maximize these other areas of your horse's life will not result in a horse with tough, healthy hooves. We cannot make your horse's life naturally ideal, but we can certainly guide you in making life-altering improvements.
Natural Hoof Care is well established now. However, there is an abundance of barefoot trimming styles just as there are wide varieties of shoeing approaches. Please understand...
Natural is always barefoot; but barefoot is not always natural.
I am a proponent of "natural" hoof care based on the "wild hoof model". This approach simulates the effects of horses living naturally in the western US, specifically the Great Basin area. Wild horses in that area move over 18 hours a day, wearing their hooves on the harsh terrain as they graze on sparse forages. This movement leads to optimal blood circulation, the smooth wearing of the hoof walls and the toughening of soles and frogs.
The forages are not as high in sugar as the grasses our domestic horses graze on in our lush, green pastures. The high sugar intake from our grasses can cause inflammation in the laminae of the hooves. In some horses, this leads to laminitis, founder and obesity.
Wildway Natural Hoof Care
Kerry Kirkland, AANHCP Certified