Becoming A Barefoot Trimmer – Providing Natural Hoof Care

If you’re interested in learning more about barefoot trimming horses, then this article will help you understand what it takes to become a barefoot trimmer. You’ll also find out why some people choose to do this job instead of hiring a professional.

Barefoot trimming, or natural horse hoof care, is more than just a trim method. It is a holistic approach to hoof care which takes into account the living conditions and the terrain that the horse encounters on a regular basis. The trim is a tool used to encourage the hoof to grow in a physiologically correct shape and the correct living conditions aid remodelling where necessary and help maintain a healthy hoof.

Natural hoof care and barefoot trimming aim to mimic natural wear, so is often carried out more frequently than traditional pasture trims. This keeps the hoof in the optimum shape at all times.

Is barefoot Trimming a job for me?

If you like equine anatomy, have some handy skills and like working with horses, becoming a hoof trimmer may be an option for you. The number of barefoot horses and requests for hoof trimmers is growing and therefore it can be a great choice for someone who would like to work with horse’s hooves but who doesn’t want to get into blacksmithing.

Where can I learn to become a barefoot Trimmer or natural hoof care practitioner?

Depending on your location, there are several ways to become a barefoot trimmer. In most countries qualification courses are offered through a wide range of institutions or private training providers.

Courses can range from a one day ‘short’ intro course to several months of full-time studying and training. Courses can range from online to in-class courses. You may also speak to a local trimmer for an internship.

Can I trim my horse’s hooves myself?

Technically, you can!
To trim your own horse’s hooves, you may not need to go through a qualification course, but it would definitely help to do so.

If there are any underlying conditions concerning your horse’s hooves, you should always consult an expert. If you are not entirely comfortable around your horse or if you aren’t sure how to trim your horse’s hooves, take it to a professional farrier or trimmer instead of trimming the hooves yourself, because you could injure or potentially even lame your horse.

Over the last two years (during the Covid Pandemic) many owners were forced to take over their horses’ hoof care themselves and learn the process involved in barefoot trimming. Two impressive stories from owners who became qualified trimmers and FormaHoof Applicators can be found here:

Meet Kate Redmond from Western Australia

Meet Maile La Villa from Thailand

Both Kate and Maile learned trimming as there was a lack of hoof care providers in their areas. Both became qualified by different institutions in different countries and both ladies show the world it can be done, with the right amount of dedication.

What are the benefits of natural hoof care?

There are many benefits to keeping your horse barefoot including:

  • Increased blood flow which improves the horse’s overall health.
  • Healthy, strong horn (hoof walls).
  • Greater shock absorption, so fewer concussion-related injuries.
  • No more worrying about lost shoes during a ride or competition.
  • Lower risk of injuries when turned out in the field.
  • Improved traction – nature designed the hoof so it can adapt to all terrains.
  • Less tripping, stumbling and forging as the horse can feel where its feet are.
  • Quicker heart rate recovery time after exercise.

However, it is not just simply a case of removing the shoes and happily riding off into the sunset. Most horses need to go through a transition period which allows the hooves to adapt to being barefoot. During that time hoof boots may be needed when riding.

Can a barefoot trimmer or natural hoof care provider apply FormaHoof?

The short answer is yes!
The exception is in the UK. In the UK only qualified and certified farriers are allowed to apply FormaHoof as it is defined as a long-term shoeing solution fully attached to the hoof within the UK’s shoeing regulations.

Why trimmers choose FormaHoof

FormaHoof is fully in compliance with the holistic approach of Natural Hoof Care, providing a non-invasive (nail-free) alternative to support horses in the most efficient and effective way.

FormaHoof mimics the perfectly shaped and balanced barefoot hoof and encourages healthy hoof growth whilst offering full protection. There is no limitation or restriction in the hoof’s natural movements, as is the case with other methods.

Furthermore, the specially developed FormaHoof Advanced Polymer allows a clean and damage-free removal process at the end of the cycle.

FormaHoof offers extra comfort to a horse with laminitis or founder and is also an effective solution to safely transition a horse to barefoot, allowing the horse to grow sole depth within a short period, meaning that FormaHoof is a one-stop shop for many of the most common hoof pathologies.

Can I become a FormaHoof Certified Applicator (FCA) if I am a hoof trimmer or natural hoof care provider?

If you have your certification, you can become an FCA. The FCA course available on our website requires an upload of your certificate to be approved for the completion of the final exams, which are composed of a theoretical and practical test.

Find more information about and jump right to your course by visiting the FormaHoof Academy.

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