Hoof Trimming

With no hoof, there is no horse.

As a specialist in barefoot hoof trimming, I provide personalised hoof care for your horse or donkey and work with veterinarians to give your maned friend the best quality care.

There are many benefits to barefoot trimming. In many cases it helps the horse achieve an optimum hoof that is able to adapt to and cope with the environment in which it is living. I’ll help to pinpoint any issues with your horses’ hoof, help you identify lameness and recommend the best course of hoof care.

Being an advocate for barefooting my preference is this, however I will always recommend what is best for you and your horse.

Understanding the hoof

To understand trimming, we need to first understand the hoof. The capsule protects the coffin bone and is a dynamic structure that can adapt and change according to stressors and pressure. The hoof capsule is like an upside-down cone that flexes in all directions when the horse is in movement and the hoof strikes the ground with each foot-fall. We want to promote this flexion however I have found that in many cases, if the hoof is incorrectly balanced or has grown out of balance, the hoof capsule torques and this creates issues.

With correct understanding of the hoof function we can promote optimum flexion and help eliminate torque.

I see lame horses every day and yet many owners are unable to detect lameness or know what lameness is. Learn how to recognise a lame hoof so we can better understand why your horse is showing signs of lameness and start an appropriate course of action.

Finding balance with hoof trimming

Correct trimming helps balance not only the hoof capsule but also the entire leg. I consider the balance in relation to the static horse standing still as well as balance for the dynamic moving horse in its various gaits of walk, trot, canter and gallop.

To achieve this balance, I adjust the hoof capsule by trimming it while keeping in mind four key areas:

  • Front to back, or heel to toe balance
  • Side to side, or medial/lateral balance
  • Consistency of width of the hoof wall (including the laminae/white line)
  • Shape of the ground bearing surface of the hoof capsule matching the shape of the coronet band for that individual hoof.

Shoeing your horse

In some cases, and for certain disciplines, I will recommend to my clients that their horse be shod. I usually arrive at this after careful consultation with you and after we have tried available alternatives. In this event I work with local farriers and continue to care for your horse when the shoes are no longer required.

Book a consultation or hoof trim

If you’re in the Ballarat region & along the Western Highway area from Ballan to Stawell and in need of a horse trimming specialist you can trust and who your horses will love, contact Martin Godwin Equine.

View my other services Boot Fitting  |  Equine Massage  |  Saddle Fitting

The people who trust me with their horse