There are as many ways to trim a barefoot as there are people doing it!
(Cole Henderson’s web site has a list of different barefoot trims on it)

I have no intention of saying one way is better than another or that there is the perfect way. But I will say this to anyone going near a horse’s foot with any tool that can remove tissue. Look, think; learn from the horse’s foot before you remove anything.

Do you know why a foot is the way it is, what is the foot telling you?

If you cannot answer those two questions then put the foot down, stand back and think again. You will not regret any time that you spend trying to understand and learn the langauge of the hoof.

You must know where, why and how tissue is being produced before you inflict an effect on the new growth. For example:

  • If extra sole tissue is prevalent around the point of the frog, where has it come from, why is it there?
  • What is attached to the weight bearing areas of the hoof that are affected by trimming?
  • What lies beneath the frog that enables it to produce a different type of tissue from its surrounding parts and why?

This knowledge means that you can start to read the foot better from the outside.

The three most deadly tools we farriers carry are: A knife, hoof trimmers, and a rasp.

They all remove hoof tissue - use them wisely! (I go through as many wire brushes as rasps.) As farriers we often find it easier to remove hoof tissue than to leave it, and we can sometimes worry more about the aesthetics of our work rather than the effect it has.

I do not believe in the concept of a pre-determined trimming or shoeing method that can apply to every horse’s foot.

Successful trimming means having to do less! You will find more information on the Concept page


1. The Rhino: Note the 3 Hooves all supported by a large Fibro-fatty area in the caudal area (frog). Even 2 tons of Rhino lands heel first because that’s where the shock absorber is.

Imagine that frog pushing forward and bending the bar down on the centre toe and you have the start of the horse’s foot!


2. The Zebra: Upright dorsal wall much like a donkey’s foot, very thick wall and will loose its frog if not in the right environment


Out of choice it will try and get impaction when the frog has virtually disappeared


3. The Okapi: One of the most beautiful animals in the world, for so many reasons