I’ve always had trained farriers trim my horses’ feet. As a new horse owner, 18 years ago, I simply used the farrier my friends used. My main concern was that they were kind and patient. As my knowledge of horse anatomy and gait grew, I became more particular about the farriers I chose. I have been lucky to find fairly good farriers over the years, until I moved to Wyoming, that is.
Many of the farriers here have no real schooling. They are self taught or learned from another old cowboy. This isn’t always a bad thing but not what I’m looking for when it comes to my horses. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to find a local Farrier who was trained in the Barefoot Method. He was very knowledgeable, patient and kind and then he moved! He had family close and would coordinate visits and coming to trim but those visits got farther between and inconsistent. Most of my horses have done “okay” with the inconsistent trims but not Little C. Over the last year her feet have gotten really out of balance. He was never able to fully correct her when he did come, as it would be too much and make her worse. Since it would be months before he came back any head way he had made to correct her would be gone. What she needed was weekly or biweekly check ups to get her fully corrected and balanced and that wasn’t happening. In late January she became fully lame, barely walking and in horrible pain. She stood rocked back and limped horribly. It broke my heart. I had to do something. My fear was that if I tried to trim her I’d make her worse. However, I wasn’t willing to just “settle” for any Farrier either.
My friend had added me to a Barefoot Discussion group on Facebook about a year ago. I had followed many of the posts but not with any real intent. In desperation, I reached out to them. They were very supportive and suggested I contact Lana Comeriato with the Apex Trim Method. I looked her up, read about her and messaged her. I am so thankful I did! Lana provides one on one training with pictures and what she calls “markups.” I start by taking pictures of the horse’s feet from several different angles. She then uses different colors to mark on the pictures where I need to nip, bevel, preimeter rasp, cut etc. She also provides written instructions explaining the markups. She has videos on how to use the different tools, as well as,videos of clinics she has done. Little C will take months to fully rehab and I trimmed her every couple of days the first 2 weeks. We are now watching growth and doing a recheck weekly. She is still very ouchey when she walks but she’s standing more upright and walks longer distances than before. She even ran with the herd the other day!
I’ve trimmed 2 more of my horses under her guidance, only 5 more to go! These first trims are going to be the toughest as their feet are so overgrown. By tough I mean it’s quite a workout! I pride myself in being in pretty good shape with good muscle tone at my age, but I’m finding and building muscles in different places. Bonus side effect! Each time I trim, I gain confidence in using the tools and actually seeing and understanding where I need to trim. I have gotten some amazing feedback from Lana. I’ve invested roughly $300 in tools and training thus far. There will be an additional $300 as I add the rest of the herd but in the long run I’m saving money. What I’m truly investing in, though, is the health of my herd, my peace of mind and myself and that is PRICELESS!
Through the Horse, LLC