Natural Hoof Care

Natural hoof care is a method of hoof trimming that enables horses to be kept and ridden without iron shoes. It is a holistic approach that takes into account the horse's diet, exercise and environment. The trim is a tool used to encourage the hoof to grow in a physiologically correct shape and the correct living conditions aid remodeling where necessary and help maintain a healthy hoof.

Natural hoof care evolved from studies of ferrel horses in the western high desert of the United States. Although these horses live without human intervention, they thrive on sparse forage and travel long distances each day over rocky terrain on sound, healthy hooves.

*Natural Hoof Care practitioners look to the lifeway of the wild horse as the model for health and soundness. We believe that horses that are kept in a manner that is consistent with their nature fare better than those kept in a way that is alien to their physiology. Even though horses have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still have innate, species-specific requirements for physical, mental and spiritual health. To improve quality of life for domestic horses, we look to their wild-living brethren - and their hooves - for answers. (*ESA practitioner's philosophy.)

Natural Hoof Care and Me

My first exposure to horse handling and training was as a youth under the guidance of leading California horseman and endurance champion, Virl Norton. Years of conditioning and working with dozens of performance horses taught me much about traditional horse keeping.

Years ago, I was presented with an opportunity to take on an injured OTT Thoroughbred (with horrible hooves). As I became involved with his rehabilitation, a passion for natural hoof care and horse keeping practices evolved.

As I witnessed the healing powers of the unfettered hoof, my interest peaked and I applied to the Equine Sciences Academy where I earned the Equine Sciences Degree and certification as an ESA Natural Hoof Care Practitioner with special interest in hoof pathology and rehabilitation.

I have additionally studied a wide variety of topics under Dr. Eleanor Kellon earning certification in nutritional balancing and using nutrition as therapy.

Now I am a Certified Professional Member of the American Hoof Association and have been granted the Swiss license to practice in Baselland and adjoining cantons providing natural hoof trimming and care of founder and navicular syndrome.

I am skilled in performing general health, neurological and lameness examinations and versed in the use of advanced diagnostic tools (ie. thermal imagery, ph testing, fecal egg examination, radiographic evaluation...). I carry a large inventory of hoof boots and provide custom fitting as needed.

As a field instructor, I assist student trimmers wishing to earn their certification. Note to students: I am available for practicums. Please contact me for an appointment.

My goal is to help domestic horses lead a healthy, active life and educate owners of their distinct species-specific requirements.

I am slowly learning the German language, but prefer to speak English when possible. One day I hope to become fluent, but for now must rely on the patience of my clients while I learn.

About this Site

I have published this site to provide information and support to my customers and for those considering the barefoot option for their own horses. I will make regular updates adding new articles and case studies of horses in my care.

Next: The Natural Trim

Keywords: Natural Hoof Care, Hoof Rehabilitation, Barehoof, Trimming, Laminitis, Navicular, Thrush, Abscess, Cracked, Contracted, Founder, Bob Childs, Basel, Baselland, Switzerland.