High Performance Hoof Care, LLC provides high quality barefoot trimming hoof care services, on-time appointments, excellent communication and compassionate equine handling. The primary focus is always on soundness, and the ultimate happiness of horse and owner! You can be assured of highly educated service and a friendly working relationship! Vickey M. Hollingsworth is a 2007 graduate of the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry, and focuses on continued education. Services offered include barefoot trimming, glue-on polyurethane shoeing, hoof boot fitting and sales, and lameness rehabilitation. Vickey has been providing hoof care services since 2004.
Based in Camden, Tennessee, Vickey provides the highest quality of service to West Tennessee from the Nashville area to Memphis. New Johnsonville, Waverly, Dickson, Paris, Huntingdon, Bruceton, Camden, Parsons, Jackson and McKenzie are included in a regular rotation. After viewing the pages of this website, please feel free to contact Vickey for more information, a free consultation or to set up an appointment.
What is a
You may have heard the term "barefoot trim" and wondered what this means or why it's important. Simply put, a barefoot trim is a trimming style that is a bit more conservative, and focuses on keeping the horse sound while barefoot or in hoof boots rather than requiring metal shoes for soundness. The trim usually backs the toe up a bit more than a traditional farrier trim, leaves the walls a little higher, and does not cut or pare out the sole. Traditional farrier trims sometimes thin the sole and reduce the height of the foot to the point the horse cannot move comfortably over harsh footing without needing horseshoes.
The Barefoot Lifestyle
Barefoot trimming focuses on holistic horse care, and not just the trim applied to the hoof. Maintaining a horse barefoot requires consideration of the environment the horse lives on, the diet he eats, and overall body health. Everything within the horse's diet and environment affects the hooves! Maintaining a clean, dry environment, a diet that supplies a good vitamin, mineral profile, and trimming more conservatively but on a shorter cycle are all important for sound bare feet. Addressing any infection in the hooves such as thrush or white line separation is critical for the sound bare horse.
Owners committed to the barefoot lifestyle usually use hoof boots for riding on rocky trails, or glue on shoes if the horse cannot live comfortably barefoot. Metal shoes with nails are avoided due to the holes they put in the hoof walls, and the way the hoof must be trimmed flat to accommodate the shoe.
Sound barefoot horses are best maintained on a lower sugar diet with good quality forage making up the majority of the intake. High quality hay and grazing combined with forage products like alfalfa cubes and beet pulp can be used if extra calories are needed. Pelleted ration balancers or vitamin/mineral supplements balance out what is lacking in the diet. High sugar artificial diets made of up grain and molasses often have a detrimental affect on the hooves, especially over a long period of time. Horses evolved to graze on mediocre quality dry grasses. The modern equine diet of rich green lush grass and sweet feeds can weaken hoof walls and soles to the point the horse needs shoeing to cope.
Turnout is critical for healthy bare feet! Keeping horses in stalls is sometimes necessary due to boarding situations or if horse owners don't have enough land for turnout. We all do the best we can with what we have! But if turnout space is available, it is best to allow the horse as much room to run as possible. Keeping turnout areas large enough to avoid too much mud buildup is important. Manure should be cleaned up as much as possible so horses aren't standing or living in it.
Finally, a high quality trim on a reasonable cycle (4-8 weeks) will keep the walls straight and free of flare, heels back, toes short, and the hoof well under the bone column. Allowing hooves to become long, flared, broken and stretched limits or destroys any chance of the horse staying sound without shoes.