Readers Respond: Tip Toes

Almost 1,500 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "What management methods does your hoof care professional use?"

results of poll on hoof care

Results were as follows: 
  • Barefoot trim: 58.84% (875)
  • Shoeing: 48.42% (720)
  • Simple trim: 39.61% (589)

Multiple selections were allowed.

Results of weekly polls from TheHorse.com are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

Look for a new poll on TheHorse.com every week!


  • She's fantastic at lameness cases
  • Barefoot care is no longer a fad, it is a fast growing trend. Our horses love it!
  • I use a barefoot trim , it has helped my thoroughbred mare to get better feet and heal a quatercrack
  • I do barefoot trim on 6 of my horses. My blacksmith does regular trim on remaining horses.
  • With pads. Many options of shoeing for maintenance & correction, various pads.
  • We shoue front feet only
  • Depends on the horse, use & time of year. Also learning barefoot trim myself
  • She follows Pete Rameys technique (was trained in Strassers method)
  • Front requres pads with heel support hind just shoes
  • every 6 weeks he trims all horses and 1 mini donkey.
  • She uses the natural balance method and it keeps my endurance horse in the top ten!
  • We don't believe in horse shoes. Our horse has overcome lameness with being natural barefoot trim.
  • I used to get barefoot trims until my trimmer suffered head injury; looking for new one now!
  • Pete Ramey rules!
  • shipping fever
  • Married to a farrier :)
  • Neither of my horses has ever needed shoes or any "special" trims
  • I rasp my horses' feet to keep the angles correct in between trims. farrier trims every 8 wks.
  • I do my own horses barefoot trims
  • I prefer non-permanent shoes as needed like EasyBoots.
  • I finally found a brilliant farrier! He can do it all, and he really thinks about each horse's need
  • pads and silicone
  • I prefer barefoot/simple
  • in my opinion a good trim is a barefoot trim
  • Mustang Molly 16 yrs. old , perfect feet , shoes? never!
  • Our three are shoed. Live in rocky area.
  • good mustang roll
  • I've been my own farrier since the age of 14
  • A trim, on all four hooves including the frogs. Shoes/fronts with clips. Barefoot Backs.
  • I actually do my own performance horses..(Used for Team Penning, and Cow horse. 12 horses in total).
  • My reiner is now going barefoot in front and wears sliders on the rear.
  • Our trimmer uses the Strasser trim and has performed miracles with it
  • Same farrier for 26 years
  • As an eventing horse, the shoes are almost a necessity
  • Has been a farrier for lots of years - does excellent job with my horses!
  • Its the healthiest way to go!
  • We have a club footed horse that requires corrective trimming.
  • I trim my horses myself, i studied under KC Lapierre
  • one horse with bar shoes b/c of a fractured coffin bone and the other with normal shoes
  • I learned to trim myself and it's the best thing Ive ever done for my horse.
  • Aluminum wedge shoes in front for navicular;regular shoes in back
  • He is strict about keeping their feet done on schedule & charges a fortune to do so!
  • My horses are professional carriage horses, started w. barefoot trim last year and am very content w
  • Barefoot is healthier for the hoof. If I need a little more protection I boot them.
  • Front shoes on my foundered horse, shoes on 2 others 1 barefoot
  • My horses have been receiving a wild horse style barefoot trim for over 2.5 years.
  • I've never had a problem with my barefoot horses, they are riden regularly and have the best feet.
  • I have found an intelligent, careful farrier/ He puts on a rim shoe in built in grips.
  • does whatever's needed; he's a treasure!!!
  • I learned to take care of them myself, barefoot!
  • My horse is shod on his front hooves and barefoot behind since I don't do any rigorous riding.
  • Use on all my 5 horses. Allbarefoot; all sound. Two had lameness problems with shoes for years.
  • Anyone who puts shoes on their horses are sadly very misinformed and lack of knowledge about the hoo
  • This is the most expensive neccessity I use to care for my horse, he has to wear shoes.
  • My horse has solid hooves so we leave him barefoot and trim him every 2-3 months
  • A Natural Trim (Ramey) and natural diet is the way to go!
  • Mustang roll/natural trim one shoes up front one barefoot
  • Strasser method
  • Fortunately my horses don't need shooes except for intense training.
  • The only logical choice if you look at what is best for the horse objectively.
  • Depends on useage and seasons on what trim is used or weather one needs shoes or not .
  • saved my warmblood's life. eventer! all horses barefoot now. B careful when hiring, tho!
  • as a farrier I hate that term "barefoot" trim. 1/2 of my clients horses are unshod or 'barefoot'.
  • Nothing special but it keeps the hooves in good condition by regular visits
  • I keep my horse barefoot and use Vicks Vapor Rub to kkep the moisture balance. Works GREAT!
  • my farrier does what is neded for my horses some are barefoot some are half shoed some are full.
  • my husband does our 4 arabians
  • Our horses feet are healthier and stronger then they have ever been with the AANHCP trim.
  • minimal trim. leaving the soe intact
  • I trim my horses myself.
  • Most are unshod, simple trim -- front plates only for show and/or long distrance trail riding
  • I am a barefoot trimmer - have had great success w/ my own and client's horses.
  • does what is needed for soundness.
  • He says barefoot trim doesn't work for all horses.
  • pulled horses shoes last fall, will never go back to shoeing
  • All 5 of our horses do very well with a balanced barefoot trim. We show and trail ride barefoot.
  • simple trims when I am not riding them/only out shoes on because it is so rocky were i ride
  • When done every 4-5 weeks, only a rasp is needed. Sound and happy horses are the result.
  • My Arab/Welsh gelding has been barefoot and sound for over 10 years
  • I maintain my horses with a natural barefoot trim, ride them everywhere and no problems
  • Barefoot is the healthiest way to keep your horse, there is a number of ways to trim to fix problems
  • My horses move better and are more sound going Natural! (Ramey)
  • I use Pete Ramey methods and my horses are doing GREAT!
  • Doesn't remove much sole. 6/19/2008 10:00:34 AM
  • The farrier technique depends on the horse's own hoof and the use. fom shoes all the time to none.
  • thrbrd w long toes, soft feet, navicular chgs
  • I trim 6 of my own and a few clients.Will NEVER go back to shoes!
  • 2 get corrective shoeing. 4 get barefoot trim w/mustang roll
  • Thanks to Walt's Barefoot group - http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/barefoothorsecare !!!
  • Uses shoes when needed
  • We have been natural for several years & it is great for our horses
  • Shoes are for the uneducated- my horse is healthier and happier without them!
  • I use Keith Seeley's trim. check him out at www.keithseeley.com
  • I have 8 horses, all are just trimmed. They do very well. They seem never to get lame or have any ho
  • Our farrier is fantastic - he treats the whole horse, not just the hoof, & he uses natural products!
  • I do all 6 myself
  • I do my own natural trimming (www.ironfreehorse.com). It's worked wonders!
  • She also assists with diet management and stays current on all the latest issues regarding hooves.
  • shoes on the front, barefoot in the back
  • My horse has good feet but would need front shoes if we rode on hard surfaces.Good feet but sensitiv
  • Have 4 horses, shoes and/or trims as required every 6 - 8 weeks.
  • Removed all shoes...every moves better. Highly recommend certified natural hoof care practioner!
  • heated shoes 6/18/2008 8:51:11 PM
  • she uses a LIM trim 6/18/2008 8:18:05 PM
  • My trimmer and I work well together for the benefit of my horses.
  • My horse walks on anything without any shoes. She doesn't need boots.
  • I do the Barefoot Trim, and I have Permorance Horses, Reining and Reining How Horses.
  • mule breaks out like a fungi on legs and itches and on chin and jaw could you help
  • Every 6 weeks he calls and lets me know the day he'll be in the area - he's great!
  • We are the hoof care professionals, we trim our own.
  • I trim my own horses feet. One mare will be 30 and going stronger since I took shoes off 3 years ago
  • Trim my own using Ramey concepts
  • Some of mine are shod, some are not. We've used "barefoot" trimmers and regular farriers.
  • he is devinitly pro-shoe but he can trim a bare foot if asked to
  • jaime jackson/pete ramey
  • Every 5 to 6 weeks
  • Big believer in barefoot trim. 22 horses and all are barefoot with NO lameness issues
  • I trim all five of my horses myself.
  • I'm taking a 24 year old QH back to a natural trim for health and cost reasons.
  • Horses always on dirt or sand, don't need shoes
  • ala Pete Ramey see WWW.hoofrehab.com
  • All but my driving horse are barefoot and that's because I'm on the road with her a lot.Trim my own horses.
  • Barefoot is Best!
  • I do my own Ramey Trims on all my horses
  • Natural barefoot trim (mustang roll)
  • I trim both horses myself & have never had shoes. We live in the Rky Mts & trail ride alot.
  • breeding horses and saddle horses, saddle horses are shod, others modified barefoot trim by owner
  • He trims my barefoot horses according to their needs. I have 2 horses that need shoes.
  • I have broodmares and babies only
  • It saved one of my horses from euthanasia reccommended by former shoer of 15 years.
  • Actually I do the trimming.
  • I do a barefoot performance trim on both my horses, myself
  • My vet hot shoes and fits the shoe to the horses hoof rather than the other way around.
  • he will let us know if anything other than a simple trim is necessary.
  • I trim my own horses
  • My farrier uses the Gene Ovnicek natural balance method and I use Old Mac boots when needed
  • My drafts need shoes on their fronts all year, barefoot on back feet after show season ends.
  • My horse has never worn shoes, and she goes just fine.
  • hot shoes every 6 wks
  • barefoot trim has to be strictly maintained to ride the horse barefoot
  • He uses shoes if needed, if not then we leave them barefoot.
  • I've been trimming my own horses for the last 5 years
  • Just learned about "barefoot" trim. He's been doing it for years without the name!
  • mustang roll
  • My horses are sounder and happier with balanced hooves and no metal
  • I wish he could give a barefoot trim & we don't have many options where we live.
  • my working horse is shod, my retired horse is barefoot
  • 5 horses ages 6 to 22, went barefoot 2 years ago with great results
  • Classic shoer that uses best methohd for each horse.
  • Doing it myself. Have 3 fully transitioned with rock crushing feets!
  • Plus I give hoof and coat supplements. It seems to be working very well.
  • hot-shoeing, toe clips where necessary, low profile road studs for pavement traction
  • Cody Haferman pro-farrier does what the horse needs. the hoof tells him what is needed to be done.
  • We have a horse with navicular disease. Only the hot shoe and special egg bar keep him sound.
  • I am a certified barefoot trimmer and manage my own herd of 9
  • BAREFOOT is the ONLY way to go. Find a true barefoot professional and you will see!
  • Thank God! No more lameness & saving money! Best thing I ever did for my horse. He's 25+
  • My 8-yr old TB has feet issues that only proper barefoot trimming can resolve. And it's working.
  • Barefoot (ramey) trimming has restored several horses to soundness at our farm
  • I trim my own horses
  • We have 7 horses. We use all of the above depending on use.
  • A true barefoot trim, not a pasture trim is the healthiest method to keep a horse sound and happy.
  • Good balanced trim every 6 to 8 weeks or as needed
  • I have the best natural balance shoer I have ever seen, and it only took 38 years to find him.
  • Have 3 horses. 1 gets shoes, 1 not ridable yet, & 1 mini are trim only.
  • I do my own barefoot trim.
  • Natural Hoofcare, My own, and 80 others monthly.
  • we do 50 mile endurance rides barefoot
  • by a professional not a natural hoof trimmer
  • he tells me when there is a start of a hoof problem or if the horses are getting overweight
  • My guys have to have shoes on, they would wear their toes off!
  • natural balance trim on most, 1 with NB shoes
  • I trim my own horses.
  • only our jumper gets shoes, rest are barefoot
  • Hoof care is based on the work our horses do thier conformation and their enviornment.
  • every 6 weeks- or more, if a horse has trouble with its feet.
  • My foundered gelding was lame for 2 years before "going barefoot"...after just 3 trims he was sound!
  • All six of our horses are barefoot, we have TBs and WBs, cometing in open jumping and novice
  • I've learned to do my own trimming.
  • My 25+ y.o. rescue had worn shoes all his life. The process of transitioning him to bare took 1 yr.
  • Depends on the horse and how ridden, worked, etc.
  • Equine Podiatry, HPT Method
  • I have a pawer that has to have front shoes, the rest of mine are trimmed. I like to keep it natural
  • A 'naturally' managed barefoot horse is a happy and healthy horse.
  • I keep mine rasped level and beveled at the edges, and the farrier fine tunes my work.
  • We use the Pete Raimey Natural Hoof Trimming
  • my horses are unshod
  • I have a thoroughbred whose feet are flat and thin, and my other horse does road work
  • Barefoot is BEST! My T'bred now has great feet.
  • Use a natural hoof shoeing based off
  • My farrier is very proficient in corrective trimming,always returns calls, and shows up on time
  • same trim for 16 yrs on 40 head. Horses are used hard and seldom have any hoof issues.
  • "Hoof Care Professional" ? What happened to just plain "farrier" or "shoer" ?
  • Natural balance
  • strasser style
  • I currently have one of the best Journeyman farriers around. I'm moving though and will miss him!
  • Our horses have been barefoot for 6 years. We use a natural type trim and do not need shoes.
  • my farrier trims and shoes my mare every 6 weeks.
  • Rims every 6 weeks
  • I keep my horses hooves pared out and rasped down every week. It seems to help alot
  • We will only allow a A BAREFOOT SPECIALIST,after an enept simple trim created a horrid abscess
  • My horse receives a trim and wears shoes on the front and trim but no shoes on the back.
  • 1000 horses in our area and no shoers with any education.
  • mine aren't show horses
  • natural hoofcare but not the Strasser method - designed to work with the natural hoof tendencies
  • I happy to say I have a wonderful farrier. He's done wonders for my horses' feet.
  • my horse 'crossfires' so we put Cytec shoes on her
  • aims for a shoeless balanced foot
  • My farrier started doing a "natural trim." The toe is a little longer.
  • He has saved my horse's feet, taking him from long toes, high contracted heels and shoes to great fe
  • My farrier believes in barefoot trimming when possible, he can do all kinds of farrier jobs
  • Each horse is given farrier care that is right for that horse and it needs
  • He also works corrects issues like seedy toe
  • AANHCP
  • Horses are born with all the 'shoe' they need. Barefoot improves circulation.
  • We leave them barefoot during the winter months and trim and/or shoe during summer months.
  • shod all yr. with grabs & bubble pads in winter. EDSS on foundered horse
  • Best my horses feet have ever been!
  • I do the trim.
  • Strasser Method has cured founder, navicular, ringbone/sidebone, etc! It's da bomb
  • Gene Ovinek
  • shoes with pads and antiseptic filler in between
  • better for the horses health ,and when you put shoes on you have a prone to misplaced nails in the h
  • My trimmer does a fantastic barefoot trim, he is also a greater shoer to.
  • we trim on a regular schedule, and shoe as needed.
  • She prefers a natural trim but will use plastic shoes if shoes are needed.
  • He says the horse tells him what he wants trimmed - sometimes it's very little
  • I ride in the hills which is very rocky so I have shoes on his feet so that they dont chip his feet
  • My farrier studied under Pete Ramey and the methods he uses has done wonders for my horse. I
  • she is doing therapeutic shoeing on one horse, tweaking my own barefoot trim on occasion
  • KC LaPierre's "Applied Equine Podiatry"
  • Shoes to fix flares then barefoot andsound since corrected
  • One horse is conventionally shod, other was barefoot, now has natural bal. shoes in front.
  • Advise on vitamin & mineral supp. Walking on pavement to toughen soles, gentle tactics
  • Totally depends on the weather and condition of the fields
  • Our shoer is awesome!From show horse showing, to retiree trim and showing, when needed
  • One horse barefoot, one is shod
  • Based on need - one horse has great feet and gets a trim; the other frt shoes and a trim
  • I maintain 10 horses; 5 breeding & 5 pleasure horses. We trim & shoe according to need.
  • shoes when needed. Alot of horses can go barefoot behind and shod in front.
  • florida's rockless sandy soil necessitates no iron shoes and I believe them to be unhealthy for the
  • TB, who's laminitic, has front shoes & Paso Fino has a barefoot trim
  • My mare needs shoes on the front only, my gelding only needs a barefoot trim.
  • shoes if necessary
  • high performance barefoot trim modeled after the natural wild mustangs! It's great!!
  • Front Shoes, back barefoot
  • I take care of all hoof work myself and use all 3 methods as needed
  • my horse has arthritis so my horse gets special padding
  • Depends on what the horse does and how the feet wear
  • My hoof care professional specializes in barefoot hoof care, which is why I sought him out!
  • If at all possible I do not use shoes
  • Ace wears his feet very well. Just needs regular trim every 6 weeks in the summer
  • All natural barefoot trim and our horses hooves have never been healthier! I was a skeptic,not now!
  • MOnthly trim. Happy barefoot horse! Happy owner!
  • Diamond N Farriers, Eric Natterer of Florida is my farrier and he is absolutely great
  • Pete Ramey's method
  • Use of synthetic shoes & epoxy if needed.
  • My Arab w/ soft hooves wears shoes on the front and goes barefoot on the back.
  • my guy has been barefoot for 22 years, competing as show /rodeo horse
  • depends on the horse
  • All my horses ride barefoot, except for rare mountain trail rides.
  • I am my own Barefoot Trimmer
  • I trim my own horse using the wild horse model of barefoot trimming.
  • We shoe the riding horses and trim the young ones not yet under saddle. We live in a rocky area.
  • the High Performance barefoot trim.. KC LaPierre - trim every 5 weeks April-October, 6 weeks winter
  • Natural feet, baby!
  • natural trimming every 5-6 weeks
  • What is the difference between a simple trim and a barefoot trim?
  • farrier-outstanding ability to trim all 4 flat -perfect balance,unfortunately no longer competing!.
  • front pads, with dental impression material and copper sulfate.
  • Due to lack of genuine barefoot trimmers, I now do all our trimming.
  • My horse has OA and my farrier does rocker, squared shoes for easy breakover
  • the only way to go!
  • utilizes BF trim prior to shoeing
  • short toe, njatural balance alum shoes
  • Good nutrition, dry ground (in FL), and a good farrier.
  • never touch the sole of the foot, trim the walls and clean up the edges, repeat don't touch the sole
  • My barefoot QH is on a 30 day trim schedule and his feet are always in great shape.
  • He is a real professional that went to farrier school and tries to do the best for my horses!
  • It depends on what my horses are going to be doing at the time of appointment.
  • I have 1 horse that paces and needs shoes, and the other we have trimmed when we don't ride him
  • my farrier does wear shoes or shirt
  • I strictly use a natural balance farrier and my horses have not had lameness since
  • Strasser based trim
  • 2 horses on a 4 weekschedule, 4 on a 5-6 week...
  • special navicular/clubfoot trim & shoeing in front, artificial build-up when necessary
  • Martha Olivo Standard Hoof Care. Fantastic. My horses have never had better hooves. Period.
  • My older horse get natural balance shoes on front and bare foot on the rer. Other horse is bare
  • I trim my own horses
  • Advises on supplements needed, care for current ground conditions, hooves done every 5-6 weeks
  • includes therapeutic shoeing for dropped heel.
  • Tried barefoot trim for a while, but my horse is much happier in shoes.
  • Natural Hoof Care professional
  • Pete Ramey style
  • Shoes off for winter. Shoes on in late spring.
  • My trimmer is an AAHNCP trimmer, and does a fantastic job, my horses hooves have never been better!
  • He does anything I want, including installing snow pushers and studs on her shoes in winter.
  • Our farrier maintain good angles and wide feet, using trims, shoes, padding and packing
  • Pulling my horse's shoes and having her trimmed by natural barefoot trimmer was a great decision!
  • I have learned to do my own barefoot trimming with great results!
  • Saddle horses go barefoot thru winter, but wear shoes the rest of the year. Hard & rocky in SE WY
  • Since going barefoot, my endurance horse has had fewer problems with his feet, tendons, & ligaments
  • My farrier and I work together to determine what is best for each horse individually
  • At present, four feet get trimmed, front feet get shoes. Winter, spring, goes barefoot with trim.
  • barefoot trim every 8 weeks; natural balance shoes for summer mountain riding
  • ring bone
  • My OTTB has real solid hooves and goes fine barefoot
  • an plenty of bare foot riding on hard ground
  • I use specialists who are schooled in natural hoof trimming.
  • have had a decrease in colic related illness since going barefoot. Better circulation seems to help
  • Great farrier has made a big difference in my horse's health
  • We do barefoot trims as our preference with minimal front shoeings
  • Shoes on front, trim on back
  • It is the best hoof care if you transition properly.
  • My horses' are much healthier since I quit having shoes put on them.
  • He also recommends the product Hoof Heal when hooves are dry and brittle.
  • My farrier and any good farrier does not use one method for every horse
  • I now use a barefoot trimmer and our horses are doing great!
  • Pete Ramey's barefoot trim has saved our 20 year old mares' life! God Bless Mr. Ramey!
  • my farrier comes every 8 weeks, faithfully! this trim must be maintained!
  • shortens the toe and uses shoes that are more flexible
  • We ride in rocks a lot. No horse with tack and rider should have to negotiate those rocks barefoot.
  • I've learned to trim my own after too many no shows from farriers.
  • Helped me through laminitis twice, use shoes with pads on horses that require them.
  • and whatever else they need
  • I trim my own horses
  • Depends on what the horse needs according to it naturual quality as well as what its doing for work,
  • What a fabulous difference in all my horses feet since pulling shoes and using a barefoot trim!
  • My erformance horses are barefoot and doing great.
  • My farrier does whatever is in the best interest of both the horse and the owner
  • Our horses' hooves have improved over the last 3 years of this method; no more flares, chips/cracks!
  • Am lucky to have a horse with hardy feet that can stay sound being barefoot with correct trimming.
  • horses have gone barefoot after I researched the barefoot health benefits.
  • Husband is a farrier. Running all our barrel horses in sidewinders right now.
  • barefoot and natural care is the only was
  • DraftX, pony, & mini are all barefoot
  • Racing and training TB's require an exceptional hoof care professional and regeime.
  • All with a balanced foot
  • I am a barefoot trimmer with about 50 horses under my care.
  • dramatic results with P3 rotation and whole new sole on foot
  • She puts a nice mustang roll on all my horses every 3-4 weeks.
  • I am a fully qualified farrier in Holland. I trim and/or shoe traditional. Works out best this way!
  • Great barefoot farrier at last. My horses are so sound now and travelling with heel first landing.
  • I have a gelding and a mare. The mare has shoes on front only year round due to chipping.
  • Following Pete Ramey guidelines...much happy, healthier horses!
  • Natural hoofcare-no shoes!
  • Natural balance aluminum shoes works best on my horse.
  • I keep my horses bare with a natural trim always!
  • I shoe only when needed for horse's comfort or for strenuous work... RARELY. Regular trims important
  • Strasser hoofcare Professional
  • horses each one gets somthing different done to their feet.
  • 3 of my 4 horses are barefoot and trail ridden, 1 needs shoes
  • my horse has great feet and is always barefoot without a problem
Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners