Hoof Care Education for the 21st Century, this time I like to elaborate a little on our programs at Equine Soundness Inc.
Basically we offer two tracks of study:
1.) Horse owner
2.) Professional Hoof Care Provider
Unfortunately there are not all that many qualified hoof care providers available and often the horse owner has no recourse but to hire a farrier to perform a barefoot trim. While I am sure that there are some farriers out there that do a very credible job, most farriers perform a “pasture trim”, which is not the same as a barefoot trim. As the term describes, a pasture trim is a trim a horse can get away with if he only stands in a pasture. The rules for trimming change when the horse is to be ridden or driven.
When no qualified barefoot trimmer is available, horse owners can enrol in our course modules # 1 and # 2 and learn the theory behind a barefoot trim. Then they get together with one of our instructors and practice to reproduce a balanced trim. This kind of instruction allows the horse owner to first become very familiar with the intricate anatomy, the hoof form and function. The theory also explores lifestyle options, nutrition and gives an introduction to various supportive modalities like acupressure, acupuncture, massage etc. The practical part of instruction is 5 half days, but can always be expanded, should the need arise. We are very flexible in our instruction modules.
For those who think they want to become a professional hoof care provider, we offer an intensive study course that involves a comprehensive theory part including everything the horse owner studied, but adding courses in pathology, trimming modifications of the same, business considerations and in depth horseman- ship. The students have to complete homework and assignments, provide a comprehensive case study, attend at least 10 full trimming days and get approval of their instructor(s) to attend a final 5 day practicum where all the lectures are solidified into a detailed picture. The students are monitored in their progress and only admitted to the final exam when their instructors feel that they have the expertise to pass not only the challenging certification exam, but become solid barefoot hoof care providers in the field.
Sounds like a lot? Yes it is. There is a lot to learn, a lot to experience and not everything can be taught in the class room. But we have tried very hard to make this complex material as transparent as possible to ensure the most positive outcome. One of our students, Ingrid Dohler from Minnesota wrote: “ I am learning and learning and learning. My head starts to spin. LOL. Your material is fabulous! Thank you for introducing me.”