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What's in a barefoot trim?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

From time to time we get asked “what’s involved in an AEP consultation!” So we thought we would let you know what our flagship, holistic and comprehensive service involves and what sets it apart from a typical farrier grass trim service.

Different barefoot trim services

There are many different farrier and trimming services in the U.K. and each professional will provide a different service. As such there is a wide variety of prices. A farrier typically charges between £60 and £90 for a standard set of shoes. This will involve a trim and provision and application of a set of 4 metal horse shoes. It is recommended that horses are shod every 4 to 6 weeks and we would agree with that. Some farriers will visually assess the horse before and after trimming and/or application of shoes and advice may be given about the care of the horse. Farriers are responding to the increasing number of requests for barefoot trims and again, the price charged for this will vary according to the training and ethos of the professional and delivery of the service.

Healthy barefoot hoof by Holistic Reflections

What does a barefoot trim cost?

There are a number of professional hoof carers who are either self trained or are qualified with a trimming or Podiatry school and they may be a member of a professional body. Again, services and prices vary. Typically, a barefoot trim from a farrier, podiatrist or barefoot trimmer will cost between £25 and £50 with the average charge at around £35. Some services will include photos and/or written reports/recommendations.

Beccy is an experienced DAEP or Applied Equine Podiatrist and aligns herself with the ethical professional conduct as outlined by the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry. As a DAEP, Beccy feels it is important to provide a comprehensive consultancy service and not just a barefoot trim service as there is more provided in our service beyond the trim. In actual fact, whilst the consult service fee includes a trim, it may not be performed as part of the consult if it is not appropriate.

Keeping and riding a horse barefoot is still relatively new and requires responsible horse keeping and training. There is much information available online and published but again, the information may not be accurate or appropriate for the individual horse and/or owner. Being responsible and ethical as an owner, rider or carer of the barefoot horse requires appropriate knowledge and information which facilitates appropriate and informed decision making. It also helps horse owners, carers and trainers to be proactive and responsive and change the environmental stimulus (diet, footing, grazing, exercise, forage, hoof care, etc) of the horse to suit the horses needs on a daily basis.

All weather turnout designed and built by Beccy for holistic horse care

Why is Holistic Reflections barefoot trim different?On the first consult, Beccy asks many questions about the horses environment and history. The horses record is updated at every consult as changes to the environment may positively or negatively affect the health and performance of the feet and body.

Beccy takes photos of the hooves before and after the High Performance Trim (HPT) has been Applied (if appropriate). These help review, assessment and provide a record of changes. If appropriate, photos of the body are taken and video footage. The horses gait and body is assessed, body score and clients comments/observations recorded and a note taken of the horses body weigh via weight tape. Beccy is an Equine Body worker and SCENAR therapist and will use her knowledge as a trainer, rider and therapist to help assess the horse and provide recommendations to facilitate the continued health or to improve the health and performance of the horse. These may be services we can provide or we may provide recommendations for other therapies or therapists.

Our AEP consultancy service also includes a detailed clients written PDF report after the first consult. This outlines the background to AEP and a summary of the horses Spectrum of Usability and recommendations. There are links to provide more information/further reading and clients are encouraged to share the report with the horses carers such as trainers, vets, therapist, and other professionals who may be involved with the horses care and welfare.

At every consult, a two part spectrum of usability is provided which provides a score of the horses foot health at the time of the consult. This is a very important tool and advises clients what level of performance the horses is capable of at the time of the consult. This helps protect the horse from harm caused by too much exercise or the wrong type of stimulus which could cause pain or trauma to the foot, limb or body of the horse. The second part outlines recommendations to help improve the health and level of performance of the foot/horse.

We also work closely with vets and can provide recommendations and guidelines to facilitate the taking of x-rays for example. As part of our AEP consult we can liaise with the clients vet. We recommend a team approach in helping horses and the sharing of information with other professionals in a straight forward and easy to understand format is important and our documents are designed to just that, should the client wish to do so.

Holistic Reflections helps horses transition from shod to barefoot

Our AEP consults include: *Gait assessment *Body assessment *Hoof health assessment (inc. hoof testing) *HPT trim (if appropriate) *Topical hoof infection treatment (eg. Silvestrasol thrush ended/art-mud/hoof stuff) *Before and after photos/video as appropriate *AEP Spectrum of Usability hoof score and recommendation *AEP client report (first consult and as required) *Liaise with vet (if appropriate) *On-going support via email or phone.

We believe that at £50 per consult, our most popular service has proven over the years to be excellent value for money and is very popular with discerning clients looking for that extra support for their horse. Our clients vary from first time owners to experienced trainers and their horses may be high performance horses or retired pets. Some have complicated lameness issues such as laminitis or navicular syndrome and some may be perfectly sound and their owners wish to be proactively supporting their wellness. We have helped racehorses and shetlands and all in-between. Some are transitioned from shoes to barefoot and some have never been shod!

We tell our clients our help and support doesn’t end when we leave their yard and we truly appreciate the need for ongoing help. As a result we make sure we are available for our clients when they need us to be!

If you would like to learn more about our top quality holistic hoof care services, would like to maintain or improve your horses performance or would like to book an AEP consult with Beccy, please feel free to contact us today!

We also welcome feedback or comments so please feel free to leave a message.

Warmest well wishes,

Beccy Smith BSc(Hons) EBW DAEP

Beccy Smith BSc (Hons) DAEP EBW hoof testing a barefoot horse during AEP consult.

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