In September 2010 I qualified as an Equine Podiatrist with the Equine Podiatry Association UK, who run a two-year diploma course. The course consisted of many elements including:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • behavior
  • handling
  • nutrition
  • environment
  • diagnostics
  • gait analysis
  • pathologies
  • photography
  • grassland awareness
  • and first aid (horse and human) as well as the actual trimming!

An Equine Podiatrist is a trained specialist in barefoot hoofcare. Equine Podiatry is the scientific study of the anatomy and physiology of the equine hoof. An EP understands how to influence this to achieve optimum hoof health for any individual horse. A holistic approach is needed to attain this – you can be the best trimmer in the world, but unless many factors are taken into consideration, you will not get the best feet!

The hoof is a highly complex structure made up of several components which each have a crucial part to play in the correct function of the hoof as a whole. It is only by taking the roles and relationships of all of these component structures into account, that optimum health, function and therefore usability can be achieved. As well as improving general hoof health, it is successful in helping with ‘problem’ hooves and conditions such as laminitis and navicular, where working alongside the vet may be appropriate. I may also advise more specialized help from other professionals such as physiotherapists, saddle fitters etc, as influences from problems in these areas can also impact upon the hooves. The trim is safe, balanced and non-invasive, and always puts the comfort of the horse first.


Barefoot Trimming



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