AANHCP Trimming Guidelines
The trimming restrictions which are outlined below I think are of great value and important to know. They are the restrictions laid down by Jaime Jackson and followed by AANHCP barefoot trimmers.
When trimming, if you keep to these guidelines you will not cause any harm to your horse(s).
When I first picked up my rasp, I kept these trimming guidelines and restrictions in mind. By keeping them them in my head I was able to cautiously begin to trim our horses hooves without fearing the worst; over-trimming and subsequent lameness.
I would reassure myself as I nervously held and used my rasp and farriers knives that if I stuck to these guidelines, at least I would not be over trimming. As time progressed, I gradually became able to “read the hoof” and trim accordingly, but this takes time and confidence, hence the value in understanding these guidelines when you start out.
In addition if you are working with a farrier, who may not be familiar with a barefoot trim, by understanding these guidelines, you will be in a much stronger position to see if how they are trimming your horses hooves is appropriate or not, or is even remotely like a barefoot trim.
I have listed below the AAHNCP trimming restrictions:-
Any trimming of the hoof capsule, such as resection of the toe, quarters, heel-buttresses, bars, sole, frogs and bulbs, that exposes or causes prolapse of the dermal coriums.
(This very simply means, heavily cutting into the hoof in any of the above areas and so penetrating the inside tissues.)
2. Targeted aggressive thinning of the hoof wall, sole, frog and bulbs resulting in hypersensitivity.
(So for example when a farrier trims all the frog leaving it looking white and clean.)
3. Any hoof care procedure (e.g. trimming, fixed-shoeing, 24/7 booting, and excessive soaking of the foot), that weakens, removes, distorts or obstructs the natural form and integrity of the hoof. This includes the “white line’ which runs in-between the sole and hoof wall – and the biomechanics (natural movement) of the hoof capsule.
4. Any hoof care method or procedure that causes or pre-disposes the hoof to short term or chronic abscessing.
5. Cutting away the hoof wall or sole to drain an abscess.
6. Any hoof care method or procedure that intentionally causes pain or mechanically obstructs the natural gaits.
In the AANHCP guidelines manual, there are pictures and diagrams showing these trimming restrictions of the white line, the hoof wall and hoof flaring, which support and show these restrictions more clearly.
The AANHCP is very clear on what in their opinion is prohibited with barefoot trimming and this is where the differences in opinions lie within the various barefoot trimming bodies, (in my opinion).
By becoming familiar with the above guidelines and understanding them, you are another step up in knowing what a natural barefoot trim is all about and what to trim and what not to trim.
Once you are familiar and recognize these guidelines if for whatever reason you go outside these guidelines, which Strasser and other trimmers do (in my opinion), then make sure you really understand what they/you are doing and that the advice or trim you are having is coming from someone who really knows and understands barefoot trimming.
Do not just assume that they know, question them and query their work and ask for references and case histories of horses they have trimmed and if need be, speak to the owners in order to safeguard yourself from causing any trimming harm to your horse(s).
In other words do your own research and don’t be afraid of asking questions to anyone who may be helping you.
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