A very nice letter I just received from one of my former students:
Three years ago I moved from a boarding situation in Miami to my own ranch in Southern Oregon. The move was very stressful on my horses, as was the change their environment, terrain and diet. Within half a year of arriving in Oregon, all three of my horses developed hoof problems. My Shetland Pony, Harley, came down with severe laminitis, my Arabian, Sunny, developed chronic abscesses, and my Arabian, Vashka was also sore in his front feet. I searched all over the state -- and even throughout the country -- for professional trimmers who could help me heal my horses. No one seemed able to help. That was when I decided to learn to become a trimmer.
My quest took me to a journeyman farrier in Arizona, a veterinarian in Pennsylvania and finally to Pat Wagner in Washington. I can honestly say that it was Pat who helped me put everything into perspective. Watching her trim and then trimming with her spurred so many "ah-ha" moments it was incredible. There are many people who are good teachers or good trimmers. But there are very few people who are both. Pat is one of them. She is knowledgeable, methodical, kind and patient. Never was there a moment when she did not take the time to answer a question -- and I had many of them.
For people looking to learn to trim their own horses or to become a professional trimmer, I highly recommend Pat. Our "intensive" was well thought out, well rounded, and lasted three days. On day one we trimmed several of her clients' horses, then came back to Pat's house and trimmed one of her horses. On day two we visited more of Pat's clients, then trimmed two more of Pat's horses. On day three Pat gave me an in-class demonstration on the anatomy of the hoof, at which point we both dissected cadaver hooves. Then we trimmed yet another horse on her ranch. In between all this Pat took me to a farrier supply store where she guided me to buy the most efficient trimming tools. And at night I read books Pat loaned me on the anatomy of the hoof and natural hoofcare trimming.
By the time I got home I felt confident in trimming my own horses' feet as well as the horses of others. My first client had a flat-footed, horse with horrible stretched white lines, severe thrush and extensive flaring. Thanks to Pat, I was able to deal effectively with all of it.
Lori Teresa Yearwood