Unable to find anyone I felt I could trust with my horses, with the help of one or two farriers in the area, I simply started trimming them myself.
The AANHCP, formerly known as the American Association of Natural Hoofcare Practitioners was left with only a handful of people who weren’t new to trimming and a few students who seemed to be in agreement with what became termed as the Double "A" Cookie Cutter Trim by outsiders, and a leader who considered himself the Zen Master of the hoof. Scary.
The cream of the AANHCP crop who resigned, as well as a few very successful practitioners around the country, banded together to form the AHA or American Hoof Association. (See Americanhoofassociation.org) This is not an educating organization, but rather one that screens for only the most competent practitioners in the world. I am now a member of the AHA. And have recently returned from their 2nd annual conference which took place in upstate New York. Four days of working around experts in their field, learning about new ways to help make horses comfortable in their journey from damaged hooves to natural hooves. It was amazing!
So I realize that with new associations cropping up, and incompetent trimmers who are learning from misinformed trimmers and the farriers who claim they know natural hoofcare - (it simply means leaving the shoe off - right?) what is left is a great deal of confusion for horse-owners who are seeking what is best for their horses.
That is such nonsense when you consider the healing that is being done for hooves that have been damaged through neglect and/or traditional hoofcare. However, there are people out there who claim to know natural hoofcare practices, and who are destroying hooves.
So when deciding to try natural hoofcare for your horse, please don’t listen to the BS that is being spewed by the idiots who dominate the horse world. Do your own research. Talk to others who’ve experienced wonderful success with healing trims provided by competent natural hoofcare professionals. Question everything you hear and everyone who you are hearing from. Veterinarians, as wonderful as most of them are, also have incompetent members in their ranks who know what they know and refuse to educate themselves in the research that is taking the hoofcare world by storm.
Find someone who has a reputation for helping, not hurting horses. And remember, the second leading cause of equine euthanasia is hoof issues and there is always going to be those who don’t want the traditional damaging hoof care practices to die. It keeps the “professionals” busy fixing the problems they cause and they know for every horse they put down due to hoof issues, another will take its place.
Today, my mare and all my horses have tough natural hooves that can negotiate the toughest terrain without a care.