Debs Natural Hoof Care

Natural Hoof Care for Barefoot Horses

FAQ

 READY?

Please have your horse, pony, mule or donkey ready: haltered, cooperative and relaxed upon my arrival. It is not fair to expect one to be ready if it is during feeding time, buddies are not nearby, if one has been stalled or isolated for a long period of time, or if there is any undue stress happening. Safety is priority. Extra fee applies per horse, donkey, etc. for me to catch them and bring them in to trim.
*Note: I reserve the discretion to refuse catching on a case by case basis


Availability:

At this time, I trim Tuesday thru Saturday. I do my best to keep on top of messages, calls, emails, etc throughout those days between the hours of 8am - 5pm. All correspondence will be answered as soon as possible... during the busier seasons, it may be the next business day or so.

Scheduling:

Appointments are usually made within a day or so of the date of a trim. I regularly attempt to confirm our appointments in advance, one week prior at most. It is helpful if you would confirm as well. Horses, situations and traffic being unpredictable in nature, I may be ahead of or behind schedule. I will contact you as soon as possible to let you know. Occasionally the schedule for the day may change for various reasons; I will check in with you if an earlier or later time slot may be helpful for you. If the original time is best, I understand.

Rescheduling:

Realistically, life happens... to all of us. Flexibility is necessary at times. In case of an emergency or untimely personal event, please contact me as soon as possible so I may offer you the earliest alternate date. This will enable me to offer that time to another horse, pony, mule or donkey needing care.

I will attempt to contact you after I arrive if you miss the appointment. Half of the fee that was due will be charged. Please contact me to reschedule to ensure consistent care for your horse/s, etc.

In the event of a non emergency/urgent situation, last minute cancellations less than 14 days prior to the agreed upon appointment will be charged 1/2 of the amount that would be due. If horse(s), etc. are unable to be caught and ready upon my arrival, the trip fee will be charged.

Payment:

Preferred method of payments due at time of service: cash, PayPal, Venmo, personal check. Late fees will accrue at $20 per week past the date of service.

Consultations:

I welcome the opportunity to meet you and discuss your goals and the needs of your horse, etc. I assess a fee for my time and expertise - the amount is $100 (includes trip and ample time at location). If I trim while there the consultation fee will be waived for trim/trip fee.

Where:

Weather is usually not a problem for me - I get acclimated seasonally. Nonetheless, rain ruins tools; winter wind can be too severe; deep, slippery mud is hazardous; and direct sun in summer without shade make my job more difficult. Barns and shelters with adequate lighting are a must during extreme weather. Other than that, I trim just about anywhere the horses are comfortable.

Comfort:

Horses have a more cooperative attitude when they are comfortable. FLY REPELLANT and fans in summertime, food for an empty stomach, barn buddies nearby, etc. all contribute to a positive and relaxing experience for everyone. Please also consider animals that have been recently relocated need time to adjust and settle in.

Distracted:

For my safety - and yours - please try to maintain your horse's focus on the task at hand.

Training:

Although I am experienced with horses, I am not a professional trainer. If your horse is untrained, unmanageable or unsafe, I reserve the right to refuse service. Trip fee will still apply. Please manage your horse and keep all of us safe.

Gaited:

I trim gaited horses with respect to their natural, comfortable hoof parameters as with all horses/donkeys/mules. Natural hoof care does not include special trims to exaggerate gaits - if your horse will not gait without such methods, please seek persons who specialize in this.

Vets: 

I welcome and encourage working with your veterinarian, chiropractor, massage/body work therapist, nutritionist, equine dentist and trainer - the whole horse approach includes the whole team approach.

Lame:

If your horse is acutely lame with an abscess, a diagnosis of "navicular" syndrome, laminitic/foundering, cushings/equine metabolic issues, I highly recommend that you receive an exam and diagnosis first from your veterinarian. Blood work is essential to diagnose and determine if there are any underlying issues without symptoms. Current and past x-rays are extremely helpful - please forward via email.

Special Needs:

If your horse has past injuries, deformities, arthritis, EPM, etc. I will patiently do my best to accomodate their needs. It is unkind to expect a horse to endure unreasonable discomfort from arthritis, past injuries, etc. during a trim session.  Phenylbutuazone "bute"can be obtained from your veterinarian: administer the night before and morning of trims to ensure a more comfortable experience.

Foals:

Hoof care starts with foals. For proper hoof development inside and out, foals must have maximum exercise and freedom to move. Trimming will keep excess growth in check early to maintain correct growth. Please handle foals EVERY day soon after birth and prepare them for having their hooves handled: set them up to succeed.

"Rescue / Foster":

Rescued and fostered animals will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. I reserve the right to decline service to unsafe or untrained  animals that pose a threat to my safety ... or yours!

Boots:

Yes. I highly recommend them as the healthy alternative to metal shoes. They offer protection and support without interfering with natural hoof mechanics and while enabling the hoof structures to become stronger. Great for transition after removal of shoes or for horses that are uncomfortable when ridden on uneven, rocky ground. Great for rehabilitation during laminitis, founder, navicular, etc.  I will gladly direct you to hoof boot resources.


References and Reviews:

Available upon request.


KEEP IN MIND: your horse or donkey or mule can have the best trim and still have discomfort due to other critical, underlying problems such as:

  • dental issues
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • spinal and various joint issues
  • muscle and tendon sprains and tears (myofacial trigger points)
  • improper movement due to poor conformation, past injuries, etc.


ALSO AVAILABLE: contact for resources of other reliable equine professionals such as:

  • equine dentists
  • veterinarians
  • myofacial therapists
  • massage therapists
  • trainers
  • barn sitters (providing medical/therapeutic care in addition to regular needs)

 

PLEASE REMEMBER: professional hoof care is not a substitute for overall appropriate veterinary care, diagnosis and treatment plan. Thank you for understanding.