Barefoot trimming foals from 2 weeks of age
As horse owners and equine podiatrists, we are often asked if we could just do one thing to ensure a lifetime of soundness to a horse what would it be.
Here is the answer...
These are my 4 Quarter Horses running around exuberantly. They were trimmed and raised out in the open since birth. Trimming of these tiny hooves started at just 2 weeks of age. (Lifetime trim schedule, every 2 weeks for the first 3 months, then every 4 weeks for the rest of their life.)
There is very little to do but in foals their tiny feet have long toes and underrun heels and forward running bars. A 2-minute rasp with the fine side of the rasp on small feet will stop the contractions that are on their way at a very early age.
The perk of trimming at 2 weeks there is no "Training" involved in teaching them to pick up their feet, they just do it. It is more of a response than a thought. Then not only will you have a halter broke easy to trim baby at 3 months you will have a horse that is worth more $$$$$ as it has good feet, and you will have a Quarter Horse with nice healthy large sound hooves rather than coffee cans.
Remember the lessons of the Mustangs. They have great feet and that is why people want them! The babies are born and 6 hours into their day they are up and running after their mothers, and not just a few hundred feet, a few miles. Those under-run heels and long toes are gone in 2 days and the hoof is wide, open and functional, with proper hoof mechanics.
Once wild horses are captured and held in holding pens, their feet go downhill quickly - in as little as 6 weeks. Why? Lack of movement!
So give these wonderful companion and service animals the life and care they are entitled to.