My wonderful farrier of over 30 years is also a great barefoot trimmer, even though he doesn't do the finish, like Sally said. He graduated from Pacific Coast, many years ago, and never stopped trying to learn more. He's open minded and willing to try different ideas, but he knows what will work and what won't work. Plus, I never had to worry about having a horse get sore right after a trim, like I see with so many barefoot trimmers. The only horse that got sore after a trim was my Cushing's horse during active laminitis episodes. When I got my old mare, she'd been shod most of her life. I had him pull the shoes, and she never needed boots - ever.
So, each trimmer needs to be judged on their own work and not simply based ONLY on accreditation. The lady who's been trimming my horse since I moved him has done a wonderful job with him, and she's never been to any school or gotten any certification. She learned good, solid skills from good farriers and trimmers.
The one caveat I have to make is that owners need to self-educate about proper trimming and balancing of the feet. I've seen some trimmers do a terrible job, but the horse "moves better" according to the owner. This is a temporary mechanical element to the "slipper foot" I see creeping in over a period of several months. The horse's breakover is slower, causing the horse to need to make a little larger and more sweeping move with the legs to clear the ground and not stumble. The owners love the movement and don't seem to realize the horse is struggling, so when the horse comes up sore in the back, stifles, hips and shoulders, they want to attribute it to anything other than the trim job. There is a visible difference in the type of sweeping movement made by the slipper trim and the free forward sweeping of natural forward motion, but a lot of people can't see it until you can show them an immediate comparison. I've seen both barefoot trimmers and farriers produce a slipper foot by creating this faulty motion. It can take a year or more to correct, too, once it gets obvious enough for even the owner to start questioning the way the feet look.
If in doubt, have x-rays taken of the feet to see if the trim is allowing proper support and the bones are lined up correctly.
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