To some extent you get what you pay for, but some horses do okay with a simple pasture trim. If people have financial constraints, I suggest that they find someone they can afford trim their horse at least every 5 to 6 weeks, and I can help with recommendations.
Hoof imbalance puts significant stress on joints, tendons and ligaments. Keeping the hoof balanced (no long toes, high heels or medial-lateral imbalance) needs to be a priority because balance affects a horses soundness. The difference between a poor trim and a good trim is usually two Starbucks Mocha's a month...sometimes it's the straw that breaks the camels back, and I get that! But if your horse really needs a better trim or has a hoof problem, its cheap insurance.
My rates in Santa Rosa are $65 and go up to cover time and travel... Most of my clients are local, but I travel to San Martin, Pacifica, Briones, Bolinas, Middletown, Clayton and Walnut Creek. I charge as much as $80 in some areas. I travel because I love working with clients who share my interest in keeping horses optimally healthy and balanced... clients who are willing to tweak nutrition and work with chiropractors when their horses need it.
I've been trimming for over 10 years and have a conservative, balanced trim that looks good throughout the trim period (generally 5 weeks). I specialize in balancing the hoof to the horse, and have done a lot of rehab for navicular, heel contraction and laminitis.
In addition to trimming, I'm a resource for my clients, helping them find the best hay, supplements, saddles, chiropractors, vets and trainers in their area. I offer complementary boot fitting, saddle assessment, body balance assessment and basic nutritional education... they all affect hoof balance and integrity.
There are some very good trimmers and trimming farriers in the bay area. The two biggest problems I've seen are over-trimming (horses being tender after trims), long toes and crude trims that don't encourage hooves to stay balanced. Some horses wear their feet well, but many don't.
Linda Winfield Cowles
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