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Self-trimming vs hoofs that don't grow

When we describe a hoof as 'stuck', we mean that there is very little to no growth between trim cycles. There can often be some confusion around this particular issue of no growth and self trimming.

Self-trimming done properly is very difficult to achieve in the UK as continual daily movement and varied terrain is needed to naturally wear down the hoof. When we personally talk about self trimming, we are typically referring to any cracks and chips in the feet and for us, this tends to happen when a newly barefoot horse begins moving on track and their feet begin to wear with movement.

Glen's hoof - an example of a hoof that didn't grow between trims for a long time

It's important to understand that no new growth is an indication that the hoofs are not being properly stimulated. This could be through restricted turnout where the horse isn't physically able to get enough movement to stimulate new healthy growth or due to shoes, where the hoof is restricted and unable to function optimally, which includes full contact and therefore, stimulation.

A self trimming hoof belonging to a wild horse

For the hoof to function and work optimally, our horses need to be moving daily and the hoof needs to be free of the restriction shoes cause. Self-trimming and lack of growth are very different things.

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