LH Trimming Philosophy

Trim To Encourage The Growth Of Strong Healthy Hooves

Our model for trimming is the efficient form hooves assume under aboriginal lifestyle, terrain, and environmental conditions. Those are the conditions under which hooves were designed to function optimally. Under those conditions, growth and wear balance to produce and maintain a strong, compact form with proper alignment of internal and external structures. Our goal is to nurture and encourage each hoof to grow toward this optimally efficient form through trimming.

This cannot be accomplished by forcing the hoof into some preconceived shape or changing the trim to suit the activities or so-called needs of the horse. Instead, the proper trim is performed in complete harmony with the horse’s anatomy and physiology by the application of non-invasive, rational principles designed to enable the hoof to develop into this healthy, optimal form.

Successful hoof trimming takes place within the broader context of horse care which necessarily includes management and use practices (how the horse is kept, fed, ridden, etc.) that support hoof health. Information about the nature and role of such factors is an integral part of our training programs. It equips our professional trimmers to act as reliable resources for their clients and non-professionals to recognize when adjustments are needed in their horse’s lifestyle.







LH Horse Handling Philosophy

Force Begins Where Knowledge Ends

LH is committed to the kind and gentle treatment of all animal species, including people. Handling and training horses should follow natural laws of learning and communication. Interactions should be enjoyable experiences that enrich the life of the horse and the human. Force is a sure sign of ignorance … that the situation exceeds the handler’s level of skill and knowledge.


LH Whole Horse Philosophy

The Trim Is Not The Only Factor That Determines Hoof Health

Hoof health is determined by many factors. How a hoof is trimmed is one important factor. But hoof health and shape are also influenced by management and use practices and by the environment and lifestyle of the horse. Suboptimal management and use practices can undermine the efforts of even the most highly skilled trimmer. It is imperative hoof care providers understand this basic premise of natural hoof care and, importantly, know problems caused by such factors cannot be fixed by trimming. Instead, the root cause of the problem must be addressed, then proper trimming can facilitate healing.


LH Horse Management & Use Philosophy

Do Today Only What Will Make The Horse Better Tomorrow

Horses should be managed and used in ways that do not cause them mental or physical distress. Their lives should be enriched through interactions with other equine companions, room to move naturally, free choice forage, voluntary exercise, training that follows natural laws, and by a lifestyle that is rich in social and sensory diversity. In plain words, they should be managed and used in ways that keep their life pleasant and interesting.




Q & A

Question: Is hoof care a good career choice?

Answer: The short answer is, “It is for a lot of people.” But please watch this short video.

Question: Do I have to submit an application to enter a training program?

Answer: No. You begin a program by attending a Gateway Clinic.

Question: Do I have to pay for all of the training at once?

Answer: No. All of the elements of a program are paid separately. 

Question: Are there any administrative charges associated with the program?

Answer: No. There are no hidden charges or dues.

Question: A local trimmer teaches people to trim. Why should I learn through LH?

Answer: Trimming experience and certification are qualifications an individual must have to teach trimming for LH. But even those important attributes are not enough. Teaching requires additional special skills. With LH you will learn from world-class experts in hoof care who have also taken the time and made the effort to learn to teach effectively. Our instructors have been commended for their teaching ability and dedication by people from around the world. In addition, with LH you will not only learn how to trim but how to trim in a way that encourages the hoof to grow into a strong compact form with proper alignment of internal and external structures. This is an absolute requirement for comfort and long-term soundness. You will also learn about management and use factors that are important to developing strong healthy feet. You will learn about biomechanics and how they affect hoof shape. You will learn about performance boots and their role in natural hoof care. In the Gateway Clinic, you will get extensive hands-on experience trimming cadaver hooves under the supervision of some of the top hoof care professionals in the world. Cadaver hooves provide an opportunity to learn and make mistakes without causing harm. It will prepare you to confidently go home and trim your horses knowing you can do it right and without causing harm. And additional help is always available through field instruction and informative discussion with experienced hoof care professionals.

Question: I’ve never trimmed a hoof. Can I still enter a training program?

Answer: Yes. Most people, even those with no or limited trimming experience, can competently trim normal hooves after attending a Gateway Clinic. However, aspiring professionals should continue on to certification.

Question: If I’m working toward certification, do I have to complete the program within a certain time period?

Answer: No. You advance through the program toward certification at your own pace.

Question: Is certification permanent?

Answer: Absolutely! Once you are certified no one can take it away from you. It is a testament to your accomplishment, skill, and knowledge, just like a high school or college degree.

Question: Does LH offer continuing education courses?

Answer: Yes. And after successfully completing a certification program, you earn the designation Certified Hoof Care Professional, CHCP. You may go on to earn the designation Master Hoof Care Professional, MHCP. The MHCP credential is earned by a CHCP who has accumulated qualifying continuing education (CE) credits and hoof care experience following certification.

We also encourage people to return periodically to the Gateway Clinic. There is no registration fee for return visits although we do charge a fee for room and board and for hooves trimmed, if any. This is an important benefit that helps to keep hoof care professionals current with up-to-date information. It also provides new students an opportunity to meet and talk with others who already have gone through the training program and have developed successful natural hoof care businesses.