Howdy Friends! Recently there seems to a movement to try to reshape the horse’s foot. I understand what the thought is. But friends, it doesn’t work. I’ve seen far too many horses in boots as routine, because the trimming has left the horse tender.

That is totally counter productive.

And in my book, lousy husbandry. A horse should not be sore after a trim! Period!

Now let me say, right off, in the beginning, when rehabbing a neglected horse’s feet, yeah, we might get a little aggressive. But even then – March with caution!! Go gradual!

I always say, “If the horse is sore footed after the trim, you’ve gone too far. And by golly that’s what I’m sticking with.

Be careful on the heel pushback

One of the things I’m seeing that I disagree with, is trying to push the heels too far back. To push them back, heel must be removed. Which lowers them. Not always a good thing.

Don’t remove sole!

Another thing I’m seeing, even from people I greatly respect, is rasping the bottom of the foot, at the toe, including on the sole, to lower the front of the foot (I guess to change angle of the landing/standing foot).

AND both these processes create sore footed horses requiring boots! Foolish!

I NEVER rasp on the bottom, not ever. Oh gosh I have stories.

Yes, we must keep the toe back

I DO subscribe to keeping the toe back. No more than a third of the foot should be in front of the apex of the frog.


I see barefoot trimmers, professionals, lameing horses all over the place. Recently I’ve seen horse owners convinced that a sore footed horse after a trim is normal. And needing boots around the clock is okay. I can’t believe this stupidity is happening!!

My mare Rosie, waiting for me to trim.


A horse should walk away from a maintenance trim, on sound feet. If they are not, the trim was too aggressive and out of line. I expect a fair amount of push back on this. But by golly, I’ll not waver.

For sure other factors come into play. All of our husbandry contributes. What I’m addressing here is this recent philosophy of overshapping (as I call it). Trim the foot God gave the horse. Keep it sound. Don’t create trouble.

A great trim leaves a horse sure footed, in great posture, and certainly not sorefooted. ~ Gitty Up, Dutch.


Look for my book, IT’S FOR THE HORSES. For more info.


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