Bob Childs - ESA/AHA/PHCP Certified Hoof Specialist

Regarding the trim cycle…

Question: Is it possible to extend the trimming cycle longer than 5 weeks?

I've been known to say that a mediocre trimmer who comes every 3 weeks can accomplish more than that a great trimmer who comes every 8 weeks. A horse can go out of balance within a couple weeks post-trim and unbalanced hooves can stress joints, ligaments and tendons causing soreness elsewhere in the body. A short cycle can reduce joint damage and avoid soreness. A short cycle also eliminates the need for a big correction which may cause the horse to compensate while he adjusts to the corrected hooves. Horses in the wild trim their hooves daily as they trek long distances in search of food and water. They don't have to wait weeks to balance their hooves nor do they need to adjust to a sudden balance or breakover correction. Regularly balanced hooves promote steady growth and proper hoof mechanics. These are only a few of the reasons why I recommend a trim cycle of 5 weeks or less.

In regards to my work schedule... all my clients are on a 5 week cycle and I organize each workday by geographical regions. Each 5 weeks I return to that same region but after 6 weeks I would be in a different region. Therefore it would not be possible to lengthen the cycle for some - but not all - clients. As I maintain a full roster, I must be as efficient as possible to properly treat all the horses in my care.

However, there are occasionally special cases where it is absolutely imperative to the owner to extend the trim cycle. In those cases, I'll recommend (when possible) a competent colleague with a more flexible schedule.