Barefoot for Soundness - Marjorie Smith

Marjorie Smith is the owner of Barefoot for Soundness which is a website that is a voice for the experience and observations of several dozen barefoot-horse colleagues, plus the thoughtful contributions of many readers.

Marjorie lives in the countryside near Philadelphia, USA and has trimmed her own horses' feet since 1998.

It took her five years to think her way through going barefoot, before there was any "barefoot movement" to point the way. She completely respects how long it takes to think it through and she believes in giving you time to do your own homework before committing to the barefoot decision.

Marjorie's inspiration came from watching the farrier Tony Gonzalez teach about balancing hooves, where she saw a fidgety horse suddenly become calm after he shaved a small amount off the outside toe of one of its feet.

She credits Becky Tober, a Gonzalez student, for showing her how to see many kinds of imbalances in hooves.

Her experience of a "pasture trim" on her first horse (15 years ago) - when her horse became very sore to the point that Marjorie put shoes back on her - made her notice that you have to do something different to ride a horse barefoot.

When she moved East in 1998, Marjorie had the shoes pulled on her horses, and started playing with the trimming tools. Trimming every 3 to 4 weeks for a year she worked her way through every imbalance there is, always with lots of observation, thought, and experimenting.

While figuring out how to trim, Marjorie found Jaime Jackson's book, 'The Natural Horse'. Later she visited Jaime and saw his awesome set of wild mustang feet; looked at them for hours and took their shape deep into her core.

She also heard of Dr. Hiltrud Strasser, a German veterinarian who developed a method for rehabilitating lame horses that includes a barefoot, short-heel trim along with 24-hour turnout and 24-hours available grass hay. Marjorie went to a seminar, was inspired by Dr Strasser's knowledge of physiology and mechanics of the hoof and leg, and in 2001 took her 9-month Hoofcare Specialist course.

However Marjorie found Dr. Strasser's trim invasive of the hoof - her horses were unrideable for a year and a half, as well as the horses of friends who took the course with her - so she went back to the wild horse trim and terminated her certification with Dr. Strasser.

Barefoot for Soundness, Marjorie's website, is packed full information including lots of helpful photos and includes detailed steps on how to carry out a wild-horse trim.



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