I recently attended the Level 2 Initiation to trimming offered by Metta Equus after taking the prerequisite Level 1 Recognizing and developing healthy hooves. In case you missed it, here is the review of Level 1.
Recap: Who Is Metta Equus?
Metta Equus is a company started by two Quebec Hoof Care Practitioners and businesswomen, Maia Chaput and Catherine Larose. Both are highly respected in our community for their barefoot trimming and ability to rehabilitate horses which nasty foot issues.
It was another big day of learning! Maia and Catherine were once again amazing hosts and eager to share their knowledge. Although there were some familiar faces from the previous clinic and some fresh faces, we were a smaller group of roughly 15 equestrians.
- Review of the key points from Level 1
- Safety measures while trimming
- Horse movement and hoof analysis
- Trim demo
- Hands-on practice
The structure of the day flowed well and although I worried about taking too much off or mishandling the rasp during my first trim, I took to the work well.
For the hands-on practice, the attendees were split into two groups. The smaller groups allowed for personalized coaching and conversation. I was in Catherine’s group and she is passionate about her work and shared her infectious enthusiasm with our smaller group as we analyzed our hooves before taking the rasp to them. It may have been the first time I took a rasp to a hoof, but Maia and Catherine had prepared us well for the task.
- Great information on safety and key emphasis on this.
- Small groups made for better learning.
- I feel this point is more of a caveat: the cadaver hooves do have a strong smell to them after some time and make sure to bring gloves that you don’t mind throwing out after. There are body fluids involved that are potentially less than healthy. I suggest a light lunch and making sure you aren’t too partial to your hand protection and the towel on your lap.
- A horse’s hoof is like the rings of a tree: they can tell you so much about the horse’s health, nutrition, movement, and past.
- Less is more! And often is better! Take off less and trim more often.
- If the horse grows something back that you took off, it’s because the horse needs it. Leave it alone!
The next steps for me are to practise with Maia and Catherine to trim my horses occasionally. I took this clinic with the intent to learn and was rewarded with a wealth of information and a greater understanding and appreciation for the work each hoof care practitioner does.
I strongly encourage you to check out their website and to take their clinic. It is time and money well spent. As they say, no hoof, no horse!