Deb persuaded me to let her use my TB as part of her training to be a barefoot trimmer, He had very weak heels and his front feet were very different from each other. I had tried to remove his hind shoes previously but he had been unable to cope. I was dubious about how well he would manage barefoot but decided to try.
Before his shoes came off Deb gave me lots of information and help with his feeding. It was a bit of a change from what I was used to but he thrived on his new diet and management although initially there were issues with his feet and soundness, and it took quite a long time for him to "transition" as he was sore at first.
Deb was always ready with help, advice and support when there were problems. "Going barefoot" is not an easy option but with the all round support and help Deb provides it is possible for even a TB to go without shoes. Changes were noticeable very quickly and his feet improved steadily and it was interesting to see how his way of going changed. He became a lot more sure footed, especially on the road, and the strength in his heels has gradually built up.
Nutrition and a balanced diet are a large part of good foot health and the benefits to his general health and the amazing coat he has now are also down to the diet Deb worked out for him to improve his feet. The old saying "no foot no horse" is very very true. It has been an interesting journey and Deb is so much more than just a barefoot trimmer. Robyn, Somerset
"Deborah has been a great help since she first came to take Frank’s shoes off in March 2012 with excellent advice on all aspects of barefoot delivered in a way everyone can understand. In November 2011 Frank was 3-4/10 lame on his left fore and diagnosed with reverse rotated pedal bones in both front feet and with DJD in the coffin joint of his left fore. The heels on both front feet were also identified as being low and under run. Having read a lot on barefoot in the preceding couple of years I had said that if he had a foot problem I would take the shoes off, however I was swayed by the potential of getting him sounder quicker with conventional treatments and the positivity of my vet so he was shod with bar shoes and had steroid and hyaluronic acid injected into his coffin joint. Although his heels had started to look much better when I brought him back into work it was clear that the improvement in soundness we saw was mostly due to him having a holiday in the field as once trotting he went lame again.
So in March 2012, with Deborah’s assistance and the ok from my vet we started our barefoot journey, which we did take very slowly because I was worried about breaking him again! Deborah has been able to provide advice on feeding (which we also use for my Mum’s shod horse), creating a track system (which was absolutely brilliant for an out of work, round, Welshie!), suitable boots and what we could expect generally. If we have had any problems or queries she has always got back to us quickly with reassurance and tracking Frank’s progress using her photos and slow motion videos has been especially interesting. Frank is still sound, back in medium work- hacking, schooling and trips to the beach. He did his first post lameness dressage last weekend with a respectable 64.5% in Novice 28 so it certainly seems to be working and I’m very pleased I brought Deborah in to be his trimmer and so much more." Laura, Somerset
Choosing a trimmer is a big decision and one that can have a hugely positive or negative effect on your horse. Taking the leap and calling Deb might just be one of the best things I have done for both myself and my highland pony Monarch. He is only 2 years old and has always been barefoot but was struggling over stony ground so I knew he needed some help. Deb takes a holistic approach to hoof care with sensible, informed advice on nutrition and lifestyle to ensure a happier, healthier barefoot horse. Monarch had always been nervous having his feet picked up and Deborah has been very patient and kind with him giving him the best experience possible at every trim. Deb is always on the end of the phone or email for advice which is invaluable when you need some reassurance! I would highly recommend Deb, whatever stage of your horse’s barefoot journey. Tara, Dorset
I have 3 horses, 2 of which are on loan from a horse welfare charity. All have been barefoot for a few years but I seemed to still be having problems with foot soreness and separation. I changed my foot trimmer to Deborah about a year ago (maybe less) and since then I have noticed great improvement in the soundness of all my horses. They seem more able to tolerate stony surfaces and rough ground when out hacking and I no longer feel the need to boot them. Deborah also recommended a different supplier of natural supplements made especially for horses who are mainly forage fed and I feel that being able to discuss dietary issues with your hoof trimmer is invaluable. Deborah always has the time to discuss things with me and never makes me feel as if I am wasting her time with questions (that I should probably already know the answer to). I also know that Deborah would always answer any queries over the phone/email if I needed to talk to her. Helen, Somerset
Deborah has a natural talent with horses - they love her. Both my horse’s feet look great, my oldest horse is the soundest he has ever been in the 20 years he has been with me. Deborah is a fountain of knowledge and is always happy to share it. I am very lucky to have Deborah trimming my horses’ feet. She is as star and a lovely person. Caroline, Dorset
Debbie came to see my mare who has a history of being extremely resistant to people messing with her feet. We discovered last year she has a slight deformity which has caused muscle spasm which meant she has been in pain. Debbie came to assess her and managed to pick up each foot without getting killed! This was achieved by a gentle calm approach and an amazing ability to stay out of harm's way while staying right by her side. Debbie then popped in whenever she was in the area to spend a few minutes grooming and fussing her and gently increasing the foot handling. She is now able to give her a full trim and her feet are in great condition. I would thoroughly recommend Debbie to anyone. Dawn, Somerset