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TOPIC: Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic

Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 02 Sep 2006 21:06 #1

  • matryoshka
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I attended a trimming clinic given by Paul Chapman last weekend. I had not looked up any information about him online before attending, so I went totally open minded about what he was going to teach us. He's a fun guy to watch and listen to, but I found some of his ideas disturbing.

He presented his theories as "his opinion," which I found refreshing. What surprised me is that in his opinion, the horse is meant to bear weight on the soles. Just on the soles, not in conjunction with the walls. Rather than arguing with this, I listened to his presentation and learned his trim. He's got some other opinions that I've found out for myself. But his entire trim is based on the idea that the sole is supposed to bear weight. He makes sure that there are no pressure points on the sole left from the trim, and he takes the bars down pretty far. The frog gets trimmed so that it doesn't create pressure points, either. Taking care to remove pressure points made sense to me, but I'm not convinced the sole is intended to for primary weight bearing. I don't plan to adopt his trim, though I did like some of the techniques he showed us.

I'm wondering structurally how one would come to the conclusion that the sole is intended to bear much weight. The coffin bone is porous, unlike a bone that one would think should be carrying weight. He states that the idea that the wall is the primary weight-bearing surface comes from the farrier community and that most barefooter clinicians started out as farriers and their trims have been affected by this.

He nips the walls at an angle above the level of the sole. He states that this works great in Australia, where he trims 400 horses a month. He also believes that club feet come from heel pain, and that if one removes the heel pain, the club foot goes away.

He presented a lot of good information along with the things I have outlined above, but I can't quite get over his presenting such information as fact. What does the farrier community think about the idea of the sole being allowed/forced to bear weight by taking the wall back so far?
Crusader Rabbit Rides Again!
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 02 Sep 2006 22:27 #2

  • Talkingshell
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matryoshka wrote:
He's a fun guy to watch and listen to, but I found some of his ideas disturbing.

What surprised me is that in his opinion, the horse is meant to bear weight on the soles. Just on the soles, not in conjunction with the walls. Rather than arguing with this,

But his entire trim is based on the idea that the sole is supposed to bear weight. He makes sure that there are no pressure points on the sole left from the trim, and he takes the bars down pretty far. The frog gets trimmed so that it doesn't create pressure points, either. Taking care to remove pressure points made sense to me, but I'm not convinced the sole is intended to for primary weight bearing.

He states that this works great in Australia, where he trims 400 horses a month.

I only jump in here as I am not farrier but feel free to delete me if I am not allowed in this section!

LOL.....please, please don't trim horses the idea of that the sole is supposed to bear weight!! Or you'll sore the horses!!

I had to laugh by Paul saying..that this works great in Australia, what a joke!! I hear few stories who trim that method, fair few horses were very lame with no wall to support as horses are not Camel or Elephants or whatever the animals are sole weight bearing! I am also from Australia.

Horses do need the hoof wall support to avoid the sole becoming weight bearing!

Good luck in what you believe in...
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 02 Sep 2006 23:42 #3

  • matryoshka
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Don't worry, I don't buy into the idea of the sole bearing all the weight. I don't plan to adopt that part his trim. However, he does trim some highly successful horses in Australia (can't remember any names, sorry) and it seems to work for him.

I'm not fond of clinics, because it is just a snapshot in time. I'd really rather see horses he's done for a year or more rather than just see the horses before and after a single trim. I learn what I can, adapt anything that will be of help to the horses I trim, and file some away as questionable until I have more info.
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 02 Sep 2006 23:47 #4

  • Peggy Dolan
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Well I'd say that the only way to know for sure is to test it on some horses. Any scientific premise should be verifiable and repeatable. I had my apprentice trim two arabians this afternoon. One is ridden almost everyday and the feet were well formed, the sole was level with the walls, and he only beveled the edges. The other was not worked, the feet were overgrown and flared. I had him trim the overgrown horse to match the look of the well worn feet. The overgrown wall was nippered at a 45* angle, but left longer than the sole. That's as close to a test as I can set up. I wouldn't try lowering the walls below the plane of the sole on a client's horse.
I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 03 Sep 2006 01:45 #5

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I agree that the hoofwall is NOT supposed to be the primary weight bearing structure. That had been one of the biggest misconceptions in hoof mechanics that is behind mis-guided old shoeing (and some trimming) principles and consequent long term shoeing induced lameness. BUT the sole should not be primarily weight bearing either.

The idea of the sole on the ground completely came from the observations on the feral horse herds that were gathered from the rockiest, hardest ,driest ground. Those horses were indeed walking on sole only.....BUT heres the catch that too many barefoot practitioners forget.....
Those feral horses also had a lifetime to develop 20mm or more of the hardest, densest sole you could imagine! Not the thinner weaker domestic soles we are trimming.
If you look at the more complete picture at domestic and feral, different environments etc, it seems that for a healthy foot the inner edge of hoofwall and the outer edge of sole in the anterior portion of the foot (ie the stratum medium and the sole callous) should be SHARING the load, along with the frog and back of the bars .
No single structure is primary weight bearing.
Even the feral horses who had all the wall worn off, none touching the ground, had a HUGE tough frog on the ground to share the load.
If you remove all that wall from a domestic horse, he may do fine IF he is in soft ground (sand) but try doing that and put him him immediately onto harsher ground and you may have a cripple for a while.
Gene Ovnicek (who did those feral horse observations back in '86-'87) found this out too. He quickly discovered the importance of leaving a little bit extra hoofwall around the toe corners when barefoot trimming. This little bit of wall(about 1/8" ) then compacts down on its own to the level of the sole callous in the days after the trim.
This helps avoid the possibility of a sore horse after the barefoot trim.
Patty
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 03 Sep 2006 02:35 #6

  • Rancho JD
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take this from a desert rat: if your going to load the sole before its tough and conditioned inform owners that with this style of trimming the horse will be sore on the same ground it was comfortable with before you trimmed the wall off. bruising is likely and if ridden hard before the soles are loadworthy beware of pedal osteitis and or laminitis. start looking for new customers a few counties to the left
Hit on 16 stand on 17 and split those aces, merry christmas!
'panhandler' Reno, Nevada.
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 03 Sep 2006 13:26 #7

  • matryoshka
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Thanks for the feedback. Paul told us that the horse will tell us when it is comfortable by weighting the foot and standing square. When I trim, I bring the inner wall back to about the level of the outside edge of the sole (don't exfoliate this part) and leave a little bit of heel. Then I add a bevel or a roll, depending on the hoof. One horse at the clinic was trimmed this way and stood nice and square on the hoof. Paul came around and shortened the wall further, and the horse looked less comfortable to me. In this case, the horse was telling me he liked having some wall in contact with the ground. :(

I'm not an expert, though, so I'm trying to stay open to what "experts" have to teach. I appreciate hearing input from the experts here, too.

When pulling shoes, I leave a bit more wall. I worry that these guys will be sore having their soles so close to the ground when they are used to having it up a bit. The next trim is when I give them my usual trim. These guys are rarely sore after having their shoes pulled.
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RE:Paul Chapman Trimming Clinic 03 Sep 2006 17:42 #8

  • Donnie Walker
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I have a client with two thoroughbreds that have been turned out for over five years is some of the rockiest country we have. I never trim them but do look at them when I do his others. Not one piece of hoof wall is ever in contact with the ground except for the heels. They walk totally on their soles which are as hard as rocks. He also has a quarter horse with them but such is not the case. With the exception of the heels, the wall and sole share the same plane, and trimming is only necessary about every 12 weeks and consists mainly of bumping the heels and dressing the edges.
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