"THE BARE FACTS... let an equine vet and a farrier with over 40 years combined experience TEACH YOU natural hoof care...

Coming back SHORTLY!




LEARN how to love your horses hooves as much as you LOVE your horse or pony!!

We are certain that almost all horses can successfully live a barefoot lifestyle, BUT we believe that the owner should be taught the various nuances in the technique(s) and management required for their individual horse. For example horses who have pre-existing hoof pathology that is causing lameness in their shoes and those with very weak feet may struggle initially, so you need support and people you can call on.


After working with horses professionally for so long Paul and Jeff bring a unique blend of veterinary and farriery skills between them. With nearly 40 years combined experience in hoof care  (but still feeling young) the course tutors who have looked after all sorts, sizes and types of equines believe that the single most important factor in a horse living a long happy healthy pain free life is to have good FEET!!!

As we keep saying NO FOOT NO HORSE

Paul ( the horse vet) haD an old horse Victor who WAS 27 years old, still ridden 3 or 4 times a week with the worst set of genes to grow healthy feet ever given to a horse, and believe me Paul should know a good foot and a bad foot. In fact in many ways we think Victor did not get any good hoof genes at ALL! If he lost a shoe you would think his foot was going to fall off, becoming immediately crippled.

 Yet after going barefoot the horse was being regularly ridden out after an 18 month transition period without boots or any form of hoof protection. As his mum / rider said you would think it was a miracle!!

Another  example of how profound the results can be, a dressage horse under the care of a fellow vet some years ago, suffered from bilateral navicular syndrome from the ages of 7-12 and was kept sound(ish) due we like to think to the vets expertise and a very good farrier. The mare required ongoing joint injections,  and special shoes but was deteriorating to the point where she became very lame a few times a year and she had lost her wonderful action. When the mare was 13 the client was persuaded to  remove the shoes and began the barefoot path and within 2 weeks she was sound! She is now 18+ years old and is still ridden every day without any lameness, never has time off, hasn’t needed any medication since the shoes were removed and moves like she is only a 4 year old again. Both the tutors have many examples like this in their clinical practice.

The aim of this course is above all to have FUN, share our love of horses ( and ponies) and to explain the benefits (and limitations) of natural hoof care in general and barefoot trimming in particular. We do this in a practical and comprehensive but easy to understand way. This will allow you to begin to formulate a Hoof Care Program to keep your own horses hooves as healthy and strong as possible.

Who is it for?

Anyone with an open mind who wants to do the very best they can for their horse with an interest in starting to learn about natural hoof care and the barefoot horse.

Core Concepts:

  • Regular natural barefoot trims (A knowledgeable farrier is a must)
  • As natural a diet as possible; low in sugar and high in fibre
  • A healthy horse. Try to  involve your vet at the beginning to rule out Equine Metabolic Syndrome, Cushings. lameness issues etc ( all discussed on the course )
  • As much movement as possible. Therefore providing as close to a natural environment and lifestyle as circumstances allow
  • Time – enabling your horse to transition over to barefoot fully, comfortably and correctly. This is critical you must allow nature to work its wonders.

We cover:


  • How to start from the beginning.
  • The bare facts you need to know (benefits and limitations), NOT ALL HORSES CAN GO BAREFOOT EASILY
  • How to maintain the hoof once it is barefoot.


    Remember No Foot No Horse…

Course Agenda:

1.   Introduction and Who we are

2.   Course Format, basic Health and Safety.

3.   Basic overview of horse hoof anatomy and physiology.

4.   Historical overview.

5.   Barefoot Horse Overview of main Philosophy’s and schools of thought.

6.   Basic concepts of Equine Nutrition regarding the Barefoot Horse.

7.   Overview of a Healthy Hoof and a Diseased hoof, you need to know what a healthy hoof should look like.

8.   How to start a Hoof Care Program, what to ask your Vet and Farrier

9.   Practical Health and Safety around horses

10.   Overview of basic tools and concepts, which tools to buy

11.   How to select a good Farrier  to work on your Barefoot horse. What your farrier should know.

12.   Practical hands on session on caring for the horses hooves. All participants will get to pick up and clean a number of feet and will get guidance how to asses a healthy and problem foot and grade them. Possibly the most important part of the afternoon.

13.   The Vet will X-Ray a number of feet and talk through the results especially compared to the external assessment previously carried out.

14.   Basic post trim maintenance procedures on how to maintain a horse’s hoof after a professional trim.

15.   How often you should trim

16.   The importance of Transitioning (Transitioning stories) (include lots of photos so you can see exactly what to do.)

17.   Trimming and Exercise advice.

18.   Hoof Protection, an overview of the modern horse hoof boots, Glue on boots, glue on shoes, steel shoes, hoof casts.


Paul Proctor BVSc MRCVS

Paul is an equine veterinary surgeon with over 30 years’ experience. In all this time he has been a self-confessed Hoof Geek attending numerous courses on all aspects of Horse Podiatry and Farriery and arranged a Hoof Care Conference with Gene Ovnicek when a partner at a 7 person equine vet clinic.

Paul was instrumental in the introduction of the so called square toe shoe into the North East many years ago attending one of the very first courses held in the UK in conjunction with Total Foot Protection. He also works very closely with all the local farriers in his practice area.

Paul started up Bearl Equine Clinic with George Young in 1991 building the practice up to 7 equine vets. However he retired from the partnership some 17 years later to concentrate on a new ambulatory equine vet practice in Durham, Simply Horses Vet Clinic with a particular focus on his passion of  hoof care and hoof related lameness issues.

Paul started to grow frustrated with teh management of an equine practive and merged Simply Horses with Durham Equine in 2016, to allow him to concentrate on his real passion to let all horses develp the best possible hooves they possibly can.

Although always having been a fan of traditional and remedial farriery he became increasingly frustrated with the poor response in many chronic lameness problems especially in his older pleasure horse clients with for example ringbone and navicular disease.

A few early almost miraculous cures applying the barefoot principles to some of these cases has resulted in a deepening interest and admiration for the benefits a natural approach to the care of the equine hoof can bring. In particular to the overall hoof strength and integrity. 

Jeff Mordey DWCF(Hons) AWCF

Jeff is a fully qualified farrier and is an associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers with a thriving farriery practice looking after both shod and unshod horses. As with Paul he has become more aware of the benefits of a natural approach to horse hoof care.


The course will be held we hope at Finchale View Riding School, Leamside Durham DH4 6QR UK full directions by clicking the LINK.

Pricing and more details will be available soon.


Click Here To register FOR THE NEW COURSE

"When, Where, How Much & Why?"

A Summary Of The Course



WHERE: The course will be held at Finchale View Riding School, Leamside Durham DH4 6QR UK full directions by clicking the LINK.

HOW MUCH:Pricing will be avaiable shortly.

WHY: Because we believe  this has benefits for any horse and as we have spent the whole of our professional lives helping horses lead a happy pain free life it is a story that needs to be told.

HOW: We are running a full afternoon course combining theory and practice involving a number os barefoot and shod horses, as we think we have a lot of experience and we are continually asked by our clients to teach them all about natural hoof care and the so called barefoot trim.

WHAT DO I GET. We try to teach you all you need to know to take your first steps in natural hoof care and provide resources you can use to carry on your hoof care education. We also point out this is not for every horse or client.



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Click Here To register FOR THE NEW COURSE


Case Study: Deborah Pickersgill and Bobby

Bobby is an eight-year-old pacer stabled near Cleadon.
Two years ago he was losing his shoes very easily and was lame on and off. When he was next shod, his lameness worsened and he had heat in all four feet.
His owner Deborah said: “It was horrific and at this point Paul Proctor began to treat Bobby.
“Paul suggested that Bobby might prefer to be barefoot so I decided to try that route and it has been fabulous.
“Bobby does have arthritis in his hocks which sometimes affects him but he no longer has any heat in his feet and he is ridden out at least once a day, and sometimes twice.”
Deborah uses boots on Bobby’s feet for the fortnight after his regular trim and says this prevents him from feeling ‘footy.’
She said: “Before I decided to try Bobby without shoes I was a bit worried about peer pressure but I decided to stick to my guns and over the winter we’ve had a very stress-free time, whereas other people have had to stop riding when their horse has lost a shoe.
“I think what you decide to do with your horse’s feet is a very personal choice but I think barefoot is very much worth a try if shoes aren’t working out.
“To my mind, a metal shoe has to cause a restriction in some way.”

Case Study: Susan Spokes and William

Susan bought William three years ago as a ‘been there, done that’ allrounder. In the first six months of owning him she noticed he was going slightly lame after being shod.

Susan explained: “We couldn’t work it out and had him tested for laminitis but the tests came back negative. I had him shod again and suddenly he was so lame he could barely walk from his field to the stable.

“He has mild, lower limb ringbone and once we took off his shoes everything fell into place.

“There was no further lameness and I found the process of going barefoot extremely interesting too. I think I didn’t expect too much either so I was pleasantly surprised.

“William’s foot is a much better shape now and our farrier agrees.”

Susan hacks out on William five times a week for two hours or more and says he is the fittest he’s ever been at the grand old age of 17.

Susan said: “I think I have a happier horse now and I wasn’t expecting it to make such a difference. We’ve taken him back to basics and it’s worked for him.

“I didn’t have to miss out on any riding either, I just chose where I rode. He goes everywhere without shoes and I just use boots on him if we’re doing a lot of road work.

“The advice and support I had from Paul Proctor MRCVS was great. It was like being a team and working together to get my horse sound.”


Case Study: Chennise Fraser and Johnny
Chennise and her mum Julie called Simply Horses last year after their Connemara gelding Johnny went lame after tripping on a hack.
Chennise said: “While Paul was checking Johnny he commented on his poor feet and suggested that something be done to stop problems later in life.
“We decided to give the barefoot option a try and Johnny had two months off while his shoes were removed and trimmed right back.
“He had severe trims every four weeks until mid February and now he is trimmed every six weeks.
“His foot has improved massively and his frog is where it should be. I’ve also noticed he’s much more confident when we hack out. He used to be very careful about where he put his feet but now he will step on anything.”
Chennise likes to hack and jump on Johnny and shows him at competitions too.
She said: “My plan is to keep him barefoot. He bucks and bucks around the field and we can tell he’s happy and feeling good.”




"Frequently Asked Questions"

Can my horse go barefoot?
Absolutely! We have never met a horse that could not go barefoot, but we both know a few owners who could not! Sometimes the pain is not worth the gain for all sorts of practical reasons, but this is uncommon. The course helps guide you.
Do you think nutrition is important in natural hoof care?
Absolutely! It is critical ESPECIALLY for the barefoot horse. We cover the basics you need to know in this course to get started and this topic will be covered in detail in a more advanced course.
I think my horse will need some sort of hoof protection at least at first if his shoes came off, what do you recommend?
Each horse is assessed as an individual but many animals do much better in the so called transition period with some form of hoof protection. In most cases this is provided by boots and frog inserts, but can be flexible shoes or even hoof casts. It is very important that the whole process is as gentle and pain free as we can make it.The course will cover hoof protection devices what is available and how to choose.
I have heard that some horses can be very sore after removing the shoes how do I deal with this?
During the so called  transition period from removing your horse’s shoes to your horse comfortably performing barefoot it is very important to be realistic and understand the process. This period does take time and patience and is unique to each individual.  All horses AND OWNERS are different and transition at different rates but if you have all the correct factors in place barefoot success will almost always be achieved.This course starts you on the journey and teaches you how to start.
I am afraid I will get overwhelmed and hurt my horse if I take him barefoot.
We try to keep this introductory course simple but comprehensive and you will leave with a 10 step guide on exactly what you should do to let your horse go barefoot. We also will teach you the nuances and when and with whom to ask for help. Doing anything for the first time is daunting but we will try to show you that the potential benefits for most horses are worth it.
Q. Won't the hoof wear off too short without metal shoes if I ride?
A. No. The hoof actually grows with each step your horse takes to compensate for wear. In fact, a domestic barefoot horse usually still needs regular trims to keep the excess off! Sometimes  it appears that the hoof isn't growing anymore,  this appearance of "not growing" actually means the hoof has found the right balance between growth and wear, but you should still have the hooves examined by your hoof care provider periodically. It is also important you ideally learn how to do little maintenance trims on a regular basis. The course will start to teach you how to do this. It is incredible how different the hoof grows with a shoe on compared to a hoof without a shoe on! Totally different having the sole in touch with the ground as opposed to the rim loading of a shoe.