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What is the Welz System of Trimming?

Quite frankly, we never set out to have our own trimming system, method, style, technique, way, or whatever you want to call it. But as time passed, we realized that the way we do things has become increasingly unique. Unique enough to warrant its own description, and after some thought we decided to simply title it our own "System."

It is important to understand the history of modern barefoot hoofcare: this entire field is literally brand new! Trimming for healthy performance hooves in ridden domestic horses has never before been attempted on a large-scale previous to this past decade! We are all pioneers, and we should expect new developments to continue to take place in the coming years. We ourselves have made some important discoveries in the field, and we feel it is time to share this with you.

Article from The Horse's Hoof Magazine Issue 50
A Timeline of the Barefoot Movement by Yvonne Welz

Our trim is simply different than what has been presented by other barefoot practitioners. We fit into no other existing label or category. We strongly believe that our trim still represents a middle of the road, common sense approach. There is nothing extreme in what we do. However, this is not a generic "natural" trim. Nor a "wild horse" trim. Nor a "mustang" trim. We don't trim to any certain angles, hairline or toe. We do not trim like any other popular "brand name" trim. An astute observer will notice similarities to many other trim styles, yet put together into something completely different--aesthetically pleasing, balanced, and well, actually, very natural in the end result. Our hooves look good, function well, and health improves.

The real difference is our emphasis, because of our realization that the hoof wall is the problem. Our trim creates a huge improvement in hoof health through the manipulation of hoof wall pressures and their effects on the coronary corium. Excess hoof wall pressures seem to be the cause of most domestic horse hoof problems, because the hoof wall is fluid and malleable.

Article from The Horse's Hoof Magazine Issue 51
Theory: Why do We Roll the Wall? by James Welz

This is how we personally trim, and it has been developed on hundreds of horses for over a decade now. It is SAFE, easy to learn, the basic techniques are simple, and it creates improvements both in hoof health and in soundness. This is NOT the only way to do things, of course, but this is a way that we know to be safe and highly effective, with principles that can be easily taught. We can also demonstrate the results, and provide theory to explain why this particular formula for trimming works so well. Practitioners of other methods will notice common and familiar elements, but we'll take you to a new place.

Our trimming techniques developed out of our initial work with the originators of the barefoot movement. Over the years, this was combined with extensive studies of wild horse hoof form and the latest research developments, refined through thousands of trims, eventually becoming the specific system it is today. Horses trimmed by us have a unique and recognizable appearance, which is astonishingly close to wild mustang hooves. We also have a particular interest in performance horses, and this trim has been well-tested on our own competition horses in a variety of disciplines.

We'll give you step-by-step instructions for creating a trim that will emphasize long-term genuine soundness while putting hoof health improvement at the top of the priority list. Learn all new techniques that are simply not available anywhere else, and learn how and why they work so well. We'll cover basic & advanced tools and their usage, while showing you that the tool is NOT the trim - you can use any tools you wish, so use what feels most comfortable to you.

Here are some of the articles that we have published over the years in The Horse's Hoof Magazine. These articles are just the tip of the iceburg and just a tiny introduction to our theories and instruction... The REAL STUFF is located inside HHO!

An Introduction to Power Tool Trimming by James Welz from THH issue 21 (PDF file)

A Different View of Hoof Mechanism by James Welz from THH issue 27 (PDF file)

Trimming Insights by James Welz from THH issue 28 (PDF file)

Shorten Those Toes! by James & Yvonne Welz from THH issue 29 (PDF file)

Goldilocks & The Three Bars... by James & Yvonne Welz from THH issue 30 (PDF file)

3 Simple Trim Secrets to Better Hooves! by James & Yvonne Welz from THH issue 31 (PDF file)

Trimming the Heels by James Welz from THH issue 32(PDF file)

The Healthy Hoof by James & Yvonne Welz from THH issue 48 (PDF file)

Theory: Why do We Roll the Wall? by James Welz from THH issue 51 (PDF file)

Trimming Prerequisites: There are a couple of areas that cannot be easily taught via long distance. One of these is Horse Handling Safety. If you are not comfortable handling your own horse’s hooves, you should seek professional on-site help with a horsemanship trainer. The same applies to Tool Handling Safety: if you are not comfortable handling basic farrier tools, such as a rasp and hoof knife, you might want to hire a local hoof care professional to show you the basics. While we can provide general safety guidelines, nothing substitutes for hands-on help in these basic areas, especially if you are completely new to horses and/or hoof trimming.

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