The course runs for 12 months. It starts out with a 2 week intensive face to face component, set in the beautiful surroundings of northern Tasmania.
It offers a fantastic balance of horse management theory, class time, and practical hands on skills using real life horse hoof trimming situations, giving students the opportunity to study horse care and equine hoof trimming in detail.
Commencing in 2007, this is Australia's premier practical "hands on" equine hoof care course supported by nationally accredited units of competence: 6 units from the Certificate III in Agriculture (AHC30110).
Course Trainers & Guest Speakers
This course gives students access and exposure to amazing teachers, information and experience. It enables students to gain two of the most important things for any career: Qualifications AND Experience. Our experienced teachers work with horses and in the hoof care field every day. Our trainers are known around Australia for their work and expertise with horses and horse management, providing students with ongoing support during and after the course. They really want to see you succeed. They are professional trimmers who not only work in the field but also ride and compete on their own horses. Our trainers understand the development of the ultimate functional hoof.
What is the course like?
It is a hands-on, fun and educational horse care course. It is a great environment in which to learn the skills that you need to manage your own and your clients horses. It's not overwhelmed with science, measurements or myths, but has enough to get students thinking and have them challenged. Fundamentally, what is taught is relevant to the field of horse care and hoof care. Students will graduate as trained professionals ready to start their own business or improve the one they already have.
The course was designed and developed to look not only at the horse's hoof, but the big picture, including the horse's diet, environment, movement, its owners expectations and the role of the hoof care provider. Most importantly, it teaches students that the horse is the critic of your work. It doesn't matter how much the student knows or how long they have been trimming. The measure of success is how much the horse likes the trim and how much the client likes the service.
The course focuses on diet, environment, trim, movement and horse knowledge. It is about the holistic horse, using practical hands on skills combined with the latest scientific research to ensure students get the most rounded and complete education possible.
Get started with the 2 week Intensive
Students complete a two week intensive block in Tasmania under tuition with excursions and class room based education as the first component of the course. Following this, students undergo Mentorships with 3 mentors (one-two days with each).
Students get opportunity to observe and work in field with mentors, under supervision. Student reports from mentors are part of course assessment.
Then there is a 12 month period where you complete assignments at your own pace. Of course, the ACEHP team support you throughout this process through phone and email. We also have quite a vibrant Facebook group which includes previous students as well.
Assignments include: case study reports and an progressive photographic journal to be sent to instructors for assessment. Student presents minimum of five case study horses including client testimonials, progressive photographic record of horse hooves etc. Students to complete case studies based on duration of complete new hoof capsule growth.
This is a comprehensive learning process for students to understand the consequences of trims and advice both for the horse and owner expectations, the affects of environment and changes in seasonal diets on the hooves and the final results over a full hoof capsule growth.
Record on DVD or do live Final Live Trim assessment.
Non compulsory. Students have the opportunity to experience and research Brumbies in their natural habitat. South Australia and NT – Duration one week.
Full Course Outline
Orientation & introduce lecturers
Overview of course
Changing conventional thought processes
Code of Conduct
Healthy hoof vs. unhealthy – recognise benefits of barefoot trimming, foundation for sound hooves, natural environment, wild horse relevance and evolution
Extreme Environment hooves
Wild horse research
Relevance to domestic horses – competitive and high mileage barefoot horses in domesticity
Understanding evolutionary needs and development of the horses hoof
Identifying parts of the hoof
Function of the hooves
What is a healthy, sound hoof?
Characteristics unique to a sound hoof
Hoof anatomy - dissections.
Shoeing or Traditional Methods
Overview – history of the metal shoe
Types of shoes
Comparative studies of shod and barefoot
Tipping barefoot trained racehorses – overview – current rules
For working horses through transition period/horses with poor hoof form
For rehabilitation – i.e. pads
Boots available in the market and their features
Sizing and fitting boots
Booting as part of a business – client skills
Tools / equipment
Useful and necessary tools
Developing safe skills
Importance of good equipment
What is a correct hoof trim?
Trim principles and procedures – Non invasive trimming
Specific trimming requirements – foals, donkeys, etc.
Ensuring optimum comfort levels for horses prior, during and after trimming
cadaver leg trimming
live horse trimming
reinforce horse and manual handling
Record details of trim
Horse handling - Practical
Understanding horse behaviour and communication between horses
Dealing with problem horses safely
Safe hoof and leg handling
Balancing the horse for trimming
Handling stallions, young stock, mares in season and unhandled horses, foals
Ensuring horse and trimmer are in relaxed and safe surroundings
Recognising problem horses. Whether to refer to educator.
Working on both sides of the horse
Manual handling - Practical
Trimmers body posture and correct stance
Fitness - exercises, and stretches for optimum trimming fitness
Understand conformation in the horse
Assess Movement and soundness
Recognise heel first landing, break-over
Understanding and learning gaits of the horse
Body mechanics relating to hoof form – Good and Bad
Problems from hoof related issues
Performance horses and their requirements
Optimum environment for healthy hooves
Conventional boarding v natural environment
Simulating natural conditions which include companionship, freedom of movement, natural forage feed, water, shelter.
The horse above the hooves - The holistic horse
Overview of the whole horse
Nutrition and digestion brief overview
Relevance of teeth and good dentistry
Body work i.e. chiropractic and sports massage for performance
Understanding role of trimmer in network of horse industries
Hoof pathologies and rehabilitation
Principals to natural healing
Understanding radiographs and their interpretation
Recognising hoof pathologies and incorrect hoof form including:
Foals with special trimming needs
White Line Disease
Other - club foot, long toe/underslung heel, quarter cracks, flat feet etc)
Transition both towards healthy hooves and those regressing through neglect/delayed trimming (transition being where hooves are unhealthy or less than optimum hoof form for performance.
Soaking boots and poulticing
Foals with special trimming requirements
Live case studies
Assessment and examination of the horse
Working with veterinarians – when to call the vet
Monitoring vital signs (hydration, heart rate, pulse, temperature etc)
Caring for injured lame horses
Horse first aid kits – to travel with.
Pain management (conventional and alternative)
Common health problems:
skin conditions – rain scald
Determine horses condition and nutritional requirements
Effect of feed on hooves. - signs and symptoms
Reading food product and what s in it?
Types of feed and grasses
Natural feeding position
Basic digestive anatomy, stomach capacity etc
Body condition scoring
Feed requirements for performance/exercise, breeding stock, young
Assess pasture feed – know species and safe grazing times
Arrange supplementary feed- knowledge of minerals
Manage the feeding of horses – consulting clients
Monitor the feeding plan
Provide basic First Aid
First aid for the Trimmer – Senior First Aid Certificate
Customer service (highlighting horse/client relations, education)
Respond to customer questions – be able to source information
Identify customers special requirement, strategies for negotiating resistance
Public speaking, developing a presentation strategy – industry promotion is practiced at all available opportunities
Marketing and promotion (personal presentation, business image, advertising your service, marketing tools, continual review of service, building repeat clientele, selling your service, public relations)
Record keeping & scheduling – Time management
Maintaining customer base
Safety principles with horses
Health issues – transmitted diseases
Safety equipment and tools used effectively
Assignment – hazards to people and horses associated with trimming
Reasons for good equipment and first aid kit
Develop product / service knowledge
Advise and market boots and tools
Recommend specialised products and services
Process workplace information
Maintain information systems
Monitor and maintain a program
Implement and advise on health maintenance program
Implement a program of care and maintenance for the hoof
Manage the care of the horse applying knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology
The course runs for 12 months. It starts out with a 2 week intensive face to face component. Then there is a 12 month period where you complete assignments at your own pace.
Next course starts
September 2018 for the two week block Western Australia.
New course offered Western Australia
September 5th - 14th 2018 two week block
Muresk Institute- Department of Training and Workforce Development
(Approx 1hour drive from Perth)
"This course offered everything I needed to become a professional hoof care provider....All of this is backed up by a fantastic support team from my extremely knowledgeable lecturers."
Julie Scott, Victoria