Australian Certified Equine Hoofcare Course

2018 Course Details

Certificate in Hoofcare

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.

Final Assessment
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/Course Introduction
  • Orientation & introduce lecturers
  • Overview of course
  • Changing conventional thought processes
  • Code of Conduct
  • Career opportunities
  • 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

Hoof mechanism
  • 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
  • Pulling shoes
  • Tipping barefoot trained racehorses – overview – current rules

Hoof protection
  • Hoof boots
  • Other options
  • 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
  • Cleaning, sharpening
  • Importance of good equipment
  • Safety 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
  • Donkey handling
  • Ensuring horse and trimmer are in relaxed and safe surroundings
  • Suitable equipment
  • 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

Assess Conformation
  • Understand conformation in the horse
  • Conformation abnormalities

Assess Movement and soundness
  • Recognise heel first landing, break-over
  • Understanding and learning gaits of the horse
  • Identifying lameness
  • 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
  • Saddle fit
  • 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
    • Founder/Laminitis
    • Navicular
    • Pedal osteitis
    • 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.
  • Abscessing
  • 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:
    • colic
    • mud fever
    • sunburn
    • coughs
    • lice
    • back pain
    • joint pain
    • skin conditions – rain scald
  • Worming
  • Alternative therapies:

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
  • Poisonous plants
  • 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
  • Establish pricing
  • Identify customers special requirement, strategies for negotiating resistance
  • Public speaking, developing a presentation strategy – industry promotion is practiced at all available opportunities
  • Business Management.
  • Marketing and promotion (personal presentation, business image, advertising your service, marketing tools, continual review of service, building repeat clientele, selling your service, public relations)
  • Book keeping
  • Record keeping & scheduling – Time management
  • Territory management
  • Maintaining customer base

  • Safety principles with horses
  • Sexual harassment
  • 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

  • Collect information
  • Process workplace information
  • Maintain information systems

  • Maintain accommodation
  • 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
Course Length
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 3rd - 14th 2018 two week block
Muresk Institute- Department of Training and Workforce Development
Northam W.A.
(Approx 1hour drive from Perth)

Please contact Jacky Ynema

Course Trainers
Jeremy Ford - More info >
Jen Clingly - More info >

Please contact Jacky Ynema for payment information:

National Recognition
The course covers 6 units from the Certificate III in Agriculture:

AHCHBR302A - Carry out basic hoof care procedures

AHCHBR306A - Prevent and treat equine injury and disease

AHCHBR307A - Assess suitability of horses for stock work

AHCLSK311A - Implement feeding plans for livestock

AHCLSK331A - Comply with industry animal welfare requirements

AHCOHS301A - Contribute to OHS processes

Guest Speakers 2018
Prof Chris Pollitt - BVSc (Massey) PhD (Qld)
- Laminits and anatomy expert

Dr Celine Lee Veterinary Surgeon

Carol Layton B.Sc M.Ed
- an equine nutrition expert.

Carlos Tabernaberri
- Horse trainer and International Clinician

Ken Green
- Equine Therapy

More info >

Course Feedback
"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

More feedback >