Holistic Hoofcare Professional’s Course

Holistic Hoofcare Professionals (HHP) first graduated in Australia in 2003 and in New Zealand in 2004. The course that teaches non-invasive techniques of lameness prevention and rehabilitation has been on offer in these countries since then. In 1992 this pioneering course was held in Germany for the first time and was the only of this type worldwide. Today, it still is the only course that goes to that extent and detail. Over a two-year period, you will receive an education to become a professional in the field of Holistc Equine Hoofcare – How Fascinating!

The Institute for Barefoot Equine Management is both sufficiently qualified and licenced to run this training course in New Zealand and Australia.

The Holistic Hoofcare Professional

The profession of Holistic Hoofcare Professional (HHP) constitutes a unique, holistic approach to equine health care, especially in the area of lameness prevention and healing. While an HHP is not a veterinarian, and does not perform veterinary activities, he/she is an individual with profound knowledge of hoof anatomy and physiology, the causes of hoof problems and lameness, and the correct method of trimming a hoof to restore or maintain physiological hoof shape and functions. He or she also understands the complicated interactions of the hoof with the horse as a whole, and the effects that hoof problems and diseases can have on the entire organism.

Furthermore, the HHP understands the basic nature of the horse and its physiological and psychological needs for health, soundness, and longevity. He or she knows which conditions must be present in a horse’s lifestyle for it to be healthy, and which conditions are harmful from incorrect boarding methods to improper rider position and the use of bits or horseshoes. Awareness and general understanding of holistic and alternative healing methods are part of the holistic, non-invasive approach the SHP has to aiding in the restoration or maintenance of a horse’s soundness.

The HHP also functions as an advisor, counselor and teacher, educating clients about the horse’s requirements for a lifetime of soundness. He or she does not advocate the use of chemicals, drugs, pads, or horseshoes to cover up a symptom (for example, lameness) but, by removing the cause and restoring proper hoof shape, facilitates the healing of the underlying damage or deformation causing the lameness. The goal is not to restore the horse to usability as quickly as possible, but to allow healing to occur, leading to a full lifetime of soundness.

Course Outline

Course instruction is given via correspondence (theory) and, during 28 days of intensive practical training, in a classroom/clinic environment and in the field.

Correspondence studies include topics such as:

  • Horse Health & Environment
  • Hoof Anatomy and Function
  • The Sound Hoof: Characteristics and Trim
  • The Effects of Shoeing
  • Problems when transitioning to Barefoot
  • General Anatomy & Histology of the Locomotor System of the Horse
  • Conformation & Movement: Sound State, Deviations & Rehabilitation
  • Change in Skeletal Alignment without Separation (incl. Overextended Flexor Tendon, Clubfoot, Contracted Flexor Tendon, etc.)
  • Change in Skeletal Alignment with Coffin Bone Separation (incl. Founder, Coffin Bone Rotation/Drop, Lost Hoof Capsule, etc.)
  • Contraction (all forms)
  • Other Common Hoof Problems & Treatment: Poor Horn Quality, White Line Disease, Cracks, Ossifications, etc.
  • Introduction to other barefoot trimming styles
  • Holistic First Aid (Recognising Pain & Pathology)
  • Injury-Related Lameness: Bones, Ligaments, Tendons, Muscle
  • Lameness Categories & Diagnosis
  • General Rehabilitation Considerations
  • Tools & Job Safety
  • Client Consultation & Documentation
  • Business Basics and Taxation

Year 1 contains all written assignments and all practica. It includes a written mid term and end-of-year exam.

Year 2 is mainly work in the field with a minimum of 200 hours spent with another registered HHP and concentrating on further case studies. It will conclude with a written, practical, and oral exam.

Each year, registration closes on 30th April and the coursework starts the following July.

If you have any questions, or would like further information and/or registration material, please Contact Us.