Once in a while in life you meet people who restore your faith in human nature. Being fortunate enough to find Julie and David was one of those occasions.
After a number of very bad experiences with hoof trimmers and farriers and after giving another so called professional his marching orders after he lamed my horse for a second time I decided enough was enough – I would do the trimming myself. How difficult could it be? Well, as I was soon to find out, very difficult! I studied everything I could lay my hands on but if I’m honest my biggest handicap after soaking up all this knowledge was applying it confidently to a real live hoof. The heavy burden of responsibility of dealing with a live animal was multiplied by the fact that I had seven horses to trim. After 6 months of what can only be described as tentative trimming I decided I needed a good professional to check on my progress.
But who should I trust? After my experiences so far that was a tough one but after many hours of trawling the internet I stumbled upon Julie’s website and I was really encouraged by the glowing testimonials. It gives me great pleasure to add my own. Julie and David have a rare combination of experienced professionalism whilst still retaining that sheer enthusiasm for their job that attracted them to do the work in the first place. Julie showed a willingness to share her knowledge and experience whilst openly encouraging my own desire to learn and I now feel far more confident that I can keep our horses hooves in good shape. Julie’s follow-up customer service has been exemplary and I am already looking forward to inviting her back for another monitoring session in a few months time. Let’s be honest it’s easy to make claims on the internet so I initially retained a healthy scepticism in case of disappointment but something about the testimonials on Julie’s website rang true and for anybody reading this all I can say is they are true – Julie and David are the real deal. As I said at the start that’s enough to restore one’s faith in human nature.
Going Home Ltd
Julie Bailey has been trimming my horses feet for over two years. During this time they have become sounder and they are not sore after a trim. Julie is very good at handling the horses and is always organised and reliable.
My horses were formerly shod/ trimmed by a top class farrier. One horse called Faze was shod and was unlevel at times. Since Julie has trimmed her feet she is sound and competing successfully at affiliated dressage, winning two classes this week at Beaver Hall. Another horse called Buzz who is 14 years old and who I bred has never been shod but when trimmed by a farrier would often be foot sore for a week after trims. Since Julie has trimmed his feet this no longer happens.
I have six horses and am on the BHS Instructors Register and the BD Trainers Database. I have many years experience caring for, riding and training horses and have recommended Julie to 6 clients who are all happy with the work she does.
Kate Earthy, Macclesfield.
I previously kept my cob, who lived out, barefoot with great success – hacking over rough tracks and hunting across rough country(just a few times as not a bold rider!). Two years ago I bought a very young KWPN horse(for dressage we hope) and made the decision to keep him barefoot. Two years on, with Julie’s expert trimming, my young horse’s feet are fantastic – he is a great horse and one I want to keep for life – I’m looking to have a sound and healthy horse for many years, into his mature years. I’m not taking short cuts on his training or his welfare.
A few friends on the yard said “You can’t keep a warmblood barefoot”. Rest assured you can and, though our training has its ups and downs(he’s a lively horse), he has great paces and sometimes, in canter, it feels we are flying to the moon – the dressage judges like his paces too!
I can’t find any reason to put shoes on my horse, and every reason to keep him barefoot – thank you Julie(from Ruben and myself) – to see Ruben in action google rubenadonis to watch YouTube video.
Gill Scott, Mottram in Longendale.
About 3 years ago i bought a young horse which had not been handled for 12 months. He was happy to be handled for a short time but then got stroppy. I got the farrier out to him, within a short time they both got stroppy. I decided this was not the way to go. I had been told about Julie and asked for her help. When the horse got stroppy Julie stayed calm and reassured him and gave him time to think about what was happening. It didn’t take long for him to accept his feet being done and is now excellent. Julie has always been easy to contact, punctual and reliable. She explains what she’s doing and why, and will answer any questions. Since her first visit I’ve had Julie to do both my horses. She has built up a good clientele on our yard. All of which have good healthy hooves thanks to Julies work and guidance. Since having Julie we have never had any hoof related problems. I can recommend both Julie and her work.
Gill Grange, Macclesfield.
I was really lucky to "find" Julie when I moved from Germany to the UK with both of my Friesians. (Thanks to a "barefoot /natural hoof care" horse owner network). I couldn't be more happy about the quality of work and the current state of the hoofs. Most importantly: it works! I can ride long hacks with my young frisian Quinn including road work (long trots), very stony bridleways - really all sorts of ground and he is absolutely fine with it!! :)) Also, I am not concerned any longer about "slipping" as barefoot feels so much safer on all type of grounds. Admittedly, Quinn has a very good horn quality by nature - but since Julie took over, he has never had any breaks or cracks and walks "over hill and dale". I am convinced that "natural hoof care" is also really beneficial with regard to preventing orthopaedic foot/limb diseases as the hoof mechanisms "functions" as it should.
After purchasing my new horse George, the first thing I wanted to do was have his shoes taken off. I had to find a good hoof trimmer first and they had to be as natural as possible. Julie was recommended by a friend and I was very impressed with her website so I gave her a call. We had a good consultation and George had his shoes removed. Julie has been trimming George ever since and does a brilliant job. Julie was quick to come out when George developed an abscess and she is always available when I need any advice. Julie also provided George with some boots for rough terrain and I was very impressed with her knowledge and boot fitting skills. I was also given good advice on diet and exercise. I am very pleased with my horse’s progress and Julie does a fantastic trim. She is a very natural, caring person and above all, George likes her.
I am so grateful to have met Julie, she is so dedicated to her work and so knowledgeable and I have learnt a great deal from her. Julie is always there to support her clients. Her patience when trimming is second to none and her total understanding of the horse. I could recommend Julie to anyone with complete confidence for their horses foot care and nutritional needs.
Liz Grosvenor, Weaverham.
My whole horse and his workload/lifestyle is taken into consideration, every time Julie makes a trim. As well as trimming Djinn’s feet to a very high standard, Julie offers very valuable advice about hoof treatments, barefoot boots, pasture management and feeding. And she’s a lovely person! What more can I ask for?
After decideing to go barefoot with my Irish cob bobby i contacted julie and she took his shoes off and after the first trim i was able to ride him the same day he was not sore and never has been. That was over a year ago now and his feet are in much better shape and he has never had a problem whilst out hacking and is able to cover rough ground. She helped me with his thrush that was present when she took his shoes off and suggested how to treat it. He is not the easiest horse but she has not given up on him and is always gentle and patient. I would recommend anyone consdering going barefoot to give it a go and if your looking for someone to give the best trim and care for your horses feet i would recommend using julie.
Leanne and Bobby Dainewell Carrington.
I have had years of my horse tightening her back when she is ridden, and her pelvis regularly rotates if she over exerts herself whilst flexing or circling. This has been a costly procedure of regular chiro for my horse as well as days of rest after her treatment. I am pleased to say that this isn’t the case anymore now her feet are correctly balanced by Julie.
L smith :southport
My 17.3hh horse had always been a bit naughty when I was riding; he would buck quite a lot. He had shoes on at the time. Julie suggested that he might be better barefoot. I was dubious but from the minute she took off his shoes, his behaviour changed. He has been barefoot now for over 3 years and is fantastic. He wears boots if I am going over rough terrain but doesn't need them for day-to-day schooling or hacking. When my fell pony suffered laminitis he had heart bar shoes, these didn't seem to have much effect. Julie took them off and his feet are much improved. Julie is always there to offer suggestions. She comes exactly when she says she will and her trimming skills are second to none. If anyone is thinking about going barefoot, I would recommend Julie. She is honest, helpful, highly skilled and reliable.
Lucy Mallorie, Macclesfield.
”…My horse has been barefoot for most of its life. Having been passed around from trimmer to trimmer, I struggled to find a barefoot specialist who was not only easy to contact, flexible with appointments , and quick to respond to questions – but who could also sufficiently trim my 16hh heavyweight! I found that most trimmers would not take enough of the excess away, leaving a hoof that would grow flare faster than they were trimming. Eventually I resorted to trimming his hooves myself, but with studying commitments and a full-time job I was finding it almost impossible to keep up, and my horse’s feet became longer and tattier by the day. Thankfully a friend recommended Julie to me, and she came out straight away – I have always been pleased with the efficiency and care of her trims, and am now enjoying watching my horse’s hoof return to its natural angle and size. She has also helped me nurse my horse through abcesses, being available on the phone or in person whenever I had a question or needed a second opinion. Additionally Julie is incredibly patient with my horse, especially when he has a difficult moment (and I know how much his feet weigh!) and he is now learning to relax and enjoy his trims. And above all, his hooves now look better than ever! …“
Sarah French, 22yrs with Dillon, Irish Cob, 12yrs
Julie and David’s care, attention and love of horses is evident and gave me confidence and therefore assurance that barefoot trimming for my pony was the right choice. Having initially taken the traditional rout for my laminitic pony this left him in more pain and with limited hope of survival never mind recovery. Shoes that were put on him restricted the necessary growth and caused immeasurable suffering which was heartbreaking to watch. Julie’s recommendation was very much from a holistic view point. Natural hoof care meant consideration was given to the best way forward for my pony with a specific tailor made plan, including lifestyle, diet, care, expectation and regular trimming. The expert advice given has meant that we are now seeing my pony recover and he is already doing better than we ever anticipated. 6 months into barefoot and he is sound, off pain medication, and full of life. The new hoof growth is looking good, the foot is starting to regain its definition and regrowth is moulding around the pedal bone giving greater support. Julie and David have made an enormous difference by giving me advice, and through their treatment a future for my pony to look forward to.
Clare Sanders, Weaverham.
I can only recommend keeping your horse barefoot and Julie’s brilliant trimming and advice is invaluable. After a few bout of laminitis and arthritis coming on in my then 19 year old mare I decided to have the shoes taken off mainly for the hooves to recover from the laminitis but also because we hadn’t been able to do much riding due to the arthritis. The improvement was amazing, suddenly we were out hacking again, covering 10 Mile distances trotting and cantering most of the way. The easy boots were a good investment, particularly for long hacks and stony grounds and Julie’s help and advise on fitting the right size was invaluable. My now 22 year old mare is thriving, her feet have recovered brilliantly and have regained a nice concave shape again.
Maxie Schiffmann, Harrogate
“Shortly after purchasing my young gelding and deciding to go barefoot for the first time Julie was recommended to me. Julie has shared with me her extensive knowledge on how to successfully maintain a happy barefoot horse through environment and dietary management. Her ability to explain the importance of a natural diet in an informative yet understandable way has been much appreciated. Her approach is very professional and she has shown great patience and understanding with my gelding. Julie has given us a great start to our barefoot career and Sunny is happily riding out on roads and tracks with no issues. Her genuine desire to see us succeed is a great support and I look forward to our barefoot future.”
Melissa Hirst & Sunny – Huddersfield,West Yorkshire.
My horse, Abril, a Pre Andalusian, went barefoot on 30th April 2011. In February he had been diagnosed with Palmer Heel Pain, which I believe is another name for Navicular Syndrome. X-rays had shown hoof imbalance and collapsed heels to the point that the pedal bone was rotating upwards. His action was very pottery and walking down hill was impossible for him. Things were so bad that he actually fell with me on him.
My vet and farrier recommended remedial shoeing with wedges to raise the heels. Unfortunately this didn't help at all and caused Abril to have a terribly sore back due to the sudden change of posture. It was heartbreaking to see my poor horse in so much pain. I tried to find out as much as I could about Navicular Syndrome and came to the conclusion that there weren't any stories with happy endings using remedial shoeing as a solution.
The more I read, the more I became convinced that taking Abril 'Barefoot' was the right thing to do. I found Julies website, i found it to be incredibly informative and encouraging - perhaps there was hope afterall. I spoke to Julie when she came on to our yard to trim another horse. She had a look at Abril and we decided to remove his shoes a few weeks later at the time he would have been due to be reshod. This gave me time to change his diet in preparation for going barefoot. When Julie removed the shoes, she fitted Abril for hoof boots at the same time.
At the time of writing, we are now 8 weeks post shoe removal and Abril is sound for the first time in four years and his back pain has vanished! Infact the physio couldn't believe the improvement in him. He is comfortable without shoes and I only use the hoof boots for hacking out. Going barefoot is the best thing I have ever done for my horse. Julie and David are brilliant, they are very professional and reliable, also if there is a problem they are only a phone call away. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Sheila Pilling (Proprietor) Wilkinsons Farn Livery Yard East Marton
We went barefoot 18 months ago with our 3 welsh section D’s and 2 welsh cross thoroughbreds, aged 2 – 17 years. We hack out several times a week and compete most weekends in dressage, show jumping or cross country. The youngsters were quick to adjust, the older section D took 6 months to be comfortable on stony surfaces. Julie has advised us on all aspects of hoof care and nutrition. We have no regrets about going barefoot. We are convinced our horses are happier and healthier without shoes.
Brian and Yvette Lee, Denton.
Julie’s approach to the horse is calm and considerate, which makes the process of trimming any horse stress free. She has a very easy manner which allows the client to feel that they can ask any questions. Julie is always willing to explain why and what she is doing and her advice is both professional and respectful. Her understanding of diet and paddock management bring a complete approach to the horse and the care of its feet. Julie looks at each horse and owner as individuals and will help to support particular requirements and disciplines. My horses feet are strong and healthy on the inside and balanced on the outside. I am always happy to recommend Julie to my clients.
Lynn Henry – Think Like A Pony (natural horsemanship training).
Julie has been looking after my daughters pony since we got him 2 years ago. He's a welsh sec b and getting on in years, she has got his feet in lovely condition and has been a great source of advice regarding his nutritional needs. Almost a year ago my own horse 11 yr. old TB x-racehorse had a colic operation during which his shoes were removed. The outcome was 8 wks box rest with 8 wks limited turnout - then slowly bring back to work. So we decided to try to go bare foot. Lots of people especially farriers told me this was not going to work but Julie kindly managed his hoof trimming and recommended books for me to read up on and with her correct feeding advice and the use of rubber boots which she fitted and showed me how to put onto his front feet for hacking, we are successfully going barefoot ! He has a much better stance doesn't have problems overreaching anymore and has not been lame since! I am very pleased with the way Julie looks after my horses, and I'm sure they appreciate her patient, quiet manner.
Nikki Kavanagh, Macclesfield.
I made the decision for my horse (Alfie) to go barefoot when I bought him about 12 months ago.
Since then Julie has trimmed his feet and advised on his dietary requirements both of which have proved very successful in contributing greatly to his increased health and well being. I always find Julie to be very patient, helpful and knowledgeable and would recommend Julie with complete confidence for horse foot care and nutritional needs.
Gail Beard, Stockport.
Julie took over the trimming of Oscar, Polly and Harry just over a year ago now. I was a bit nervous about the change of trimmers but Julie is reliable, knowledgeable, efficient and thorough. She really cares about what she does and keeps my horses hooves in tip top condition. I need have had no worries at all. Thanks Julie for the excellent job you are doing and long may it continue.
Julie has been trimming for me for the past year, she is always on time and gives the horses as much time as they need, she is very patient and is always willing to give help and advise. I'm really lucky to have such a knowledgeable person taking care of my horses. Thanks Julie.
We run a small livery yard in Cheshire and many of our horses are now happily barefoot under Julies expert care. We have two rescue ponies, Welsh Section A, one of whom has Cushings and severe chronic laminitis. Julie has been amazing at advising and supporting us regarding their foot care, grazing management and diet. Julie is quietly pursuasive, she doesn't force her opinion but always promotes what is best for the ponies at each visit and as a result they are now happy and sound. A real bonus to her visits is that she has a wealth of knowledge and experience of equine nutrition and diet. By pointing me in the right direction, she has helped me to acheive nutritional balance for my warmblood gelding who for the first summer in five years has no skin complaint. I highly recommend Julie not only for her professional approach to hoof trimming but the holistic support she provides regarding the foot health of our horses and ponies.
Anita Kania, Rocking Horse Farm, Crowton, Cheshire.
Domino is a 15 year old, 15.1 traditional gypsy cob, kept active by competing in affiliated dressage and dressage to music at novice and elementary, BHS trec and frequent 20km non-competitive rides. All of these barefoot without boots. Julie has maintained Dom’s hooves in excellent condition even though he has some arthritic changes and a keratoma which distorts his hoof growth.
Julie is always reliable and flexible with her appointments which is useful as I work full time. She is calm and patient with Dom. Julie is also willing to offer advice on all aspects of horse and hoof care.
I would recommend Julie to anyone thinking of going barefoot or who needs a trimmer.
Ruth O’Keeffe and Domino,
Wakefield, West Yorkshire