Lim Couch On Hoof Care “No hoof, No horse” By Nancy Brannon The timeworn adage “No hoof, No horse” is a simple yet profound statement of the ultimate importance of healthy hoo...
On Hoof Care "No hoof, No horse" By Nancy Brannon The timeworn adage "No hoof, No horse" is a simple yet profound statement of the ultimate importance of healthy hooves to the horse's survival.
In the wake of National Farriers Week in July, we probe the aspects of proper hoof care, seeking information from the area's most knowledgeable expert: Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member and farrier instructor Lim Couch.
For over 40 years Lim Couch
has been training farriers and educating horse owners at his
horseshoeing school in Hernando, MS. He
graduated from farrier school in 1966, but was working with horses long before that.
Over the years, Lim
has taught over 1700 students.
has been to many schools and seminars, but he
also has a natural talent for hoof care.
can look at a horse and know exactly what to do.
"It's a God-given talent," he
"I have had an illustrious, enjoyable career.
I've shod for the rich and famous [Lim was Elvis Presley's farrier] and have shod world champion horses in all respects.
A weak horse falls prey to predators," Lim
Many farriers are qualified but not certified, and vice versa," Lim
"Certification is voluntary.
But I'd rather [the farrier] be qualified than certified.
As Past President of the American Farriers Association (AFA), Lim knows the AFA certification criteria are strict.
"The farrier must be knowledgeable and skilled to pass.
There are other associations that offer certification, but with them it's more a matter of buying the certification; farriers are not really tested for their knowledge," Lim
"Ask your farrier if he/she is certified and by whom.
recommends getting AFA certification.
isn't enthusiastic about the "natural trim" school of hoof care.
"The hoof is basically the same, whether it's a pony or draft horse.
There's only so much you can do in trimming a horse with the 'natural trimming' methods.
Then you have to buy expensive boots for the horse to wear.
demonstrated in detail the hoof structure, bones of the hoof and leg, and importance of conformation.
The farrier and horse owner should know how the bones, ligaments, and tendons work," Lim
The horse's conformation and ability are important factors determining the horse's performance.
"Don't ask a horse to do what he
is physically incapable of doing," Lim
All horse owners need a good, qualified equine dentist and there are very few around," Lim
"Think about this.
There are three reasons Lim
shoes: "First, study the horse's conformation.
Make the horse comfortable and happy by balancing the hoof so the horse is standing level.
It is endorsed by Chris Gregory of Heartland Horseshoeing School, a long time friend of Lim's, member of the Horseshoeing Hall of Fame, and a Certified Journeyman Farrier.
may be "retired?
from horse shoeing, but he
is still available to advise and educate.
"We try to get our customers' questions answered and help them solve problems.
We try to be cost efficient, and tend to the personal needs of our customers.
hosted a clinic last September for farriers and horse owners.
"The horse owners who came to our clinic last year were very excited about the learning opportunity and very successful horse people.
About 75 people attended, and got detailed knowledge of hoof care and talked with clinicians about their interests and problems," he
makes available his
over 40 years of expertise to help farriers and horse owners to benefit of horses.
Other resources for further reading about hoof care: http://www.heartlandhorseshoeing.com/ http://www.thehorseshoof.com/hoofangles.html http://www.horseshoes.com/advice/moyer/rvofhfbl.htm