WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAINTENANCE & CORRECTIVE TRIM?

The difference between a “maintenance” and a “corrective” trim is how the imbalances are addressed

For a maintenance trim, it is preferable if the foot is already at a developed and balanced stage. Or if the owner is just maintaining the feet in between farrier’s / HCP’s appointments. The maintenance trim would just address excess outer wall growth

A corrective trim aims at helping the feet grow out of their imbalances. Provided that after a while of corrective and regular trims, the feet (if no injuries occur-ed) should maintain a healthy growth and mainly only need regular (at least monthly depending on climate, terrain, husbandry) maintenance trims.

Here is a video of a donkey’s corrective trim. 

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HORSE & DONKEY TRIM?

Donkeys are designed to live in very harsh conditions, hard and dry lands. Their feet are therefore meant to be super resistant to abrasion. As a result, Sole & Wall grow in donkey’s feet, if they are not properly stimulated.

Generally, donkeys tend to grow “can-like” feet: very upright, high heels ,high everything.
So the trim will focus on lowering the heels at the frog’s bulbs level (the largest part of the frog actually forms the heels in donkeys). As all grows, it usually pulls sole, which has to be trimmed in some cases, unlike many horses, where we leave their sole alone.

Many donkeys also suffer from laminitis, which adds long toe into the mix. But still very tight feet.

As a reminder, here is a series of articles on horses’ feet external anatomy.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THIS DONKEY?

For this female donkey, imbalances are quite minimal, compared to her grey sister, also present for cuddles in this video. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the grey’s trim on tape.

The brown donkey has quite a few medio/lateral imbalances that might be solved with proper regular trimming and chiropractic work. The owners can not afford chiropractor’s visits right now and even though they’re not booked for trims as often as I wished, we still had beautiful progress!

DONKEYS’ BEHAVIOURAL PARTICULARITIES…

I wish to also talk about behavioural progress with these 2.

Although they’ve never been difficult or as dangerous to trim as other equines I work with, they used to be very scared of farriers. They couldn’t be caught for my 1st appointment. And if I managed to start working with one, the other would chase away the one I was working on.

Now, 5 trims later, I am the one chasing the friend away so that I can work in peace, without having my hair and ears licked and groomed!

MY DONKEY INSPIRATION

Megan Hensley from Holistic Hooves • The Donkey Farrier (https://www.facebook.com/holistichooves/) inspired me a lot in how to work with donkeys: patience, always a smile on my lips, joking with them, being confident but calm around them.

Although I find this mindset generally very applicable for all equines! I have great results with fearful or hot horses, that have previously been handled a little to harshly or horses that have or had pain and are reactive from it.