How to lose friends and alienate potential barefoot book clients (part 2)

This is the continuing saga that is the mistake I made in signing up for Sarah Bell’s free 10 pages of her book on barefoot trimming (for context, see here!)

After suffering through the aforementioned free 10 pages, then, to add insult to the injury that is wasting my time, she proceeds to send not one, not two, but three (so far!) emails with tidbits of information by way of marketing ploys and mind games. It’s not enough that I had to suffer through her “preview” but now she’s like a freakin’ poltergeist! -and not the loveable kind you find in movies of the same name! More like the irritating kind who steal your socks (they’re in cahoots with the washer/dryer tag team of evil).

Let’s take a look at some of the gems in her emails, shall we?

Email 1: Answers the much asked “who is High Performance Barefoot Trimming for?”. Apparently it’s for horse owners who have a stomach (“For horse owners who have a gut feel that sticking metal on their horses hooves is no longer an option”), those who want to cure lameness (all of which is caused by shoeing) and for people who want to save money. -hey! That last one is actually appealing AND makes sense! But wait! there’s more! Barefoot trimming is also for… oh no, sorry, she left that cliff hanger so you would click the link, go to her website and (drum roll please) buy her book!

Email 2: is on why barefoot trimming is so rare. Well, I for one think it’s a safety issue! I never go barefoot around my horse! Oh. You mean in terms of not shoeing your horse. Right. Well, in that case, Sarah feels it’s because “We have been so conditioned to believe that shoeing and all the problems that come with shoeing is just part of keeping horses.” She goes on to say that “We have also been conditioned to believe that our farriers know best.” -actually, I believe that (with a grain of salt) because they went to school and were specifically trained for this task. But wait! She’s “…not naive enough to suggest that barefoot hoof care is always easy. At the beginning it may not be. There maybe a bit of abscessing and a bit to learn.” It may not be? A bit of abscessing? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Email 3: This one’s my favorite so far! It starts off a little slow with “the basic principles of barefoot trimming are simple. And the fundamentals of great barefoot trimming are fairly straightforward.” But then WHAM! Conspiracy theory! “There is a huge conspiracy out there to convince you otherwise. Stand guard at the door of your mind.”

[That last sentence brings to mind the following image: two of those card-guards, complete with heart -spear-weapon-thingys from the Alice in Wonderland Disney movie marching to and fro in front of a large, ornate wooden door to a gargantuan, pulsating brain]

I’m going to leave you with this gem from the third email as it proves that those crazy alchemists from the past weren’t so crazy after all! You see, if you spend the low, low price of $46.23 (converted from the advertised price of 28.99 pounds) Sarah promises “You are holding gold if you buy this book”.


About snarkyrider

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Posted on November 19, 2011, in Misc Horsies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. No competent farrier OR specialist barefoot trimmer is going to create abscesses or a sore horse.

  2. A correctly trimmed hoof will not abcess, unless it has pre-existing damage inside the hoof from poor trim and shoe jobs. When a long term pathological hoof is trimmed correctly blood re-enters the area at a normal rate and sometimes instead of reabsorbing the dead damaged tissue the body walls it off and pushes it out, this all depends on the extent of the damage inside the hoof.

    Strange as it seems I think of abcessing as good because it means the horse is healing. Of course I mainly deal with SEVERE founders who have had improper hoof care and nutrition for a long time.

    And like Jennifer said no competent trimmer or farrier will create an abcess on a HEALTHY hoof that has a HEALTHY horse on top of it.

    I strongly urge those with shod horses going barefoot to have hoof x-rays done first since internal damage is not always present externally and to take it really slow with pulling shoes and follow up trims – there is a lot that I think should be done beforehand so the transition is as painless for horse and owner – no one who is a serious rider wants their horse unecesarrily (sp? Christ where’s my dictionary?!) lamed from changing paradigms)lamed.

    I think you should stop allowing this Sarah Bell to interact with you. She’s giving me a bad reputation and image. I definately don’t need help, my mouth is big enough on its own

    • lol Sarah Bell is too funny. But, just to be clear, I’m of the opinion that if a horse can go barefoot he should go barefoot. Although I am curious – what is the difference between a barefoot trim and a trim from a (for lack of a better word) normal farrier? -can you email us at I have a few questions 🙂

  3. excuse my bad grammer. 😦

  4. I really don’t know enough about horse anatomy, particularly hoof anatomy, to say if shooing is better than barefoot trimming. I think it depends on the horse’s need, to be honest.

    But that book (or the marketing associated with i) just made me want to RUN AWAY from any barefoot trimmer within 10 miles. Seriously.

  5. I honestly have great dislike for anyone who blankets it one way or another. I had an arabian who never needed shoes in his whole life… but I also had a TB who was poorly deficient in the hooves and had to supplement him, treat his feet and everything just to keep his feet healthy. He got shoes in front and was happier for it. I think it’s bad trimming and bad shoeing that cause the problems, not one or the other. I’ve heard over time you can take any horse and ‘wean’ them off shoes and onto bare feet with the proper nutrition and balancing and time. I’d be interested to experience more about that because I think that’s pretty awesome honestly.
    There are barefoot ‘cultists’ like this person, but there are also shoe ‘cultists’ too. You can’t have an extremist point of view in anything let alone horses and their care and training. Not if you want to do what is right by your horse as well as yourself.

  6. Don’t judge everything on the words of one person, she’s a bit extreme. Personally most of the horses I know a barefoot, generally because it’s so much cheaper and I have found it is very EASY for the farriers to screw up the feet when they are barefoot, to the point a lame horse after trimming was normal, lucky for us we found a decent farrier. Shoeing must have its issues to but the whole abscess thing seems a bit over the top

  7. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a small handful of farriers that know the difference between trimming a barefoot horse and preparing a horse for a shoe. There is a difference, and I’ve also met some farriers that didn’t know the difference! And thumbs up to the ‘cultist’ comment…anybody who fully supports one side while slamming the other, seems to me like they are closed minded, one sided, and possibly being told what to think instead of thinking for themselves. Here’s to doing your own research, from many different sources, on both sides, while keeping an open mind, and coming to your own conclusions!

    • Agreed! This site isn’t about swaying people’s opinions one way or another – we do try to provide a bit of information but good gawd people think for yourself! lol We have nothing against barefoot trimming, just Sarah Bell and her up-in-your-face marketing tactics 😉

      hehehe cults are funny…

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