Got contacted by a client via Facebook last night. Said client was being trolled by a farrier for following the barefoot 'fad'.
Well I've been a barefooter for more than 15 years...........
And I only took up this route because the standard of farriery in my area is so poor. If my then farrier hadn't proposed putting my unbroken two year old in pads and shoes it might never have crossed my mind. If the answer to every question by his replacement hadn't been 'Well you can always put shoes on.' I might never have sought to learn to trim myself. (Seriously - I asked about natural solar exfolation - you know when it goes chalky and flakes off - and the answer was to shoe.)
And as far as I can tell my ex shoddie clients are making the same decision for very frequently the same reasons.
For example; last client of the day yesterday. Wonderful lady, knew something wasn't right but was getting no joy from her current hoof care provider. Apparently everything was 'ok' and 'normal'.
Since when has it been normal for a horse to have feet shaped like house bricks? With hooves twice as long toe to heel as wide and shoes covering a good inch of white line stretch? (And the farrier had said nothing about the stretch or what the owner should do to resolve it.)
This is why horse owners are looking for alternatives - because they know that all is not well and their current providers are unable or unwilling to help them.
Trolling people via Facebook or other social forums is not the answer. Learning how to treat clients with respect and answering sensible intelligent questions with well informed and helpful responses just might be.
And learning how to recognise and manage laminitis might be another.