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Hermen's Helpful Hints

Have a question about your horse? Need hoof advice? Ask an expert! Question about how to treat a hoof problem? Help with transitioning from wearing shoes? Dr. Geertsema can help.

Please submit your question by clicking here - Submit a question to Dr. Geertsema

About Dr. Geertsema

Dr Geertsema graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (North America's oldest veterinary collge) in 1994.  He also holds an Animal Science degree from the Ontario Agricultural College(1989).  Young Doctor.

Dr Geertsema decided early on in life that he wanted to practice veterinary medicine.

During his school years Dr Geertsema helped to support his family by shoeing and training horses.  This perhaps led to his special interest in feet and hoof problems encountered in his practice.  He also did a research project at the Equine Research Center in Guelph Ontario on the use of prostaglandins in control of breeding.  This background was an excellent preparation for the volume of reproductive work he currently encounters in his practice. 

While in school he realized that equine dentistry was not highly emphasized in the curriculum and took extra training at a private company in the US. Dentistry remains one of his interests.


Dr Geertsema enjoys riding young horses to make them good trail horses, raising border collies, running and martial arts.  He is currently in training as a Search and Rescue volunteer ( hoping to contribute his veterinary and horse handling expertise to the team.


You can count on Dr Geertsema for a no-nonsense, practical approach to your horses' health and fitness. He wishes to provide optimum care while keeping in mind the most cost effective ways to do so. To visit his website please click here -

Past Questions and Answers:

Q: I had my walker trimmed with this new natural hoofcare.  She took off all the heels and leaves more toe than I like.  I rode him once since it was done and he went lame on me going down hill.  I let her keep on trimming him hoping he would get better but he is walking on his flattened frog and the toes seem long.  I did get some boots for him so I didnt have to shoe him anymore.  But I am very concerned about his no heels and his tendons as it pulls them alot when he walks.  He is not lame and never has been but did go out on me going down a long hill, but when I turned him to go up hill he seemed to be okay.  But also was walking gingerly.  Is this what the correct procedure is for the natural hoof trim?  I am thinking I wanna let his heels grow back this winter and get him back up on his feet hoping he won't go lame on me going down hills again. He is fifteen years old and has never given me any problems with his feet until now.   Barb

A: There is no standard of what ‘new natural hoofcare’ means.  It is still just a trim and could be good, bad or ugly.  Perhaps send some pictures taken from the side at ground level.  I’m surprised he is sore going downhill and not up hill.  Going up hill would put more strain on the tendons.  Also I don’t know what he was like before, so what looks normal for you may in fact be too high in the heels. On the other hand some trimmers take too much heel and leave too much toe.  I am very wary of long toes as they can distort the whole foot and create an underrun heel as well as create excess strain on the tendons.  He should not be sore.   Walking on his frog is good.