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Hidden Gems: Meet Karin Floyd of TLC Hoof Trimming and Desert Heritage Arabians

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karin Floyd.

Hi Karin, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My interest in natural hoof care began in 2012 when I moved from sunny Los Angeles to wintery Syracuse, NY, with my horse Jazz. After a traditional farrier had made my horse very, very tender-footed and lame by removing the callousing on his hooves, I was determined that it was time to take matters into my own hands so my horse would be comfortable again. I began asking around if anyone knew of a “barefoot” or “natural” hoof trimmer. Most people thought it was peculiar and didn’t understand what I was referring to. Using traditional farriers and applying horseshoes was the norm for that area. Frustrated but determined, I decided to begin reading books and trying to teach myself to trim. I did, however, run into problems with my horse and needed assistance. I looked online for barefoot trimmers in the area and was referred to a woman named Jamie Wooten, who spent the entire day answering my questions and really showing me how to apply the concepts that I had been reading about onto hooves.

She invited me to a clinic nearby hosted by Daisy Bicking, and as I was completely inspired, I opted to go. The clinic was mind-blowing for me as I learned how horse’s hooves and teeth contribute to their posture, and therefore, their athletic abilities and potential for breakdown if these critical concepts were ignored in basic hoof care. I began enthusiastically trimming my gelding’s hooves all the while, learning as much as I could about natural hoof trimming. Deciding that Syracuse wasn’t the place for me, I moved with my horseback across the country to Tucson, AZ, where my godmother lived. I began trimming her horses with success. Over time, I decided I might as well start advertising on Craigslist and on feed store bulletin boards. Later, I developed a Facebook page which helped with promotion, but it still took a few years for me to develop a successful business with enough clients that a second job wasn’t necessary. Right about this time, I was accepted into the University of Arizona Equine Science program as a full-time student and graduated in 2018, trimming hooves almost full-time after classes and on weekends. I also maintained my Al Khamsa Arabian horse breeding program, Desert Heritage Arabians, during this time as well. It was a lot of work, and I’m glad to be graduated and working full time doing what I love.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Word gets around in the horse community. If you lame up someone’s horse, it can hurt your reputation. I made some horses sore a couple times when I was beginning, however, I did well enough that my reputation still grew. I took the mistakes as opportunities to learn and become a better trimmer. Instead of being egotistical, I always try to be open-minded to other methods and interpretations, willing to not have all the answers, but then, most importantly, getting to the right answers so I can help more horses and their owners to the best of my ability. Another struggle was developing a good client base, which happened as my reputation grew and I really began to master my craft. When I first started, I could not demand a higher price even though I had good quality work. Some clients were much more flaky and inconsistent in the beginning compared to now, but that was what I had. I can now command a higher price for trimming and have excellent clients and horses that I really do enjoy getting to know over the years.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about TLC Hoof Trimming and Desert Heritage Arabians?
TLC Hoof Trimming is my business where I provide natural hoof trimming services/care for horses in Southern Arizona. I also trim goat and pig hooves, although horse hooves are my specialty and passion. I can work on horses with very active lifestyles (dressage, endurance, rigorous trail riding, etc.) as well as horses suffering from devastating ailments (laminitis, founder, canker, navicular) and everything in between. I trim horses from foal age to seniors, broodmares, stallions; green horses, mustangs off the BLM, therapy horses; you name it, I can trim it. I do so with a “firm but fair” attitude and an abundance patience. Getting angry at horses always backfires, they trust you better if you’re calm but also insist they behave. I think this sets me apart as I have heard many stories of farriers with unpleasant bedside manner. My trimming method gives horse’s hooves the proper balance (heel/toe, medial/lateral) so that simple hoof imbalances and distortions do not become devastating ailments (most commonly, arthritis and navicular) down the road. Overlooking seemingly innocuous hoof details instead of fixing them causes long-term damage to the hooves, coffin bone remodeling, poor posture, etc.

Desert Heritage Arabians is a breeding program I own and operate. I breed Al Khamsa Arabians with a specific focus on preservation of almost extinct bloodlines and outcross breeding for Straight Egyptian Arabians. Most of my horses are Straight Egyptian and have unusual “outcross” pedigrees not seen in the mainstream show ring. The trend of linebreeding Egyptian Arabians has led to a “founder effect” within the group where few options to introduce alternative bloodlines are left. I breed those rare horses with outcross breeding. They are sturdy and well-conformed, which I consider paramount. I offer on-site breeding leases, stud services, and mare care. This has been a growing passion of mine. I also am on the Al Khamsa Board of Directors and am a member of the Al Khamsa Preservation Taskforce.

What does success mean to you?
Success for me is all about giving horses long-term longevity, excellent balance, correct posture, rehabilitation when needed, and, therefore, happy and comfortable lives. It is also about giving owners a sense of relief, knowing that their horse’s hooves are in good hands.

Pricing:

  • $55-70

Contact Info:


Image Credits

TLC photos – Leavitt Wells DHA photos – Karin Floyd

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