The essence of Applied Equine Podiatry or AEP is the conscientious study of the equine foot, always striving to expose it to proper environmental stimuli, making every effort to promote proper structure and function, as we progress towards achieving high performance. It is accepting the facts that the horse has the innate ability to heal itself and that man's interference has caused imbalance and broken the golden rule of "Do No Harm".
A professional qualified in AEP is a Degreed Applied Equine Podiatrist, or DAEP. They are highly proficient equine foot care professionals specialising in the return or maintenance of health and performance in the equine foot, from a holistic point of view. They are able to discuss what constitutes a healthy foot and what needs to be done in order to provide the correct stimulus to return optimum health, including the high performance barefoot trim.
DAEP'S do not condone the unreasonable use of shoeing as horse shoes do not provide the correct stimulus for the long-term health of the foot. They are not 'barefoot trimmers'; they are equine podiatrists. However they do trim shoeless horses.
If you are thinking about going barefoot or rehabilitating your horse's feet for whatever reason, we recommend you visit the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry first and foremost where you can read interesting articles and locate a DAEP. Holistic Equine has additional information about AEP under Articles and links to sites which can help you make an informed decision about the welfare of your horse.
You could also discuss your findings with your vet and farrier but be warned; many vets and farriers are not familiar with the science of AEP and may be suspicious and/or unsupportive, despite the sound scientific bases and acceptance by the leading farriery and equine hoof experts worldwide. Many people may associate 'going barefoot' with several 'methods' adopted by barefoot trimming groups. AEP is not 'barefoot trimming'; it is an Applied Science based on sound and verifiable scientific reasoning and as a result of which, the HPT (High Performance Trim) Method is a reliable and highly effective method.