PHCP Training Program Steps

Anyone with a desire for education and a supportive community is welcome to join PHCP. The Enrollment form is simply to collect information about your experience and goals so that we may better serve you in our organization. We are here to train new hoof care providers, as well as to support working professionals and horse owners alike.

This Training Program may be upgraded from time to time to ensure that we can provide the best education for those seeking to become a Professional Hoof Care Practitioner.

Enrollment Fee Payment

Please be sure to review our Dues Policy
Fill out and submit the PHCP Enrollment Form along with the enrollment fee.
The Enrollment Committee will review your form, conduct a telephone interview with you, and determine where it would be most appropriate for you to enter the training program. A file will be started for each student containing all mentorships and clinics attended, as well as all documentation created, as you progress through the program. You will also receive an invitation to join the PHCP bulletin board, where support and information are shared.
These clinics may be taken in any order. They will be offered 2 to 3 times each year. You can get started on your education right away by scheduling a Beginning Mentorship and studying the recommended Distal Limb Anatomy & Hoof Care media, listed on our Resource page, to prepare for the Beginning Clinics and Mentorships.
Beginning Clinics
  1. Hoof Anatomy and Dissection (See currently scheduled clinics)
  2. Booting and Shoe Removal (See currently scheduled clinics)
  3. Introduction to Equine Diet and Lifestyle (an online course)
    • On-line course:
    PowerPoint or PDF version.
These clinics may be taken in any order.
All Beginning Clinics must be completed before entering Step 4 Independent Study. There will be an entrance exam to Independent Study on materials covered in the Beginning Clinics.
You may schedule 1 or 2 Beginning Mentorships before taking the Beginning Clinics. Be sure to study the recommended Distal Limb Anatomy & Hoof Care media, listed on our Resource page, to prepare for these mentorships.
Beginning Mentorships
Each of these mentorships will include:
  • Tools – selection, use, and maintenance
  • Basic trims on live horses
  • Safe horse handling skills and dealing with common behavior problems
  • Identifying common hoof problems and recognizing how diet and lifestyle can affect the hoof
  • A minimum of three Mentorships, (one or 2 days each), with three different PHCP Mentors are required. Students will contact each Mentor directly to schedule mentorships as needed. The typical cost is $150 per day. This charge is set by and paid directly to the Mentor.
  • We recommend that beginners with limited trimming experience schedule at least one 2 day mentorship. It takes time to build strength and efficiency trimming. Multi day mentorships will give beginners more opportunity to trim and learn at a slower pace. Many Mentors offer special rates for 2 day mentorships.
  • Each Mentor will fill out an Mentorship Evaluation form (DOC) at the end of the mentorship. This will be added to the student’s file and they will receive a copy as well.
Note: The final Mentor of the Beginning Series will determine the students readiness to advance to Independent Study. The student may be asked to do another mentorship, to work on the skills needed to progress.
Independent Study
  • In addition to the approval of their final Step 3 Mentor,  students entering Independent Study (IS) will need to pass a written exam covering materials taught in the Beginning Clinics.
  • Students entering IS will be considered “Student Practitioners”(SP) and may be listed on the PHCP website as such.* see note below.
  • During IS students will practice their skills and gain experience working on their own horses and building a clientele, if they plan to trim professionally. This step should be sufficiently long enough for the student to gain experience in the “real world” and work on a variety of horses.
  • The suggested Independent Study period might be 3 – 6 months long, depending on the student’s previous experience and progress.
  • Students are encouraged to use the PHCP Chat Forum to post photos, and discuss any interesting or challenging cases, that they may encounter.
  •  Students are required to do two IS Mentorships. One may be with a previous Mentor and one must be with a Mentor they haven’t worked with before.
  • One mentorship may take place anytime during IS and the 2nd mentorship should be scheduled when the student feels ready to advance to Step 5.
  • IS Progress Report  will be submitted at the completion of each mentorship, by the student.
  • With the approval of the second IS Mentor, the student may submit their IS Media Presentation to the Evaluation Committee. This presentation is designed to prepare the student for the Final Media Presentation. Once the committee is satisfied with the presentation  the student will receive a summery of constructive comments, and move on to the Advanced Mentorships.
  • Student Practitioners(SP) who have passed their IS Media Presentation will be considered Advanced Student Practitioner (ASP) and will be designated as such, if listed on the website. * see note below
*  note: SPs and ASPs, who choose to be advertised on the PHCP website, are required to complete one mentorship or submit a media presentation annually to maintain their listing. This media presentation will follow the guidelines for the Independent Study Media Presentation. It will not be judged in a pass/fail capacity, but the student will receive in-depth feedback in the form of written summaries by Evaluation Committee members. Media Presentations may be submitted for 3 years and then a mentorship is required to remain advertised.
Advanced Mentorships
These mentorships will include in-depth trimming on a variety of horses. The purpose of the Advanced Mentorships is to further improve the student’s skills and work on areas of special interest.
  • A minimum of three Mentorships are required. Students will contact each Mentor directly to schedule mentorships as needed. The typical cost is $150 per day. This charge is set by and paid directly to the Mentor.
  • One mentorship may be with a previous Mentor.
  • The Final Mentorship must be with a PHCP Mentor that the student has not worked with before.
  • The Final Mentor will determine the students readiness to complete the program. With their approval the student may post the Final Media Presentation.This Mentor may recommend another mentorship if they feel the student would benefit from it.
  • The Final Media Presentation must be posted within 1 year of the final mentorship. If this deadline is missed the student will be asked to take another mentorship.
Completion of Elective Clinics
  • Elective Clinics may be taken at any time during the Training Program. Some clinics may have a prerequisite.
  • Each student must take a minimum of 6.
  • Three of the Electives must cover the subjects of Radiograph Reading, Nutrition, and IR/PPID. Choose from the approved options on the clinic page. .
  • All Elective Clinics are also offered to Practitioners and Mentors for Continuing Education.
  • Do a ride along with a professional outside of PHCP, such as a Farrier, Veterinarian, Body Worker, or any other Equine Specialist. Write up and submit a summery of your day, describing some of the interesting things you did and what you learned. Click here to see an example
Final Media Presentation
Once approval has been given by the students final Mentor, they may go ahead and post their Final Media Presentation.  This must be posted within 1 year of the final mentorship or another mentorship will be required.
In addition to a maintenance trim, it will include a progressive case study on a horse with hoof pathology. This will take several months to complete so each student should plan in advance, documenting several potential subjects along the way.
This presentation will be posted for the Evaluation Committee to critique. Mentorship Evaluation forms, Progress Reports, and all other documentation in the students file, will be reviewed and considered as well.
Once the student has passed the Evaluation Committee they will receive a summery of “constructive comments” on their media presentation and they will become a PHCP Certified Practitioner.
Education Credits

At PHCP we encourage our members to continue their education and keep up to date with the latest hoof care practices, before and after certification has been reached. Credit is given for mentorships, clinics, webinars, and media presentations. Details can be found by members at the top of the Chat Forum on a “sticky”.


PastedGraphic-2  Need some extra guidance to reach your goal of PHCP Certification?
Check out the Pegasus Program. The Pegasus Program Outline and Pegasus Hand Book will give you all the details. Contact Jon Smedley  or Leslie Carrig to sign up or with questions.