TMPF 2.0 - The Mini Pig Farrier Blog - A Renewed Era of Miniature Pig Hoof Care Education

TMPF 2.0

Summary

The Mini Pig Farrier took a health-related hiatus from nationwide travel in the USA in 2020. This led to a negative shift in the mini pig community as quality information for hoof trimming became an elusive trade, most groups of trimmers gatekeeping the industry as a whole. In 2024, we have plans to become the leading online educational platform in miniature pig hoof trimming and hoof care to empower owners and professionals in evidence-based practices.

TMPF 2.0, a new chapter.

A couple nights ago I walked over to my neighbors to vent about some personal struggles. My neighbors just happen to be Tori and Michael of Her Animals Hoof Care, our legacy team providing mini pig hoof trimming services in Texas and Louisiana. During our conversation, we got sidetracked in regards to pig hoof trimming. Tori asked if I missed hoof trimming. This led to a side quest of logging into my cloud photo album full of thousands of photos and videos from over the years, sifting through certain hoof cases I remembered like they were yesterday.

These are the Moments

I came across a case that was a pig we trimmed in Florida, USA in 2020. This was our last nationwide hoof trimming route that we got back from just a few days before the COVID-19 shutdowns. This was the same year I would later be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that ended our path trimming. This particular case was not only a severely overgrown hoof case, this pig also had hermaphroditism. Super unique case if I do say so myself. I played the video of the pig shuffling around, her overgrown toes clicking against each other while John was getting our equipment set up.

I played the next video of mom leading this pig out of the covered porch as she high stepped down the stairs before gaining her balance on her new trotters.

Then her happy tail swish and our recorded voices in the background exclaiming joy for her ability to move comfortably.

It was that moment, tears built up in my eyes, my voice cracking as I said, “This. These are the moments I miss.”

Not the hoof trimmer turf war and trash talking drama.

Most definitely not the pig rescue bashing drama.

Not the angry emails from people who didn’t make it onto our route quickly enough and we had no more hours in our day or energy in our bodies to spare.

The moments of hope in an owner’s eyes and the complete shift in an animal’s mood and quality of life. There’s a reason we used the term “Trotter Transformation”.

Inner Turmoil

The very next morning, I came across a quote saying “If it’s out of your hands, let it out of your mind too.” I realized I have had so many things living rent free in my head. All the should’s, could’s, what-if’s. This quote took the wind out of me.

Ending our career trimming pigs has been what I have held as the largest failure in my life. Maybe that sounds silly to you, but this was an industry I lived and breathed. There was never a day I didn’t learn something new. At my core, I’m a total scholar.

If you had been in the room when John said I needed to cancel our upcoming route plans during my medical issues, you’d have thought hell was on earth. Pure wrath. I was so angry. Angry at him, angry at my body, and angry at living in Texas whose heat and humidity was trying to kill me. Then, I shut down.

Imposters

We went from the top educational platform and trimmers formerly showing pig owners they could learn how to trim and maintain hooves, to doubting whether my information—based on numerous case studies and evidence—was actually helping. I replayed the negative things said about us by other trimmers and “important” figures in the mini pig community and believed they were right all this time:

  • We were laming up pigs everywhere we traveled.
  • We were some rando guy and a dog groomer that had zero business being in the industry (nevermind John’s agriculture background and my extensive studies in general animal behavior and vet med)
  • We used a stupid “box” to restrain pigs inhumanely (boxes have more sides than the U-shape of the Mini Pig Rig h8ers).
  • We were posting information on how to injure a pig.
  • We didn’t know proper hoof anatomy and biomechanics. Supposedly.

We were imposters in their eyes. What if they were right, regardless of the following we had? Were all of our case studies and consistent improvement on pigs who had been diagnosed with severe arthritis a ruse? Was our community and demand for our services and help just one big lie?

Bullies Don’t Get to Win

In the end, the self-doubt and the fear won. I stopped paying for hosting and let the website go, losing the majority of our online written content. I logged out of our socials. The plans to build something virtual were overwhelming.

Avoidance has done nothing for me over the last three and a half years. I led to letting our website go, our socials going dark, and book series plans go to waste. And for what? What has it done? It has held space in my head and body as I’ve fought severe depression, anger, guilt, and shame over these words from critics and simultaneously my own negative self-talk loop.

Looking at the data, pig hoof care has gone back to the dark ages.

  • Newbie trimmers using extremely risky methods to trim.
  • Trimmers performing non-licensed veterinary services owners are not aware of.
  • Cliques of trimmers pushing “standards” and/or treatment plans not aligned with science and solely financial gain on their behalf.
  • Trimmers continuously treating pig owners as incompetent when it comes to hoof maintenance and care and urge owners to book their services.

The information we originally provided being no longer accessible has undeniably caused the mini pig community to suffer.

As much as Tori mentioned it here and there over the last year of them being actively booking trimming routes, I didn’t totally believe her. This windy, rainy, thunderstormy week here in Texas, I can’t unsee it.

TMPF 2.0

Moving forward, I will slowly post content to the new TMPF 2.0 website. My goals include:

  • Monetizing our platforms as to lower our financial burden (hosting our content and time spent editing isn’t cheap!)
  • Providing an accessible site for vision- and hearing-impaired
  • Creating content for all learning types (visual, verbal, auditory, kinesthetic)
  • Rebuilding a community of support that puts education and knowledge above egos

As a forewarning, this will take time. I am working amid MS flares, undergraduate studies, and mental health struggles. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Asking For Help with TMPF 2.0

Someone older and wiser than me said it is important to not go through struggles alone. We get better and we do better when we have support around us, cheering us on even when we face plant into the ground. Ways you can help as I slowly begin migrating old and new content to our platforms include:

  • Sharing our future posts to your timeline(s) and story
  • Bookmarking our blog and checking back every couple of weeks as I sift through too many Google docs and Canva notes to re-write
  • Engaging our social media platforms with likes and comments
  • Tagging friends, family, rescues, and anyone who may benefit from our content
  • Choosing to use our Amazon Affiliate (paid link) store to purchase mini pig hoof trimming supplies
  • Supporting our time producing content and managing our multiple platforms through Patreon

Without you all, we would have never changed so many lives. I truly appreciate every single one of you along our journey of ups and downs.

Over and Snout,

Katelyn

This is the hoof trim I was talking about that evening with Tori.

P.S. Sharing our future content can save a pig’s life. Quality of life is directly related to hoof health. Therefore, with your help, pig owners worldwide will become better equipped with tools and tips to promote a healthy, sound, and happy pig.