Any way to soften hooves for farrier? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 25 Old 02-12-2014, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question Any way to soften hooves for farrier?

Okay so I'm new to horses, so tell me if I'm being an idiot.

Its summer here and our pony's hooves are like rock hard. The soles are literally like stone and the hoof wall is hard and dry.

I have the barefoot trimmer coming on Saturday to do a badly needed trim (I'm a bad horsey mumma, her feet look terrible ) and I'm wondering if I need to do anything to soften her hooves first. Just to make trimming easier, so temporary softening not long lasting.

She is not a fan of having her feet done (but hugely improved from where we started), so anything to make like easier and speed the trim up will help.

But maybe I should just leave them alone? Ideas?
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-12-2014, 11:07 PM
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If you can spill water around her feeder, so she "soaks" her hooves for about 30 mins/day from now til Sat. It will make a LOT of difference. If that doesn't work, try soaking one foot at a time in a flat feed pan or shallow bucket.

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post #3 of 25 Old 02-12-2014, 11:55 PM
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If you have a wash rack, you can fill it up and soak the feet the night before.

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post #4 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 05:40 AM
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Guess it depends on your environment, but IME doing it the night before, let alone on previous days, is not really effective. If deemed helpful(rarely see the need, but sometimes rock hard clydie's feet or such...) you can soak the feet immediately prior the scheduled visit. Leave her soaking for 20 mins or so & pull her out when the farrier is ready to go to work.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.
So I can soak her feet for an hour or so before the trimmer comes, hopefully that will work well enough. Whatever makes life easier!
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 11:00 AM
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I'm a farrier in the Midwest, and went to school in rainy Washington state - I cannot fathom purposely making a horse's feet wetter to be a good thing (as I am in the frontlines battling feet that are too wet)! Do the hooves in dryer climates get to a point where they are too hard for a farrier to trim?
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rialto View Post
I'm a farrier in the Midwest, and went to school in rainy Washington state - I cannot fathom purposely making a horse's feet wetter to be a good thing (as I am in the frontlines battling feet that are too wet)! Do the hooves in dryer climates get to a point where they are too hard for a farrier to trim?
Well, not exactly. With the right tools (long handled nippers) you can trim their hoof wall, but it takes considerable more "mojo" to say, rasp, when they are iron hard. You never have to worry about taking to much bar, b/c a little is all you can manage. When it comes to the sole, good luck. And, there are times when you need to take a little sole. The frogs are really hard to trim because of their "shape" and hardness/rubber-ieness. All and all, it can take the same energy/concentration do one hard foot as it would 4 "soft" ones.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 12:39 PM
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QUOTE:...Do the hooves in dryer climates get to a point where they are too hard for a farrier to trim?

Oh yeah - rock hard hooves will guarantee to happen to me (well, actually my horses) in a drought/dry type year around August or so. Where we are we have soil with clay in it and you can see, as you'd expect, the hooves matching the hardness of the ground as it dries out. I do my own trimming and after a couple of times of not being able to do a proper trim (the handles on the nipper would actually flex from the pressure but I couldn't get a decent bite into the wall (I will recognize I've got girly arms but they do have some strength to them)), I wised up, kept a keener lookout and made sure the hooves were done before a dry season starts.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 01:25 PM
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My farrier keeps telling me I NEED to put something on her hooves to soften them before he trims and shoes her. It kills him and takes him longer because how hard my mare's feet are. The issue is they get so dry the start to chip too. Sadly we can't buy the non liquid hoof conditioner...
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-13-2014, 01:59 PM
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I used to put sudocrem on when my horses very started cracking. Our diprobase. Same thing, just cheaper.
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