My regular farrier came this week and I decided to sit him down and really
explain my concern’s with Dig’s hooves….(politely.
I’m very glad I did and here is a condensed version…. (sort of O.o)
He listen to me and he answered my questions much better than he ever has before.
Then he was very patient as I pointed out each and every little thing I was concerned about….. literally hoof by hoof.
We (I) discussed the fast rate of growth and that the lack of timely trims was not helping Digby…and that I thought it was actually contributing to some frog issues, stress on the walls, and overall lack of good hoof health.
I told him I planned to order some hoof boots and he told me what he knew of them (mostly the older models as people around here generally don‘t use them) and agreed with my reasons for wanting them. He also helped take the measurements I needed.
When I asked how to fix a chip between trims (since Dig had one of those) and how to rasp should I need to because the walls and bars grow so fast between appointments, he was happy to show me. He also guided me while I rasped on Dig’s hooves explaining the proper angle and way for a smooth bevel, and what to do for normal chips.
He knows I could never actually use hoof nippers (small hands, bad wrist) so we didn’t go into that, but he did give me a nice quality used rasp. He said it was still very sharp and good for my needs on one horse and would last for many years if I took good care of it.
I wasn’t expecting that at all!
When I told him I had thought of buying one to keep on hand, he said that the ones I had in mind to buy from typical horse supply websites or places were not as good of quality as the one he gave me.
We (again, I) also discussed a better trim schedule. He agreed to come out just for Digby at four weeks and then again in four more weeks for Dig and the donks again. We’ll see how it goes and adjust accordingly.
In my previous posts I was hesitant to blame my horse’s hoof problems on my farrier, aside from too long between trims, because I didn’t think it was all his fault. And I was hesitant to say his trims were incorrect because I couldn’t say if they were, or they weren’t, correct for my area.
Since I’ve been learning more about hooves and have now talked with him about it, his trim style makes sense (in a broad sense) for the average bare horse here.
We had a pretty good discussion about how he does trim bare feet, why, and why he does what he calls a rocker toe based on how the ground in our area wears on hooves, to which he showed me on used shoes from the back of his truck to help explain.
He also explained how he would do (and has done) hooves a different way depending on what states/area they are in and why.
He is a humble guy and will be the first to tell you that he’s just an average joe of a farrier who hasn’t kept up with being current because our area doesn’t demand it. The usual client here really isn’t that involved and wants the least they have to do to get by.
But he understands my concerns now and that I want a more involved level of care. I think things will be better now and am very glad I chose to talk to him very directly with my concerns.
Although he didn’t say it, he seemed pleased that I had taken time to learn about the hoof, about what Dig needed, and was able to understand in trim terms what he does with the feet and why.
He did compliment the things I was doing nutrition wise, my approach to the hoof issues, the thrush treatment I‘m using, and my gentle trims on the frog clumps.
I have fresh trim pics, but am still resizing them to post later.