Hoof care, self trim V no trim - Page 3

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Hoof care, self trim V no trim

This is a discussion on Hoof care, self trim V no trim within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    07-17-2011, 09:58 PM
I've been trimming my own horses for years and they are sound trail horses, that are ridden several times a week for 3-5 hours at a time. I think owners are very capable of trimming if they are willing to learn. In many cases, they have the potential to be better, because they care about their horses and they aren't in a rush.

I started out with a Farrier Science course (check your local community college), then rode around with a farrier, then progressed to trimming AND shoeing my own horses. That went along great for probably 8 years until I had some health issues and just wasn't able to shoe anymore.

I tried hiring a couple local farriers and wasn't impressed with any of them. (One thing you should know is it isn't even required for a "farrier" to go to school here in the USA, so you don't even know if the farrier you are paying has much experience or training- they could be anybody). So I thought, well, maybe if I could just shoe the fronts, it would be less work.

So I started researching barefoot horses and found out that not only was it okay to ride them, but it was considered a lot healthier (something I also learned in Farrier Science) and that I could use hoof boots if needed in the rocks.

So I ran with that idea and have been happy ever since. Horses are sound and healthy. I'm happy and don't ever have to pay a farrier. Don't ever miss a ride due to a lost shoe, nothing!

So I don't think I will ever go back to shoeing my horses. I see no reason to. I trail ride and I can do that perfectly well barefoot, or with boots. Boots are just removeable horseshoes after all.

PS. I think the secret to sound barefoot horses is never take off any sole (unless it is flaking off already), and keep the feet as dry as possible.
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    07-18-2011, 06:59 PM
I started out with a Farrier Science course (check your local community college), then rode around with a farrier, then progressed to trimming AND shoeing my own horses. That went along great for probably 8 years until I had some health issues and just wasn't able to shoe anymore.
I started out with a weekend course where you took your own horses - Mix of theory and practical with take away materials. I then started trimming conservatively with guidance from my trimmer. I started to do it more and more, and recently attended an advanced trimming course that moved on from the 'basic' trimming landmarks to looking at Medial/Lateral and Anterior/Posterior balance, movement, conformation, and hoof patholigies. I still get my trimmer out - He is coming today :]
    07-18-2011, 10:38 PM
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
Given this set of facts.
Horses that are unridden, pasture puffs or broodies, have good hooves, no issues, definitely don't need shoes, no special care or treatment is needed.
I don't understand why that is a 'set of facts'? Is it a 'fact' for some specific horses you have in mind? It is actually much more common for unridden 'pasture puffs' and untended broodies to have bad feet, IME.

What would you think of the following options, the owner trimming alternate to farrier visits, so 6 weeks owner, 12 weeks farrier, then 18 weeks on owner again. ...Or the farrier trimming twice a year and the owner trimming in between.
IMO that sort of question is similar to asking 'how long's a piece of string'. Depends on owner, farrier, horse, environment, etc, etc, etc. But re timing, as a general rule, I find 6 weekly trimming not quite frequent enough for most.

* Just to be clear this is merely a discussion question, prompted by the comment I read recently that "a bad trim is better than no trim*
How long's a string?? For that to be true, you'd have to define a 'bad trim', as there are infinite varieties, IME, of which some will indeed help the otherwise untended horse get by & others will do more harm than good. I'm all for owners learning the theory & practice of hoof care for themselves, but while I don't think it's rocket science, it's also not something to just be hacked at without knowledge. I think it's very true that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing... as is wielding tools, especially on a live animal, without the knowledge of how to - and how not to - use them.

**Bear in mind that some people are struggling more than ever before with cash flow issues, and also that there are some people who live in remote areas, so it can be difficult to get farriers to attend regularly. **
That is absolutely no excuse for hack care or neglect. If they don't have the money to look after the animal properly, perhaps they should find someone that has. If they're in out of the way areas(or somewhere with more than the usual choice of average or worse farriers), that is just one more good reason for them to educate themselves properly.
    07-18-2011, 11:23 PM
WOW Loosie, that was an interesting set of answers, maybe I should not of tried to set any sort of frame of reference here.

I don't really care about the length of anyone's string, I was merely exploring a comment made on another board that

"A bad trim is better than no trim"

I'm sorry but as it is a general discussion point there are no more details, so you need to set your own parameters.

I'm still on the fence on the whole debate at present
    07-18-2011, 11:34 PM
Yeah, I got that. Just giving my opinion on the question. I could have just said 'it depends', but tried to explain why 'it depends'!
    07-19-2011, 10:32 AM
Red face We trim hooves at home

Our barefoot blacksmith taught us how to trim our horses hooves and we do maintenance trimming as and when they need it, but at least every two weeks. It has taken us a while to get all the neccessary equipment together and it is not cheap. My husband made his own hoofstand but I saved up for a pair of nippers, a loop knife and a decent rasp. We will not get the farrier out again unless there is a problem. So hopefully will get our money back for the tools. Hoofcare is just part of everyday life for me and my mares, like grooming, games, exercising, eating and of-course resting.
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File Type: jpg Picys2011 032.jpg (75.0 KB, 91 views)
    07-19-2011, 12:01 PM
Day Mares, I think you overdid the trimming!! Your horses have no legs left
    07-19-2011, 05:13 PM
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
Day Mares, I think you overdid the trimming!! Your horses have no legs left
LOL! I thought the same thing...
    07-19-2011, 09:27 PM
Originally Posted by Day Mares    
Our barefoot blacksmith taught us how to trim
Yay for your 'barefoot blacksmith'! Without naming, but seeing gum trees in the pic, think I know who you're talking about - if anyone in Oz wants to learn to trim their own(or even if just interested in the theory), he's the one to learn from, I reckon!
    07-19-2011, 11:26 PM
Red face Legless horsies

Ha ha ha... they have legs, really! They were just practicing the winter undertuck.
Looking at the first pic again I noticed a pile of old horse poop front and centre, lovely.
Here's a pick of them both standing to prove it, although you still can't see their feet although I assure you they do have them.
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File Type: jpg 110603_143555.jpg (82.6 KB, 67 views)

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