Is it just me - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is it just me

I am not the strongest person, I know that....but with everything I have I can't get nippers to "clip" my mares hooves. Every so often I decide to try it again. I bought the smaller pair believing they would be easier for me to manage. Perhaps the larger pair gives on more leverage? I don't want to buy yet another new pair and find out its just me. I won't be offended if you think it is I that is the problems...offend away.

She has really hard feet, no question, but not diamond hard. So, I rasp.. a lot. Outside of power tools, I don't know what other options I have.

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post #2 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 02:06 PM
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LOL! I have the same problem with my dog's toenails....I swear those things are made of steel!

Is anyone else able to use your clipper and trim the hooves easily? That's really going to be the only way to tell whether you have a poor tool - or just poor strength and/or technique.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Daisy25 View Post
LOL! I have the same problem with my dog's toenails....I swear those things are made of steel!

Is anyone else able to use your clipper and trim the hooves easily? That's really going to be the only way to tell whether you have a poor tool - or just poor strength and/or technique.
I had to smile, it is an excellent observation as far as determining if it is just me...but the only reason I trim my little sweetie's feet is she won't let anyone else. I don't know whether to blame her or thank her for forcing me to get "more involved" than writing a check to a farrier. But, I far prefer the later.

I could try to find someone to test them on another's feet, though..good idea.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 03:13 PM
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Having someone test your nippers is a great idea. If it is not your nippers, it could be a combination of technique and your horses feet being very hard. My husband is a farrier and he would recommend overflowing the water trough (occassionally) so they stand in the water to get some moisture in their feet. If not, rainmaker works pretty good, just brush on the outside of the foot.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 03:24 PM
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Longer handles do indeed give you more power...I.e. Twice the length gives you twice the force.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 03:30 PM
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^^Agreed. Also, what kind are your nippers. Certain brands are, in general, a lot better than others. I haven't tried to trim any hooves in quite some time but my brother (a farrier) tells me that using, say, Diamond brand nippers is about like trying to cut a steel bar with a butter knife, even when they're new. He only uses GE nippers, but they are pretty hella expensive ($200 compared to $80 for the same type in Diamond brand).

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post #7 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 03:49 PM
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BTW, you mentioned power tools (probably in jest). As I haven't got younger, I actually use an angle grinder with a 4 1/2" 40 grit sanding disk on 3 of our mares (the youngest one wants no part of that grinder). You can trim 1/4" of hoof and roll over the tops in seconds. You do need a calm horse and some confidence since you wouldn't want to nick a leg and you take off too much very quickly. I've never had a problem except for our lead mare swishing her tail and the grinder grabbing some hairs. She took a step back and gave me a "what the hell are you doing back there" look. I tied up her tail and finished without problem
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, Painted, I wasn't kidding - if I were confident w a small power tool (a big if), I would go for it! She is calm for me, so that part is covered...just not my power tool proficiency. I might have to suck it up and learn that, too, before its all over.

I looked, and they are "cutting edge" brand - they were the only ones I could find in "short" and made in the USA. I got the from Jeffers for $30, the other brand's shortest pair is ~$90. And, now I just feel stupid for getting short. I understand leverage, I just didn't think I would need so much of it.

KCtop...I wouldn't doubt it has something to do w my technique...it always looks easy when a farrier does it. Last time it rained I tried and was again disappointed...ugh, a total waste of $30! I wish they had just said "only suckers buy these" in the description!!

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 08:37 PM
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You do get what you pay for I reckon & the professional ones have a differen angle/thickness blade that makes them more effective too.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Missy May View Post
Actually, Painted, I wasn't kidding - if I were confident w a small power tool (a big if), I would go for it! She is calm for me, so that part is covered...just not my power tool proficiency. I might have to suck it up and learn that, too, before its all over.

I looked, and they are "cutting edge" brand - they were the only ones I could find in "short" and made in the USA. I got the from Jeffers for $30, the other brand's shortest pair is ~$90. And, now I just feel stupid for getting short. I understand leverage, I just didn't think I would need so much of it.
Actually, I rarely use nippers, but I do have a pair of the 14" 'cutting edge' nippers from Jeffers and have no problem with them. Maybe it's the tool or perhaps you are just underestimating the effort it takes. At least to me, that hoof wall is really a lot thicker than it seems when looking at the bottom of the foot that is not all cleaned up. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that professional nippers would be better/easier.

BTW, the angle grinder ($30-$40 from Home Depot) was a gift from my wife (along with a hoof stand) to save this old man's back Even still, I no longer do all four mares in one morning...being 6'4" means my back needs to bend a lot more than it wants to these days.

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