***Long story short my farrier lives 6 hours away, and it would make it easier for me and my horses if I know how to keep up with their hoof care on my own... If you don't want to read the novel you can happily skip to the next asterisked paragraph and read from there
The farrier I have used for the last 6 years has recently moved almost 6 hours away from where I (and all his other clients) live, however he does travel down every 6 weeks to do all our horses.. Because of this, and the fact that the only other decent farrier around is very hard to get hold of, I would like to learn to trim my own horses, or at the very least know how to do preventative maintenance between trims.. Since my farrier lives so far away, I can't just flick him a text and ask him to come out in closer intervals while my horses hooves are growing faster in the summer.
Plus I actually think that my horses hooves could be better shape-wise, though I have not had one lame step while using my farrier.
I already know how to whip off loose shoes and how to find and dig out abscesses, but I would like to know more.
Maybe one day I will find an actual barefoot trimming school to go to, but right now I know of none, so bad me... I'm relying on the internet to help me out... Cringe, I know.
So far the only tools I have are hoof nippers and an extremely sharp hoof knife.. But I will slowly collect a few more things before I start attempting to do my own horses hooves... this is actually kind of nerve wracking!
***I'm not planning on just getting in there and hacking away, btw.. I plan on doing a little to start with, between having a professional farrier out to visit, until I get more confident and knowledgeable.. and I will start out just on either Mitch or Gemma, DJ has funny shaped hooves and curved coronet bands especially in her back hooves after a long period of hoof neglect.. She also has twisted stifles and wonky hips, so I don't want to muck around with that until I seriously know what I'm doing (so probably not for a long time haha)
What tools would help me out? Apart from the obvious rasp/nippers/hoof knife?
And what would all you experienced people recommend doing to start with? I have been doing some research on hoof mapping, and have watched Gene Ovnicek's videos of hoof mapping on youtube, though I wouldn't be confident enough to act upon my own hoof mapping without photo guidance from more experienced people! Two of my horses are thoroughbreds, though so far they are doing just fine being barefoot and trimmed by a farrier, so I see no sense in wanting shoes on, so why not learn myself?