At a loss for what to do for his hooves. Opinions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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At a loss for what to do for his hooves. Opinions?

I've tried many farriers for my horse with little to no success. The only decent one I had moved too far away to work on him anymore. I thought I had finally found another one, but he's gone MIA. The last I heard from him his dad's health was failing and that was a little over months ago. I've tried getting in contact with him to see if he's back to work, but I get no response. In the meantime, I've been trying everything I can think of to find another farrier. Well, 3 weeks ago I was really desperate and had the barn manager's farrier trim my horse. He'd done it once before when he had shoes and my horse lost a shoe for the first time in those next couple of days. He did a terrible job, but I was desperate. My guy is now barefoot and I figured this guy was better than nothing, right?

Well, now I'm in a real pickle. It's only been 3 weeks, but his feet are awful. When I say awful, it looks like they haven't been touched in months. They're chipping worse than I've ever seen, they're heavily flaring on all 4, and his club is in bad shape. He's incredibly short-strided now on that club and is landing toe first all around. He's also developing lameness now, and it's either his club or the opposite back leg because it's only really noticeable when he does a strong trot. I've tried calling 3 other farriers (1 being a barefoot trimmer that my trainer uses and recommends) with no response from 2 and 1 said it's too far to go for 1 horse. I even said I was willing to pay whatever trip fee he wants to charge. I'm that desperate. No dice.

I finally got back in contact with a different farrier that I had used before, but wasn't too happy with his work. This guy does much better work than the guy who just trimmed my horse, though. He won't be able to get out until *maybe* Tuesday. I don't know what else to do for my horse. I'm supposed to have a lesson, but it's not doing either of us any good and I don't want to risk doing more damage with his feet like they are. I'll be taking pictures the next time I'm out for visual purposes and seeing the terrible shape he's in.

I can't find a single farrier who *might* be decent who is willing, under any circumstances, to come out to where I board. I can't trailer him to anyone. I don't have a trailer and can't take off that much time from work to go during the day, even if I hire someone local to transport him.

There are no farriers, or even barefoot trimmers, I can find online or by word of mouth that are willing to travel to my area and who are competent (and I haven't tried yet). I thought about doing it myself, but with the club foot I just don't feel like I would do him any favors at all. I'm also very limited on time, which impedes my ability to even attempt to do anything myself.

I'm at my wits end. I have no idea what to do anymore! I feel like my 5 year old horse is going to end up with serious health problems and all I can do is sit back and watch. Any other ideas? Any suggestions at all?

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 11:20 PM
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Have you tried contacting other barns? How about your vet? Just a couple ideas.

I understand how difficult it is. We've gone through several ourselves. The first one we had was suppose to be doing corrective trimming on our filly at the time. He wasn't and her hooves are permanently screwed up now. We had another issue which is why we switched. The second just wouldn't come back out or even return our calls. The third we had for quite a while. He was good but decided to skip our appointment for someone else and never returned our call to reschedule. The last one was fine about coming out and did a good job. We just decided that it just wasn't reasonable to have someone come and trim all ten of our horses. I decided to start doing them on my own.

I've tried to find any info I can about trimming and learn as much as I can. I know I don't do as good of a job but with each trim I do, I learn something new or how to do it better. I'm by no means as quick either but getting better.

Another thought, have you checked out craigslist?
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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I've tried asking around all over FB and people I know at other barns in the area. The vet recommends a handful of farriers and they either don't travel out here, aren't taking new clients, or are useless.

Have I checked CL for ads of farriers or put an ad out there myself?

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by SEAmom View Post
Have I checked CL for ads of farriers or put an ad out there myself?
It wouldn't hurt to do both.

Do you have any feed stores or tack stores near you? They might know of someone.
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 01:33 AM
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Well, if you want something done right, do it yourself. If you are going to keep him barefoot, or do so intermittently, the upfront cost of tools you'd need to trim him yourself is a little high, but the info is free on the web. I bought training videos (Ramey's), but I don't think one would have to. I was forced to go the diy route (mare isn't kind to farriers). I was pushed into it by my farrier, actually. It is very interesting once you get over the "I don't want to-es", and get into it. It isn't hard, just a bit labor intensive. You would never have to be in a pickle like this - again. Food for thought.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Is there anything I might be able to do in the meantime? I've been doing reading, research, and watching videos, but I'm not at a place yet where I would feel comfortable starting on them on my own.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SEAmom View Post
Is there anything I might be able to do in the meantime? I've been doing reading, research, and watching videos, but I'm not at a place yet where I would feel comfortable starting on them on my own.

I was once there too where I wasn't comfortable trying to trim my own horses. I did a lot of reading and studying of diffrent sites. Then last year when farrier did a hack job and lamed up 3 out of 5 horses I decided to start doing my own have been ever since really its not that hard.

Iv had farriers hit and miss now but never like what they do so iv pretty much have given up and going with hoof boots and trim my own horses.

Craigslist is ok for finding farriers but be aware some on there aren't any good and do hack jobs.

Good luck hope you find a farrier soon.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 11:38 AM
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When I read your post, I had to go back and make sure that it wasn't mine!

Same thing happened here. I already knew how to trim , but it took me a long time. So I let the barn farrier trim her feet, the next day, I would get my rasp and adjust them. Generally, toes too long and medial side left higher. I think you should read until you have a basic understanding of what's right and wrong. Trinity likes the ELPO hoof mapping. Or post the feet here and get some guidance. It may be real easy to fix what's wrong. A few adjustments may be all your horse needs. Order a rasp and hoof knife from a farrier supply on line. You don't have to make adjustments all in one day. But first thing I imagine is that your hooves are not being rounded or rolled on the edges. Learn how to roll the edges and you will eliminate the flares, chips, and possible pancaking . It holds the feet together better. These type of skills and knowledge are worth their weight in gold.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Pfb, is there a particular brand you recommend for tools for just getting into things? I looked online and was seeing recommendations for the top of the line stuff for serious farrier work.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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