Thinking of doing my guys hooves myself - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Thinking of doing my guys hooves myself

Where should I go for good supplies that don't cost an arm and a leg?

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 05:36 PM
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Good tools are not cheap. Cheap tools cost you a lot of extra work and frustration,.

Good nippers should cost between $100 and $200 . A good knife, about 40. A good rasp and handle, $35 . You will need a knife sharpener, ($20 to $30 )and a replacement rasp every once in a while. A hoof stand is also a bonus, for begnners and that is $200.
Good nippers for around $100 are Nordic "VIKING" brand ,which are NOT the ones with the handles covered in plastic!!
BEST nippers are GE brand at over $200.

Good knife for the money is either "the Knife" from Anvil company, or " Double S " knife from Italy, both around 35 to 40 dollars. TWO knives are good, one right(or left) handed and ine "loop" knife. If you can only get one to start get a loop knife because you can easier work it all directions in the foot.

Do NOT buy tools from Ebay! Not even the nice shiny imitation ones. They break,

Do NOT buy tools from the ranch store catalogs. They are usually also JUNK.
Buy from the closest farrier supply.
And they can help you decide what is good for the money and for beginners.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 05:40 AM
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^Ditto. Esp making sure the rasp is a good'un. And look after it - don't rasp blue metal, clean if dirty with a soft wire or hard nylon brush, don't let it get damp(they rust at the drop of a hat). If you have a number of horses to do, it may be your most expensive piece of equipment. Because they get blunt & need replacing, whereas a good knife, if you keep a good edge on it, will last for literally ages, as do nips.

While trimming hooves is not rocket science(well, particularly of only horses with already good feet), it is something that can cause the horse serious discomfort & damage if it's not done right. It's not just like clipping your toenails. So do do your homework thoroughly & if at all possible, include some hands on learning with a good farrier/trimmer too.

It will take some practice to become competent too, no matter how well you understand the theory, and I'd suggest keeping your pro(assuming you're not learning to do it because you have no pro or options...) and trimming in between visits. Then, as you get good at it, you can gradually stretch the farrier visits until you just need him occasionally to check how things are going.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
It will take some practice to become competent too, no matter how well you understand the theory, and I'd suggest keeping your pro(assuming you're not learning to do it because you have no pro or options...) and trimming in between visits. Then, as you get good at it, you can gradually stretch the farrier visits until you just need him occasionally to check how things are going.
Ditto, ditto, ditto. I am coming to understand theory, but when it comes to actually applying tools to hoof it get real, real quickly. But be patient and kind to yourself as you learn, and take it slowly. Most of all, read, read, read then read some more. Then watch some videos. Some mistakes are minor in nature....others, not so much.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 06:46 AM
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I did this for eight years. Most of my tools were purchased used at an auction. Never had problems with any of them in all the years I used them. And I'm betting they weren't high end brands :)
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 09:28 AM
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Well, I can attest that my cheap rasps purchased at a local chain get dull really, really quickly, as do the knives. If I knew how to sharpen the knives well that would be one thing, but my only attempt was a horrid failure. With this mind I will continue to nuy cheap knives until I learn how to properly sharpen one, but I am definitely going to purchase a good rasp and a Hoofjack stand. I had a Hoofjack years ago when I first thought I would learn to trim, but gave it away when I knew I wasn't ready. That was a mistake and now I need it more than ever as my back starts giving out on me.

Non-trim tools I find invaluable are a pointy pick with a brush on it, a small, stiff plastic brush for scrubbing feet clean, and a small, brass wire brush (head is about an inch by half inch) for scrubbing out collateral grooves and, on my horse, places where were were dealing with some separation due to flaring.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 09:56 AM
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The wire brush is a really good idea because it will help save your rasp and knives by removing the tiny grit that dulls them. You can get long handled narrow one at any hardware store for about three or four bucks.

ALSO learn to rasp correctly because if you use your rasp wrong it quickly dulls. The pressure you place on it should be ONLY on the stroke going away from the handle. NEVER pull the rasp back and forth both direction with pressure on the back stroke because that dulls one really really fast. A rasp is designed to ONLY cut when the motion is toward the end without the handle. That is when you pace a LITTLE BITTY BIT of pressure on the end with your 'non handle hand' to dig the teeth in a little. A sharp rasp will do the work itself without much pressure at ll. A dull rasp takes more.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 10:52 AM
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Good tools are worth it. My nippers are 20 yrs old and I've yet to have to sharpen them. I've worn out a few knives and rasps but not as many as you'd expect. I actually still have a big draft sized rasp that I used for 8 or 9 yrs on 6 horses that is still sharper than the new diamond brand rasps you buy at tractor supply.

I'm a 5'4", 55 yr old woman. If I didn't have good tools there would be no way I could do it.

Also my worst cuts I've given myself were from me attempting to use cheap knives and having them skitter across a summer hardened hoof.

Go with a farrier supply place. I know Meader Supply is always very happy to answer newbies questions. I'm sure others are too. They didn't try to sell me the latest and greatest. They sold me one that lasts and works.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Patty Stiller View Post
The wire brush is a really good idea because it will help save your rasp and knives by removing the tiny grit that dulls them. You can get long handled narrow one at any hardware store for about three or four bucks.

Yes!

ALSO learn to rasp correctly because if you use your rasp wrong it quickly dulls. The pressure you place on it should be ONLY on the stroke going away from the handle. NEVER pull the rasp back and forth both direction with pressure on the back stroke because that dulls one really really fast. A rasp is designed to ONLY cut when the motion is toward the end without the handle. That is when you pace a LITTLE BITTY BIT of pressure on the end with your 'non handle hand' to dig the teeth in a little. A sharp rasp will do the work itself without much pressure at ll. A dull rasp takes more.

Noted. Also noted that my rasp is next-to-useless at this point. *sigh. That just moved up the priority list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SueNH View Post
Also my worst cuts I've given myself were from me attempting to use cheap knives and having them skitter across a summer hardened hoof.
Oh, YEAH! Let's not forget to wear good gloves. Yes, they are usually uncomfortable. Yes, they reduce fine feel. But, as we have allll seen, good tools can do a lot of damage to soft, human flesh. I still have a scar on my thumb from one careless mishandling of a new rasp. Go without gloves? Fine. But no cryin' when you're bleedin', lol!

I wear some much like these, they breathe a little, are easy to wash and allow more feel than leather gloves.

<a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/user/greenhaven/media/West-County-Nitrile-Garden-Glove-Gardenista_zpsf1eb2e96.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/greenhaven/West-County-Nitrile-Garden-Glove-Gardenista_zpsf1eb2e96.jpg~original" border="0" alt=" photo West-County-Nitrile-Garden-Glove-Gardenista_zpsf1eb2e96.jpg"/></a>

Link, in case photo is not embedding as it appears. Sixth pair down.
10 Easy Pieces: Garden Gloves: Gardenista
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-27-2014, 07:59 PM
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^I get the stretchy cut proof ones. One thing I've found OK cheap on ebay... because you can pay a lot more but they're no better for 'good' brands IME.
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