Trimming your our horse's hooves. - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 69 Old 06-13-2012, 12:48 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
There are no legally mandated licensing, training, apprenticeship, certification or continuing education requirements governing the practice of farriery in the United States. ...
Horse owners have no idea what they're paying for and apparently, don't really care.
Obviously we disagree on many specifics & many of them are polar opposites it seems, but the same problem exists in Australia & I agree wholeheartedly there needs to be at very least some good basic requirements laid down regarding training/certification.

I don't quite agree with your last bit though. I think it's fairer to say 'people don't know what they should care about'. It's unfortunate that money is such an important focus for most and of course there are many who don't care sadly, but I think most people do care. They need reasons why they should care - understand what effects 'bad' jobs can have for eg. I think in the majority of situations it's negligence, slackness, cruelty, whatever, due to ignorance.
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post #62 of 69 Old 06-13-2012, 01:08 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Questions I rarely hear from prospective clients:

  1. Did you graduate a formal training program?
  2. How long did you apprentice?
  3. How long have you been a farrier?
  4. Are you a certified farrier or pursuing certification and with what association?
  5. Do you participate in continuing education?
Questions I almost always hear from prospective clients:

  1. How much do you charge?
Horse owners have no idea what they're paying for and apparently, don't really care.


Maybe your reputation precedes you. When I get a new farrier I usually have done some background work ahead of time. My last farrier of 15 years said he was getting too busy in the city and no longer wanted to drive the hour it took to get to me. He found me a replacement, even with him doing the prescreening I still went through 3 farriers before I settled my current farrier, with him 6 years.

I do not think I ever asked him anything as I trusted the exiting farrier.

The other thing I do is when I get a prepurchase exam on a new horse; I also get a prepurchase exam from my farrier. The farrier usually meets me at the vets so if he wants radiographs I can get them straight away. I did get radiographs on my last Clyde at the prepurchase just as a baseline to track any future changes or problems. I did think they were overkill at the time, but they came in handy more than once. Even though the Clyde never “foundered” the change in the hoof was astonishing over 15 years time.
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post #63 of 69 Old 06-13-2012, 11:43 AM
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cracked hooves

Originally Posted by bntnail View Post
I agree.
I disagree.

While grooving/rasping lines in the foot does nothing for the foot/crack, except for making it look like shiiiiiii.....crap. Burning can help.

Upright foot grows faster, right one grows more toe and forward requiring less to be trimmed from the bottom and more "backing up". One less reset on that side.
I have only ever seen it done with burning in England so can't comment on any other method. This horses hoof looks slightly odd to me - the position of the cracks in both feet wouldn't have pushed any of my former farriers to try this method at all. I would be wondering why it has cracks there yet the normal weak spots in a poor hoof - above and below the nails look fine. Not my problem and I'm sure Mark has a handle on it now its in his care Would be interested to see how this one pans out Mark
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post #64 of 69 Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 PM
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split hooves

Originally Posted by Captain Evil View Post
I am learning a ton from this post. The combined knowledge of people in this thread alone is rather astonishing. I really did not understand how complicated and remarkable horse hooves are.

Ahab is my first draft, and when I go to the local fairs and see the draft feet there, they all look so terribly wrong, but because the majority of them, the VAST majority of them look similar, I assumed that that was the normal hoof of a draft. Flat, splayed, laminitic looking, cracked, flares on all quarters, and shoes that curve and twist and bend to match all of the deformaties. I heard someone say that these huge grotesque draft feet are something of a status symbol with some of the pulling people, but I don't know if that is true. One of the things I liked about Ahab when we bought him was that his hooves looked relatively normal, for a draft, despite that awesome crack. Well, as I've said, I'm learning a lot.

My plan of the moment is something like this:
Slowly increase his excercise
Create varied footing in his turnout paddock, with the immediate hang out area being gravel (my farrier's suggestion)
Talk to my farrier about my options, including having me maintain a short toe, as drawn by Loosie, between trims
Have x-rays done in the fall (even if they can't help, I'm now wicked curious to see what's up
Discuss shoeing as a possible course of action for healing the crack.
The only way to truly learn is to look at all the info you can get and then weigh it up with an open mind as to whats going to do the best for your horse, most of us have to work with what we can best afford I would dearly love an indoor school but that aint going to happen any time soon so I just have to keep doing battle with the weather here and now the blasted deer flies who think my girls are for target practice. I never had this big a problem in England.
My grt uncle was a blacksmith/farrier and I can remember him giving me a massive horse shoe when I was really young, we still got a lot of vanners around in those days pulling light haulage and (mostly) shires were still used on some land and to pull the canal barges, money would have been tight but they all had good feet.
I had to give up on my first farrier here as he seemed inclined to shoe them all too long in the toe but was getting our mini-drafts feet in an awful mess. Our UK front shoes for general use are a different style to the ones I see here as they have just one clip on the toe and are heavier too but we do a lot more roadwork over there as we mostly don't have easy access to large trail areas
I hope that given the length of time your boy has had this problem that you will only allow a realistic time period in which to see improvement from trimming alone, I'm not even convinced that shoeing without some form of pinning is going to help either. I would want that X ray ASAP myself but thats just me
The gravel (as long as its smooth stuff should make life better for him - in around 350BC Xenophon wrote what is possibly the earliest guidelines on keeping horses 'On horsemanship' and his advice to owners that 'the stableyard be of pebbles contained by iron' (to stop them scattering I assume) as they will serve to strengthen a horses feet. Some of his advice is a bit off the wall so to speak but so much still relates to what we do today!!!
Good luck, I hope you will report back with your progress as it will be a good learning tool for others
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post #65 of 69 Old 06-14-2012, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by CowboyGirl View Post
I was wondering if it is possible to learn and/or to buy tools to trim your own horses hooves itstead of have the farrier come every 6 or so weeks to do it..
So Cowboy Girl, after all this, what are you going to do? Are you going to give it a whirl, or leave it to the pros?
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post #66 of 69 Old 06-15-2012, 01:28 PM
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trimming your horses hooves

Oops did we forget Cowboy Girl?
She's probably lost the will to live by now or traded the horse in for a cat
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post #67 of 69 Old 06-15-2012, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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No Jaydee, i did not trade my horse for cat. :) I think i'll let my farrier take care of my horses hooves for now. I think i'll learn some things by just watching.
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"Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway." ~John Wayne

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post #68 of 69 Old 06-30-2013, 05:42 PM
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split hoof

Cowboygirl just checking in it has been a year how is your horses hoof? I was basically given my first driving horse, and he is sound for me, Just what I needed temperament and training wise. We go out about 8 miles 3 times a week and he is in a 1/4 ac turnout. Never a problem with lameness. To my knowledge he has been here in the semi-desert southwest for at least 10 years. I have kept him barefoot since I have had him and his hooves in general look better than they did.
However he has a split in his hoof that really resembles your horses hoof. The vet and farrier gave him the A-OK they believe that it is a healed scar, his previous owner says that it was that way when she bought him and she used him as a Carriage Ride/Wedding horse, she said he was never unsound.
Now that I have had him 6 months I am not all that worried that it will split open and suddenly have no hoof but I was curious if you found any solution as it is unsightly
The next project I have is to measure the scar and track the hoof growth on a unaffected part of the hoof and see if I can find any mechanics to it.
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post #69 of 69 Old 06-30-2013, 09:58 PM
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Hi Sue~

The news for Ahab's hoof is good - sort of. The crack is hugely diminished; probably it is 1 1/2" long now, or about half-way up his hoof, and it seems to be less deep, as if it is filling in from behind. My farrier is hopeful that it may be gone in 3 or 4 more trims, although we have seemed close before, only to have it split back up the hoof. He is being fairly aggressive in trimming it back, and dramatically trims the edges back, making his hoof look a bit like a Valentine heart. The biggest obstacle seems to be bacteria, which we are fighting with apple cider vinegar and "Today" a cow mastitis treatment which we squirt into his hoof. In the ten or so years I have known & owned Ahab, he has never been lame or off due to the crack. I will try to bring my camera home from the boat tomorrow, and take a new photo. The farrier was out yesterday, so it would be cool to check the progress.
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