Trimming your own horse's hooves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Virginia
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Trimming your own horse's hooves

Hi all! I have a question. Do any of you trim your own horses hooves? I've been reading a lot. Different threads, suggested websites, and whatnot. You know, stalking the site. :) I'm interested in maybe learning how to trim my own horse's feet. More so that he can get trims as soon as needed and that they stay in good condition all the time. And, of course, to obtain a goal and track progress.

I'm not saying that it is anything like it, but I am a dog groomer and do well with learning new skills. Seems like something right up my ally. I kind of obsess over information like this. At the very least, just learning to do a little upkeep between regular trims. Defiantly not something I'd jump into. Just curious as to what people think. Why or why do you not do your own horses hooves?

My main issue is we have moved quite a lot since my husband is in the military. I just recently used a new farrier. He has been working at my current barn for about 30 years. Trim looked nice but he was a bit sore after. He is better now, but that is the first time I've had to deal with that. I felt bad. The farrier I had before I really liked. He only comes out about every 7 weeks and last time my horse hadn't even reached the 6 week mark and his hooves were flaring, cracked, and damaged.
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post #2 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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There are several people here that trim their horses' hooves. I do mine for a few reasons: 1. $ 2. reliability 3. flexibility 4. there are very few people in my area that have open eyes and minds

My horse would be lame within two or three months if her feet weren't done every 4 weeks minimum. I actually do them every three, but check them regularly in between. Her feet are very forward and I am constantly bringing back her toes. Even knowing that, I still find that sometimes I'm not fast enough and then I quickly loose ground. That's when I start posting pictures here for input! :)

That said, I finally found a trimmer here that I like and she checks up on me whenever I ask her to. Always good to get another pair of eyes if possible.
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post #3 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bellingham, WA
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It's pretty easy to do a little bit in between trims.
My horse gets a trim every 6 weeks. But at about 4 weeks he starts to flare.

I have a rasp and I rasp off his flares, make sure everything is even then I do a mustang roll.
I did a weekend class at my old barn about 10 years ago(I was 13ish.) I read a few barefoot guides to brush up, and watched my trimmer the first time and off I went.

Usually at 6 weeks he doesn't NEED a trim but I like her to come and make sure I'm doing good. She says he looks awesome and that I'm doing a good job at maintaining him.

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post #4 of 47 Old 08-09-2013, 10:27 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Valley of the Sun
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I trim my one mare and use a trimmer for my other horse. My one horse has easy feet to trim. The other one, Mona requires a little more skill. Both get done every 6 weeks, and I touch both up in between trims if needed.
I started trimming my own because 1. at the time I couldn't find a decent trimmer 2. money 3. at the time I could find a trimmer who worked hours when I was home.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #5 of 47 Old 08-10-2013, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The land of Enchantment
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I trim my own. Initially, I had my work checked by a professional and actually I would still do so but my farrier relocated. It is an investment up front to get all the right tools, but eventually it pays for itself. I only have 2 horses, but one requires vigilant trimming (pigeon toe), so it is a good thing I do it myself. :) It isn't that hard unless it is really hot outside. ;)
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post #6 of 47 Old 08-10-2013, 01:48 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Louisiana
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I do my own because I'm controlling like that and like to be in charge of every aspect of my horses' care. Plus it saves money in the long run, I don't have to worry about scheduling, and I can working on any training issues that may crop up and discipline my way.

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. - Peter Marshall
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post #7 of 47 Old 08-10-2013, 04:17 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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I'm starting to do my own. With ten horses, it just makes sense. $300 every 2 months = a lot of money.

It is labor intensive but not too complicated. I just wish there was someone experienced close buy to evaluate how I'm doing. Most that I know are over an hour away.
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post #8 of 47 Old 08-10-2013, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Australia
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I trim my own as she needs a trim every 2 weeks, or she gets foot sore. i have also been trimming her pasture mate (also on a 2 week cycle) while his owner is unable to do so. It's very expensive to get a trimmer out that much and logistically difficult to organize.

I still get my trimmer out every 8weeks just to make sure everything is on track

I attended a workshop run by my trimmer aimed at owners (the group actively encourages owners to learn and trim between visits)
Half day lecture on anatomy, diet and a few related care aspects. Followed by an afternoon trimming cadaver hooves (little gross but really good to practice on) then with the support and guidance I started trimming.
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Last edited by Aimz; 08-10-2013 at 05:16 AM.
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post #9 of 47 Old 08-10-2013, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Spring Hill Florida
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Trinity has some good websites for basics. What I did was I paid attention to the farrier I had at the time. While I was reading everything I could and what landmarks on the hoof can show me the way. Then I would rasp a little at a time. Speed is not an issue.

When your trim is balanced, then you can rasp the edge of the hooves making them blunt, and that will hold off any cracks and chips.
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post #10 of 47 Old 08-11-2013, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sevierville, TN
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I think every horse owner needs to learn at least the basics about what makes a healthy foot with a good trim even if they never pick up a rasp. However, actually learning to trim will really open your eyes and you will critique every trim you see and that can only BENEFIT the horse right? :) The more good trimming out there, the more sound horses. I am fully supportive of able owners learning to trim (with knowledgeable supervision and guidance - be it online via photographs or in person which is preferable but not always an option)

I highly recommend learning ELPO hoof mapping but Pete Rameys site and videos are a great investment also. I learned how to do my initial trimming with Ramey. The only thing he doesnt really address well enough IMO is how to deal with bars/heel height and distortion of the toe which is the real biggie. Almost ALL domestic horses have some toe distortion. Id say at least 80%. ELPO addressed all of that AND it isnt strictly barefoot but rather good trim whether bare OR shod. I like that.

You can google ELPO and Pete Ramey and get loads of information.

Married to my One! 10-11-13 Steampunk style:)

Last edited by Trinity3205; 08-11-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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