Barefoot Trimming - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Barefoot Trimming

Ok I'm confused, I've been on websites and it seems like you can trim your horses hoof yourself, if they are barefoot. I don't mean people who are farriars, but recreational riders and backyard horse owners trimming there horses feet.
Has anyone done it? Is it even recommended?

"Horses keep you young."
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post #2 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:37 PM
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If you know how to do it and have the $300 - $400 of tools, ie: rasp, knifes, nippers, etc:
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post #3 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 06:40 PM
Green Broke
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Hoof maintenance can be learned - but it isn't something any Tom, Dick or Harry can just pick up the tools and do on a whim. A bad trim job can be a disaster for the horse. One of the best ways to learn is to enlist the help of a working farrier/trimmer who can help you to learn, supervise your initial work and provide direct, on site input (this can't be provided by books, websites, etc).
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post #4 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 07:47 PM
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I know people who have tried to do their own trimming and it's been an absolute disaster for the horse. You really have to know what you're doing and have the proper tools. As said above the best way to learn is with the help of a farrier who can supervise you and help you get hands on experience in a way that's safe for you and the horse. Personally, I leave all my shoeing and trimming to a trusted farrier.

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post #5 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I don't think I'd do it. But I was just wondering since some websites seem to have books on how to do it. Thank you.

"Horses keep you young."
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post #6 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 10:00 PM
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The BO at my old barn trimmed all of her own horses feet with a rasp that she bought cheap from her farrier. She still had the farrier out every 8-9 weeks or so to make sure she wasn't destroying their feet, or if they needed any major work done, but for the most part she saved herself a lot of money :)
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post #7 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 10:08 PM
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I'm not a horse owner, I'm only 13, but I wouldn't see trimming your horse's feet on your own a good idea. By 'your own' I mean by reading a book and trying it yourself. (Sorry if this sounds like I am directing this at you, I am not). I think what you mean is that you can get one of those barefoot rasps, which I think are ok. You can just round out the edges till a farrier comes for a trim, but they shouldn't be used to trim your horse's fit, just round the edges to get rid of a few chips.

My BO went to farrier school after not being able to find a decent farrier in the area. He leaves his horses barefoot and they are happy and healthy. He actually trimmed one today.

I think if someone wanted to trim their horses' feet, a good option would be to get some instruction from a farrier and see if he can teach you how to trim properly, and supervise you. It is so easy to ruin a horse's feet or make them sore with a wrong move or too short of a trim or a trim at the wrong angle. Although it is possible to learn, I think it would be a better option to just stick with a trusted professional. Lot less chance for error :)
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post #8 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 10:50 PM
Green Broke
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its a learned skill like anything else, you can aprentice, go to school, more you do th ebetter you get, assuming you are getting proper instruction. The issue comes when you consider the average farrier , or farrier student in a school does lots of feet every day, An owner may do one every two months. hard to stay in practice
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post #9 of 29 Old 01-20-2013, 11:27 PM
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I personally have friends who will trim their own horses feet for maintenance, but the majority of their horses are pasture puffs and lawn ornaments. In their case, they are saving money by not having to call a farrier regularly but they do have their feet hooves professionally done a few times a year to ensure there are no issues.

For performance horses, I would leave the trims to the farrier unless the skill has been studied intensively and they are confident. In Ontario we have the Ontario Farrier's Association ( and a lot of the registered farrier's offer apprenticeship programs, which I think is fantastic for anyone interested in learn the skill. :)
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post #10 of 29 Old 01-21-2013, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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How often would a horse that's barefoot need his hoofs trimmed?

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