barehoof-do it by yourself?

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barehoof-do it by yourself?

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    09-23-2009, 06:37 AM
barehoof-do it by yourself?

Hey guys,
I was searching for threads like this, but can't find some one helpfully!?

How do you learned it?

I got a book from peter ramey and some dvds, but its although very difficult for me, to cut things out around my mares frog! (just have problems with the underpart)
Im not sure if its maybe to much, which i'll take off , i'm afraid to hurt her

I know there are no general rules, cause every horse is individual but can you help me, or do you know some tips?
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    09-23-2009, 07:47 AM
I wouldnt recommend learning from a book or DVD. Find a course to do. Or, do you know anyone that is experienced that would be willing to help you?
    09-23-2009, 09:05 AM
Welcome to the forum, Marilyn.

There are some things you can learn from a book or DVD, such as a language, or math, but not horse shoeing. Learning how to trim, or bevel takes more then you can learn in that way. You need to know the structure of the hoof, how it grows, how it affects his gates, how a mistake can cause a horse to go lame. You need to watch the way your horse goes and how a trim will alter that. Horse's hooves are dynamic, living things, not like a piece of wood. If you make a mistake you can cause pretty severe damage not only to the hoof but his legs, and spine as well. Imagine taking the heel off your shoe and how that affects the way you move and what physiological differences it makes in you.

As Ninja suggested, ask a farrier for some help. It is as much a science as an art. Farriers go to school and then apprentice. It is hands on learning - not just text books.

All that being said, I am sure that there are members that do it themselves but after many many years of watching my farriers shoeing my horses, and asking thousands of questions as to why and how, it is not something that I would do myself. I've had to pull shoes and do a quick trim on a horse that got into trouble but I get my farrier our ASAP right after.
    09-23-2009, 01:39 PM
Thank you!

Yes, I know that its not easy, and I have to look for all these things (dynamic, living things etc).

I just try to help myself with ramey's book and dvds, cause in austria its really really really difficult to find a farrier, who work with the same method..
Ramey is not known here!

My farrier is a lil bit like him and also good, and he also shows me how to trim my mare etc, but im still not sure about some things (even though I asked my farrier), I would love to take courses, but there are also no courses like rameys!

    09-23-2009, 09:52 PM

I reckon you can learn a lot from books & internet & vids. I think the principles are imperative to understand. If you have Pete's DVD course, you're in pretty good hands I reckon. But I too would advise you have at least a few lessons from a *good* trimmer.

I teach a lot of my clients, and I find that it's best if I do the first trim or few, explaining as I go, and get the client to get a feel of the rasp & how to do it in between times, brushing up on the mustang roll or such. Then once they've studied up on the theory & become practiced with using the rasp, I start getting them to trim under my instruction. Then after a few lessons they tend to just string out my visits longer & longer & do more themselves... assuming they don't decide it's in the too hard basket(lots do, esp men!) & just get me to trim for them after all.

If your farrier is indeed as good as you say(who knows - they're all far from equal), he should be able to advise you what you can & can't do safely & show you how to do a mustang roll & such in between trims. This will allow you to get a feel for trimming before you do a course or really get into it.... which is helpful for the trimmer & horse too, as I find I can be there for an hour on one foot with someone who insists on learning that's never touched a rasp before!

Regarding paring the sole & frog, you shouldn't need to do much if any of this, especially if you start with in between trims. If your farrier pares sole & frog regularly, as a matter of course, he's probably not the best one to learn from.

Where abouts are you? It's likely there are people in your general area here, that may be able to refer you to a good trimmer or course.
    09-24-2009, 11:20 AM
I agree with the advice on having your farrier help guide you as well as learning from the dvd. Pete Ramey is an excellent choice. Also I would not advise trimming frog OR sole. It's much better to leave it than to take off what is needed and so make a horse tender/sore or lame.

This barefoot group
is an excellent resource. They help so many who need to learn trimming.
    09-24-2009, 11:22 PM
I've been trimming our mares for about 4 years since our old English farrier convinced me that I could do it myself. He gave me a lot of advice, but everyone is learn by doing. After I had him check my work a couple times, I've been on my own.
I'm not a professional, but here are my tips..
- If you do them every 4 weeks, you can stick with the rasp and forget about ever needing nippers.
- In most cases you don't need to worry about trimming the frog or the sole. Most of the time it's done as cleaning to make sure there is no thrush, etc., and trimming the soles too much is the leading cause of sore feet that I've seen.
- Concentrate on the toes....I've only seen 2 horses that didn't just wear their heels enough naturally, and I've seen lots of horses sore from having their heels trimmed to much.
- Get a good look at your work when the horse is standing on level ground. At least to me, it's harder to gauge what needs to be done while looking at the bottom of the hoof.
- If you didn't trim enough, no can just go back another day and get a little more practice. After time, you learn a lot about how your horse's hoofs grow and wear and you'll be faster and better.
- Take your will teach your horse patience, anyway.
- You don't need to be perfect.
- The more you ride, the more they'll wear and the less work you'll have If you can ride some on asphalt, it's rough enough to do a great job of trimming for you.

Good luck and stay with it. It's hard work (at least on my back), but it's not difficult, and you'll learn a lot about your horse. After 4 years, our mares are so patient with me now that I can trim them anywhere without halters or being tied.
    09-25-2009, 03:36 AM

Hey painthorsemare, not meaning to pick at you personally, but your post has a number of details in it that I find could use more info, or are possible misconceptions or such, so picking bits out of it to reply to - don't take it personally!

Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
After I had him check my work a couple times, I've been on my own.
While it's not rocket science, there are a lot of specifics that do need experience, and a 'practiced eye'. When only working irregularly on one or few horses, it is also easy to jump to incorrect conclusions. It's also easy to gradually go astray without realising when you're not very experienced... even some times when you are. People tend to need more than a couple of 'checks' to get it right, and I would strongly advise people keep getting a *good* trimmer to check their work, at least a couple of times a year.

- If you do them every 4 weeks, you can stick with the rasp and forget about ever needing nippers.
Generally right but depends how much work they get & how quick the feet grow. I suggest for learners, to do it every week or even more often, so there is very little to do to keep them in check - much easier on the learner too!

- Concentrate on the toes....I've only seen 2 horses that didn't just wear their heels enough naturally, and I've seen lots of horses sore from having their heels trimmed to much.
??!! Feet need to be well balanced. You need to concentrate on keeping the whole foot balanced, not just shortening toes. Frequently yes, toes are left way too long & 'stretched' forward, but I would say just as frequently heels are left too long. Often it's both on the same horses. It seems people are largely ignorant of this and the problems it causes. Many people intentionally keep their horses high heeled, in the mistaken assumption frogs must be kept off the ground, or to 'improve angles' or such. Horses who have been left with high heels, or who otherwise have sensitive heels will not be likely to wear their heels down naturally, because they 'tippy toe' due to the discomfort. This can lead to other serious issues, including 'navicular'. A good rule of thumb(there are many good guidelines, but rarely without exceptions) is to trim the wall of the hoof, right the way round, to the same length, being at or near the level of the sole plane. Generally it's never a good idea to rasp into the sole, but it's also not good to leave the walls protruding much from it.

Unfortunately most domestic horses don't get to develop strong, tough heels/digital cushions regardless how they're trimmed. It's generally to do with management & environment. This is the big reason for sensitive heels - and a big reason for people treating it symptomatically by raising heels further from the ground. Unfortunately, if you don't use it, you lose it, so the underused heels are taken further out of a commission & become even weaker, more sensitive. Along with the other problems, which are associated with toe first landings.

So.... to develop the digital cushion, to be capable of supporting the horse, they need to be in a position to provide support - low heels, wide, flat heels. They also need to be well conditioned on hard ground. BUT to force a horse with weak heels to walk on his frogs will cause him pain, cause him to tippy toe & not use his feet properly, starting the ball rolling to weaker, more problematic feet. That's why boots, pads, whatever form of hoof protection is a good idea, at least in the early days, to allow the horse to move *correctly* & comfortably while his digital cushions are developing. With a horse who is very sensitive in the heels or has been allowed to grow high heeled, it is often not a good idea to take too much off too quickly, so for these horses, it may be best to leave them a little high heeled until they improve, but use frog support pads to ensure the frogs are still getting stimulation.

- Get a good look at your work when the horse is standing on level ground. At least to me, it's harder to gauge what needs to be done while looking at the bottom of the hoof.
Get a good look at your horse, before & after trimming, from a variety of angles, including watching him move. It's also a good idea to take pics and make a note of angles & lengths of various bits. While I don't agree with trimming to proscribed angles & the likes, it is good to give you an idea, and also to judge how & what you may be changing.

- If you didn't trim enough, no can just go back another day and get a
While I find that it's generally the case that people don't take off enough, I reckon this is good advice for learners, because you can always take some more, but you can't put it back if it shouldn't have been removed. On this note, if one heel's short enough for eg, but the other one is shorter, don't try to take more just for the sake of balance. Wait a week or so until you can take some more without biting into the sole too much.
- The more you ride, the more they'll wear and the less work you'll have If you can ride some on asphalt, it's rough enough to do a great job of trimming for you.
Depends. The more you ride(or otherwise exercise the horse) the quicker & stronger the hooves tend to grow(if they're functioning well), so it could mean the more you need to trim. But yes, if you ride a lot on hard surfaces, they will 'self trim'. If you're only riding on level stuff like bitumen tho, it's likely you will still need to 'scoop' quarters and give the hooves a mustang roll.
    09-25-2009, 05:05 PM
Thank you so much loosie! :)

Yeah, now I got it!
I often read and read and watch and watch the book and dvd's...not easy to understand (cause im a native german ;) ), but I got it!

You both helped me a lot with ure posts!
Now I know, that my farrier istn good at all!

Im looking for a new one! He/she should show me more than the older one, and should check out my mare regulary ! :)

Aaaand to my mare:
She's just 1 year old (june 08 ), she lives in a open stable (dont now, if its the right word? She is always "free" , not caged in boxes etc)

The floor is hard, there is no gras, but its good, cause she also has very good hoove-material!
2 or 3 times a week, I took her for a walk (on crushed stone roads, asphalt, gras etc), and sometimes we make a discharge (than she is my near horse)!

Her food is just mineral food (with apples, karotts etc) and free hay at all the time (dont know the hay values)
Grazing is just possible, if im with her..!

Yes that's all I guess! ;)

Again: thank you! :)
    09-26-2009, 12:25 AM
One other thing that you may find helpful is a 'hoof meter'. My barefoot teacher taught us by tracing 35, 45 and 50 degree angles on a piece of clear plexiglass, you can measure the proper angles of the hoof before and after the trim. The 35 degree is to be measured at the cornet band to check the proper bone alignment inside the hoof. (you can't change this but it helps to understand the hoof structure). The 45 degree for proper fronts angle and the 50 for proper hinds angle. Hope this is useful.

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