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First Time Trimming Horses Feet

This is a discussion on First Time Trimming Horses Feet within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        01-20-2011, 08:40 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sarahver    
    So you're OK with leaving the flare for four months?
    did you not read anything I said.... the farrier can't come! So im kinda stuck
         
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        01-20-2011, 05:27 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xXEventerXx    
    did you not read anything I said.... the farrier can't come! So im kinda stuck
    Nope, I read EVERYTHING you said. Here is what I surmised:

    Either your farrier of choice can't come for four months and there is absolutely no other farrier around

    OR

    Your farrier of choice can't come for four months and you don't want to use a different farrier.

    I find the former very hard to believe so I will assume the latter.

    The reason I mentioned the flares is because you have done a reasonable job on the toes. Unfortunately by trimming the toe and leaving the flares you put MORE pressure on the flares than there would have been prior to the trim. You would be better off letting the hooves chip naturally than artificially doing an unbalanced trim. The problem here is that there is too much heel in addition to having a trimmed toe, that puts not only the hoof but also the pastern on an entirely different angle. In addition it encourages the flares to become more pronounced.

    I only mentioned it because the crack in that one hoof will be particularly suceptible to weaknesses caused by uneven pressure.

    So, if I were you (which I am aware that I am not) I would try and have an alternative farrier out to balance the hooves for you.
         
        01-20-2011, 08:03 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    In my area there are only 2 farriers, the one I don't use SUCKS like holy crap sucks and the one I use is always busy and when ever I make an apt she says lets wait till its a bit warmer so I wait and then she is busy with something else. And where I live we had a huge snow storm for almost a week, its been soo cold so I don't blame her. I think id know the risks for the flares my horse has had issues with his feet for a while. And actually leaving the hooves to chip would be a worse idea, if you didnt notice the cracks its created from chipping.. alot worse. And my horse is on pasture right now on soft snow so its not like he's on hard ground.
         
        01-20-2011, 09:26 PM
      #14
    Trained
    Hi Eventer, Firstly I'd like to say good on you for giving it a go, when it seems the only alternative was to leave them to further neglect.

    From what little can be seen from those pics(unfortunately different angle including solar are needed for more detail), it seems you did do a reasonable job on the toes, but agree that the heels & flares shouldn't have been left. I disagree with Sara that trimming the toes puts more pressure on the flares(& she must have always been in a well populated area to find lack of farriers so hard to believe), but it does appear likely there's a lot of strain working against those cracks.

    If you would like to post more pics, I could better tell you what is likely needed. If you were comfortable doing the toes like that, don't stress about quarters & heels - they're no harder to do & the same principles apply. Just make sure you learn to make sense of those principles. I suggest barefoothorse.com, hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com as 3 good sites to learn more from. If you're planning on doing it yourself, I would highly recommend Pete Ramey's 'Under The Horse' DVD series. It's not the cheapest, but is WELL worth the money & you will learn HEAP.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xXEventerXx    
    In my area there are only 2 farriers, the one I don't use SUCKS like holy crap sucks and the one I use is always busy and when ever I make an apt she says lets wait till its a bit warmer so I wait and then she is busy with something else. And where I live we had a huge snow storm for almost a week, its been soo cold so I don't blame her.
    Actually, I wouldn't 'blame' her either, for not *wanting* to work in bad weather - who does?? But for one, you just said the snow storm was for a week, not 4 months, and it sounds like she's palming you off & you're accepting it. Who knows whether she actually cares about the horses or there's some other problem, but if she's a good farrier, she will know the problems that this is causing. But more to the point, you know yourself what state your horse's feet are in and it's your responsibility as owner, so next time you ring to book her, either don't take no for an answer, or if you reckon your horse can 'wait till it's warmer', book her there & then for that 'warmer' time, rather than waiting until she's booked up again.

    Quote:
    And actually leaving the hooves to chip would be a worse idea, if you didnt notice the cracks its created from chipping..
    Not necessarily, but I do agree that it can well be worse, and from the look of those cracks, the feet should be well & frequently maintained. I don't believe it's just a bit of excess growth & chipping that has caused the cracks though. They have obviously been far longer term probs for a start.
         
        01-20-2011, 10:07 PM
      #15
    Yearling
    I think you did okay for a first time. I think you could do your horse a huge favor though and go back out soon to trip his heels down. By leaving them long you are putting stress on his tendons, muscles and on the cracks that he has. Just do little by little if you're worried and keep updating on here for opinions if you need help :) Remember that you that you can always take more off, but you can never put it back on. A suggestion is to do his heels with a rasp, that way is it much slower, but you will be MUCH more likely not to take too much off. The flares will eventually take care of themselves with consistent work, don't try to force his hooves into a shape that they are not. Good luck!
         
        01-20-2011, 10:36 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    I agree that the heels are too long, especially on the feet with the flares and the crack (the rear feet?). I think the reason the flares are there to begin with, is because the heels have gotten too long. The horse is trying to bring them down lower, but they don't chip or break off, so all they can do to realign themselves is to flare outwards.

    I wouldn't hack the heels too short either, but I would probably take just those heels on the flared feet down close to another centimeter. At least even with the scoop in the quarters.

    The rest of the job looks pretty good. Good job rasping the edges to prevent further chipping.

    Really, use the sole as your guide. You don't want to trim into the sole at all, but you don't want to leave the hoof wall a lot longer than the sole either. The heels should flow smoothly into the sole level at the quarters. The heels shouldn't be pointed into the ground like cleats. I have heard it said that the heels should be down at the same level as the frog. I personally leave the heels a bit longer than the frog. But if the heels are A LOT taller than the level of the frog, you know you need to take off more heel.

    I have been trimming my own horses for a number of years now, and I highly recommend Pete Ramey's and Jaime Jackson's books. One is called "Making Natural Hoofcare Work For You." I don't have them in front of me at the moment, so I can't give you the exact titles, but if you don't have them already, they will help you a lot. Very good books! Jaime Jacksons is the best if you can only buy one. But both are worth the money and are a small price to pay to learn to trim your own horses.
         
        01-20-2011, 11:23 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    Hi Eventer, Firstly I'd like to say good on you for giving it a go, when it seems the only alternative was to leave them to further neglect.

    From what little can be seen from those pics(unfortunately different angle including solar are needed for more detail), it seems you did do a reasonable job on the toes, but agree that the heels & flares shouldn't have been left. I disagree with Sara that trimming the toes puts more pressure on the flares(& she must have always been in a well populated area to find lack of farriers so hard to believe), but it does appear likely there's a lot of strain working against those cracks.

    If you would like to post more pics, I could better tell you what is likely needed. If you were comfortable doing the toes like that, don't stress about quarters & heels - they're no harder to do & the same principles apply. Just make sure you learn to make sense of those principles. I suggest barefoothorse.com, hoofrehab.com & barehoofcare.com as 3 good sites to learn more from. If you're planning on doing it yourself, I would highly recommend Pete Ramey's 'Under The Horse' DVD series. It's not the cheapest, but is WELL worth the money & you will learn HEAP.



    Actually, I wouldn't 'blame' her either, for not *wanting* to work in bad weather - who does?? But for one, you just said the snow storm was for a week, not 4 months, and it sounds like she's palming you off & you're accepting it. Who knows whether she actually cares about the horses or there's some other problem, but if she's a good farrier, she will know the problems that this is causing. But more to the point, you know yourself what state your horse's feet are in and it's your responsibility as owner, so next time you ring to book her, either don't take no for an answer, or if you reckon your horse can 'wait till it's warmer', book her there & then for that 'warmer' time, rather than waiting until she's booked up again.



    Not necessarily, but I do agree that it can well be worse, and from the look of those cracks, the feet should be well & frequently maintained. I don't believe it's just a bit of excess growth & chipping that has caused the cracks though. They have obviously been far longer term probs for a start.
    Thanks for clarification Loosie! I must admit that I have always lived in well populated areas and I did think that four months sounded unreasonable. I guess if you can only have your horse seen by a farrier 3-4 times a year then that is what you learn to work with.
         
        01-21-2011, 12:22 AM
      #18
    Yearling
    I have been trimming my own horses for a number of years now, and I highly recommend Pete Ramey's and Jaime Jackson's books. One is called "Making Natural Hoofcare Work For You." I don't have them in front of me at the moment, so I can't give you the exact titles, but if you don't have them already, they will help you a lot. Very good books! Jaime Jacksons is the best if you can only buy one. But both are worth the money and are a small price to pay to learn to trim your own horses.

    Thanks for your support. I actually have been reading and watching pete ramey he's very helpful, I was going to go to school for farrier but im more interested in barefoot trimming.

    I think you did okay for a first time. I think you could do your horse a huge favor though and go back out soon to trip his heels down. By leaving them long you are putting stress on his tendons, muscles and on the cracks that he has. Just do little by little if you're worried and keep updating on here for opinions if you need help :) Remember that you that you can always take more off, but you can never put it back on. A suggestion is to do his heels with a rasp, that way is it much slower, but you will be MUCH more likely not to take too much off. The flares will eventually take care of themselves with consistent work, don't try to force his hooves into a shape that they are not. Good luck

    I wouldnt want to force my horses feet into the "proper shape" as some people say. My horse once hadnt been trimmed for awhile and when he got trimmed the farrier took off a bit to try to make them the "proper" shape and his tendons stretched from his fetlocks sinking down wards because his toes grew so long, so then when he got trimmed he was a bit sore for a few days. Right now its not so bad for him to walk on the ground because the snow is soft he isnt lame or anything.
         

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