Foal hooves? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-23-2009, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Foal hooves?

I have a question about foal hooves. At what age should they start being trimmed? I suppose it would vary somewhat from foal to foal but I'm just wondering when most people start trimming their foal's feet. Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-23-2009, 10:51 PM
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I worked at a breeding farm and we didnt trim hooves until they were weaned. Now if that foal has feet issues then of course we would get farrier attention to them sooner, but normal foal hooves would wait until they were weaned at 4-6 months old
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-23-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information! That makes sense that a foal would normally not need it's hooves trimmed till it was weaned.
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 12:12 PM
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Please do NOT wait until they are 6 months old for their first trims! By then, most domestic foals have pathological hooves. They are coddled and kept on soft surfaces and usually kept penned up, they don't wear any of the hoof wall off and the hooves get very unbalanced. Most farriers will be happy to offer a discount to trim the babies to get them started down the right path. Prevention is worth way more than cure, so if there's ever a time to trim, it's while they are growing. Some farriers may even offer to trim the foal for free when you get the mare taken care of. It's also much easier for them to accept being trimmed and sets the stage for a lifetime of good manners for the farrier.
Your foal may not need much more than a rasping to keep balanced, but it's well worth the time and money.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoothooves View Post
Most farriers will be happy to offer a discount to trim the babies to get them started down the right path. Prevention is worth way more than cure, so if there's ever a time to trim, it's while they are growing. Some farriers may even offer to trim the foal for free when you get the mare taken care of. It's also much easier for them to accept being trimmed and sets the stage for a lifetime of good manners for the farrier.
Your foal may not need much more than a rasping to keep balanced, but it's well worth the time and money.
Yes!

Our foals are rasped within the first two weeks of birth. Foals typically are born with a longer toe and filing the toe allows the foal to move correctly.

We have a wonderful farrier that does not charge to have this done. He is a huge believer in starting them in the right direction to have their feet and legs handled.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 01:23 PM
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I've only raised four foals but agreed, Do not wait until they are weaned.
We had any foals here rasped down by three weeks old, then even if mainly just for practice it seems like I had them rasped every three weeks for a while there after. My farrier also did not charge for foals until they are 6 months old.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 02:44 PM
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I'm an equine podiatrist, so 'do' horses' feet for a living!

I would agree with starting to work on a foal's feet as soon as possible. Some foals wear their feet on their own, but some DO need rasping and balancing from an early age, depending on the surface they're kept on, and their conformation, and because of their soft bones and rapid growth rate, if they have issues with their feet at a young age it can have detrimental consequences for later on.

I have a 9 month old foal who hasn't had her feet trimmed at all. She had been raised on the Welsh hills so wore them down herself fairly well, and I'm lucky in that she has good conformation, but of course she's never even been taught how to pick her feet up, let alone be taught to stand for them to be trimmed. The earlier you start to teach them how to have their feet trimmed, the better, in my opinion.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! I never researched much into foal hooves so all the info really helps!
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 08:16 PM
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What I've done with the foals that I've had/ worked with is gotten them used to having their feet handled and banged on within the first couple of weeks of them being born. A couple of them were rasped within the first month, just to give them a bit more shape and take down the toe.
Actual full trim though probably happened the first time at about 3-4 months-but by then they were used to having their legs held by people, a rasping sensation, hoof picks and me tapping around on the hoof.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-24-2009, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhuntress View Post
.....take down the toe.
Not really trying to pick on you, specifically, but in most cases, the toe gets sufficient wear, it's the HEELS that need lowered to keep the legs balanced.The excess heel height prevents the shock absorbing cartilages from developing and that's how most of your club feet get started. Toe falres aren't always about excess toe length, but if the heels are too upright, causes the toe first landing that forces the flare to appear.Just a little factoid for those do-it-yourselfers It's great that you have been handling their legs though! Wish more people would handle their foals' legs.

Turnout on rocky, hilly terrain is the best way to develop healthy legs and hooves and "surefootedness". A colt will be able to adapt to a rider's weight when he's mastered his own in play.
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