Hooves Trimming Themselves

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Hooves Trimming Themselves

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

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    06-08-2012, 03:35 PM
Hooves Trimming Themselves

We usually get the farrier out to trim hooves every 4 months at the most. Well, our 4 months is almost up, and today I noticed that Specs's hooves have trimmed themselves. They were getting somewhat long on Wednesday, I let him out into his Summer pasture on Thursday, then today the long parts of his hooves were either off or just about off. His hooves actually looked quite nice, as far as length goes, so my dad just filed them a little so they looked a little prettier and less jagged. I have no need for the farrier this time! Saved $40! (My farrier is ridiculously priced. Ugh)
I'd guess that the mud by the creek in the summer pasture would be the reason that the long parts would come off, right?
Do your horse's hooves ever get trimmed by themselves?
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    06-08-2012, 03:47 PM
Before I got Alli her and her dam didn't see a farrier ever. Allis feet trimmed them selves in chunks, but her mums didnt. Allis feet were stronger than her mums so snapped, but her mums where softer so just kinds spread instead of snapping to the right length
    06-08-2012, 06:20 PM
No, they are trimmed every 6 weeks.
If they are so long that they are breaking themselves off they aren't being properly maintained.
    06-08-2012, 06:27 PM
Are you serious?
    06-08-2012, 06:29 PM
Natisha, I hardly agree. In some cases, perhaps this is true, however, I think good strong feet can take care of themselves. Mustang feet, so to speak.

Who knows if OPs horses have really rugged feet - for the sake of conversation though, I believe hooves that wear down without quarter cracks, chunks missing, or other deformities, are desirable hooves to have.

OwnedByAlli likes this.
    06-08-2012, 06:43 PM
Green Broke
My welsh pony gelding has the most amazing hooves. He's a mountain pony, so his hooves are meant to be hard for rugged territory. We only need to trim him up and rasp him every few months. They grow at the perfect angle, and maintain themselves very well. My QH mare, on the other hand, needs a trim every month because her hooves grow so fast.
    06-08-2012, 07:00 PM
I have heard of this before. It is all based on your horse's natural hoof condition, the amount of exercise they get, and the condition of the pasture they are kept in. For many people it isn't enough. I used to do very minimal maintenance on my horses hooves but I found that they didn't stay in as good of condition as I liked, so now I do more. The rate their hooves grow also depends on their diet a lot. They grow with the grass. Last summer the grass barely grew so I only trimmed twice all summer. So far this summer I've already trimmed three times.
natisha likes this.
    06-08-2012, 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by RunSlideStop    
Natisha, I hardly agree. In some cases, perhaps this is true, however, I think good strong feet can take care of themselves. Mustang feet, so to speak.

Who knows if OPs horses have really rugged feet - for the sake of conversation though, I believe hooves that wear down without quarter cracks, chunks missing, or other deformities, are desirable hooves to have.

True but Mustangs travel over varied surfaces & their survival depends on good feet.
The OP's horses depend on people for good feet as do my own horses.
I once had a boarder whose Fresian only needed rasping once a year. I was amazed.
Each horse needs needs to be looked at individually. If the horse has chunks breaking off or is growing too long a hoof we need to step in & care for it.
    06-09-2012, 01:36 AM
My husband's QH rarely ever needs a trim. Honestly, it's not even a trim, it's just a shaping up. His hooves stay so round and pretty and smooth, it amazes me. If we go through a really dry spell in the summer he'll start getting a few little scraggly chips at the toe. When that happens, when the farrier comes out to do my horse, we'll have him shape his feet up a little and he's good to go. Our farrier doesn't even charge for it, he says he feels bad because it's like he's doing nothing.
    06-09-2012, 02:40 AM
To RunJump & RunSlide, yes, in ideal circumstances, such as mustangs/brumbies that live in arid, hard ground environments, travelling many miles daily, horses can maintain 'perfect' hooves. I think it's helpful(not just regarding needing less farriery & $ outlay, but horse health & soundness) if you can manage horses in order that they 'self trim' more & need trimming less. But IME the reality is, most of us, including OP, aren't in such a 'perfect world'.

Also even horses that do 'self trim' usually still need 'brush ups' to keep balance in... balance.

OP, you say that your horse's feet were too long this week, but putting him onto different(I imagine rougher, harder?) terrain has caused the excess to break away. You said they broke off in chunks, so your dad had to file them to look 'less jagged'. Wasn't like they abraded away evenly with lots of exercise. That is not what I'd class as 'self trimming', in a positive sense anyway & I'm concerned that there is some underlying problem, aside from excess length/leverage that caused the hoof walls to break away so apparently easily & totally.

It's important if you want healthy, sound feet long term, to manage them well enough to *prevent* them getting overlong in the first place. Trimming to maintain good function is always preferrable to having to chase your tail & 'correct' overgrowth & distortion at every trim. I find that while some can go a bit longer & some need more frequent, but 3-6 weeks is about the right schedule for most horses.

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