Trimming Workshop with Andrew Bowe

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Trimming Workshop with Andrew Bowe

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    06-14-2010, 04:20 AM
Trimming Workshop with Andrew Bowe

So today I spent the day at a trimming clinic, thought i'd share.

It was a great day - I learnt a ton. We spent the morning with a lecture about evolution, the function of the hoof, the anatomy of the hoof, why barefoot, movement, and then moved on to trimming parameters and techniques.

Before lunch, we had a trimming demo and tool use demo on cadaver legs, and then we got a leg each to trim ourselves. It was a bit gross (The leg bit was still squishy ) but really helpful being able to twist the hoof any whichway to better see the effect of what we were doing. I wish I got a before photo of my leg - The sole was too long and had started to curl under. I got after photos though - The photo makes it look like there is a flare on one heel but I promise there wasn't :]

After lunch we brought the horses in and trimmed out own. Andrew used Bundy for a demo on one hind foot. Bundy was very tight through the shoulder so wasn't very happy about me holding his foot up for long periods of time - He was pulling back/rearing every 3 minutes or so, so it took a fair while! It was very interesting - I had a fellow helping me out and showing me things as we went. He found a crack in one toe so spent some time investigating it and cut it out a bit to help it grow out. He also had a bit of wall seperation in each front foot so we took a bit more wall off those spots to get rid of it. He was higher in the outside heel on both fronts, and very low in the frog on his front right.

After we trimmed our own we had another lecture, on other influences on hoof health, I.e. Diet and environment.

After that Andrew gave a talk about biomechanics and the workings of the leg/foot - With a fresh cadaver leg - Pulling the tendons and such. I felt very sick and couldn't watch this bit which was a shame.

I ended up buying some tools of my own and will now start doing maintenace trims on our three in between trimmer visits, ad get feedback from our trimmer on how I am doing. I hope to do an advanced school with them when they come back in a few months.

It was a great clinic - I learnt a lot that I didn't know. How the quarters aren't meant to be weight bearing, and neither is the outer wall. How the sole plane perfectly mimics the placement of the pedal bone, almost giving you x-ray vision into the foot. The importance of the frog touchhing the ground and the function of the frog combined with the digital cushion. Some of the long term effects of shoeing.

It's interesting to note that Andrew is a certified master farrier and racetrack farrier, but with more knowledge has moved away from shoeing and now specialises in rehabbing chronic lameness cases (Navicular, Laminitis) using barefoot techniques.
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    06-14-2010, 07:04 AM
Great you had such a good time and learned a lot! :)

While doing a trim yourself is really cool, I would NOT recommend to touch the bottom of the hoof. It's very hard to balance the hoof correctly (especially if there are any confo deviations). Doesn't matter what people say how great they trim themself, farrier (as any profession) requires proper education (I believe it's 3 or 4 months here) and tons of experience with all different horses (to be a really good one). I found it almost impossible to do the really good balance if you don't have tons of experience. It's also a problem for beginning farriers - their trims are often hm-hm not so good (to say it in polite way). However rounding the edges and rasping off the flares is something everyone should know how to do IMO (just don't forget to invest in good leather gloves! ).
    06-14-2010, 01:57 PM
That sounds like it was fun.

And learning to trim hooves really is quite easy. I say BRAVO for taking steps to learn to do it yourself.

I really haven't been here in a while, but I do recall you talking about you having your horses barefoot and I suppose I assumed that you already trimmed your horses hooves.

It really does sound like it was a fun time.

I'm sure you already know about Pete Ramey and the dvd's he's put out. But I would suggest em if you're looking for more good learning material.

Kitten_Val - that's a funny comment on the gloves. LOL there's been lots of times where if I didn't wear gloves where I woulda rasped all the layers of skin off my hand.
    06-14-2010, 02:26 PM
Originally Posted by totalfreedom    
kitten_Val - that's a funny comment on the gloves. LOL there's been lots of times where if I didn't wear gloves where I woulda rasped all the layers of skin off my hand.
He-he I had it happened once (I do rasp off chipped edges or shorten the toe sometime when there is a need between the farrier visits). I got a pair very next day!

P.S. I took a class on trimming/shoeing in my univ, mostly for educational purpose, and the guy in a class without gloves cut his finger with the hoof knife so he should hurry into ER (got stitches).
    06-14-2010, 05:31 PM
We got a free pair, plus I got another pair with the kit I bought :)

In regards to touching the sole, we were taught to never touch the front third and only take any old sole off next to the frog and on the bars. Also to clean out the heel corners so we could accurately judge the height of the sole plane when levelling the heels.

We were taught how to balance objectively using the sole plane as a guide and not subjectively, so if we stay within the parameters and trim conservatively there is little that can go wrong.

Total freedom, my horses are all barefoot and I've done a bit of research but had never trimmed them myself - I'm very excited to now have the knowledge to get started :)
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    06-14-2010, 05:58 PM
Barefoot for Soundness

This is my very favorite resource for barefoot info/trimming instructions, etc. It has helped me a lot! The workshop you attended sounds like a lot of fun!
    06-14-2010, 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Total freedom, my horses are all barefoot and I've done a bit of research but had never trimmed them myself - I'm very excited to now have the knowledge to get started :)
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Have fun! I really wonder how much you'll be able to do at once - I'm all sweaty already after the front hoofs.

Just curious, do you guys use the hoof stand down there? It's very popular here (I have one off eBay, however my farrier just uses his knee).
    06-14-2010, 09:39 PM
Some do, some don't. I plan to get one as Bundy is more comfortable with the hoof stand on his fronts - dad is going to try and make me one the same as they were selling.

I'm only going to start off doing fronts one day and backs the next. I did 3 of Bundy's feet at the clinic in about an hour and my back was pretty sore!

Andrew actually mentioned that if you are still getting a professional out every 6-8 weeks then you can just maintenance trim the fronts as because of the extra loading and work on the backs they tend to keep themselves in pretty good shape. I'll see how I go.
    06-15-2010, 08:06 PM
I went out and had a shot at doing Latte's fronts last night. It was very good for her I think - She has soem issues with the farrier, she gets very nervous. She started out a bit jumpy and tryign to move away but was quite relaxed by the end and just standing there snuffling my hood while I did her fronts, lol.

She didn't really need much done. Her frog isn't quite on the ground but her heels are quite short so I could take much off - I just levelled them out a bit. Rasped out the quarters and rolled the outer wall. I can't wait until dad makes my hoof stand next weekend as I am hopeless at the farrier stance - Lucky Latte didn't mind me contorting her legs lol.
    06-15-2010, 08:07 PM
Her backs are in good shape so I didn't touch them - Both frogs on the ground at the back and pretty naturally worn roll.

I will try on Rummy next as long as Sam gives me the OK - I had a look at his feet and they look really good, just need a bit off the wall to shorten the toe and a roll all round.

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