Foal Trimming - How Often? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Foal Trimming - How Often?

I was just wondering what everyone's opinion was on trimming a foals feet, as in how often. I ask because I was told by a farrier it was very important to have them trimmed every four weeks until they are a year old, so that's the schedule I follow, but I see more and more, on this forum and people I know personally, that do not follow that schedule at all. I've seen that some people don't have it done at all or wait until the foal REALLY needs it, and they think nothing of it. So how important is it really? I won't change my schedule but would like to be able to tell people why I think it's important. Thing is, I do it because I was told to.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 10:00 PM
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In my opinion it should be the same as an adult.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 10:11 PM
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I always heard to leave the hooves alone until the foal is at least 6 months. Because it could be bad for the developing feet and legs, etc. I don't know for sure, but that is what I heard. I am interested in hearing about this as well.

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post #4 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 10:13 PM
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I feel that proper hoof care in foals is very important.It optimizes proper hoof and leg structure,performance,and long term soundness.It helps improve minor deviations and helps keep the "perfect" foal correct.
I've seen many horses with leg,hoof,and soundness issues where the problem could have been helped or corrected if only their feet would have been properly trimmed and maintained when they were younger.
I keep a close eye on my babies feet and trim whenever they need it;no set schedule as it can vary widely depending on time of year,feed,growth spurts,ect.
First trim depends on the individual's feet,usually I notice it needs doing between 4-6 months,earlier if their toes are very pointed,preventing them from breaking over properly,or if they have a hoof or leg deviation that needs correcting.
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Last edited by countryryder; 01-11-2013 at 10:18 PM.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 10:22 PM
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But,as GallopingGuitarist alluded to,it is also equally important not to over do it,as you can cause alot of harm with the development of the hoof/legs if it is not done properly.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 11:08 PM
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With the TB babies, they were done on same schedule as mares and the rest, so 5 weeks or so. And were started at maybe 2 months? But whenever vet/farrier were there as scheduled.

That way, any problems could be straightened out as trimming will help with leg issues.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 PM
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We start at 8 weeks old here and do every 4 weeks until 2 years. Then every 6 weeks.. You can fix so many things while they are small, plus it sets them up for good farrier manners as 1000# horses. My long yearling allows me to trim her feet in the pasture with no rope and no halter. The soonest you can work with their feet the better. And doing it often is in everyone's best interest; you may not need to take much off but you will notice problems/changes fast.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-12-2013, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, so it looks like it really is that divided.
I think I was told something about trimming being better for the way they grow and developing bad habits from walking on feet that are too long.
I've been getting Red's feet trimmed since he was 3 months. I waited six weeks once and noticed some cracking, so I'm content with every 4 weeks. Even if it wasn't super important, he gets better and better with how he handles it after every trim, he never really was a monster about it. I would just hate to be the lady with the monster foal though, or I guess monster yearling if I chose to wait.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-12-2013, 03:19 AM
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I can't imagine leaving my foal's feet alone until she was 6 months or older. Granted mine is a mule but her feet grow VERY fast and don't self trim whatosever because they're so hard. I had her first trim at 9 weeks old and the farrier told me I should have done it a week earlier. Her toes had already grown far too long and begun to bend her fetlocks strangely and underrun her heels. Now she's on a strict 5 week regiment, as is her dam (though her dam used to go 6 weeks) and she always needs at least a quarter inch off, often more.

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-12-2013, 12:05 PM
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We leave all of our foals until they are six months old or they start to develop an issue.
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