Trimming Your Own Horses' Hooves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Trimming Your Own Horses' Hooves

My farrier recently told me that she learned to trim her own horses' hooves before she went to farrier school. After she realized how much she enjoyed it, she then went on to farrier school. How safe is this for your horse? Obviously it might save you some money (the tools can get pretty expensive), but what sort of hoof health risks might there be? I have watched my farrier trim my horses feet for years, and it doesn't seem that complicated...but I would NEVER try it unless I knew I wouldn't be putting my horses at risk.

There is a farrier school near me that offers a 2 week course exclusively training horse owners to trim their horses' feet. It costs a little over $1000...is this worth it? Is proper trimming something you need to learn hands on? I am not very interested in shoeing, just trimming.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 10:23 AM
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I have seen someone who trims their own horses feet without any real knowledge under their belt. It's not pretty.

I have no problems using the rasp on my horses between trims, but I leave the actual trimming to the professionals.

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 10:29 AM
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My farrier went to both farrier school as well as a "hands on" kind of thing with a vetran farrier that he worked under as a apprentice, so to speak. He was kind of rough around the edges at first, but he got a good grip on how to do things correctly and he does very nicely now

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 11:05 AM
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I would take the course AND find and farrier to work with for at least a little while. In my opinion it is definitely worth it.

I trim my horses hooves. No formal training, watched the Ramey DVD, read a bunch of stuff off the internet, and had a friend who was more expereinced watch me for awhile. Last summer I had a trimmer/farrier come out to see how I was doing and this year I've had my friend out again.

One of these days I'll post some pics up in the critique section. Oh and I wouldn't feel comfortable dealing with some sort of "problem." At least not at this point. My horses have pretty easy/normal hooves, so it hasn't been difficult yet.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:24 PM
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I have known people who trim their own horses and it takes months for these horses feet to be corrected. I think a light rasping between is no biggy but I would never attempt to trim. I know absolutely nothing about horses feet other then they need to be cleaned and preventing/treating thrush ;)

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:26 PM
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I think in order to do it you have to be incredibly knowledgeable and confident in your ability, and while I am quite knowledgeable about the hoof of a horse, I am nowhere near confident enough to do it myself.
My friend's dad is a big time dairy farmer though, and he decided to trim their pony after a farrier made a complete mess.. and ended up getting the pony sound and back on good feet. (THIS IS NOT THE NORM. I am by NO MEANS telling you to trim your own horse.)

And, food for thought, has anyone tried out one of these?
Rider's Rasp

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
I would take the course AND find and farrier to work with for at least a little while.
If you really want to trim your own horse do this.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:31 PM
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Never seen that kmacdougall but I like it! I'd love it to practice on Sonata and get her more comfortable with work on her feet and Aidan usually gets flairs in the back (only front shoes) that'd be nice to keep them from getting bad.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilliaB View Post
Never seen that kmacdougall but I like it! I'd love it to practice on Sonata and get her more comfortable with work on her feet and Aidan usually gets flairs in the back (only front shoes) that'd be nice to keep them from getting bad.
I really like the fact that they're designed by a farrier, and they seem pretty straightforward to use. I'm going to look into picking one up myself. They're also very affordable!

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:38 PM
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I haven't used the rider's rasp, but I don't really like it. I think it will encourage people to trim without guidance. "Well, I'm using the Rider's Rasp so I can't hurt my horse" type of thing. Besides that I don't really like the square edge, seems it would make it difficult to get a good roll.

I didn't say this before, but I think it is very important to get input from someone who you know does good work and is more experienced than you. I talk to my friend quite often and she is with an experienced barefoot trimmer for about 4-5 hrs a month. She could explain to me why she was doing what she was doing and I really liked her horse's hooves. Also, keep reading and learning! I go online and read, check out farrier forums, am constantly looking at my horse's hooves and other's hooves. I've considered getting certified or going to a class or two, but money has been very tight for a while here. In the next year when the situation improves I will definitely be taking advantage of some classes/clinics.

Bottom line is that you can't go into this lightly. Learn learn learn everything you can about horse's hooves, movement, and conformation. At the very least if you decide you don't want to do it you will be very knowledgeble with your farrier.

Edit - Just looked at the RR again.. It says it's good for rounding, so maybe I'm wrong about the square edge. I'd like to see one in person. Maybe I'd prefer it over my rasp?

Last edited by MN Tigerstripes; 04-22-2010 at 12:41 PM.
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