I've been told time and time again that mule hooves need to be trimmed differently than horse hooves.
My 7 week old molly miniature mule looks like she's already needing a trim, her toes are very long compared to her little play mate's, who is 10 weeks old. I'm getting Sour's feet trimmed next Monday, but I was talking to my farrier (he's new to me, this is only going to be his second time trimming Sour's feet so I really don't know what I think of his work yet. He seems knowledgable though, and very honest) and he says that he really hasn't ever trimmed mule hooves before. So, ofcourse, I started looking for someone that specialized or at least has experience with mules but there are none in my area that I can find for at least 55 miles, way too far for me to have someone drive every 6 weeks O_o
Now I'm in a pickle. My farrier said that he could research mule trimming over the next week and take a hack at it (thats literally what he said O.O) himself, or I could wait a few weeks and keep trying to find some sort of mule trimmer. I'm really not sure that I will be able to though, as we have limited farriers in the area and not many are very reliable or truthful. They just try to con extra money out of you >.> should I let my farrier try it and hope for the best (it looks to me like she just needs a bit taken off of the heels) or should I risk waiting? I don't want her to get too long and possibly stretch tendons that shouldn't be stretched or something, but I also don't want her feet to be messed up on the first trim. What do you guys think I should do?
Personally, I don't think mule hooves are that different. Have your normal farrier out. I'm sure you trim for the same things.
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I was told that mule hooves should/are more upright naturally than horse hooves, and that trying to form them into horse hooves will cause soreness... I was also told that the bars are thicker and the frog is in a much lower position than with horses, so forming the hoof where the frog is too high can also cause lameness. They're more oblong, too- and not so round. That being said, maybe her toes arent as long as they appear in my inexperienced eyes...Apparently the angles are very different and in some ways closer to a donkey hoof than a horse hoof.
This was just coming from someone at a seminar and a few friends though. I could be hearing it all wrong.
Technicaly the hoof should tell the farrier what to do. same as a horses hoof. Not the same ,but you know what I mean.
Do your own research, learn and talk with him about it, use your judgment and discuss whats going to be done, before it happens. So the 2 of you are on the same page.
It's best when you follow live sole. You can't bring their heels all the way back, they don't go back as far. And you don't want a long toe. Their foot will be more upright, and not made to look like a horse. However, some mules tend to be more horse-like in their confirmation, and may end up looking more like a horse foot.
When I trimmed my mule's hooves, guided by a good farrier that knew what he was doing, he said do not make them look like a horse foot. You can't bring the heel back, as it naturally doesn't go back as far as a horse. No long toe. Just follow live sole. It's not hard.
I have pictures, but they are all showing the wrong way and why I don't have those farriers anymore.
I guess I'm just wary because I haven't had this farrier for long. He seems to know what he's doing...Sour's feet are a trainwreck and he's doing a good job of sorting them out and has a great plan of action from what I can tell.
I'll talk with him some more about it and let him trim Honor, I suppose ^^ her feet look more like her mama's than her sire's, so I guess she tends towards the horse side of hoof shape, and I hate to let her walk around with long toes while I fiddle around.
If he's doing a good job with your horse, he's probably thoughtful in what he does.
Here's some trim pics, I have to say that the finished product looks kinda short, but other than that, I like the pics.
Thanks for posting those! I called my farrier and schedualed Honor for her trimming on Monday as well :) she's so tiny (38 pounds) that I dont know how its going to be possible to trim them well, but he's the expert! xD
I think at 38 pounds, I would just use a rasp and even them out, and get the toe back as appropriate. How old is she?
She's a 7 week old miniature mule. With my limited experience it looks like she needs a bit more than a rasp, but we'll see what my farrier had to say. Hopefully her size won't bother him, as he's a miniature horse hoof specialist and trims horses like Honor's dam, Sour (34" and 225 lbs) often.
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