To any of you natural trimmers. My husband and I have just started doing natural barefoot trimming.
We have a ways to go yet, but, we are dedicated to doing this.
We realize that we need to take more of the heel/bars down. And we also need to clean up some of the frog flaps. But, the knife we have is way too dull to do it right. We are ordering new/sharp knives this week. This will help.
We started from a traditional trim this past Oct. So it's only been a few months. I should post a before picture to show you how far they have come.
We had the new natural trimmer here two times to get us started. My husband and I have trimmed them the last three times. We will have her (the new farrier) back in March. She set the time for her next appt.
We are doing all 3 of our horses. We don't often do two horses in one session.
I don't know how to put the tiny thumbnails on here so had to post the links.
I also had them labeled in Photoshop, but it doesn't show up in the links.
So the first 4 are HIS left front, the next 4 are his right front, the next 5 are his right hind, and the rest are his left hind. If you place your cursor over the picture and click it will enlarge it.
Looks pretty good! What are the horses telling you? Sound? Tender on any surfaces?
To keep your knives sharp, get a pocket sharpener and have your farrier/trimmer show you how to use it. I sharpen my knives before every trim.
I also don't like to take much bar down, just so it's no longer than the wall. My horses seem to stay more sound on rocky terrain with longer bars. But, if your horses are doing fine, then keep doing what you're doing! ;-)
Nice job, looks like you may be able to exfoliate a little more between the bars and heel to find the hard sole there and drop those heels down a bit more to the level of the hard sole.
Thanks. I will have to look for one of those sharpeners too.
It's really too hard to see what the horses are telling us right now since all there is out there is snow that's knee deep with a layer of ice under that. They are all walking accordingly. We will be interested to see how they move out as soon as we are able.
We are also just getting to the good stuff on Pete Ramey's dvds. Up till now it's been all the technical stuff. Our farrier is a wonderful person who was very willing to help us achieve this goal. She charges a bit more for lessons, but well worth it.
Of the three horses that I have, the mare has the best feet, she's well into her 20's, then this one, Tucker, but Jack! Oh boy. Some day when I get brave, I should post pictures of his. His feet really need this. His are also taking a bit longer to get into shape, but, they are coming along.
Great job..:-) Nice hooves.. The best judges are the ponies. As luv2ride said, listen to what they tell you, sound? tender? ..Keep up the good work..:D
Here's the sharpener I have.
Large Eze-Lap Knife Sharpener-Centaur Forge
I get most of my tools from them. I always buy these rasps and LOVE them!
Simonds 14" Blackmaster Rasp-Centaur Forge
Along with this handle.
SaveEdge Pastic Screw-on Rasp Handle-Centaur Forge
I also do some abrasive trimming. It really saves time and your back. Once you get your technique down, you can use an angle grinder and flapper disk for everything you use your rasp for, plus it can do a great job or exfoliating much of the sole, remove excess frog, and take the bars down, all in about 2 minutes per hoof ;-). Both my horses took to it well, even my spooky ArabxTB gelding. Once I put it on their hoof, they were like, "Oh, okay," and settled right in. I can grind both now without anyone holding their halters! I still use the knife to dig out dead sole by the heels and crevice around the frog, and I use the rasp to touch up the mustang roll.
Softouch Natural Horse Care with Phil Morrare
It does look like you have some extra sole in there and not quite down to the live sole yet. The lines and wrinkles in several of the photos show that there is extra there. When that is ready to come off it should flake off pretty easily with the knife. I only take this off when its ready & sometimes the horses remove this themselves when going over rough terrain.
However, I think once you get down to the live sole you will see your heels can be lowered a bit and those bars can also be trimmed back a bit more - not too much but you want to prevent them from becomming overlaid.
I would also round-out the outside edges and make sure its a nice smooth cone on the outside, which will remove the flares.
This page touches on the subject:
Here is an example of what I am talking about on one of your photos - look where the red line is. Its just a small bit, but if this isn't addressed it can add extra pressure higher up on the hoof wall as the horse steps down and start pulling the new growth out of the strong cone-shape that the hoof normally grows and can lead to a bigger flare later on. Rasp it back from the top (only the last inch of the hoof - avoid going too high on the outer hoof wall) and then round out in a mustang roll.
I too agree you're doing well, altho can't really tell balance from those pics. I also agree that you need to lower the heels a big more, level with or only a smidgen higher than the seat of the corns. I don't bother with bars generally, so long as they're passive to the outside wall. I do not generally remove any of that 'excess' sole unless it is flakey enough to come off with my hoofpick. I actually make do with a cheap knife, because I use it so infrequently.
I wonder about what appears to be very wide, red 'white lines'? Perhaps it's not as it seems, but has this horse suffered from laminitis a while ago? The pink rings around his white hooves is another sign. Is this the reason you're shortening the toe so much perhaps?
I would be doing a mustang roll, as you've done at the toes, right the way around the feet, especially at weak or faulty areas such as where Cat marked on that pic.
Thanks so much for the input!
It's great to take a look at the pictures ourselves and study them, but to have others help is wonderful!
You've seen what we have seen, and seen what we haven't.
I have shown my husband all of the comments, since we tag team the hooves, and we will be trying our best to tackle these issues as best we can.
My husband has commented that the hooves would be "perfect" if only we could take them off! LOL! We are still trying to get the feel of the rasp etc while trying to hold the foot up! It all takes more time for us.
I hope that once we get the feel of how to use the tools, the hooves themselves will be the better for it.
Although, I have to say, since doing the hooves ourselves, the horses stand a lot better than before. They weren't bad before, but just better now.
My hats off to all you farriers!
Cat, I love the diagram. It helped a lot to see it visually.
I have to re^read it all again several times to have it all soak in.
Thanks so much once more to you all.
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