Getting rid of hoof flare...
My horse has flares in his feet...he has always had flares...sometimes they seem worse then others BUT he is never sore and it doesnt affect his riding any...he is also barefoot and his feet are kept at natural angles an heel heights...he even has a mustang roll going...
I dont have alot of money...so i cant really pay a big time pro barefoot specialist to trim him and keep the flares out...my current farrier is guy i use to work with who trims all his show horses and does an absolutely amazing job...but i dont think he ever went to school...I think hes one of those "Learned the trade from uncle joe 5 summers ago" guys...
BUT he is trimming my horse for free in exchange for a four wheeler...and he really does do an amazing job...my boys feet look fantastic...they are balanced and look great everytime...
SO does anyone have any advice? Is there a way i can work on the flares between trims? If not should I talk to jason about it next time he is out? Jason, my farrier, has noticed and has been working hard on shapeing my boys feet better...will this just get better over time?
I NEED HELP!!! thank you for reading lol :D
Well, I don't think he is doing an absolutely amazing job if your horse has flares. There really isn't a reason for flares to develop between trims unless the trims are too far apart. A mustang roll doesn't automatically mean no flares. Two different things.
So, the next time your "amazing farrier" comes out, look critically at the finished work. Are there flares? Even a little? If not, and you see flares before the farrier comes out the next time, your horse may need to be trimmed more often and/or possibly more agressively. I vote for more often though until you are content with the hooves.
Also, take before and after pictures. It's amazing what you can see in pictures that you miss in real life.
Flares on their own won't make a horse lame. They do put stress on the hoof though and if allowed to progress you can end up with white line disease, chipping, cracking -- generally poor hooves which then can lead to lameness.
In general, flares indicate excess hoof wall length. So if your guy is leaving flares, he's leaving too much hoof wall in that area, or hasn't mastered his mustang roll. Perhaps you can ask him to do some research on barefoot trims in a polite manner?
It's also possible your horse has a dietary issue or infection, but most likely it's simply that the trim isn't quite right. Some horses are more stoic than others, so a more sensitive horse with the same foot as your horse, may be very ouchy, so it would behoove you to have your farrier learn a little more. Not to knock him, as everyone has a learning curve when trimming, so as long as he's able to admit you never stop learning, you probably have a great, or potentially great, farrier at your disposal.
If you can get your hands on a hoof rasp (I think they run about 30 dollars, but I got one from my farrier that was too dull for her to use professionally but worked fine for private use) you can file down the flares in between trims. I do my own horses feet about every two weeks (you'll be taking off considerably less than your farrier would at a regular 6wk appt). You can find good information about barefoot trims here:
Obviously you can also ask your farrier for tips.
Hope this helps!
I just saw this new thing. I guess its like a rasp, but more fine and smaller. It fits on your hand. You just push it around your horses hooves to make them more uniform/ rounded. I think you need replacement parts for it, eventually. It looked like grey sand paper, it was a 90 or so degree angle with a handle on it. I was thinking about getting it, as it seems easier to use than a rasp, you just go around the edge of the hoof so you cant really slip when your doing the around the hoof.
More frequent trims!
I used to have my horse on an 8-week trim schedule. Pretty much at 7 weeks I notice "hmmm, he's getting a slight flare on each side of each hoof!" Then, the 8-week appointment comes along and I'm embarrassed for my farrier to see her excellent trim job grown all out of shape! 6-week schedule, and no more flares for us!
If you are comfortable with it, you could ask your farrier to save an old rasp for you and teach you how to help out. My farrier actually recommended this to me the last time she was out. If he's not on a busy schedule, he'd probably be willing to show you some tips (especially if it means better hoof-health for his equine client!)
Thank you everyone for the great advice! I also forgot to mention...this has been an ongoing issue since I got my boy.
He hadnt had any hadling or proper care for six months prior to my buying him so his feet were not terrible but they were def bad. He has improved tons over the two years of owning him and the flares were my last concern... thrush, cracks, etc. were my first concerns.
I will also admit that the flares have improved since ive had jason trimming him. I think ill try to rasp some of the flare out this weekend and ill talk to jason next time he is out.
Thank you everyone!
You need to have his feet trimmed more often.
He gets his done on a six week schedule currently...i could try four weeks but only so long as im getting it done free.... jason gives me and my bf a discount if we get them trimmed at the same time... and im dead serious...im totally broke...if i wasnt i would have a big shot pro out to fix everything and be done....right now the only person i can afford is jason...
I think you are missing something important here.
This is not a get someone out and it is fixed issue.
And an expensive big name fancy barefoot person will do you no good if you do not have the horses feet trimmed on a regular basis.
Talk with your farrier/trimmer and mention that the flare is an issue that shows up at week number <insert week>. Ask him to show you how to trim so between trims you are not doing more harm than good if you can not afford to have the farrier out as often as is necessary.
There is no right amount of time between trims. Some horses can go eight weeks with no issues. Some can only go four weeks. All are different.
You need to accommodate the specific horse.
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