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Equus_girl 02-27-2011 04:15 PM

Should I try to trim her hooves myself? I'm in a dilemma!
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I got my first horse Berdi last March. I had a hard time finding a farrier that would come out for just one horse, but I finally found someone that actually is almost 2 hrs away. He gets several clients in this area and does them all at the same time. Berdi's feet were in bad shape when I got her so it was good he was able to come out quickly and trim them up. She seemed pretty good all summer and was trimmed at 10-12 week intervals. He wasn't able to come out sooner than that and her hooves seemed fine as they are very tough.

Her last two trims though I have been noticing that she is really wearing down her toe while the rest of her hoof grows long. Here is a picture of her hooves before her last trim. They were very long, but her toe was worn right down.

My worry is that she is showing the signs of toe first landing. First I can see she's doing it, she stumbles fairly often at the walk (is much better at the trot and canter) and her toe is worn right down. The sole is touching the ground and she is ouchy on gravel.

My mom thinks I should learn to do her myself, but I don't know. I can do some rasping for sure, but I really don't know much about trimming. I could ask her previous owner to show me some stuff though, as he always trimmed the horses he owned.

I would like some advice on whether I should attempt to learn to do her feet myself, try to find another farrier (and him possibly do the same thing), or try to talk to my farrier and see if he can do her different? He is very good with her and patient - I just am worried about the balance of her feet. I have to be extra careful with her as she has been prone to navicular before.

The first two pictures are from before her trim and the others are those after her trim.

Anvil 02-27-2011 04:47 PM

If you are comfortable with rasping the high spots of the hoof wall and beveling the edges you should able help maintain the hoofs and have the farrier check them for you when he/she is in your area and maybe he/she can give you some advice on how to keep them maintained. Don't cut any of the sole area unless you absolutely need to. Good Luck.
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flytobecat 02-27-2011 04:56 PM

I agree. If nothing else you can maintain her hooves in between trims.

lilruffian 02-27-2011 05:28 PM

I've give it a try. The next time you have the ferrier out you can ask him to show you just so that you can maintain them inbetween trims. The biggest thing to watch out for when doing them yourself is to make sure you dont trim too short or you could make her tender.
Also, just forwarning ya, hooves (especially good ones) are tough lol so they're not always as easy to clip through as the ferrier makes it look. It's also really hard on the back, but i learned to do it just in case.
It's a good thing to know.
Luckily there are several ferriers in my area who travel plus my best friend's dad trims & shoes his own horses.

apachiedragon 02-27-2011 05:50 PM

I have one that grows much faster than the rest of my herd, so I rasp him down a bit so he doesn't have to be done any more often than everyone else. I'd say you'd be fine doing that, but I wouldn't recommend actually trimming without a farrier showing you what to do or without taking a class. You could end up doing more damage than good that way.

Equus_girl 02-27-2011 06:50 PM

Thank-you for all your advice! I am nervous about actually doing the clipping as I don't want to hurt her! But I will keep up with the rasping and maybe sometime have the farrier show me about clipping them a little. I'm just worried her heels are too high and she's having problems because of it.

MHFoundation Quarters 02-27-2011 07:07 PM

I would never ever trim my own horses feet, but I do use a rider's rasp in between farrier visits to keep them nice and finished for the show pen. It's a handy tool and much less bulky than a traditional rasp.

xXEventerXx 02-28-2011 01:10 AM

From the look of your horses feet they dont look to bad, id just take a rasp and take off the length and round off the edges. Dont take any sole or frog off though unless its flaky.

AlexS 02-28-2011 01:59 AM

I would personally never practice on a horse unsupervised, if you want to do this, then take a sick day and go out with your farrier for the day and learn how.

What's your thoughts about your farrier putting shoes on your horse?

Equus_girl 02-28-2011 09:35 AM

I would like to keep her barefoot if possible. She was fine all last summer barefoot on gravel for 2+ hours at a time. It has seemed to be the last two trims that I've really noticed the stumbling and soreness on gravel. I would shoe her if absolutely necessary though of course. You think she needs shoes?

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