Farrier kit! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Farrier kit!

Since it looks like I'm going to be starting to do my own trimming at some point, I thought I'd ask for advice on what I need for my "farrier kit." Ok, it will really be a "trimmer kit" since I have no intention of shoeing anyone, but "farrier kit" sounds better.

I am a person who believes that paying more typically gets you more, but the prices of farrier tools is definitely up there. So, if anyone has relevant experience, can you tell me what I can "cheap out" on? I mean, for instance, I do believe in buying high quality knives, but do I really need to splash out for expensive hoof testers?

Also, if possible, could you include pictures or links so I know what you are talking about?

I'm really hoping to just get the bare minimum for right now, which I'm thinking means a couple of different types of knives (a loop knife and that curvy knife?), nippers, a stand, a rasp, and *maybe* hoof testers. But I don't really know for sure.

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post #2 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 08:41 PM
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I had lots of good input when I posted this a couple of years ago: https://www.horseforum.com/hoof-care...horses-766521/

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post #3 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 09:00 PM
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If I remember right, I was suggested a:
- hoop/loop knife (from what I understand you only need ONE, because these are for both your right and left hand to work with)
- hoof rasp
- nippers
to start.

This was the list I had to get started:
Bassoli Hoop Knife
Bassoli 14" Doppia Rasp
Wooden Rasp Handle
Nordic Forge 14" Semi Polish Racetrack Nippers
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 09:42 PM
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I am a farrier by trade
For trims you will need:
-Knife (either left and right hand hoof knives, or a single loop knife that goes both ways. Which you choose is personal preference) more expensive knives are generally harder to sharpen, but stay sharp longer and vice versa for cheap knife. I use frost knives, they are cheap but can be sharpened with a chainsaw file to a good enough edge easily.

-chaps - just pick something you find comfortable

-Nippers - could be books written on preferences here i suppose. I think 14" are generally considered the best all around size unless you have minis or drafts. GE are generally considered one of the best brands. If I were you, I would look at Mustad brand. I have found them to be of good quality and function for their price. They are considerably less money than GE brand.

- rasp - there are really too many brands to even talk about and everyone has what they like. I would suggest to just buy one and when it gets dull try something else and just figure out what you like best. They are kind of costly, but you will be happier if you dont keep trying to use a dull one

- hoof stand - I dont personally use a hoof cradle at all, I do not like them, so I am not much help here. Hoof jack seems to be the standard though. I have a metal stand i made for when i finish shoes, but that is all i use it for. If i pull the foot forward to clean it up on just a trim, i just put it on my knee

- hoof tester - would not consider this a huge necessity. Actually a pair of channel lock pliers can do a fairly good job if you are trying to save money and not buy a pair

Hope this helps some.
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-12-2020, 10:04 PM
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Perfect, input from someone who does and uses these specialty tools.
Unless you truly know what to do and how to do hoof testers you might want to think about that...I agree.

It isn't necessarily how much you buy but the quality of the instruments you buy.
Hoof nippers can cut like a hot butter knife or you can struggle and fight with them...
Rasps are the same...good ones cost.
Don't forget the handle for the rasp...and a palm protector piece too
.Look at a farriers hands and understand using the tools to protect you...
Whether a loop style or hook-end and edge..left or right handed..you need to be skilled handling it.

Hoof stands were recently addressed in a thread, not sure if yours or someone else's...
I personally had no idea of how much the one my farrier has cost...
I also saw used ones by me for 1/2 the price of the cheaper new from farriers retiring or needing/wanting different, but the savings was very substantial..check out Craigslist.
Your tools for what you need could be used and what other farriers retire aka throw-out, for not worth the effort extra they take them to do the job will and would work for you...
Speak to the farriers that service your barn and see if they are willing to part with their still have life but to used for them equipment either for free or a nice savings.
Ask them to save those things for you as they come to care for the horses as you see them often.

The "cheap" stuff you find at stores not of the farrier supply variety are not the quality you want for the kind of job you want to produce...you will also work far harder than you need to using cheaper quality.

The one thing you did not mention and is not something to forget or cheap on is a farriers apron...
At the risk of shredding your legs, wear a apron and get a good one for good protection.
I know this business https://www.farriersdepot.com/index.aspx is where I purchased my products for the WLD my horse had as it was in stock. I gave you a link so you could see prices and some choices.
Certainly there would be places near you to look at and see what fits your hand as comfort means a lot when using your hands and these kinds of tools.

My husband in his younger years did primarily "finishing" of hooves for his friend, my farrier.
He has farrier tools, notice I said he...not I.
He does touch-up if needed but said no thanks to doing our horses all the time...
He said this is a profession for the younger set not him anymore and not now with health issues brought on by age, aka arthritis...
If he had stuck with it for the past 20 years, maybe...to start again now...no-thanks.

If you are not already working out to build your strength, start now..
Your back & hands need to be ready to take on the job you plan to make them do...basically all of you needs extra strength & conditioning.
Horses can be very heavy to support when they lean on or yank against you and you also need to learn how to not allow that...
Be careful my husband said you not get hurt, especially your back.
Enjoy your project.
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-13-2020, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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OK, I see a lot of people saying apron or chaps for protection. What is this protecting me from? Rasping my pants? I'm just trying to figure it out...

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post #8 of 25 Old 08-13-2020, 09:21 AM
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I really like the Cody James hoof rasp for taking off a lot of hoof. For me personally - although I have nippers and was trained how to use them I prefer a rasp - takes off less hoof at once.

I use a cheap hoof stand from my local farm store - but I prefer to hold the hoof between my legs if possible. The chaps protect your thighs from the hoof and the raps as you hold the hoof between your legs.

My thoughts on the hoof stand is that it always seemed to make me rasp an uneven hoof - so I may use the hoof stand when I start out a trim but always finish (if I can) with a hoof between my thighs or calves to make sure that my trim is balanced.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-13-2020, 10:28 AM
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Good quality rasp an hoof knife good pare of nippers. That's all I have no chaps no hoof stand.

I had the idea of trimming my own I long gave it up. To hard on my hands and back. Instead I found a good farrier. I'd rather pay someone to do horses feet,then do them myself.

Over winter months I'll sometimes touch up feet but that's it. Mostly I don't bother with it.

Once it stays below freezing there feet hardly grow. I have farrier out mid November then horses are good till April or when snows about gone.
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-13-2020, 01:02 PM
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I started trimming ours years ago when it was so hard to schedule a farrier around my work schedule. I was told to stay away from any brand of nipper that had plastic coated handles. I have a set of Mustad 14" nippers which were a little over $100. Most rasps in the $30 range will be good quality, $15 rasps will not. I personally prefer the Belotta brand. Remember rasps get dull and will need to be replaced periodically. I've got left and right hand knives but a loop knife would be just as good. I also bought a diamond hoof knife sharpening stone which I should use more often. A hoof brush to remove loose dirt after the hoof is picked is handy. It lessons the amount of dirt your expensive nippers and rasp will be working in. For an amateur who will take longer and who doesn't have the muscle development of someone who trims every day I think a hoof stand is a must. My "farrier kit" is kept in a plastic water bucket because that's what I had handy. My latest acquisition is a plastic milk crate for me to sit on. It saves me from bending over, squatting, or kneeling. All of my horses are well behaved and I haven't had to move out of the way quickly. Sitting on a crate may not be safe with an uncooperative horse.
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