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post #11 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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The barn owner has farriers, but she goes through them really quickly, which is why I wanted to bring in my own person. The barn owner goes through a new farrier every 3-4 months or so.

The first time she came and trimmed short, I rode Pony the next day and he was OK. But then he stepped on something, and I think the combination of a short trim plus stepping on it was what did it. But he was sore enough after that that he had to be in a paddock for a few days.

She trimmed yesterday and I rode him today (and my daughter rode Moonshine). He seemed fine on the grass, but in the arena he was really balky and unwilling to move out, which is unlike him; and Moonshine seemed pretty grumpy about moving as well, although with her that's pretty typical so it's hard to tell. He's not so bad this time that I need to put him in a paddock, but I didn't feel like I could complete my lesson on him. He just did not seem to be comfortable. So it's not like he's lame or anything, just not feeling too great.

And yes I get them trimmed every four weeks. This time it ended up being five weeks, though, FWIW.

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post #12 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 01:49 PM
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No, my trimmer does not trim the frogs. When they are shedding out and flaps are hanging, she'll take those out so they don't get caught in stuff (and stuff doesn't get caught in them), but it is rarely necessary. The frogs stay quite healthy without any help. I think it would be very exceptional for a frog to need trimming on a regular basis.

Sounds like you do need another trimmer though.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 02:45 PM
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AC, are you trying to find strictly Barefoot trimmers or shoers who are also experts at barefoot trimming?

I will probably once again raise hackles for speaking my peace based on my own experience, BUT:

I have yet to find a strictly bare foot trimmer who trims the horse without their huge “it’s my way or the highway” ego getting in the way.

I’ve grown weary of their attitudes and much prefer a shoer who is well versed on barefoot balancing EACH horse and would actually prefer to leave the horse barefoot if possible.

Other than me trimming my horses, which I can no longer physically do, the best barefoot trimmer I have ever used is my current therapeutic farrier who shoes Joker on the front for his residual founder issues.

She trims his backs and does trim the frogs. Joker’s rear frogs have to be somewhat modified because he is so sickle hocked & he deals with that fractured sacrum.

He has always walked wonky on a good day; he used to twist himself right out of his shoes when I was trail riding. The farrier said he’d never seen anything like it and that was before Joker fractured his sacrum.

If Joker’s frogs are let go, they will morph right over the hoof wall to the outside. I used to leave his frogs go until one day I realized the right hind frog was staring to leave the county and I had to start cutting it back gradually to keep it where it was supposed to be.

When the therapeutic farrier trims Rusty, she barely takes anything from his frogs, except to trim the flaps and even up the growth in the collateral grooves <—-HE has a minor club hoof that causes some different growth.

IMHO there is no black and white answer to trimming frogs but the word “trim” is the operative, not “cut”.

Finding a new farrier is way easier said than done- it’s why so many have taken up trimming their own horses. I’m thankful my grandfather gave me tools and a lot of lessons when I was a kid. That way when I was short on cash as an adult, or P.O’d at a farrier, nobody had me over a barrel when it came to hoof care.

Just think AC, you get to start the farrier hunt all over again when you move, lollollol. It’s not funny and I don’t envy you:):)
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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@walkinthewalk believe me, I have already thought about having to start the process all over again when we move. I am NOT looking forward to it! I have talked to some horsey neighbors up there and gotten some recommendations, but I'm starting to think that some farriers / trimmers work for some horses but not others.

I don't have anything against farriers vs trimmers, per se. It's just in my own personal experience the farriers tend to be men and tend to be less sensitive and gentle in the way they treat the horse. I know this isn't always the case, it's just that it's been my experience. This all goes back to Teddy and the farrier we had 1.5 years ago. Teddy would rear and the farrier would punish him, they'd get a chain halter, yell, etc. But after watching him being trimmed just one time, I had a strong suspicion that the problem wasn't Teddy being "bad" (as the farrier basically labeled him) but being in pain, and in fact that turned out to be the case. He was in pain and he was scared, and the farrier punishing him just made things worse.

I suppose I could expand my search beyond trimmers to include farriers as well. I will say that there are a couple who will no longer come to my barn at all, because of the barn owner. I would have to ask them when I got in touch. Whereas she's never had trimmers come out, so I don't have to worry about it with them.

And I have gotten some nippers and I've started trimming bits of frog flap when necessary. I got a rasp too, but I really need to practice with that. I probably need a stand as well. I'm definitely heading in the direction of at least being able to handle issues that come up between trims, but figuring out the correct balance seems so complicated and intimidating that I'm not ready for that yet. And I know that a bad trim can really mess up a horse. Still, if I found a class I might take it.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 03:43 PM
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Most of the male farrier’s who cared for my horses were fair minded and gentle - I could say I was pretty lucky but they were the lucky ones in that I didn’t run them out of the county, lol

My current, therapeutic farrier is female, in her forties and has been in hoof care 20+ years. She interned under Ric Ridden of Nanric products & hoof care fame. She also interned under a barefoot farrier for a year.

It would t hurt to start Googling now, for farriers in your new area. I would Google “therapeutic farrier’s” because that person should be well versed in shoeing and barefoot. Believe me, I found out how good the good farriers were NOT, when Joker foundered and became a special hoof needs project.

Also, for the first time in years, Rusty’s club hoof stopped having thrush issues because she instinctively knows how to trim him. I spend so much time caring for Joker’s hooves, Rusty is lucky if I look at his hooves twice a month and they are always perfectly healthy when it’s time for a trim which is every five weeks. He is also on big pasture & comes in every night to a dry stall with shavings, which is a huge help.

My farrier said, she sees a huge difference in hoof health quality (when diets are comparable) from horses who can come in to dry stalls vs those who can’t and especially those who can’t get away from a muddy environment.

One of her clients does serious endurance. The horse runs out 24/7 with beef cattle. We’ve had so much rain this year, the horse’s hooves are falling apart because it has nowhere to dry it’s hooves out.


Whether you learn better from reading or seeing things on DVD, You might look into either Pete Ramey or Gene Ovnicek’s programs. My farrier prefers Gene Ovincek because he gets more technical but either man’s beginner course might be a great place to start. They may even be available cheaper on EBay.

The basic things my grandfather taught me are the same things these “new age” trimmers teach, lollol. The only thing that’s different is the verbiage, lollol

We never “rolled the toe”. All grandad said was to put “a nice round edge on those hooves so they don’t chip”. We never had chipped or shelly hooves on any of the horses and I did a lot of barefoot road riding as a kid.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-04-2020, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rambo99 View Post
They should NEVER be sore after a trim. Big red flag if sore after being trimmed, something is wrong with the trim.
Agree that it is *usually* farrier error that causes a horse to be sore after a trim. I just don't agree that the word 'never' is a fair call. The horse should walk off better, if not the same as pre-trim, and farrier should have a hard think about what's wrong if not. In this case, if she has to be instructed by the owner, then forgets & does it again, agree, sounds like a... Deficiency there, I'm sorry to say AC. Possibly it is just in her memory or record keeping - if she's busy, she can't remember details of all clients without good record keeping.

BUT just never say never I reckon. If your *good* trimmer/farrier says they have never before had a horse walk off sore, then they're lying or ignorant or inexperienced. And if a horse has 'low grade' laminitis, or he's been left to be significantly overgrown, he could be a little tender after a trim, without it being a direct 'error' of trimming. But the farrier should be able to adjust the trim *or schedule*(owner dependent) to avoid repeat occurrences.

If owners won't come to the party, getting horse trimmed frequently enough, or they don't tell the farrier how the horse is after, then whether or not it is a trim 'error', then I don't believe it's fair to lay complete blame on the farrier. The amount of clients I've gone to, who stopped using a farrier because their horse was sore & I ask what the farrier had to say about it, only to be told 'oh the farrier didn't see cos on soft ground & I didn't tell him'...

So, sore/lame after a trim/shoes should never be just accepted or overlooked. And if a farrier says 'it just happens' or you shouldn't ride a horse for a couple of days after shoeing or such, then don't let him touch your horse again!! Unfortunately this is not uncommon - tho getting less so, as owners become better educated & those farriers find themselves with less work...

The amount of people that have taken up trimming themselves because of 'sore after a trim', or been sworn off farriers(me when I started learning, before I learned better, that it wasn't 'farriers' that were the problem, just that bad ones prevailed) because their farrier routinely made the horse 'tender'...

And HLG is right, that whether 'trimmer' or 'farrier', there are skilled & unskilled. Just because someone lables themselves a trimmer doesn't mean they're better than a farrier, or vice versa.
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