Trimming Hoofs - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-08-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Arkansas
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Trimming Hoofs

Not that I would want to do this myself, but how hard do you all think it would be to trim ones own horses feet. I do know that there is a lot to know and learn when it comes to trimming feet properly, but maybe like in between use the nippers and a rasp to give them a quick trim. I might try talking my son into doing this,haha.
Please give me your opinion and I hope this is in the right category

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-08-2009, 06:08 PM
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Our farrier was off for a few months having a baby. We attempted to do it ourselves for awhile. She helped us giving us tips and pointers on how to do it correctly.....We ended up calling someone to do a trim after a few times trying it ourselves I think if you are young, agile and have a good back, its doable. If your old and crotchety like us, its just too painful

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-08-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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yes, vidalco that's my thought exactly, I know that I could not do it,neither my husband--bad back. Thanks for the input

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-08-2009, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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There is a LOT to learn. As a teen, our family got into it rather naively, but in the end we learned a lot. Now I maintain my own horses feet. Partly because I have had difficulty with farriers in this area and partly because of my own life schedule and a little bit because of cost. Though truthfully, between books, equipment, and clinics I doubt I save anything at all. Over the long run, probably, but not in the last couple of years.

If your son has an interest in doing this, he needs to learn a lot and definitely needs hands on training. At least one clinic even for in between touchups.

It also depends how many horses you have. I have only two. That's easily do-able for me. My friend has 10. No way are we doing all those feet regularly!
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-08-2009, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Really hurts your back in the beginning. lol I've learned the barefoot trim, and I remember my first time trimming on a small pony and I went from foot to foot without standing up straight because it hurt too bad. :) I was taught you stand up straight for as long as you bend over. Over time my back got stronger, so it's okay now but in the beginning it was tough!
You really need to be educated on how exactly the hoof works, inside and out. How the hoof pertains to the conformation of the horse. It isn't just about how to use the rasp and nippers. :)You'd be amazed at one small correction can really change the movement in a horse.
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and Pete Ramey:

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.

Last edited by koomy56; 05-08-2009 at 09:55 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-09-2009, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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It's not hard to just hard WORK

Years ago, our old English farrier (who was 75 years old and still working), convinced me that I could do it myself. After some practice, advice, and a few visits to check my work, I've been doing our mares for years.

The more you ride, the less work you have, and I only need to use a rasp to keep them trim, mainly cleaning up uneven wear and keeping the toe short and rolled over.

I'm 54 yrs old (and tall), and you do feel it in your back and arms, so I usually only do one mare a weekend and have a big bottle of ibuprofen nearby. I've found that doing it this way (each mare every 3 weeks) keeps them nice and trim and easy to do with only a rasp. It's more work in the summer when their hooves are growing more, less work in the winter.

Not only does it save $$s, but you learn a lot about how each horse wears their hoofs, and they become very used to having their feet handled...I can go out and trim them without even having to tie them.

They're all different, but my experience has been that (with riding), most wear their heels pretty much naturally, and you usually just need to keep the toes short and rolled over. (One of our mares, though, does have very tough hooves and will get long in the heel..she requires the most effort)

My biggest learning challange was being shy about trimming the toe too much (or ruining their feet), and I would tend to leave them a little long. I think this goes along with comments about understanding the angles...the hoof looks a lot different when you're looking at the bottom with a rasp in your hand than it does when you see the horse standing, but one advantage of doing it yourself is that you can always go back the next day or week and trim them a little more until you get the feel for the right amount. Also, I rarely use a hoof knife unless I want to clean up the sole more since they will wear fine by themselves and really toughen up...I've found that many farriers take too much off the sole leaving them ouchy.

Others have posted good references to review in addition to getting advice from your trimmer/farrier. Keep in mind that each trimmer/farrier has their own thoughts and style, and just like training, there is probably no one right way.

Good luck, it's well worth it, and on a hot summer day, you're really appreciate the amount of work a farrier/trimmer does to make a living.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-13-2009, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Our trainer/BO does the horses' feet. He's been showing us. I could do it IF I had the strength and energy.
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