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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I was wondering is it worth getting a kit and DVD on how to do barefoot trimming?

My horse doesn't wear shoes because I don't ride her on the road and she has really solid feet. I'm also getting a colt next month and he won't need shoes for atleast another year and a half, if at all. (by the way my own farrier said I don't need shoes for my mare, so I know I'm not causing her damage, because it was his advice, not somehting I decided by myself)

The thing is, it costs nearly as much to have their feet trimmed as it does to have them shod.

Does anybody else do their own horses feet? If so who's methods and kit did you use? Was it easy to pick up? And would you recommend it to others?
 

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Don't use a kit. There is too much to shoeing and trimming to be able to learn it from a kit or DVD. Find someone to show you how to do it and use the other media to enhance what you have been taught. Find someone doing a clinic or work with a farrier for a while.
 

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I agree. It is too easy to trim poorly and start a series of events that will affect the horse for a good while. Some farriers will let you watch them and will give simple instruction.
 

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I know I'm looking into doing some simple ferrier stuff when I buy my horse in the srpring. I already got some instruction from a ferrier. My intent is to keep up with them myself and do the rasping, then getting a ferrier out a couple of times a year. I certainly don't want to do anything corrective on my own though, but a simple rasping and upkeep should help save a couple bucks.
 

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I trim myself and I love being able to do it! It's very rewarding, but also can be hard on the body. I had a certified barefoot trimmer teach me....but if you want to start learning, get visuals and get familiar with terminology, I'd suggest getting Pete Ramey's DVD series.
 

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I've been trimming our mares for 5+ years after our old farrier convinced me that I could do it myself. Books and DVDs are fine, but nothing replaces seeing it being done by a professional, being able to ask questions, and having one check your work and give you tips while you're learning. Around here, the farriers seem more than happy to help you learn.
It's not hard, but it is work and will make your back sore until you get used to it.
I like doing it because you learn a lot about how your horse's hooves grow and wear, and I can trim them each mare on their own schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Like Alicia said, I'd just like to keep up on Rasping Etc, just to save a few £'s per year in the long run. Do you think renting a DVD first would be worth it, just to see if I understand. You see, I've had a look around and I can't find any open days or anything near me, and my farrier, good as he is, is very set in his ways, and keeps his profession to himself (to be honest I don't think he wants to lose business, which is understandable)
 

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You can utube it as well, that's where I started and got some ideas about structure of the hoof wall and such, just to be more educated. There's a lot of 'fluff' on there but you can sift through it all and learn at least a little more than you did a day before.
 

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Like Alicia said, I'd just like to keep up on Rasping Etc, just to save a few £'s per year in the long run. Do you think renting a DVD first would be worth it, just to see if I understand.
I know the farriers and trimmers out there will disagree, but yes, I believe you can. Assuming your horse has no special needs or conditions, you can easily learn the basics from books and/or DVDs, and if you keep up with it using just a rasp every few weeks, you'll never need nippers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, i never even thought of Youtube, great idea! I don't expect to be professional over night, but I think it's such an expense, especially when I never do anything to damage my horse's feet. And she's got fantastic, hard, and naturally well shaped feet. So I'm still deffinitely considering it.
 

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I trim my own horses - I used to have a clientele, but quit since I found I hardly had time for my own critters!

Its really not hard to learn - Pete Ramey's DVD set is good, but not the ONLY answer either - I understand your problem, we don't have a lot of barefoot trimmers around here either - if that's the route you want to go. Keep in mind there is a difference between a high performance "natural" trim and a farrier's "not shod" trim.

Keep looking around, try youtube and even search groups if you are on facebook or yahoo, there are quite a few support forums that can help put you in contact with someone in your area, or who can help you out by providing support with critiques on your pictures, etc - hooray for digital images!

I learned from a trimmer who is not certified, but had years of experience - in my mind, a peice of paper doesn't make a difference, but make sure that the person you learn from at least has lots of experience and most importantly - sound horses!

Good luck!! I think you'll find learning to trim to be a rewarding experience for you and your horses.
 

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My boy, Sunny, is also barefoot. In fact, I don't think he ever had shoes...(he was a rescue, so his past is somewhat blurry) Anyway, he has really beautiful feet, hard and solid, so I leave him that way (not to mention my farrier refuses to ever shoe him, saying this type of foot is rare, and he will not "mess with perfection"!) I only have to have the farrier out two or three times a year to trim and file Sun's feet, at $35 a pop, that's not bad. I have seen what happens to a horse when his feet are trimmed wrong, and it can actually cause major damage to hoof and spine, legs, etc. Not worth trying it yourself, IMO...besides, the dogs love it when Jim comes out! Nommas for everyone!
 

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Couldn't open your link for some reason...

Myself, I like to use Save Edge Rasps, Hall drop blade hoof knives, and I have a pair of GE Nippers, but really, if you are a regular trimmer (which is the best way to be! Little and often trimming yeilds the best results) you shouldn't actually need to get any nippers at all. A hoof stand is nice too - I actually love these www.hoofjack.com but they are expensive - I use a regular hoof stand that my dad actually made me, modelled after the Hoof Jack but not quite so refined :p

There are lots of sites out there to help you out, but keep in mind too that there is a big difference between "barefoot or Natural" trimming and a farrier's trim - the regular farrier (and I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule) does not trim the same way as a natural trimmer does, they are quite opposite.

Some of my favourite sites are www.easycareinc.com these guys sell the best hoof boots in my opinion, and they have lots of barefoot info and links.

www.ironfreehoof.com is a good one too, lots of information and photos

The lifestyle of the horse is also crutial to your barefoot success - I do firmly believe that every horse can go barefoot, but not every owner can. You'll find lots on that as you read up too :) Best thing i did was put down lots of gravel around my horse's sheds, so that they can condition thier own feet to the terrain I ride on (quite rocky!)

I think it certainly is worth you purchasing the DVD - start just with the rasp, and if you are nervous about using the knife, I learned to cut properly on a potatoe - its got a similar consistency to dead sole and frog materials. Helps as you practice to make sure you are cutting straight and not "scooping" creating divets in your horse's hooves.

Lots of opinions out there - be prepared to have an open mind, but also to defend your reasonings. One of the worst things about my transition to barefoot was having so many people tell me "You can't" and trying to make me feel as if MY choice to look after MY horses was not correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Haha just realised I left the http:// thing in, so it had 2 lots in the first link, as you can probably tell, I'm not always the brightest bead on the bracelet!

Ooh, about the hoof stand, it looks really useful,both my Dad and my Step-dad are handy men, so I'm sure I'll be able to get one of them to make one for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
By the way, I don't think I will use nippers, not just yet anyway. There is too much that can go wrong. But I'm still seriously considering rasping and doing the frogs. Also, just wanted to know, do you have to trim the actual sole of the foot, not just the frog? Sorry, I know I probably sound silly, but on some places I look it only talks about doind the frogs, but in others, it says about doing the actual soles too :/
 

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Also, just wanted to know, do you have to trim the actual sole of the foot, not just the frog? Sorry, I know I probably sound silly, but on some places I look it only talks about doind the frogs, but in others, it says about doing the actual soles too :/
Trimming the sole or frog is mainly done to clean up potential bateria/fungus areas. I rarely use a hoof knife on our mares and I suggest avoiding trimming sole at all. Trimming too much sole and making your horse sore is a common complaint that barefoot owners have about many farriers.
 

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The best way to learn is to study and watch. Study books, online, video, etc. on hoof structure and how a healthy hoof is suppose to look. This gives you a solid basis of what the finished hoof should look like. Then you can study a bit into HOW to make the hoof look like what it should a.k.a. healthy. lol then the best thing you can do is pay close attention to what your farrier does...even if he isnt open to teaching you just watch very closely and you can learn alot.

My horse gets trimmed for free because I work with the guy who does them...I exchange random odd jobs whenever he needs them done for him trimming lol BUT I do rasp and keep up with my boys feet between trims...so all jason has to do when he comes is make sure his feet are balanced an such...plus he is the one who has been doing the corrective work on my boys flares (all are gone except for a bit on one of his hind feet...yay!)

So yes...you can learn how to rasp and keep up with your horses feet but leave corrective work to the pro's lol I believe the most important thing is to make sure you know proper healthy hoof structure and how far to rasp the hoof off...this will prevent you from doing to much and messing up your horses feet...

Good luck to you!
 
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