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I am interested in becoming a farrier, focusing on barefoot work. Unfortunately in my area, being an aporentice is unlikely. As of right now, I am.reading as many books and watching as many videos as I can. I know this won't get me the experience I need, but its a start until I move in a few months.

Someone mentioned to me that there is a model I can buy online. It is a fake horse hoof that has similar textures to a real hoof. It can be trimmed with farrier tools as easily as a real hoof. From my google searches, I can't find what he was talking about.

Have any of you ever heard of that? I think it would be a great way to start. I wouldn't have to worry about harming a horse, and it is good practice until I move and can become an apprentice farrier :p
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Actually I think the hooves that are used for practise are from slaughter houses.
 

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Everything I've ever seen is from cadavers. Kind of a one time use either way....
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Yeah, I too have only seen real ones. After all, a plastic model wouldn't be worth much if you trimmed it - could only use it once anyway. You can buy freeze dried & varnished cadaver hooves & legs, sagittal sections, dissections, etc. These are great educational pieces. If you want to practice your trimming on something you can't hurt, getting forelegs from the knackers is a good idea. Wrap the leg in a plastic bag & duct tape, leaving the hoof protruding for trimming. If you're strapped for cash(freeze dried is expensive) you can also dry your own cadavers. I've done this, first & then periodically soaking them in metho, to kill bugs & help them dry, then once completely dry, you can varnish. The knackers has band saws, so they can do sagittal & other cuts too.
 

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I am interested in becoming a farrier, focusing on barefoot work. Unfortunately in my area, being an aporentice is unlikely. As of right now, I am.reading as many books and watching as many videos as I can. I know this won't get me the experience I need, but its a start until I move in a few months.

Someone mentioned to me that there is a model I can buy online. It is a fake horse hoof that has similar textures to a real hoof. It can be trimmed with farrier tools as easily as a real hoof. From my google searches, I can't find what he was talking about.

Have any of you ever heard of that? I think it would be a great way to start. I wouldn't have to worry about harming a horse, and it is good practice until I move and can become an apprentice farrier :p
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It might be easier to apprentice as it gets hotter. Especially being a helper to a farrier for nothing except learning.
 

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It might be easier to apprentice as it gets hotter. Especially being a helper to a farrier for nothing except learning.
I mean it is impossible to be an apprentice in my area. I am 120 miles from the closest town, and in my area, there is only one farrier. From what I have heard, he quit, or is only working with a select few amount of people (the majority of people in this area do not know how to properly care for a horse and refuse to learn - he is tired of dealing with it, I can't blame him there.)
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Hello,
I have several cadaver legs I froze and had a cut in half. They are all in the freezer (over a year now) and I took one out. Whenever it thaws it still smells, the smell seems to come from the digital cushion. Everything else is pretty dry. How often do you soak in metho spirits? Do you just paint it on or soak the hoof/leg in a bucket? For how long?
And every few weeks?
Do you varnish it once it doesn't smell after a few weeks? I'd like to freeze dry them but don't have access to one so am trying to preserve them the best I can. Thank you so much for any information!
 

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Hello @Jalter

I started reading, watching YouTube videos, buying DVD's, and trimming my own horse 2 1/2 years ago. I've put a lot of time and effort into learning. And I've come a long way, but I'm not there yet in terms of being willing to trim someone else's horse for hire.

If I had it to do over, and was learning with the goal of becoming a professional, I would absolutely, one way or another, on bended knee if necessary, set up some training sessions with a well known and competent farrier/trimmer. Salt Lake City?

I'd try to set it up where I could drive the 120 miles once a month for observing/training. If money was an issue, (when is it not?), I'd try to see if at least part of it could be covered by my work (at something).

The thing is, while you or I might see ourselves as helping a farrier, our questions that would obviously come up and the attention the farrier would obviously need to give to us instead of the client and the horse, would impact his work to some obvious degree.

Never-the-less, if the horses in your area need better attention, it may still possible to find a farrier that cares enough about horses to pick out a client that would not mind you being there and observing (just observing).

Good luck in your endeavor. As I'm sure you have surmised, there is just no substitute for a real live breathing horse.
 

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Cadaver feet is the best way to learn. If you mess up, the horse doesnt mind and you can disect and really learn the parts and depths etc. However when I first started out, I had nothing. But I had 6 horses of my own and I learned on them. I was lucky in that I have a good natural feel for this type of work and I learn quickly with a good feel for spacial relationships, but I did make mistakes. Luckily I never made a horse lame, (ouchie yes, lame no) and I did actually fix some problems we could not get cleared up under traditional farriery, but that is not the best way to learn. I still had issues I needed help with so I did get a couple mentors down the road which made alot of difference. Id get ahold of some cadaver feet if I could. Rendering plants and large animal removal services would be a good place to start.
 

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I have taken several hoof trimming courses, and cadaver feet were used, for the first few days, with the option then of trimming live horses, bringing a horse you owned.Actually, the first hoof trimming course I took, was not barefoot based, but rather a course offered by the local farrier lab.
We were given live feet, after three days-yes, lucky us, they were basically yearlings that knew not much about foot handling!
I would second watching as many good hoof trimming videos as possible, and then perhaps see where you could take some hoof trimming courses, where cadaver feet were used. I realize you would need to travel , but that would be a very worthwhile investment, and you would know the certification of that instructor
 
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