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Hey all, I've had horses since I was a child and always used trimmers and farriers, but I'd like to learn to do it myself. I intend to keep my horses barefoot and use trail boots as needed. Should I try to go to farrier school or ride along with a trimmer? What's the best way to learn how to trim correctly?
 

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Honestly easier to pay a farrier to trim and shoe. Then to mess with trimming feet yourself and doing hoof boots. That in my opinion are more hassle then there worth.
 

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Yes, easy' is the most important consideration to some. It is indeed *easier* on the owner to just pay some person to do the job for you. It is also *easier* to get them to fix on shoes, to 'set & forget' till next visit. At least until things go pear shaped...

But that is totally, completely missing the point of why someone may want to learn/do the job themselves. Not to mention not a relevant or helpful reply to someone who wants to learn.

One reason you might want to learn for yourself is so you understand the factors and specifics which effect hoof health, cause problems, so you can understand how best to manage & avoid problems. Another reason is so you can ensure your horses are actually trimmed well, rather than just accepting some half baked crappo job because it's the best on offer by farriers in your realm.

Anyway... I have a website/online service dedicated to educating horse owners and have always been big on education people, because I think that's about the single biggest thing that helps our horses - after all, if you don't bother to learn better, you can't know/do better. I spend a lot of time at each visit instructing my clients, and give lectures too, because regardless whether you actually want to do the job yourself, understanding the theory, the principles is so important in making rational decisions.

So hrb, be it a farrier or farrier school or a trimmer or trim school you learn from, unfortunately it depends on the specific person/school as to what/how much you may learn, as there are many different standards & also a number of different paradigms people work to. For eg. many of us learned/started trimming in the first place because we discovered the 'professionals' were doing a bad job - the world, it seems, is full of average/bad farriers/trimmers and good ones are often hard to come by. So... you need to first learn enough theory to have a clue whether the courses/people you learn from are likely to give you the knowledge you're after.

Further to that, while you can learn heaps from theory/online/courses, yes, hanging out with a (good)farrier/trimmer & trimming under firsthand supervision is indeed best if possible. And while as said, various different paradigms & standards abound, but as a rule, a (good)farrier will teach you how to shoe where a trimmer won't and a (good)trimmer tends to have better understanding of all the other factors aside from trimming which effect hoof health.
 

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First, learn how a LOT of well-trimmed feet should look. Then begin to pay attention to how OTHER feet look. Study the many posts on here. Then, make friends with a farrier, and WATCH, keeping your mouth shut. Do NOT ask a farrier if they do a good, or proper trim; of course, they will tell you they are the BEST. Only YOU can learn how to discern a well trimmed foot.
 

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I agree with the two above.

What worked for me was to start looking at pictures, read online, look at horses hooves. I did this for years!

Then watch farriers, and post pictures of your own horses feet online and have people look at them. You will start to get a sense of what to look out for.

Then it's just continuing to refine your eye for it through looking at more photos, hooves, watching trims, etc...

Eventually you may want to try it. I think using the tools has a learning curve, but I figured it out. I also like tools so that helped.
 
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