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    Re: [RC] [RC] doing you rown hoof trimming - Rob

    Trimming your own horse is actually quite simple. Trying to explain to
    someone how to do it without the use of visual aids is almost
    impossible. But I'll take a stab at it.
    First you'll need some basic farrier's tools. A hoof pick, A good sharp
    hoof knife, a pair of quality nippers, (GE or Diamond) a rasp (I prefer
    Save Edge, Bellota is my next choice)  and a rasp handle. Don't try to
    use a hoof rasp without a handle on it, it's dangerous either you or
    your horse could end up being impaled by the tang on the end of it.
    First pick the hoof clean, then using your hoofknife find the point of
    attachment of the point of the frog. (where it attaches to the sole)
    Then using your hoofknife find where the heel attaches to the frog. (You
    can cut quite a bit of exfoliating material away here without causing
    the horse to bleed. But be careful!) Trim the frog up nicely to a
    triangular wedge shaped looking thingy with smooth straight lines all
    the way to the bottom of the commissures. (The groove between the sole
    and the frog) Be sure to open the commissars at the heels as the allows
    the hoof to "Clean Itself" as the horse travels. Also reduces the chance
    of the hoof trapping pebbles and small rocks between the frog and heel
    buttress. Next pare away the exfoliating sole material at the toe of the
    hoof until you obtain a smooth shiny surface. This is live sole
    material. Normally it is a 1/16 to an 1/8 of an inch in thickness. Now
    pare away a straight line from where the point of the frog attaches to
    the sole and the live sole material at the toe. Continue this angle all
    the way around the hoof. You'll see how the sole grows in layers while
    paring, use the layers as guideline for the paring process. If your in
    doubt as to whether or not you've pared the sole too thin you can check
    by grabbing the hoof with both hands, Press firmly on the sole of the
    hoof with both thumbs as hard as you can just ahead of the point of the
    frog, If it gives under firm pressure, DON'T PARE ANY THINNER.
    If you study the bottom of the hoof after the sole has been pared to a
    uniform thickness, you'll see a line about 1/4" in from the outside edge
    of the hoofwall, it will be a yellowish color, this is the white line.
    Why it's called that is anybody's guess since it's actually yellow. You
    should be able to see it clearly all around the circumference of the
    hoof if you've done a good job paring down the sole. To leave the horse
    barefoot we will to the outside border of the whiteline. If we would be
    applying shoes to the hoof we would trim the wall to the inside border
    of the whiteline. Place your nipper blades at the toe to the outside
    border of the whiteline, Make sure they are cutting a line parallel to
    the hoof's ground surface, Both side to side and front to back. Once you
    make your cut move the nipper blades 1/2 of the blade width to the side
    of this cut, Using the previous cut as a guide for making the next.
    Continue this until you have gone around one half  of the hoof to the
    heel. Then go back to the toe and trim the other side if the hoof using
    the same technique.
    Once this is done you'll want to check the hoof balance in relationship
    to the average of the horizontal plane of which the joints in the lower
    leg open and close. The ground surface of the hoof should be parallel to
    this. This assures even weight distribution across the joints in the leg
    during the bearing phase of the horse's stride. Also make sure the toe
    length is short enough, For a barefoot horse the average I've found to
    be is a length of 3" to 3 1/4". Some of the smaller Arabians I've
    trimmed to 2 3/4" toe length. (This saves wear and tear on the deep
    flexor tendon)
    To rasp the hoof level, While looking at the bottom, divide the hoof
    into four sections. (As if cutting a pie into four pieces) Remove the
    high spots from one of the front quarters, then the other front quarter,
    then one of the heel quarters, (Being extra careful not to undercut the
    heel) Then finally the other heel quarter. When this is done place the
    horses hoof on your knee and thin the hoofwall at the toe to 1/2 of it's
    normal thickness. (This is done because a barefoot horse traveling 25 to
    50 miles a day between food and water as wild mustangs do daily, through
    varied terrain and soil conditions would have this occur from normal
    wear) Once this is done round the edge of the hoof to a nice circular
    radius, this will help prevent any unwanted chipping.
    Congratulations! You've just successfully trimmed one of your horses
    hooves, Only three more to go. If response is great enough I guess I can
    put together a video for those of you who want to trim your own horses.
    It might sound complicated but it's really not. If it was I wouldn't be
    able to do it as successfully as I've been able to. Also if your
    anything like myself if there's no pictures I don't have a clue as to
    what all those words just said.
    Rob Kalb
    Rob's Equine Hoof Care
    Phelan CA
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