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  • - Jennifer Billings

    Re: [RC] doing you rown hoof trimming - DESERTRYDR1

    Do you watch your farrier every time he comes out to trim your horse?  Are 
    you familiar with the tools he uses, the order he uses them in, and how he 
    looks at the foot at different times during the trimming process?  Do you 
    know how long your horses' feet should be, and what angles are correct for 
    them?  I do a little trimming and rasping on my own, I have a set of nippers 
    and a rasp, and a hoof knife.  I have been watching my farrier for about four 
    years--I mean  head down under the horse, watching every move and asking all 
    sorts of questions every time about what's normal, what does "that" mean, 
    etc.  (I have to stand with my mare for my farrier because she can be a brat) 
     I have a good eye for balance as far as looking at the foot and deciding 
    that the two heels are equal lengths, and that the foot lands level.  And I 
    am more apt to quit a bit long than keep trying to even the foot up and 
    getting too short.  I know all the structures of the foot, and also how thick 
    my girl's soles are.
    It can be very easy to lame your horse up for quite a while, even 
    permanently, if you don't know what your doing.  You can slip and cut into 
    sensitive structures or get too short.  One thing that's pretty safe is to 
    nip the excess hoof wall, then rasp the foot a little just to even the edges 
    up.  Don't take off any sole.  If you do that, you probably won't get too 
    short.  Another thing is that if your horse has any crookedness in his legs, 
    it can be tricky to trim and not change the angles.  If you change from what 
    he's used to, he'll get sore.
    As Howard says, doing your own horse's feet is really hard work.  If you are 
    WELL AGED like me (50) or have a bad back, standing under a horse for the 
    hour that it will take you to do it the first few times will be more than you 
    want to do.  I occasionally do a little trimming, mostly rasping, when my 
    horse is barefoot.  But I have a really good farrier and I would really 
    rather let him do it.   jeri
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