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Trimming your own horses' feet


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#1 Kaitlyn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:40 PM

I've noticed that a great many of you seem to do your own hoof trimming. Why is this? In the big horse world, at least where I am from, this is not heard of- professional farriers are the only ones who trim feet. After spending over a decade around the horse world, I have only come across one person who trimmed their own horses' feet.

If you are one of the ones who trim their own horses' hooves, how did you learn?

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#2 chandab

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

Over the years, I have always watched my farrier trim my horses hooves, trying to learn all I could just to have the knowledge. Never really wanted to trim them myself, but had the tools for touch-ups and mishaps (such as pulled shoes, just in case). then, I moved to an area with bad horseshoers and no horseshoers, so started trimming out of necessity. Then I got the minis, and had a really hard time finding someone who would even work on minis. I did finally find a farrier that is worth his weight in gold, which is a heck of a lot; and so he trims the three saddle horses (I have a hard time getting the nippers through their hooves, but can do them in a pinch), the minis with issues and the others as necessary to keep them balanced (I trim the "normal" minis myself most of time, also trim a couple "normal" minis that have issues with strangers to reduce stress).
I know there are good books out there on trimming horses in general and even a few on trimming minis. I have a VHS on trimming minis, but I haven't even watched it, yet; I planned to eventually.

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#3 muffntuf

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:15 PM

Learned from my farrier.
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#4 Minimor

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:16 PM

How did I learn to trim feet? I learned on my big horses, and I learned from a good farrier that we had many years ago. I also learned from a vet who worked on a badly foundered gelding that we got years ago--we took him in for x-rays and the vet explained to the farrier how to trim (farrier at that time had never worked on a badly foundered horse before). I learned a lot from that situation.

Why did I start trimming feet on my horses? Because our good farrier quit and the farriers who we tried after him were nothing short of hopeless. In one case the fellow trimmed 8 horses and the next day I had to fix 5 or 6 of them--it would have been all 8 but the others were trimmed so short I couldn't do anything for them until their feet grew out a little. One mare was trimmed so crooked she couldn't walk 3 steps without tripping--once I straightened up her feet she walked without any problem at all. All of them were trimmed crooked--one heel long, one heel short....one quarter short, one quarter long...so each & every hoof went long heel, short quarter, long quarter, short heel. I was more than a little disgusted and decided there was no point in my paying out that kind of money for that kind of work and then have to fix it up myself when I could save the money & just trim everyone myself in the first place.

Now I trim all of our own horses plus a few outside horses. I've turned away other people that have asked me to trim for them, because I just don't have a lot of time to spare. I also limit my services to Minis; I've had several big horse people almost beg me to go & trim for them but I refuse--big horses are just too much work & my back really isn't up to it.
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#5 islandminis

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:29 PM

I learned to trim through instruction from a very good barefoot professional, but even then always brought in my trusted farrier at least twice a year to make sure I was trimming correctly - with doing minis I am following the same track. They are just a bit different from doing the big guys.

#6 MindyLee

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:28 PM

I do it to save $$$ and for it to be done correctly...
I do it for others because it saves them $$$ and its done correctly...
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#7 TyeeRanch

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

I started doing my own broodmares and such to save $. I have learned from two different farriers that we have had that were very, very good. However, after moving to an area that is very focused on working cattle/ranch/barrel racing horses, I have had a hard time finding a farrier that will take my minis seriously. Especially one that will work with a driving hoof or one that needs some correction. I have always touched mine up between trims and feel that unless a horse has some major corrective needs, I can do just as good as the farrier.
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#8 Jean A

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:49 AM

I have to say, that after my favorite farrier retired, and trying numerous younger fellas, we are thinking of taking trimming on as well. I just had 2 mini donkeys trimmed, and one was left with one front toe so long, he can't walk right. I know they are short, and a bit of a pain, but goodness me! I'll let him try to fix the problem, and move on..or trim myself. Wish I wasn't over 50, and arthritic. It will be a long learning curve for all of us.

The new horses will need attention, but will at least be a bit more cooperative. I hope...

#9 Leeana

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:48 AM

My farrier comes from PA to trim all of our horses every other month, and is normally at the shows we attend and touches up at the shows on the show horses. I've been watching him trim for the last three years and can do a close enough job when I have to. But with him coming on a regular schedule, normally there is not much for me to do, unless I have one that is really long when it comes in and it needs work / taken down more often then he can come out. He is really good about putting a show foot on my show horses and really looking at the horse and watching it move and listening to me and what I want.

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#10 Riverrose28

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:32 AM

I don't have the strength in my hands any more to trim hooves, but hubby still trims them. He worked as an apprentise for a farrier and then as his assistant for a year working mostly on arabs. Sometimes when he is sick I have to have a farrier come out and I use a guy that lives in the next state, as he is the only one that will trim my minis the way I like.

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