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Miniature Hoof care for newbies ( Long)

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This should have been added:

http://www.indigocreek.com/kfme/main_hoof_care.htm

 

* A miniature's hoof is much different in care and repair than a full sized horse - We are experienced Miniature Hoof Care Specialists and understand the differences and unique care that a miniature horse requires and that most full sized horse Ferriers do not specialize in.

 

The hoof is quite different from a human foot or a dog’s paw. A hoof has unique parts and features that require special care. If you looked at the bottom of the hoof, you would see the outer layer of the hoof that is called the hoof wall. This is also the part of the hoof that is visible when the horse is standing with feet on the ground. This hard surface is what braves the elements and is somewhat like a fingernail. Just inside the wall is the white line. And the sole of the foot is the area between the white line and the triangle shaped anti-slipping device known as the frog that is in the center of the foot.

 

The hoof is a structure made up of bone, cartilage, joint surfaces, and sensitive and insensitive laminae which act like double-sided sticky tape to hold the hoof together. The frog of the hoof, a traction device as well as a cushion, is the heart of the foot. It is the triangular, spongy tissue located in the center of the hoof which leads back to the heel in a widening "V." Debris, be it gravel, glass, nails, or any other foreign object, can lodge along the sides of the frog and can work up into an "unseen" portion of the hoof, between the frog and the hoof sole, causing hoof bruising and/or lameness.

 

Hoof Cleaning & Care

Pick up the hoof by standing next to the horse facing the tail, run your hand down the leg gently squeezing the leg just above the fetlock (looks like an ankle) and lean into the horse to gently shift his or her weight to the other legs. Most horses will lift their feet as soon as your hand nears the hoof. Use your hoof pick to firmly dig out wet mud, manure and any stones present by pushing the pick from the wide part of the frog toward the toe. Never pick in the opposite direction as you might inadvertently push a rock or stone further into the hoof causing injury. Be very careful to place the hoof back on the ground when you are done. Dropping the hoof on the ground could result in a chip. When lifting the rear feet use the same method being careful not to pull the leg out to the side. It is also generally safer if you hold the rear hoof a little (6-12 inches) farther behind the horse. That makes the horse both more comfortable and less likely to kick.

 

If your horse is healthy, there is no need for special creams or treatments on a daily basis. Avoid washing the hooves often with water as that can dry them out. It’s also important that the horse is in a clean dry stall and dry pasture. Wet areas breed bacteria that will result in a disease known as thrush. You will know if your horse has thrush because of the offensive smell coming from the hoof. The frog may also appear dark and overly soft. There are a number of products on the market to treat thrush as well as many home remedies. We can assist in determining what is best for your horse.

 

A balanced diet is important to the healthy hoof. Too much lush grass in the spring or too much grain with little work can result in laminitis (also known as founder), which is a swelling and fever in the feet. Younger horses are particularly susceptible to laminitis and should receive limited amounts of grain for that reason. Consult your veterinarian to see if your horse is at risk.

 

 

How often should you have your horses hooves trimmed? There is no easy answer. The younger your horse, the faster his hooves grow. The level of nutrition your animal is on affects his hoof growth. The amount of exercise your horse gets probably has the biggest affect on hoof growth.

 

The amount of hoof growth versus hoof wear determines how often trimming is needed. As a rule of thumb about every 8 weeks usually is correct. There are other guidelines one can use.

 

Conditions that indicate trimming is necessary:

 

1. The horse stumbles due to excessive toe length.

2. The hoof wall is cracking.

3. The hoof wall is jagged or irregular. This can also be due to hoof angle changes due to excess wear on either side of the hoof wall.

4. When ground conditions change and a trim is necessary for top performance.

 

Emergency Care

If your horse exhibits lameness. that is the time for emergency hoof care. Lameness as defined by the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) is any alteration of the horse's gait. To be able to determine just how lame your horse is, you need to scale it in a manner that us and the veterinarian are both familiar with. The AAEP has a lameness scale, which is currently the standard being used. The AAEP guidelines are:

 

* 0: Lameness not perceptible under any circumstances.

* 1: Lameness is difficult to observe and is not consistently apparent, regardless of circumstances (e.g., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surfaces, etc.).

* 2: Lameness is difficult to observe at a walk or when trotting in a straight line but consistently apparent under certain circumstances (e.g., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surfaces, etc.).

* 3: Lameness is consistently observable at a trot under all circumstances.

* 4: Lameness is obvious at a walk.

* 5: Lameness produces minimal weight bearing in motion and/or at rest or a complete inability to move.

 

Also, it is important to know which leg your horse is lame in. When a horse is noticeably lame, his head will bob down on the sound leg. This works really well for front end lameness.

 

Now that you can grade lameness and can tell which leg is lame , you are ready to act. Remember that you, along with us, and your veterinarian are a team when it comes to your horse's hoof health.

 

If your horse suddenly shows up lame, what should you do? Do NOT wait 2, 3, or more days to see if he gets better. The first thing to do is make a quick physical exam. Check your horse for cuts, bruises, and abrasions. Then check the hooves; clean the bottom or sole of the hooves thoroughly. Look for rocks, nails, glass, or any other foreign object that could cause damage. If nothing is found, feel the coronary band for heat. Heat here would indicate a possible abscess. If you still don't find anything, wash the sole of the hoof and check for small puncture wounds.

 

You should call your farrier or vet.

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I'm confused by your quote "* A miniature's hoof is much different in care and repair than a full sized horse - We are experienced Miniature Hoof Care Specialists and understand the differences and unique care that a miniature horse requires and that most full sized horse Ferriers do not specialize in." You didn't say anything about the so called differences and unique care that a minature horse requires that is different than a full sized horse. I've been trimming my minis and big horses for years and the trimming is pretty much the same. I will say I trim every 6-8 weeks to keep them standing flat and square for show. Minis tend to toe out when their hooves get longer or the heels get too long.

 

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I'm confused by your quote "* A miniature's hoof is much different in care and repair than a full sized horse - We are experienced Miniature Hoof Care Specialists and understand the differences and unique care that a miniature horse requires and that most full sized horse Ferriers do not specialize in." You didn't say anything about the so called differences and unique care that a minature horse requires that is different than a full sized horse. I've been trimming my minis and big horses for years and the trimming is pretty much the same. I will say I trim every 6-8 weeks to keep them standing flat and square for show. Minis tend to toe out when their hooves get longer or the heels get too long.

 

this is the site I found this, sorry meant to put this also up..

http://www.indigocreek.com/kfme/main_hoof_care.htm

thanks for sharing would like to know more.

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I think it's good, clear and concise, easy to understand, and is helpful for new people :yeah

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To do a mini foot is opposite of doing a full size

When I switch between full and mini i have to switch mind sets

that is what i do anyway

it is so different

i get calls from full size farriers wondering about shoeing them

i try to politely tell them that you cant

i feel sorry for some of the minis that these guys touch

i try to help when i can

 

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I'm not a farrier, however, Harvey and I have been trimming our own miniature's feet for years now. Our farrier helped get us started, we read books, and watched a video.

 

Maybe I'm just dense, but how is a miniature horse's hoof so totally different than a full size horse's hoof? As an owner of both big and mini horses, I feel the hooves are the same honestly except the size. They require the same care, and from my novice perspective, the same level of trimming.

 

Also, I do NOT think trimming miniature's feet is something a newbie should set out to do. It takes a lot of watching and learning before trying it for yourself. Our farrier worked with us to get us ready to do it on our own.

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The hoof appearance is not different, obviously, but the manner of trimming the hoof is different, at least in our case it is..

 

The heel of my miniatures is taken down more than the full sized hoof trim.

 

Also, I notice that the issues with my miniature horse's hoof are different than issues I have had with the full sized horse.

 

I am guessing it is due to weight bearing and strength of the full sized horse that causes more cracking, bruising etc. than ever happens with my little guys.

 

The article is informative and helpful and provides good advice for those who are contemplating learning to do their own farrier work.

 

We have had the little horses since 1991 and have been trimming our own for about 6 years, due to the unavailability of the farrier when needed.

 

We watched various farriers for 10 to 12 years and attended clinics and vet seminars to try to better understand the procedure.

 

No hoof...no horse.

 

 

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Do not want newbies doing their own trimming.

Sorry for the confusion :wacko

 

Funny how I see one thing on this topic and others point out something else :wink

Interesting

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Guest krissy3

my ferrier is a nightmare ...but he is the only one in this canton , so I have no choice but to continue using him. he uses a hoof knife and a mallot and hammers down cutting off about 1/2 inch at a time . :shocked this last time I got him to at least hold the back hoof behind the horse and not out to the side and 12 inches high ....holding the horses foot low and to the back instead of the side helped a lot .. Next time I am in California I will pay my excellent old ferrier to show me how to do my own. I hate ferriers that treat and man handle minis, because they are too lazy to take the time or bend down :No-Sad

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Trimming a Miniature's hoof is EXACTLY the same as trimming a full size horse's hoof. They are exactly alike in composition and build. There is no difference in trimming their feet as compared to a full size horse's foot - you trim to arrive at a balanced, level foot whose angle matches that of the pastern. Their heels shouldn't be trimmed any shorter than necessary just as with a full size horse.

 

Where Miniature horses differ is that they need more frequent trimmings as a foal than an average full size horse foal. They don't have the weight to spread their foot to keep the frog in contact with the ground and if not kept trimmed their foot will become deformed which can lead to their legs becoming deformed. I find that a good deal of the really tiny 30" and unders are in the same boat for their entire life.

 

Actually Hahler, you can shoe a Mini. There are glue on shoes for those that don't have thick enough horn to put a nail in and quite a few of the B size Minis can easily take a slim nail and a shoe. Most of them have such tough little feet they don't need shoes though - their feet aren't taking the pounding that a 1000 pound horse gives theirs.

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