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Marsha Cassada

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My dil is a certified barefoot trimmer. She has been doing my horses for about 6 years. I've been pleased.

However, lately both horses have begun to wear the toe of the hind hoof, and I can hear them drag their hind feet on walks. In Dec, one had a stifle issue, then lately the other developed locking stifle. I asked her about this and she doesn't really give me a good answer except to say they are lazy and she gives the impression it's my fault because I have not taught them to use their hind ends correctly. I do not know if I agree with this, because they are not lazy horses.

My dil has a pinched sciatic nerve and does not think she will be able trim any more, so I tried a new farrier on Sunday.

He is a cowboy farrier, trimming horses for the jobs they do. It is a different philosophy than my dil's barefoot approach. He said my horses are dragging their toes because the toes need to be longer, encouraging them to raise their feet higher for the break over. They have gotten lazy because the toe is short.

He thinks changing the shape of the hoof will help my locked stifle horse to use her legs better. He says harness horses need to be trimmed a certain way.

He took a lot of time to point things out on the hoof to me, study the way they walked and stood. He measured.

Since basically most of us have to trust the farrier/trimmer, I am going to give his method a chance.

And btw, he uses power tools to trim. The horses there that wouldn't tolerate the power tools he did conventionally, but both of mine got the power tools. That is new to me; not sure what to think.
 

wingnut

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Based on what I've learned from this board, trimming mini's hooves toes too short is too often seen. Or leaving the heels to high. I've been lucky in that I practically stumbled across my barefoot trimmer because I was utterly clueless in those early days and had no idea what a correct hoof looked like. Any chance you have photos of your horses' hooves from a time when they had been trimmed by your DIL? And maybe a pic of what they look like now with the new farrier?

Lastly, based on the work my own farrier does, I can't see the benefit of power tools. He does excellent work and it doesn't take him very long at all. I'd be worried of a mishap, but I've had no experience working with a farrier who does use such tools so I really have little educated information to relay about it.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I don't have any close up hoof photos, but that is a good idea to take some now, when they are starting with a new farrier. They won't show much difference at this point.

I, too, was concerned about the power tools--so easy to go zzziipp! But he worked them like scuptor tools, with control and finesse.

Tipsey, who won't let me run clippers around her feet, went up in the air with the first buzz, but came down quickly and handled it all well. He was so quick, she didn't have to stand still long. He was very good with all the horses, firm and businesslike, but like a true horseman. I think Tipsey responded to his calm confidence. She'll be ready for the clippers after a couple of trims...
 

FurstPlaceMiniatures

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I work by day as a cattle hoof trimmer, and at night cut horse feet and attend college.

Power tools were god's gift to the hoof trimmer. We use them for the same reason you use them on a house - its easier!

THose special blades aren't cheap. Anyone who invests that much into a hoof trimming business, has to make at least some profit doing it. I like them because it speeds the process up - cattle for example aren't as polite as horses atre to trim! Would've loved to of had my rinder fo rpoor CLoudy's feet the first time we trimmed them. They were the shape and size, of my hand! (he's 32"!!!) He nearly threw himself over backwards for the first foot, then as we went on, got better and better. Poor guy, it must have hurt to have put more weight on those bad feet!
 

Minimor

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Without seeing the feet in question it is hard to comment on what is right or wrong. It is true that if the toe is too short it will have a negative effect on the horse's way of going. you also don't want the hind toes too rounded--they ate meant to be a bit pointed, and if you make them round the horse's break over will be unsteady. Mind you--if the toe is too long that can cause stifle issues--so there has to be that trim that is just right for the horse.
 

threeten

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I also have a farrier that uses power tools. I think he does a very good job; he trims horses here (OK) and in California. My vet has said that my driving horse's feet are some of the best she has seen, full size or mini. It just takes a while to get used to this way but I really do like the results.
 

Poodlepill

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I am by nature a do it myself gal, I just didn't want to be strapped down to a farrier (hard to find around here anyway) and the money to do my mini feet, I set out to do my own farrier work for my two mini's when I first got them. I was doing the nipper/rasp and it was just killing me but I still got it done. About 8 months ago I bought a Soft Touch grinder and a mini hoof stand and its awesome, so much faster and thus easier on ME! There really is no reason to be afraid of using a grinder and neither one of my mini's had any issue with the sound or feel of the grinder, I tie the tail hair up (that could cause an accident if a tail swoosh got too close to the grinder) and off I go, I have already recouped most of my investment back by not having to pay a farrier. Also, there are many many YouTube video's for learning to trim hooves, I studied and studied, went to farrier forums and lurked, read articles and such.
 

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