We've been doing our own for a long time. When we started, our farrier helped us and then we'd do them every other time (switching between our work and his) until we were doing them all on our own. We also read a book and watched a video. I've been MUCH happier with us doing them ourselves. Harvey (my husband) does a good job and I love being able to do them when we want. Before, we'd have missed farrier appointments or the farrier could only do so many. This way, with us doing the work, is much better for us and our horses
Thanks Jill and ConnieP, that is exactly why I want to learn to do them myself. I love my farrier but he is very busy, so appointments are very hard to get and not all the horses need to be done every appointment. So it would be great to be able to trim them whenever they need it!!!
If you know either a farrier, like others have suggested, or in my case, an old rancher/cowboy friend who knows more about horses than anyone I have evern known, taught me how about 19 years ago. I started then and have always trimmed all of mine since he came over one day and did my 7 that I started with while I watched and he told me what he was doing.
I have never been happy with others trimming them since doing them myself. I had one of mine shown a few years ago and I had to do his feet the minute he came home. I hated the angle and way they had had them done.
All I ever needed was a rasp, nippers, and a hoof knife. If I ever have a case of thrush. bleach water or thrush buster does the job.
Things are the same with me, I've had the same ferrier for years, but as his bussiness grew, it was more economical for him to attend to clients that lived close by ( I am 40-50 minutes from him). He was more than happy to show/teach me.
We have a few fairs that i use, i can think of four off the top of my head that i can call at the moment and have them out tommarow if need be. Prices range from $40/horse - $15/horse. I had my farrier show me how to trim the mares correctly, but i will not touch the show horses hooves, i let the professionals handle that.
I'm planning to this winter order the Barracuda nippers and i think when i get those i will attempt to learn how to trim the show horses (if i trust myself enough with them, i am picky about legs and do not want to mess anything up bc of a silly mistake i could make, especially on the jr horses...much rather leave that to the pro's).
I think allot of people learn from their farriers over the years.
I have a friend that has been trimming her own big horses for a while and while at her house I would just watch what she was doing. I would ask a lot of questions and she would show me anything I wanted to learn. She had some great study cases, a laminatic mare, a yearling that looked to be going club footed, and one that was just hard to get to stand still. Now all her horses have near perfect feet. She gave me confidence to do my filly when I got her home. I also got the Pete Ramey book and here soon will be ordering a DVD set. The biggest thing is to learn all you can and whenever there is an article or a new book out, get it. Follow the hoof and you will never have problems.
As for what equip you need...I have a 14in rasp(I am going to get a shorter one tho, it is hard to use on foal feet), a set of nippers from TSC and a right handed hoof knife and a narrow blade hoof knife. It is better to get good equip to start with then you won't have to keep buying more. I know myself since I have a foal I trim every 3-4 weeks a real good time consuming trim. And in between I will rasp and check the balance and angles of the hooves.
I also frequent other boards that have hoof forums and look at every thread. One board I go to has several farriers that are on it and have several people that have been studying hooves for a long time and really know their stuff. I will say that all of that has helped me be more confident and want to learn more.
Also if you have thrush it is better to use Apple Cider Vineagar than Bleach. Bleach is harsh and kills live tissue as well. It does kill the thrush but it is hard on the hoove and does damage to good tissues as well. I treat with ACV about every 3 days during non thrush times and my filly's hooves are nice and strong. When she came home she had thrush, we had a few days of rain and she likes to stand in the mud and muck. After a few treatments of the ACV it was gone. I use one of the picnic style ketchup bottles to administer it and my friend uses a regular mustard bottle. They just seem to get into the collateral grooves better and help out that much more. Good luck and have fun with trimming. I know I feel much better knowing that I am taking care of her feet and I know exactly what is going on with them.