trimming horses feet

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I haven't seen any videos out, but there are plenty of good books. I learned from the book "Well Shod" by Don Baskins and various Internet websites. Trimming is easier than you think, once you get the hang of it. I would cruise the Internet and then just jump in there and do it. The first horse I did took me almost an hour, but now each one takes 15-20 minutes. The convience factor and saving money and headaches of the farrier not coming on time makes it worth while.
I would be careful if trying this for the first time. You have to understand form to function, also balance. It's not easy to trim or everone would be doing it.I have seen horses ruined for life because someone had no Idea what they were doing.Look up Clinton Anderson Downunderhorsemanship.He has a tape teaching how to trim and some of the basic info everone needs to know in owning horses.I trimed my horse from a very early age because I would sit under the horse and wach the masters trim,they would explain everthing they were doing. I then developed a way that is taught now!
Good Luck.
There are schools that teach it. My dad taught me years ago. I used to do my own but my old back can't take it anymore being bent over like you need to be so I just have regular appointments and let someone else do it.
Great way to screw up a good horse is to trim it yourself from a book or video. You can bow tendions or lame a horse real fast.

I feel like I need to clarify my first reply. I don't advocate for a person to just get up in the morning and go out and try to trim their horses feet. I spent a long time researching, reading, and talking to farriers about trimming before I trimmed my first horse. A person needs to understand balance, where the break over point should be, and how to correct toe in, toe out, and uneven hoof wear before attempting to trim. However, on the other hand don't be afraid to learn how to do it and you will only get better. Start slow.
regenwether":3sx8sc0p said:
Does anyone know of a video out there on trimming horse's hooves??

Take the course or hire someone.

In the end it will save you money.


Edit - seems the author of this thread has disappeared.

I have seen a video - from the library - called - Shoes and Trimming

It was about 20 years old and did all the right stuff - except tell you that it is not as easy as it looks.

I learned how to shoe horses on my own. And i know of a few other people who did also. When i learned to shoe my wife at the time had 6 barrel horses that she competed on and i had two trail horses.

When my wife moved here she did not trust or know of any farriers and the farrier that use to shoe her horses lived about 75 miles away. So she had to find a new one. I had a couple of different farriers that i would use to shoe my horses. I was not as picky as my wife was about farriers.

One of the farriers i used was a old cowboy who could nail shoes on anything. Before he would ever start breaking a horse out he would nail a set of shoes on it. And alot of the horses he shod were unbroke stud horses. But he done mostly what alot of people refer to as cowboy shoeing. And that is to file a flat spot on the bottom of the hoof, nail a shoe on and rasp the hoof back to the shoe.

My wife would not have not part of that with her high dollar barrel horses. So my other farrier that i used was a woman farrier who had taught herself how to shoe horses. She weighs about 135 lbs and she is as good of a horse farrier as you will ever meet. That is all she does for a living, shoe horses. So when she would come over to shoe my wifes horses i watched and ask questions. Then i bought a tape called balanced shoeing. I can not remember the guys name who put the tape out but i still have the tape. After a while i bought my horse shoeing tools and started shoeing my trail horses. Then my wife generiously intrusted me to shoe one of her barrel horses. And before i knew it. I was shoeing a dang horse everytime i turned arround.

I finally told my wife i did not have the time to shoe horses and do everything i had to do. So she wanted me to teach her how to shoe horses. Which she does now. And get this she enjoys shoeing thoes danged horses as much as most women enjoy fileing their finger nails.
Stepper has it exactly right. The main reason I started doing my own farrier work because I never could get our farrier to come out whether we had an appointment or not. Then one day when he was there he got mad at a yearling filly and he jabbed her in her side with the handle of his nippers. After a heated discussion I informed him he wasn't going to be coming back. I don't think he believed me because he had been doing my wife's farrier work long before I came around. Well he wasn't back. The next time we needed hoof work done we got a hold of the farrier our breeder uses and he came over. Ended up selling a QH pleasure mare out of the deal too! I will trim without second thoughts, but I haven't really learned how to shoe and I plan on going to a farrier school for that.
I agree NOT everyone should try to trim a horse.I have seen more than my share of BAD pros. I have seen alot of horses ruined because people have tried to do the work for them selves.
If you don't know what you are doing then Then learn from a PRO you can trust.Ask around at boarding stables the fancy ones will only hire the best! :)
Shoeing isnt rocket science. This summer I started shoeing my own. My good farrier retired. What I did was I paid him for lessons. I know one thing. Its HARD WORK! $100 isnt enough for me to shoe somebody elses horse.
If any of you are thinking about shoeing your own here is one little bit of advice. Dont buy cheap china junk tools. Stuff is hateful to use and doesnt last. I cheaped out at first and then I just ended up buying/ replaceing it all with much better/much more expensive North American made equipement.
It does cost quite a bit to get set up for shoeing but your sure going to save that money pretty quick compared to hiring somebody else to do it. Plus its not really about the cost. Around here its hard to get a good farrier. Spring and winter you can but in the summer you really cant. Plus a lot of farriers are just to rough around the horses for me to use them.
Also I use a cradle. Mine is homemade but it works great and really saves your back if your doing colts.
I wasn't prepared for how hard it really is to trim. Watching an experienced pro they make it look so easy. There is no way I could do all 9 of mine right in a row. I try to have the horses trimming schedules varied so only three or so come up to get worked at once. Then a week later do another three and then a week after that do the last three. I've thought about going to a farrier school and doing it full time because the demand is there, but I don't know. Yeah, buy the good equipment if you can the difference is amazing.
When I get tired I get sloppy. They all dont have to be done at once.
Even with only doing one foot per day you will eventually get them all done.
Man thats hard on the back! Seems to go easier on colts if I just do one foot per day. Example the colt might stand good to get one foot done but that same colt wont stand for much longer than that.
Sure would go easier sometimes if you have someone to hold the horse.
I have one colt that will stand great if someone is holding her. But when I go to shoe her by myself its a lot different.
Have her tied short and high but she still jumps and almost throws herself.
Its when I go to pound in the nails that she freaks out.
Been trying to prepare her by taping on her hooves everyday.
She has always been good with her feet. Its just when I go to pound in the nails. Dont know what else to do to prepare her except try to get somebody to hold her the next time I go to shoe her but thats not really possible.
Apparently my 5YO son learned a bunch of new curse words Saturday when I was outside shoeing. Apparently he and his mother where outside and could hear me.
Boy $100 is a good deal if you can get somebody else to shoe your horse!
Next time I go to shoe that filly im going to make sure she is good and tired first.
Shoeing and trimming doesn't really bother my back, yet, but it is a big strain on my legs. Maybe instead of squatting so much maybe I should try standing up next time I have to work a horse. I know a lot of peole whose farrier comes from out of state to stay a week and trim a whole bunch of horses. Have you ever heard of "cowboy shoeing". In a nutshell, nail on the shoe and file the hoof to match. Guess the cowboys of the west used to do it often. Kind of interesting how things progress. Oh, and when you use your nippers for the first time, it may seem awkward, but you will get used to them! :lol:
ArrowHBrand":37eczmh5 said:
Shoeing and trimming doesn't really bother my back, yet, but it is a big strain on my legs. Have you ever heard of "cowboy shoeing". In a nutshell, nail on the shoe and file the hoof to match. Guess the cowboys of the west used to do it often. Kind of interesting how things progress. Oh, and when you use your nippers for the first time, it may seem awkward, but you will get used to them! :lol:

Well im kind of tall and long in the back so my conformation doesnt help. Plus I could be set up better. Example shapeing shoes on my stall jack, well I should have it set up higher so im not bent over. Plus a lot of its feel. Example shapeing the shoe. Takes me way longer to do it than my good old experienced farrier could do it. Plus I had both knees broke twice so I cant use my legs like I should so I have to bend my back more to compensate.
"Cowboy Shoeing" sounds like a myth to me. Nail holes would be in the wrong spot. Shoe would never stay on. Example look at how fast sliders will pull off unless the horse is kept by itself.
Like I shape 96% or more of the hoof first. Then I shape the shoe to fit the horse<this is what takes me so long because I havnt been shoeing for very long. Then I nail on the shoe and then shape maybe a little bit more. Example take a bit of flare off the front of the hoof.
No I read about cowboy shoeing, but I can't remember where. It was just recently though. Anyhow our old farrier would trim the hoof, but not file it down then check to see how the shoe would fit. He would then shape the shoe if he needed to, nail it on, and then file the hoof down. When I say file the hoof down, I mean he would file the hoof flat, put on the shoe, and then file down the edge where the hoof is sharper than heck after trimming. I am right handed and I can file and shape quickly and efficiently, but when I go to use my left hand I tend to file skin off of my right hand, especially my thumb. It has happened more times than I will admit to.
Shoeing update
What used to take me 2 hours I can now do in twenty minutes.It doesnt take long to get the feel of where to pound the shoe in order to shape it the way you want it.
I also give the colts a bucket of grain about the time im ready to start pounding nails. This seems to really take their mind off it.
I also wear a back brace. This helps me a lot.
Plus once they get used to the cradle it really makes it easier for me.
Ive pretty much got my shoeing outfit paid for now. Sure doesnt take long.
If I can learn to do this than anybody can.
all i can say, horse guy and to everyone else is to be careful. the most important part of farrier-ry is the trim, you want a nice balanced foot with no lateral or medial deviation. if you learn the art, and everything technical, you'll be ok. but if you are just a fella going out and cutting hoof, you got some learning to do. i say this b/c i live with a farrier, and it is ALOT harder than people around here think.
My husband is a horseshoer. and yes it is hard to get the foot just right, the smallest thing can cause alot of trouble is you don't know what you are doing. Ask a horseshoer. My husband gladly will help a customer learn the proper way to trim. And also alot of people don't realize how hard it is to shoe a horse that is laying all over you, or showing out. More people should work with there horses feet to get them more use to being shod and trimmed. It will make your shoer alot happier and more likely to help you out if you get in a bind. Just my opinion. :lol:

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