The Hoof Story

How not to pick up a hoof, also falls in the the What not to Wear category.

These people terrify me, like I have literally had nightmares about it.

I am not, nor will I ever be a farrier. You should see me attempt to pull a shoe, it’s hysterical. I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. In fact, my highest ranking qualification is that I dated my farrier for a while (there were excellent perks).

Having said all that though, at least I fully admit that I know a minimum about trimming and shoeing horses. Oh I can pick feet, evaluate work and speak intelligently with the farrier; I’ve even been known to read the odd article in the American Farrier Journal and treat an abscess or two. I just have no illusions about ever becoming the guy tacking on shoes.

Sandra Bullock wasn't so good at hoof care in 28 Days.

I used to work with a woman who delighted in telling people (including the barn farriers for some unknown reason) that she trimmed her own horses. In addition to doing it herself she only used a rasp. I kid you not, no hoof knife, no nippers, just a rasp. I used to cringe every time she brought it up. Literally cringe. There were 70 horses on the property, we had 3 farriers; the subject popped up a lot.

She never mentioned any lameness issues, never had any problems, and as far as I know, is still doing it. Murphy’s Law would bite me in the ass if I ever attempted to trim my own horses. I have images of me on the ground with my back thrown out and my horse’s bleeding hoof on my chest. Violent images I’m telling you.

I do want to point out that trimming your own horses is a whole other story if you are qualified. With say the American Farrier’s Association, the European Federation of Farrier’s Association or the state association in your location.

What’s really frightening is this isn’t a one hit wonder thing. Seriously, google it, people are trimming their own horses all over the horse forums and encouraging others! Call me crazy (CrAzY!), but this seems nuts.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a horse that’s not going well or with lameness problems see the farrier, bada-bing bada-boom. After a new shoeing job they’re like a new pony. Yes, I’ve seen it go the other way too, hot nails, abscess, ect. I’ve also fired my share of farriers. As a general rule though? I’ll stick with my hoof guys.

No Hoof, No Horse.


2 thoughts on “The Hoof Story

  1. I worked as a farrier for about 20 years. There were often horse owners who delighted in proudly telling me how they could trim or shoe their own horses. A handful would wait, it seemed, until I arrived to start doing a bit of trimming themselves.

    Nine times out of ten what they were doing and/or how they were doing it was cringeworthy and very unsuitable for the hoof and horse.

    I don’t really understand the mentality but think perhaps these people want to say, “I can do it too” but in reality, they really shouldn’t…

    Great blog. Thanks, Dave :0)

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