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Hoof care question

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  • Hoof care question

    My farrier uses a tool similar to an electric drill with some sort of sandpaper type tool on it to buff the hoof after he's finished with it. I've been happy with this farrier for years, he's well trained and good to work with. Now to the question: My granddaughter, who can get OCD at times, is afraid that polishing the hoof in this manner is thinning the hoof wall and she doesn't think it should be done. Any thoughts, comments or experience with this? Thanks in advance.
    "Its a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

  • #2
    I can't see any problem with using a dremel to do things you would usually use a rasp to do.

    I do not think it is a good idea to rasp the outer wall of the hoof which removes a protective layer and does nothing to balance the hoof, and can indeed hide the fact the hoof is getting unbalanced by removing the apperance but not the reality of flares and rings on the hoof.

    So if he is using the dremel all the way up the hoof, I would say no to that.

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    • #3
      Is he using an angle grinder? How high up the hoof wall is he going? Is he just rounding out the bottom of the hoof wall? He might be going higher to remove some hoof wall flare as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Removing hoof wall flare from the outside is not a good idea. It weakens the wall, encouraging more flare. It hides the extent of the flare from the owner and even from the farrier. You address flare rasping from underneath, not tidying it up cosmetically on the outside.

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        • #5
          I've seen some farriers for Western show classes do this and it is NOT good for the hoof. It removes some of the

          protective outer layer of wall material and also does thin the wall. I wouldn't do this simply for cosmetic reasons. I've

          also seen it done to clean up light colored hooves. So your grandaughter is correct.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

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          • #6
            I've had farriers that have done it (over a several year) period and farriers who haven't. I've seen zero difference in the health of the foot either way. I don't think it's a problem at all if you have a good farrier (ha! Isn't that always the caveat?) and he's just doing it to tidy up the appearance of the foot.
            __________________________________
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW

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            • #7
              I've trimmed my own horses for over 10 years now, and I'll dress the lower 1/2 to 3/4" of the front half of the hoof wall lightly with the rasp to prevent chipping (reallly just an extension of the roll) and strategically help relieve flares, but would not suggest rasping any higher on the hoof wall.

              Back in the day we would lightly sand feet to prep them for hoof polish at shows, but I feel that it took away some of the natural ability to regulate moisture in the hoof wall. Luckily I'm out of the realm of that type of showing now, so it's not tough to avoid.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks for the responses. He goes over the entire outside of the hoof with this "polishing" process. I don't think he's using it to rasp off material or correct flares, just polishing a bit. He says it helps him see if there are any deep cracks. There is some dust type material that flies off the hoof while he's doing this, so something is coming off. I'll have to watch more closely the next time he's here.
                "Its a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                  Removing hoof wall flare from the outside is not a good idea. It weakens the wall, encouraging more flare. It hides the extent of the flare from the owner and even from the farrier. You address flare rasping from underneath, not tidying it up cosmetically on the outside.
                  I respectfully disagree here. By rasping the outer wall to remove the flare is not an attempt to 'hide' any distortion. It can help the new wall growing down to come in straighter. You can't really generalize on how to deal with it. It depends on the conditions and the hoof in hand.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pippigirl View Post

                    I respectfully disagree here. By rasping the outer wall to remove the flare is not an attempt to 'hide' any distortion. It can help the new wall growing down to come in straighter. You can't really generalize on how to deal with it. It depends on the conditions and the hoof in hand.
                    No, this is not true. The flare is caused by a loosened or stretched connection at the inner white line of the hoof wall. The only way to correct this is to take off wall *from the bottom* of the hoof, for instance a mustang roll on a bare foot. If the flare is particularly severe, for instance mechanical separation or white line disease (two different things) going up the hoof wall, the solution may be to actually cut away/debride the loosened outer hoof wall. Otherwise the wall continues to split off as it grows out, like a split hair or a tear in a fingernail.

                    Working from the outside of the hoof wall does nothing to fix the stretched or broken connection between inner and outer wall, can mask the problem, and at best weakens the wall.

                    I'm not making this up it's basic hoof trimming information.

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                    • #11
                      You don't resolve flaring by *only* removing the flared material from the outside. But doing so, around the bottom of the foot, *not* all the way up, and *in addition to* pulling the breakover back, is not going to cause harm to the vast majority of feet.

                      Removing flare along the bottom 1/2" or so is not going to weaken the hoof integrity, because that flare already has no integrity. By also addressing the proper breakover from the bottom, you are eliminating the ground forces on that flare as well.

                      Enormous flares are removed from foundered feet all the time. You just can't remove it all if it's high enough up the foot.

                      To the OP - polishing the foot shouldn't be causing any problems, that's very different from doing a smooth fine rasping that some farriers actually do. The devil is in the details.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                        You don't resolve flaring by *only* removing the flared material from the outside. But doing so, around the bottom of the foot, *not* all the way up, and *in addition to* pulling the breakover back, is not going to cause harm to the vast majority of feet.

                        Removing flare along the bottom 1/2" or so is not going to weaken the hoof integrity, because that flare already has no integrity. By also addressing the proper breakover from the bottom, you are eliminating the ground forces on that flare as well.

                        Enormous flares are removed from foundered feet all the time. You just can't remove it all if it's high enough up the foot.

                        To the OP - polishing the foot shouldn't be causing any problems, that's very different from doing a smooth fine rasping that some farriers actually do. The devil is in the details.
                        well, I'd consider removing the flare on the bottom 1/2 inch part of working from the bottom of the foot and working on breakover . I was thinking more that filing let's say half way up the hoof wall toe reduce appearance of flare is not very useful.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, removing flare halfway up should never be done
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Out of the 59 horses that I trim, 53 of them are trimmed with an angle grinder. I Never use it on the outside upper hoof wall. That just thins the wall and accomplishes nothing.

                            Hoof walls do not need polishing. If there's a crack or divot, my eyes will see it & my fingers will feel it.

                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                              No, this is not true. The flare is caused by a loosened or stretched connection at the inner white line of the hoof wall. The only way to correct this is to take off wall *from the bottom* of the hoof, for instance a mustang roll on a bare foot. If the flare is particularly severe, for instance mechanical separation or white line disease (two different things) going up the hoof wall, the solution may be to actually cut away/debride the loosened outer hoof wall. Otherwise the wall continues to split off as it grows out, like a split hair or a tear in a fingernail.

                              Working from the outside of the hoof wall does nothing to fix the stretched or broken connection between inner and outer wall, can mask the problem, and at best weakens the wall.

                              I'm not making this up it's basic hoof trimming information.
                              Like I said..I disagree with you. I don't believe that you are making this up. You are quite free to have your own beliefs.

                              Comment

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