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Problem Trimming Horses Feet

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  • Problem Trimming Horses Feet

    I plan on calling my farrier, but as of now I only have one horse with one foot that needs to be trimmed. One foot. I don't want to end up paying 50 dollars for one foot when the other feet are fine and my other horse doesnt need shoes right now. Ive done little bits of trimming here and there, when my horse needed a hanging or loose shoe taken off, Ive done this many times, clipped ends off and filed them smooth,
    But this time I went out and bought nippers, got the foot between my legs, she was standing still for me, I got the nippers in position with both hands,(thinking only take off about a half inch to start if not less), and........the nippers wouldnt move. Meaning I had them clamped down and ready to pinch into the hoof, but I couldnt get the nippers to nip through, as it goes. Her hoof was too hard and she had been in the rain all day. What am I doing wrong? I was trying to pull down a little as I did this. Hummm, is my angle wrong? Am I not strong enough? She had an old absess that had grown down to her toe, could this be it, also the reason why I think the hoof is too long and looking like a possible duck foot or it's getting there, if it grows down further before I get to this, YES, Im calling the farrier.

    Any advise would be great. Thanks Molly
    SkyDancer5000 --3rd Level

  • #2
    At the risk of sounding totally rude, I'd be inclined to tell you that my farrier would never return your calls.

    You come through as an owner w/o a regular shoeing, trimming schedule, who leaves shoes on til they fall off, and sees no reason not to hack away at their horse's feet. Granted most barefooted horses will for better or worse, balance themselves to their comfort level. Sometimes a little corrective trimming and shoeing will insure continued soundness.

    While $50 for a trim is higher than I pay, I'd pay it for the rest of the education that comes with the rasp , knife, and nippers.

    Grabbing asbestos suit!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

    Comment


    • #3
      If you have to post this question on a bulletin board then you don't know enough to be trimming your own horse's foot (or you don't have the strength). Either way it will be much cheaper to call a farrier out and ask him questions about that foot as he's working on it.

      Having had trouble with getting farriers to my barn in the past I can understand how you might want to do this foot yourself, but if you aren't able, then you aren't able--for whatever reason. It could be the brand of nippers you bought, it could be your horse's foot--if you get a farrier out there you might find out.

      Trying to give you advice on the Internet without even a picture to go on is like trying to do brain surgery with a blindfold on.... Sorry....

      It seems to me it cost just as much for the nippers as it would have cost for the trimming, and then you'd know what to do the next time you have this problem. Just bite the bullet--call the farrier, watch carefully, ask questions and learn! It'll be worth the fifty dollars I assure you....
      "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll never understand why people wait till the last possible moment to call the farrier. If your horse is walking around with one duck foot, did it ever occur to you that your horse might find that uncomfortable? Imagine if you had to walk around 24/7 with one clown shoe on... for weeks.

        Call the farrier and pay to have your horse taken care of, for your horses sake. If you let the horse develop one duck foot, chances are good he can improve upon your work on the other 3 as well and it will be money well spent and your horse will thank you.

        Re nippers, it takes a good deal of physical strength to operate nippers, and cheap ones absolutely don't cut unless you have arms like a gorilla. I don't know who buys them, because they are the biggest waste of money. Having said that a friend has a pair that she bought under $50 and they cut well, I've not been able to find a pair for myself though.

        When the farrier shows up, he can tell you all about them
        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

        Comment


        • #5
          What am I doing wrong? -EVERYTHING
          I was trying to pull down a little as I did this.-You can't rip it off.
          is my angle wrong?-Yes your angle was wrong
          Am I not strong enough?-No, Done correctly everyone is strong enough.

          Thankfully you were so wrong in all of the above, you didn't make a cut.
          Had you cut 1/2'" or so, you would have hit blood, then you would have needed a Vet on top of your farrier and ended up with 2 bills and a lame horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            Perhaps someone should ask what this one foot on the one horse looks like?

            "half inch" likely isn't that at all. Most people have very poor height/angle/distance/depth judgement until they've had enough experience having their guesses validated. I'd bet this "half inch" is hardly 1/4".

            So, OP, if you could post a picture of this "one foot on one horse" (and perhaps a couple of pictures of some of the other feet on this horse and the shod horse ) you might get some more helpful information
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmm, and an old abscess, too? I'd be getting the farrier out on a regular basis. Especially since it sounds like you don't know what you're doing (or else why would you be asking?)

              Comment


              • #8
                Deleting my comment as the post it was directed towards has since been changed for the better
                Last edited by JB; Feb. 22, 2010, 09:58 AM.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  What are you doing wrong? You are attempting to do something that you don't know how to do, with a tool you are unfamiliar with and don't have the physical strength to use anyhow. I don't think saving $50 (BTW my farrier only charges $25 for a trim) is worth the possible damage I could do by having an inexperienced, uneducated person (including myself) trimming my horses feet. A horses feet are too valuable to chance damaging that way. IMO that is not the area you should be worried about saving money. Call the farrier.
                  "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Explain to the farrier that you'd like to maintain your horse's feet between visits. He might be willing to help you learn what needs to be done for that one horse. I've taught several clients how to maintain their horse's feet between visits, which enables them to stretch out their appointments. It's better for their feet if the owner can maintain a nice roll, too.

                    However, I teach them how to maintain that horse, considering his conformation. I do not advise a client to use nippers unless they've had some training. It is very easy to take too much in one go. If you've had some training, sounds like a refresher from your farrier is still advisable.

                    I suspect you purchased small nippers. I've got the big ones used on draft horses, because I don't need as much hand strength to make the cut. If you have 12" handles, bought a cheap brand, or even got nail nippers instead of hoof nippers, that could be the problem. When you look at the end of the nippers with the blades closed, you should see a sliver of light. They are not supposed to touch. If they do, you either got the wrong kind of nipper or you bought a cheap pair. Good nippers are well over $100. Sometimes a great deal more.

                    I have to admit I wonder why there is only one hoof that needs the farrier. A half inch needing to be trimmed sounds like the feet are overdue. Take pics after the trim so you know what they should look like after a good trim, and that may help you in the future as well.

                    Even my clients who have taken over trimming their own horses call me to check on their work every six months or so. This helps ensure they aren't missing something glaring, and it gives us a chance to add to their understanding of how best to trim their horses.
                    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I plan on calling my farrier, but as of now I only have one horse with one foot that needs to be trimmed. One foot.
                      Ridiculous. Tell any decent farrier that and they will probably laugh you off the phone.
                      I don't want to end up paying 50 dollars for one foot when the other feet are fine and my other horse doesn't need shoes right now.
                      Being Cheap with your horses feet will get you exactly what you have, a problem.
                      Ive done little bits of trimming here and there, when my horse needed a hanging or loose shoe taken off, Ive done this many times, clipped ends off and filed them smooth,
                      But this time I went out and bought nippers,
                      So you claim to have been "clipping ends off" a bit here and there but you did not have nippers until now?
                      got the foot between my legs, she was standing still for me, I got the nippers in position with both hands,(thinking only take off about a half inch to start if not less), and........the nippers wouldn't move. Meaning I had them clamped down and ready to pinch into the hoof, but I couldn't get the nippers to nip through, as it goes. Her hoof was too hard and she had been in the rain all day. What am I doing wrong?
                      You either bought worthless cheap 'so called' nippers off the internet or at the feed store, or you need some trimming classes. Decent nippers will cost you at least 100 bucks,(MINIMUM) and more like 175 and up. That's the cost of three or four professional trims.
                      So it sounds like you tried to save 50 bucks and bought some 39 dollar piece of junk and guess what..they won't cut butter.
                      I was trying to pull down a little as I did this. Hummm, is my angle wrong?
                      Do that on decent nippers with a hard foot and you will immediately ruin them.
                      She had an old abscess that had grown down to her toe,
                      MAYBE because you were too cheap to get proper professional hoofcare done earlier.
                      YES, I'm calling the farrier.
                      Hopefully today?
                      Any advise would be great. Thanks Molly
                      See above.
                      Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                      Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                      www.hoofcareonline.com

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Quite frankly I think most of you people are pretty mean and don't know what it is YOURE talking about. Jumping to conclusions and exagerating things to make them seem in a way they are not. Im sorry I ever wrote here, really. All of you on your high horses of what's proper and what is not. I must be some really bad person who has no common sense at all. Dont know what Im doing AT ALL. Ya., right, just shame base people with your shit, that's all it's been. thanks for nothing. Ill get it done, I dont any scare tactics, oh how can I be so awful,..... give me a break.
                        SkyDancer5000 --3rd Level

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Molly- I would say that your nippers aren't sharp enough. Some of the lower priced nippers really are not suitable for trimming. Like someone else posted- good nippers aren't cheap. Same with rasps. Expect to pay a good chunk of change or you're going to spend a lot more back breaking hours and end up fustrated.

                          Many people are confident to keep up with a little rasping or nipping between farrier visits. And I get what you are saying about the "only one foot needs a trim" but in actuality that would not really be the case. All 4 should be trimmed at the same visit- one hoof is probably growing more upright while the other more forward. In many cases one hoof is going to be perceived as being fine in comparison to the other but in actuality neither is fine.

                          Try and find a farrier that can help you out some- have him/her come by, pay for the trim and a little extra if they are willing to show you a little on maintanence. Be honest with them that you'd like to learn how to maintain between visits. Some farriers will help you. Just keep in mind there aren't really any short term financial savings in this. Take lots of pictures and notes so that you can revisit later on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sniff>>Sniff>> Me smells a troll
                            RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                            May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                            RIP San Lena Peppy
                            May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I looked at most of her other posts here and I think she's a younger person (not teenager, but still, on the younger side) who is gung-ho about horses and is trying to do the best she can with limited resources.

                              How about asking some questions before jumping to conclusions?
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I thought I was being polite. I'm assuming the OP is not a hoof professional, or she would have been trained how to use the tool and already know the answer to her own question. My husband went to buy tools for me before and needed help to figure out what each was used for. He's not stupid (unless one thinks all engineers are stupid), just not educated about the specific tools of the trade. It's not stupid not to know, but it's not advisable to try to use an unfamiliar tool without supervision, either.

                                I think a half inch is very hard to nip at one time, unless the horse has relatively soft feet. My eyes bugged a bit upon reading the original post, because the only horses who have that much to nip are either overdue or have hoof pathologies, such as chronic founder. A quarter inch is unlikely to cause problems for even dull nippers. So the answer is one of four things: trying to nip too much hoof at once; handles too short; nippers too dull; or accidentally bought a tool that looks like hoof nippers but are intended for another use.

                                Taking a rude tone with somebody rarely has the desired effect (which in this case should be education) unless one wants to piss the OP off (in that case, mission accomplished and some posters are feeling great about it). However, sometimes even polite responses make a person mad. Can't control that.
                                "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Matry, you were one of the polite ones
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'd love to see the OP get a farrier who is willing to help her learn. They are out there. A farrier helped me get started, and Aventera Two started out by asking her farrier to teach her about hooves.

                                    Sometimes you have to be willing to be a humble student and allow the expert to expound on a topic, even if you already know much of what he/she is saying. There are often nuggets of gold hidden in an experienced person's ramblings about stuff we think we already know. I love running into the old-time farriers and just listening.
                                    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Good grief! Is the OP for real?

                                      Get a farrier and get your horse on a regular trimming cycle and preferably one where all 4 feet are done at the same time!!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Molly Micvee View Post
                                        Quite frankly I think most of you people are pretty mean and don't know what it is YOURE talking about. Jumping to conclusions and exagerating things to make them seem in a way they are not. Im sorry I ever wrote here, really. All of you on your high horses of what's proper and what is not. I must be some really bad person who has no common sense at all. Dont know what Im doing AT ALL. Ya., right, just shame base people with your shit, that's all it's been. thanks for nothing. Ill get it done, I dont any scare tactics, oh how can I be so awful,..... give me a break.
                                        Well, face it.

                                        You don't know what you are doing. AT ALL.

                                        First, how can a horse only need one foot trimmed?

                                        You mean only one foot grows?

                                        That is an interesting horse.

                                        Oh, you mean he has a shoe on the other foot? Well it still grows.

                                        If one needs trimming, so does the other.

                                        If the one with the shoe does not need trimming, then leave the one without the shoe alone.

                                        However, all of that said; If you are determined to ruin the horse's foot through total abysmal ignorance, use a rasp instead of nippers.

                                        With a rasp you can go only so fast so you will not hit blood on the first lick.

                                        Second, it is much easier for a person with your total lack of knowledge to keep the foot level.

                                        Only an idiot takes nippers to the horse's foot without good training as to how to do it.

                                        CSSJR

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