Monday, March 30, 2009

Hoofing It!

I had my first hoof trimming lesson yesterday! It was a very educational experience and I'm looking forward to applying the knowledge to Halo's feet. Since I fired the farrier about a month ago I've been keeping up with her feet every week or two, mostly with the rasp. I took pictures on Saturday, and overall her feet are looking good. That said, the pictures brought to light some things that definitely need to be corrected.

Front legs

Hind legs

Left Front

Right Front

Left Hind

Right Hind

Here are the things that immediately stand out to me:

  • Left side of heel is too long on right front
  • Tiny bit of flare on right front
  • Steeper hoof angle on left hind than right hind
  • Toe could come back more on right hind
I've posted these pictures on a forum and also shared them with my previous hoof trimmer to get advice. The hoof trimmer says I am on track, and that I've correctly identified the main problems. I'm interested to see what the internet folks have to say...people can argue all day long about horse feet.

What I learned this weekend is that taking pictures is priceless. It is a lot easier to be objective about a hoof picture than the actual hoof right there in front of you. I will periodically be posting hoof pictures and discussing them here on the blog to keep me accountable for doing good work. So far I am very satisfied with my decision to start maintaining Halo's feet myself.


moosefied said...

She has nice big feet.

I don't have the guts to trim my own horse's feet. Or the knowledge. But it certainly is a great thing to learn how to do. You can catch problems while they're small. Plus save money.

Leah Fry said...

I'm lucky to have a good farrier with a strong back. It's all mine can do to handle picking hooves. I'll leave the trimming to the pros.