Like all other creatures and beings in the world, horses require effort and care. If one doesn’t look out for these animals’ well-being, they are bound to suffer. Trimming horse hooves is extremely crucial. Overgrowth or splitting can lead to many other problems such as lameness. It might seem like an extremely tedious task for beginners, but with correct instruments, precision, and attention to detail, one can trim horse hooves on their own as well.
Step by Step Guide:
Most people prefer to have farriers come over and do this job. Farriers are professionals who trim horse hooves for a living. These are people who are well-acknowledged with all the basics and thus can easily perform this task. If you want to start learning how to trim horse hooves, then you’ve come to the right place.
- Before you head straight into trimming your horse’s hooves, it is important to take precautionary measures for yourself as well. Since this entire process requires handling a lot of tricky instruments, one should be careful. These instruments are used to trim the horse’s hooves and stabilize the horse while the process is being carried out. Similar to fingernails, horse hooves also require cutters, etc.
- Do not force or manhandle your horse as the process begin. This might make them edgy and warier of the entire process. Take it slow and easily guide them in the process. Make sure not to hassle the animal or hurry through the process.
- The first step would be for your care. Start by putting on some chaps. Chaps are leather leggings owned by farriers and people who look after horses. These are hard, sturdy, and cover your things and legs. Since you will be handling cutters, etc. you do not want to hurt yourself in the process. It also helps establish a firm grip on the horse’s leg between your thighs.
- Gloves are also extremely important. Put on your leather gloves before you go ahead. These will help give you a firm grip on all the tools that you will have to tackle. Many of them will have sharp edges and having gloves on can save you from any accidents.
- Next up, the next two major instruments that you must have at hand are hoof stand and hoof jacks. As the name suggests, these are used to give some support to the hoofs while the process is being carried out. A horse can be a very heavy animal. Handling its leg weight especially at times when it does not want to be tackled can be extremely difficult. In such situations, these instruments come in handy. Simply place the horse’s hoof on jack and get to work. This will make it easier for you.
- Moving on, you can also use the stand to adjust your horse’s leg on it. This will take one task off your list; the job of carrying the hoof. The weight of the leg will be entirely on the stand and you’ll be good to proceed.
- The next step would be cleaning the horse’s hooves. Like all other cleaning jobs, before you go ahead in the tiny details it is important to make sure that the surface is clear. You will be using various instruments to trim the instruments. If there is any dirt on the hoof it might result in your sharp instruments becoming dull. Use a hoof pick to get rid of any dirt on the bottom of the hoof. This will it easier for you to spot where the overgrowth might be.
- Moving on to the main task, for this you will need a nipper. Use the nipper to slowly and gently trim the parts where there is overgrowth. Remember to trim to a limit. Don’t worry about the horse it won’t be in any pain throughout this process. The might feel a sensation closer to what you feel while trimming your fingernails. As you go slowly, you will be able to gauge when to stop. You don’t want to go too deep and hurt the horse.
- As you do for your nails, the next step would be filing it. This is to remove any excess skin from the corners and edges. You should make sure there aren’t any tiny hindrances on the shoe for the horse to be able to move and run comfortably. For this, you will use a rasp which is a metal bar. You can easily shape the hoof with it.
- Lastly, if you are even a little hesitant about doing it then definitely get a professional to do it for you. Only go ahead with it once you’ve mastered it. Learn it slowly and gradually and soon you’ll be mastering it.
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