Trimming your horse’s hooves is one of the most important steps in keeping him or her healthy and comfortable. If your horse doesn’t get his hooves trimmed often enough, he may end up with problems with his joints, be more likely to develop foot rot or founder, and have difficulty moving around normally.
When most people think of natural horse hoof care, they imagine trimming their horse’s hooves with no shoes on them at all. While it’s true that trimming your horse’s hooves without shoes can be very beneficial to the health of his hooves, it’s not really something that every owner should do themselves. At least, not without some guidance and training first.
How to Trim Horse Hooves Naturally in Five Easy Steps
Have you ever wondered how to trim horse hooves naturally? In this article, you’ll learn five easy steps that will have your equine friend prancing around on her new feet in no time. She’ll thank you and so will the vet!
When I first started trimming horse hooves, it was difficult for me. But as I practiced, it became easier. Here are some steps you can follow when trying to trim your horse’s hooves.
First, move slowly and try not to jerk the blade at any point. You want to take your time so that you don’t hurt the horse or yourself. Keep a steady hand and be patient with yourself because there is no rush! Slowly work on one side of the hoof at a time until you get all four sides done. Always put away your tools before moving on to another side of the hoof.
Next, clean up around the area after using a brush to remove all of the trimmed hair from where you just cut. Cut away any dry spots that may have developed. Be sure to use disinfectant if needed.
After this, file down the edges of the hoof wall with a metal rasp to round out and soften any sharp edges left behind by the clippers.
Lastly, coat both surfaces of the foot with a lubricant like a coconut oil or cornstarch powder which will prevent rubbing between the shoe and sole plus give additional protection against moisture which could lead to frostbite or other problems. Remember, patience is key. Don’t rush and always make sure you’re paying attention to what you’re doing so that you don’t hurt the horse. A good rule of thumb is to spend about ten minutes per foot during each session.
2)Consider Pain Relief
When trimming a horse’s hoof, the first step is to thoroughly clean the hoof. This reduces any build-up or fungi that might make the horse’s feet sore.
If your horse isn’t feeling pain, it can be tempting to skip this step but it’ll just come back later and you will have dealt with that much more trauma for no reason.
Next, you should inspect your horse’s nails and remove any excess with either nail clippers or a file. You should check inside the hoof as well – if there are rocks lodged there, now is the time to get them out.
Finally, you should rinse off all dirt from both sides of the hoof before continuing on to trim.
3)Apply the Right Tools
It is best to have a hoof knife that can be sharpened. This way, you won’t need to worry about it becoming dull and making the trimming process take much longer.
Make sure that when you are trimming the hoof, you stay close enough so you don’t cut off too much horn but far enough so that there is not a lot of tension on the ligaments and tendons in the fetlock joint.
You will also want to pay attention to where your horse’s feet normally wear down as this is where you will want to make your cuts.
Remember: There should never be any angles at the heel or toe of the hoof that could become dangerous later on. Once all four feet are trimmed, brush off any excess debris from inside the hoof.
4)Give Them Something to Bite On
A common misconception about trimming horse hoves is that it’s painful and unnatural. The reality, however, is that the horse hoof has natural limits and directions for growth.
When trimmed at the right angles, trimming horse hooves with a hoof nipper gives the foot better traction on the ground and allows for more comfort. It also reduces stress on joints and muscles as well as increases circulation.
When trying to decide how often you should trim your horse’s hooves, consider whether or not they are active if they are living outside or are being ridden frequently, then every six weeks would be appropriate. If they spend most of their time in a stall or only come out occasionally for exercise, then eight weeks would be sufficient.
5)Don’t Rush It
The trimming of horse hooves is not just a cosmetic issue but also one that can cause soreness and discomfort for the animal. Because of this, it’s important to go slow when doing the work. It should be done in easy steps
1) Identify where the hoof has overgrown.
2) Determine if there are any stones or foreign objects lodged between the shoe and pad (removing these will make for an easier time).
3) Ensure that you have proper tools by looking at your needs (curved blade, straight blade, rasp).
4) Clean up any areas around the nails before removing them.
5) Cut the hoof nail straight across without curving back toward the center of the foot. 6) Finish with moisturizing cream on top of the exposed nail bed and under the pad.
In summary, trimming a horse’s hoof can be a daunting task. To make it less of a chore, take it slow and steady and use the steps above.
Remember that patience is key when handling any animal – both horse and human! The process can seem daunting at first but will get easier with time.
Make sure you take the time to learn about your animal before you start working on them and never force anything if your horse reacts negatively. And most importantly, always work on hooves with a friend so that you have some help if things go wrong!