Sunday, March 10, 2013

First trim

Due to some serious scheduling issues that left Sofie going way too long between trims, and a growing desire to be able to maintain her feet myself, without ever needing to make those major adjustments that can be jarring to a sensitive horse like Sofie. With my farrier's blessing, I bought some tools and have begun learning to trim her myself. I now carry a Hoofjack in the backseat of my car, and have a bunch of rasps riding around with me also.

And let me just say, I LOVE the Hoofjack. Best, easiest design EVER! So many things are NOT user friendly...this is!

I began by just taking her toes back a little, and familiarizing myself with the rasping process. By last Wednesday, I was ready to do more of an actual trim. I found the process to be much less physically taxing than I'd feared (it helps that I'm only doing light rasping, and, again, the Hoofjack is a miracle), and it was enjoyable because I know and like my horse. I would not want to do other people's horses, ever, but I'm not going for professional status here so that's just fine.

Her fronts were very, very easy. They are in very good shape with no issues other than that they tend to grow a lot. The frequent rasping will really help with that! I mostly worked on making sure that her toes were not getting too long, and I tried to address some balance issues that have crept back into her hinds with those long intervals. They are still far better than they used to be, but some flares and general wonkiness resulted from her going way way too long between trims.

I would like to aim to eventually leave her with a bit more heel, and a bit more wall, as I think she likes having some additional support. But it is still winter, and I am going to use this time to seriously address these flares and try to get those hinds back to where they were this summer, when they were almost perfect. No sense leaving her with a longer wall if it is all flare!

I was reasonably pleased with the way her hinds looked after my trim. I did see some improvement, and I found out with some belated reading that my instinct to take down the inner walls more was right on. I still have a lot to learn and get comfortable with, but I'm confident that I will be able to do a good job and I can only improve from here.

Her feet were professionally attended to around a month ago, so I have not yet had to break out my shiny new hoof knife, but I will need to trim those bars pretty soon.



LF, side view:

Hinds, side view:

LH, underside view:

LF, underside view:

Sofie, for her part, was super dubious the first time I broke out my trimming supplies.

"Are you even qualified to do this?"