How to Trim Horse Hooves Safely


The procedure of trimming a horse’s hooves sounds simple enough. The horsemanship skill level to properly trim your horse’s hooves is actually quite high. You must understand psychological and physical aspects of the horse to do a good job.

Trim the hoof wall with nippers to remove any excess over growth: Nippers should be used to remove the excess hoof wall from the hooves. The nipper blade should be parallel to the horse foot while trimming. When trimming the hooves you should always start from the heel and work to the toe on one side then move to the other side and work again from the heel to the toe. You should only attempt to trim the hoof wall at a rate of half the length of your nipper blade.

Use a rasp to smooth and level the bottom of the hoof: When using the rasp to smooth the bottom of the horse hooves make sure you go from the back or heel of the hoof toward the toe. Each stroke should go the complete length of the hoof to make sure there are no ridges or uneven pieces left. Go over the complete hoof with smooth strokes and even pressure. When using the rasp tool you should use one hand to push the rasp and the other to pull the rasp across the hoof.

Trim the sole of your horses hoof also known as lowering the sole with a hoof knife: You should only trim the sole of your horse hooves as needed. This is only done to remove excess dead tissue The main goal in trimming the sole of your horses hooves is to relieve pressure from the sole and frog areas and return it to the hoof wall where it is naturally intended to support the weight of the horse.

Trim the frog section on the sole of the hoof with a hoof knife: Again you should only trim the frog area of the hoof as needed only removing the dead tissue. The frog should touch the ground when the horse hooves are on the ground.

Rounding the hoof walls with a rasp: After all the excess dead tissue has been completely removed from the horse hooves you should again rasp the entire hoof to ensure the surface is level and uniform across the complete hoof. You should only round as much as necessary to remove the edge.

If at any point you cause your horse to bleed you should immediately clean the wound and add a covering to protect it for possible disease organisms. Next you should consult a veterinarian for assistance.

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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