Trimming Tips - the basics

Fig. 1 & 3 Neglect or bad workmanship.

Daylight seen under the hooves' straight edge highlights flare. Flare is excess hoof (trash) which causes cracking, deforms and weakens the hoof wall as well as causing the sole to drop which leads to easily bruised soles.

Fig. 2 & 4 Correct trimming.

Straight edge sits parallel with hoof wall. Hoof wall is properly shaped and stronger with flare removed. A hoof trimmed in this way can effectively bear the horse's weight.

Fig. 5 Long toe.

Hoof depicted in figure 5 is too long in the toe. Indicator is that the angle of the hoof wall and pastern bone is broken. A horse with front hooves with a broken angle is predisposed to bowed tendons, navicular disease and overreaching.

Fig. 6 Correct trimming.

Hoof depicted in figure 6 is correctly trimmed ­ the angle of the hoof and pastern bone is unbroken.

Having correctly trimmed your horse's hooves, ensuring all flare has been totally removed, you can now measure your horse's hooves for Old Mac's.

Contracted hooves and/or heels will potentially affect the long term soundness of your horse. If your horse suffers from this condition, it is vital that an immediate corrective trimming program is undertaken by a skilled farrier.

Hooves with this condition cannot effectively bear the horses weight and therefore the sensitive structures of the hooves will suffer irreparable damage. Navicular disease , ringbone, and pedal osteitis are common conditions associated with contracted hooves and/or heels. In the majority of cases this is caused by the incorrect fitting of metal shoes along with excessive heel length - remember that prevention is better than cure.