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Discuss How often do you have your horses feet trimmed/shod? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Some of the hoof care discussions have gotten me to wondering. How often do all ...
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    How often do you have your horses feet trimmed/shod?

    Some of the hoof care discussions have gotten me to wondering. How often do all of you have your hoof care provider out to trim/shoe your horse? What do you look for as indicators that your horse is in need of hoof maintenance?

    I trim around 50 horses at the moment. A few are done every 4 weeks but most are every 6. I have seen very few horses that I would recommend going more than 6 weeks before a trim although I have one that sometimes goes 8-12 weeks and one who is done every 6 months.

    I have found that a lot of horse owners really don't seem to know how to recognize a horse that is due for a trim vs one that is over due or one that can wait.

    My advice to horse owners is, if the hoof is chipping and breaking it is past time to get a trim. What other advice do the hoof care providers out there have for horse owners determining what the right interval is for their horse.
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    I wouldn't trust many owners to know when it's time to have things done LOL When I was trimming clients' horses, I would look at how much growth there was since the last time, and suggest either a shorter or longer schedule for the next.

    Chips and cracks aren't necessarily meaning it's past time - depends on what the chips are looking like, which is why I wouldn't trust many owners to know the difference unless they've seen them.

    I trim mine when they look like they need it, which is sometimes 12 weeks during the Winter, sometimes as often as 3-4 during the Summer, especially if it's a wet period, meaning fast Summer growth with very little wear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    I wouldn't trust many owners to know when it's time to have things done LOL When I was trimming clients' horses, I would look at how much growth there was since the last time, and suggest either a shorter or longer schedule for the next.
    yeah those are my thoughts as well. Although I do have a couple of clients who are spot on with their horses every time.

    Anyway I thought perhaps since so many people here are interested in getting some education on hoof health that this was a discussion that should be had. I love seeing so many horse owners getting more involved with understanding hoof health. It has been a very neglected aspect of horse ownership for too many years.
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    My first horse a 13 YO thoroughbred gelding, required shoes with clips all around, ridden 6 days a week. He was on a 6 week schedule or as needed if he lost a shoe (rare) or I felt he needed work.

    My second horse an almost 3 YO appy/appendix mare is barefoot, worked lightly about 4 days a week. Her feet were hard as a rock and grew very slowly so she was on an "as needed" schedule. It varied from 10 weeks to 12 weeks. Even when her feet got trimmed they really didn't need it. My farrier just rasped them a little lol
    she like shot straight up in bed and said "Where am I?" then laid back down and said "the turkeys are attacking, get the rabbits ready!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asfaloth View Post
    yeah those are my thoughts as well. Although I do have a couple of clients who are spot on with their horses every time.

    Anyway I thought perhaps since so many people here are interested in getting some education on hoof health that this was a discussion that should be had. I love seeing so many horse owners getting more involved with understanding hoof health. It has been a very neglected aspect of horse ownership for too many years.
    If an owner was interested, you might think about having some pictures of feet that were, for example, chipped because they hit a rock, vs chipping because they were overdue. You could have a picture showing a good HPA alignment, and one showing a broken back HPA to clue the person into the toes being too long, and then educating them on how to stand the leg up to more accurately judge that.

    If a particular horse has an issue with M/L imbalances rather than A/P imbalances, you could show that owner how to tell if things were getting too much out of alignment - pictures, or just looking at that horse.
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    My pony Sunny, she goes about on average 9 - 12 weeks. Usually when her frog is over grown to where I'm having a difficult time cleaning it properly. And her gaits start feeling the slightest bit off. He rarely takes more than what looks like half an inch off every time. But that's how I can tell she needs a trim, the second her gaits change from what is normal for her which is smooth and almost perfect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    If an owner was interested, you might think about having some pictures of feet that were, for example, chipped because they hit a rock, vs chipping because they were overdue. You could have a picture showing a good HPA alignment, and one showing a broken back HPA to clue the person into the toes being too long, and then educating them on how to stand the leg up to more accurately judge that.

    If a particular horse has an issue with M/L imbalances rather than A/P imbalances, you could show that owner how to tell if things were getting too much out of alignment - pictures, or just looking at that horse.
    With the ones who are interested I will generally show them all of this on their own horse as well as other horses I might be working on in that barn. They generally do get a lecture on trim frequency and why they should not be waiting until their horse "looks" like they need a trim which is usually way too late. Its one of the reasons I want to keep my customer base down. I want to be able to take that kind of time with each of my clients if they need it.

    I have been considering that I need to get some various pictures for my website of what horses hooves look like when in need of trimming. But ther are a number of excellent web resources for them to learn from that would be far better than anything I can come up with. So I generally refer them to those for further education, if they want it.
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    being i have a navicular horse, a strict schedule is VERY important.

    in the winter when foot growth to near nothing, he can go 7-8 weeks on average. when growth really takes off in the spring, i'm hauling him every 5 weeks. when it slows down a little from summer - fall, we usually go every 6 weeks.
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    I totally agree that hoof care is usually just left up to the "provider". Owners need to realize how important it is to get involved and educated when it comes to their horse's hooves, just as it is in all other aspects of their horse's health.

    One thing that really came to light for me after taking over the trimming of my own horses was the fact that there really can be a lot of difference in hoof care needed from horse to horse. When you have more than one horse and depend upon someone else for their hoof health, it's pretty hard to set a "so many week" schedule and have it "best" for all the horses.

    Hopefully discussions like this will encourage more and more people to take a hands on approach to their hoof care. Honestly, there continues to be no shortage of hoof pictures posted on this site that attest to the fact that there are a lot of "providers" out there that are doing a terrible job of taking care of the equine foot. I can't believe that an owner to takes his horse's hoof care seriously and makes an effort to educate themselves could do any more harm.

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