So Wednesday night we had the horse shoer come out to put new shoes on the horses. Now to them, it’s like getting a manicure and/or a pedicure. Usually you set it up so they have this done every 6 weeks, otherwise their hooves get a little long, you lose shoes, etc.
First things first, you need to take off the old shoes, if they’ve lasted the whole time… which isn’t always the case.
Then you use a hoof knife to clean out the hoof, and take off some of the rough edges.
Here he is cleaning around the “frog” If they are standing soft footed (no shoe) it should touch the ground. It is basically the shock absorber.
You may be asking what Mudflap is doing… He’s waiting for the “goodies” that come out of the hoof and part of the hoof clippings to naw on.
Then you use the nippers to trim back the long, dead hoof, basically like trimming your finger and toe nails.
And Miss Millie found some goodies to chew on now!
Then use the hoof knife to trim up some of the rough edges.
Now it’s time for the rasp. This is basically like a nail file. It smooths the edges and makes the sole of the foot level for the shoe to sit on.
Now it’s time for the first fitting. Make sure you have the right sized shoe, etc.
It’s very close, but sometimes you have to beat it a little wider, take out a rough spot, etc. Some horse shoers use premade shoes, others make their own.
Once you have the shoe the right “size” it is time to nail it in place. Usually that requires 4 nails on each side, but nails are expensive, so usually a farrier will only put on 3. If they’d put the 4th (on each side) the shoe would stay on longer… The shoes usually have holes in them so you get the nails in the correct place on each side.
So one thing about the shoe nail is they are flat on one side and curved on the other so that when driven into the hoof they curl out the topside so that they don’t go into the foot. If they go into the foot, it’s very similar to hitting the quick of your finger nail but it will cause major problems.
Once you get the nails driven in, the sharp side is poking out. You use the back of your hammer to bend them off. Just twist it around and they break right off.
Then you use your rasp to grind down the rough edges of the nails and make sure the hoof is even with the shoe.
This tool here, called a clench, helps curl the nails around the hoof to basically act like a hook to keep the nails from pulling back out the bottom.
Once he’s done he puts some hoof conditioner on the hooves (you know, lotion :))
And baby girl is all set.
I think she even offered him a back scratch for his good work… LOL
I have actually seen horses be a “pick pocket” while a farrier was working like that. It’s rather funny!