the barn in fall

the barn in fall

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Horse Pedicures

Farrier day - Two horses got their feet trimmed, and one got a trim with two shoes on the front to protect his sensitive front feet from stones when riding on our dirt roads.

Horse's hooves are like fingernails, and need a trim every 6-8 weeks.  Same procedure, but with really big clippers and a really big file.  See lower part of tool box:

Above:  Fritz getting his back foot filed down after a trim, and Code Red getting his front foot filed to fit his new shoe.  Shoes are custom fitted to each horse, so after choosing the correct size the farrier slips them over an anvil and bangs them into shape, stopping several times to check the fit against the horse's foot.  Good as a Gucci.  Then he holds them against the bottom of the foot and nails them into place.  The nails go into the hoof wall - it doesn't hurt the horse - then the hoof and shoe are filed to finish it off.

The three trims and two shoes took a couple hours.  The biggest problem isn't keeping the horses still - they're well-behaved - it's the flies.  The little buggers bite, and they buzz all around the horses, especially their legs.  Trying to trim a horse while he's stamping his feet is not easy.  Also not safe.  Fly spray helps keep them away, but not entirely.  While I stand there holding the horses I usually swing the end of the lead rope around their front legs to help chase flies away.

And those are just the little house-fly size flies.  Horse flies - now that's another post entirely. 

Another annoying problem while shoeing horses - owners who make you pose during the procedure so they can take pictures for their blog.  Thanks to Bill the Farrier for his patience!


  1. Aww your horses are beautiful, Starr! Code Red is such a gorgeous bay!

    I remember those ginormous flies from when I shoe jumped. I always felt so bad for the horses I rode! That spray was almost like not having any spray at all :(

  2. Odd - I had to go back and look, and Code Red does indeed look like a bay in that picture. But he's not, he's a beautiful sorrel!