Hoof Stuff

Ok folks, opinions please.

Is this a potential disaster or a pair of hoofs doing a reasonable job of self-trimming?

Left fore :

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Right fore :

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This is not intended to be a trick question, by the way.  I have never been brave enough to allow hooves self-trim, but this is what has happened with Aero’s front feet over the last six weeks.  None of my horsey friends here are into the self-trimming idea, nor is my farrier.  I respect their opinions very much, as they have all been barefooters a lot longer than me!  On the farrier’s advice, I gave Aero’s feet a good rounding-off before I left, as they were trying very hard to grow and crack and chip like this.  I’ve seen first-hand the issues that can be caused when the wall is separating out like this and pieces of gravel or whatever become embedded in the white line so I can see where he and my barefoot friends are coming from.


you read about self-trimming and you do start to wonder… my guys are on really hard ground, perfect for self-trimming!  Surely it should work?

Anyway, Aero was 100% sound, even on stony ground, with his feet like this.  I rounded off the left hoof and took the inside wall down a bit, but then spent a lot of time on the right, bringing the protruding bits almost back as far as where the biggest chunk had fallen off at the toe.  This is a far more serious rasping than I have ever done before, and I was kinda nervous when I trotted him up afterwards.  He is often a bit ‘soft’ after the farrier trims him, but this time he was perfect!  Phew!

My thoughts are that his feet were ‘showing’ me just how far back I could go – I could possibly go even further with the right one.  At the same time, I’m wondering if rounding them off (mustang roll) is stopping his feet from going to where they want or need to be.  In this instance, with hard summer ground, is it purely cosmetic?

His hind feet, by the way, have not chipped in this way and need a ‘normal’ trim – they are looking particularly concave!

I’m far from expert at this stuff, so I’m interested to hear what other people think.

My camera battery died so I didn’t take ‘after’ photos but I will hopefully take some tomorrow.

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