How Your Horse Affects Their Trimming Schedule
How old are your horses? As they get older, the rate of hoof growth slows down. My two horses are twenty something and thirty and really only need trims two or three times a year.
Do your horses have any medical conditions or conformation issues that might require more frequent trims? A horse with laminitis or navicular disease will probably need to be trimmed or shod more often to keep them comfortable.
How Your Horse's Living Conditions Affect Their Trimming ScheduleThe season and where you live are big factors that will affect how fast your horses' hooves grow. If you live in a dry, rocky or sandy area, your horses feet may grow slower and wear down faster, which means they won't need to be trimmed as often as horses that live somewhere on soft green grass that gets a lot of rain. Horses' feet tend to grow faster in the spring and slow down in the winter.
Another thing to take into consideration is your farrier's time. If they're ridiculously busy, or you live an hour's drive from them, they may have you on a set eight week schedule along with all their other clients in your area.
So, how can you, as the horse's owner, tell when they're ready for trims? Clean their feet out often and watch how long it takes the hoof wall to grow out past the sole to the point it might need a trim.
If you have a question you’d like to ask a farrier (about horseshoeing, farriery, hoof and horse health, blacksmith tools, working as a farrier, etc.), email or leave it in the comments below. Every month, we’ll pick one question to answer in our feature.
Image credit: Zahaoha