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Horse Farriers

Updated on January 25, 2016

Horses Need Their Hooves Trimmed

Every six to eight weeks, a horse needs to get their hooves trimmed up just like we need to get our nails trimmed.

The bottom of a horse's foot is round with a soft pad in the center called a frog. The frog absorbs the pressure of the ground and keeps the circulation going through a horse's leg and body. The hoof surrounds the foot and keeps it safe and protected. It keeps growing and needs to be cut every few weeks.

A person who trims horses' feet and puts shoes on them is called a farrier. Around here, a farrier costs about $40 to trim each horse.

Farrier Tools

These are some of the tools that a farrier uses.
These are some of the tools that a farrier uses.

A Workbench Full of Tools

The farrier brings along his own tools for doing his job. The shoeing box is full of the tools which includes tools like a rasp which is used for filing down the hoof after it's been trimmed, a nipper for cutting off the long part of the hoof, and a crease nail puller to pull the nails out of the hoof. Farriers will usually come in a truck with a lot of tools and supplies but won't need many of those unless your horse has special hoof needs or shoes put on.

Using a Disc Base Hoof Stand

This stand holds the horse's foot up so the farrier can work on it easier.
This stand holds the horse's foot up so the farrier can work on it easier.

Wide Base Hoof Stands

A hoof stand supports the horse's foot. The wide base keeps it steady and let's a farrier have both hands free instead of using one to try to hold the hoof. It also helps to save the farriers back and knees.


How often do you have your horse's feet done?

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How often should I have my horse's feet done?

The general amount of time between trimmings depends on the time of year and other factors such as the horse's age and what type of ground they spend the most time on. We stick to every 6 - 8 weeks during the summer but the horses can go longer between trimmings in the winter.

Be Your Own Farrier

Not everyone is cut out for being a farrier but if you are someone who is, check out these books! I prefer to call a professional but it's a skill that's good to know in case of an emergency. One of my horse's shoes came loose one night and it was important that we knew how the shoes were put on so we could easily take it off. You might be able to find local classes to learn how to do your own work for profit or just to save yourself some money or for the case of an emergency but these classes are getting harder to find in many areas. A local barn might be able to help you find one or they might have a farrier who can teach you some skills.

Learn how to do your own farrier work

Well-Shod: A Horseshoeing Guide For Owners & Farriers (Western Horseman Books)
Well-Shod: A Horseshoeing Guide For Owners & Farriers (Western Horseman Books)

Here's a great horseshoeing guide. It will show you what to do and answer lots of questions. Knowing the basics is better than knowing nothing at all. It might come in handy more than you expect it too.

These are the basics of horseshoeing. It's something good to know in case you find yourself in an emergency situation. If you really want to take the time to learn indepth farrier skill, this book will give you lots of insight.


Farrier Tools

If you have your own horse or you own a boarding facility, you should keep a kit handy just in case. You never know when there's going to be an accident and it's good to be prepared. Knowing the basics about how your horse's feet are trimmed can be very helpful if you're unable to get a hold of your farrier for a length of time.

My horse had a shoe coming off one time and the farrier was coming the next day. I couldn't leave it the way it was so we were at least able to pull the shoe off and he was okay until the farrier got there the next day. I was glad that I had taken a short course on how to do farrier work so I wasn't completely unprepared.

Keep This Around the Barn In Case of An Emergency

8-Piece Complete Farrier Kit
8-Piece Complete Farrier Kit

This is a great kit to have on hand at the barn. It comes in handy in the case of an emergency and saves you money if you know how to do the trimming yourself.


For More Information

If you are looking for more information about farriers or how you would go about becoming one, or if you're just trying to keep up with the latest farrier news, check out these informative sites. They share the latest educational news and lots of resources that will help you.

See What Farriers Do

Farriers are Important People

As you can see, a farrier is an important person in your horse's life. Make sure that you have a good one because a bad one can ruin your horse as easily as a good one can correct serious conformation problems. It also helps to have one that is nearby in case of an emergency but don't let that be the only reason that you choose one. Someone who is a little further away might be better and if it's only a matter of a few minutes difference in distance, I would choose the better further away one.

Please leave a comment below so I know you were here! Also, if you have any experience working on horses' feet, please leave a helpful tip or suggestion.

Thanks for stopping by!

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    • renee21 profile image

      renee21 23 months ago

      I used to have a horse. This information is very useful for those thinking about getting a horse. Great hub!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Great info. Hoof care is very important.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Back when my children were young my husband learned to shoe horses. It came in handy for ours.

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      yea! a horse lens! -eheh :)

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 4 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      I remember back in the day when I owned my horses thank goodness my brother in law was a farrier which helped with saving money.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      It's interesting to see what really goes into the proper care of a horse. Thanks!