Monday, November 11, 2013

A flurry of updates 3: trimming thoughts

I've gotten a lot of barefoot trimming questions over the years, and I've been meaning to put up a megapost about trimming for quite a while.  But I'm the queen of Impostor Syndrome - I can't possibly be doing it right, so how can I explain to anyone else how to do it right?

One of the things I'm being forced to work on this year is, uh, owning my accomplishments?  I still feel like a fat, uncoordinated, clumsy nerd.  I'm a redneck who wasted a bunch of money on a pretty horse, and any minute now someone's going to show up, demand that Dixie sidepass on command, and confiscate my equestrian card.  I can't run, I always hurt myself.  I'm not a trimmer, I just bumble along trying not to fuck up Dixie's hooves.

But I have accomplished a lot.  I don't want to act like I'm a BAMF, but I also don't want to act coy and self-deprecating - that's really irritating too.

I got X-rays of Dixie's front feet last week, and you know what?  I'm not ruining her.  They're pretty healthy.  I'm proud of myself!  There's a good deal to argue about if I were out drinking with a bunch of pro trimmers, but in general, these are Good Feet.

Of course I didn't take pictures before the xrays.  I trimmed in mid-October and got the rads at the beginning of November, but here's basically what they look like, inside and out.

Mid-October trim.  The black stuff is glue from the glue-ons at VC, not some weird fungal infection or something.
 Probably the right front.

Early November rads:

I think, from talking to people who have a lot more experience than me, that they're pretty good.  She has a LOT of sole, and a LOT of wall.  Her digital cushion is really nice, especially after her rough start in life.  The outside of the right is a little high.  I can keep wailing away at her toes without worrying about taking too much off.

(You know what else is pretty cool?  That horse is pretty cool.  She just sighed, deeply, and stood patiently on the little blocks like a circus horse.  "You want to do what?  And I just have to stand here?  Ok, fine.")

Anyway, I've put up a page on trimming, and I'm not sure what else I should say.  Go take a look, please, and tell me if there's something else you'd like to see addressed?


  1. Funder!! Great rads!! All I can pick on is the long toe - honestly, no wonder she does well at endurance!

    Well done my friend!

    1. THANKS! Everybody keeps telling me to whack that toe off - and this summer I got braver and started whacking more off - but the whole thing is stretched and I'm like "I'm too close to the tip of the frog I'm GOING TO KILL HER." Now that I've got rads and I *know* there's hoof to spare I can get more aggressive.

  2. This is why rads are worth every cent you pay for them. Next time, put a marker at the tip of her frog and use a string of metal to mark the hoof wall - factor in the magnification scale and voila! You will have exact measurements to trim to.

    1. I wish I'd had her run the little metal thing all the way to the toe, yes. There's a BB at the tip of her frog, see the little bright spot? But I do feel a lot better about how much toe I can take off!

  3. Those rads look a lot like "after" ones you see on barefoot websites :)

    I wonder if Dixie suffers from the same thing Peanut does, and if it's a TWH-prone thing. I've been fighting his long toes forever, and yes everything is stretched down there. However, the slope of his pastern is correct with the slope of his hoof. He, being the flexible lad that he is, has pasterns that tend to ride low and very angled. Mirror that in a hoof and bam, you get long toes! My trimmer has been seriously rolling his toes back lately - almost squaring them off - since he wants them so long. I used to cringe at the 4-point trim, and gave her hell when she first tried it, but I'll be damned if he isn't sounder on it. However, she only does it every other trim to keep the forces down.

    Anyway, long story short, I never noticed how her angles remind me so much of Peanut's, and that you might be fighting long toe for the same reason I am!


Feel free to comment!