Everyone wants their horse to have a calm, stress free experience while being trimmed. And a little preparation makes all the difference.
A relaxed horse that understands their legs are occasionally borrowed, will help keep trims accurate, hooves balanced, and your trimmer on time for their appointments.
These are guidelines only, and exist to help your trimmer/farrier do the best job they can for your horse. We're all busy with our own lives, and very few people have the time to do everything recommended.
So thank you in advance for whatever time and effort you do put in to help us help your horse.
It sounds obvious but one would be surprised how many horses are unaccustomed to having their feet handled. Let alone held for a trim! Get your horse used to giving their leg on command, held up, cleaned and given back. If you can take it a step further and help your horse learn to stand still until the work is over you'll be one up on many others.
A trimmer is a very small part of your horses life. Even if I were to spend 1 hour with them every four weeks I am less than 1% of their time during the year. You are responsible for the other 99%. This includes diet, movement, lifestyle, and the terrain the horse spends its time on. All of which influences the quality and quantity of the hoof horn produced. A trimmer sets the platform for healthy horn growth, but you are responsible for creating a sound barefoot horse.
Horse and Trimmer / Farrier Safety
Understandably this work comes with its own risks, and trimmers need to feel safe while doing their work. If a horse is unreasonably flighty, anxious or aggressive and they don't feel it safe or wise to continue the work, please don't take it personally if they call off the trim.
Neither are they there to battle with a horses leg in order to 'win'. Nobody wants to find out what 400+kg of thrashing leg can do to a back. If a horse is in need of further training, a smart trimmer will advise you and direct you to somebody who can help if required.
Find out what works best to keep your horse still and quiet while your trimmer is at work. Do they prefer to be tied up? For you to hold them? Or does their usual equine friend need to be nearby? A calm horse that feels safe in their environment will reduce the risk of injury to everyone involved.
Please be aware that other animals in the area are a hazard, including dogs. Even if you feel comfortable about having them around, many trimmers are not.
A horse that is ready to go when your trimmer arrives, allows them to get straight onto the assessment and required work.
In the wet seasons its always appreciated when horses are reasonably clean and dry, with no excessive mud or water in their coat. Working under a dripping horse is never pleasant.
In the case of summertime hooves, a 5-10 min soak prior to the trim makes for softer hoof horn and a more accurate trim.
For those who are fly haters, the use of a natural fly spray will keep them from jerking feet away, tail twitching and improve all round behavior. This keeps your horse safe and the trim accurate.
Your trimmer owes the same prompt service to others that they provide you. If you feel your horse will need extra time due to age or injury related concern, make sure you let them know when you are scheduling the appointment.
In the ideal world payment should be made at the conclusion of a trim (unless by prior arrangement). Work out which method your trimmer prefers, if a receipt is required, and if you can't make a payment whether you can reschedule or pay at a later date.
A Joint Undertaking
A trimmer should arrive when you expect them to and complete the work to the very best of their ability. By following these guidelines you can minimize risk of injury to yourself, your horse and your trimmer.
Working alongside your trimmer and the recommendations they make can ensure you have a successful and stress free barefoot experience.
Making for happy horses, and happy owners.