5 Steps to Safer Trimming
5 Steps to Safer Trimming

1. Proper Coverage

One of the most important steps in safer trimming is wearing clothing appropriate to the task. Gloves are a must! It may take a while to get used to wearing them, but they're worth it. Even very experienced professionals get cuts and abrasions -- a great invitation to bacteria, not to mention sore spots on your hands.

Protection for your legs is another essential. One slip with the knife or a sharp rasp can do a lot of damage, and may even land you in the emergency room. A full coverage apron provides the best protection.

2. Proper Equipment

It may be tempting to try tools from the bargain bin at your local feed store, but resist the urge! It's potentially dangerous to you and your horse to try to work through tough horn with a poor quality knife, rasp, or nippers. Trimming your horse's hooves is important work and can't be accomplished with shoddy equipment. Proper equipment doesn't need to be super expensive, and quality tools will last a lot longer. Purchase professional level tools so you can do a job worthy of your horse's trust.

3. A Reliable Quality Hoof Stand

Choose a stand with a proven track record for quality, durability and ease of use from a reputable maker. Cheaper is not always better! This is an investment purchase for both your long-term health and the comfort and safety of your equine. A good hoof stand will not only save your back, but shifting your horse's weight to the stand will also allow you to better concentrate on what you're doing. With the help of the stand you'll be able to focus on the hoof instead of aching muscles.

4. Proper Care of Your Equipment

Caring for your tools and keeping them sharp is critical for creating a well-trimmed hoof and will shorten your trimming time. Dull nippers and a dull knife won't cut through horn, causing frustration and leaving a ragged hoof. Always clean the hoof before trimming -- nothing dulls equipment quicker than cutting through grit and dirt. Select high-quality sharpeners for your knives and keep your rasp clean and sharp with a rasp cleaner.

5. Learn safe & careful trimming technique

Most important of all, proper technique is the basis for the ultimate safety of both you and your horse. Proceeding knowledgeably and cautiously is critical. The more you learn and practice, the better you will be! And a greater understanding of the hoof also makes the work more interesting and enjoyable. Our learning materials stress a safe, sane, sensible approach to trimming which will ensure a sound and well-trimmed horse. Sharpening your mind along with your tools is essential!
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