Most horse owners entrust hoof trimming or shoeing to a skilled farrier, although some
prefer to do their own work. In either case, there are some basic principles that should be
- Have a clean, level place to work
- Make sure the horse is properly trained to stand for the farrier.
- Optimum trimming or shoeing cycle for most horses is about six weeks
- If the horse is to be trimmed only, most of the sole should be left alone.
Remove only that which flakes out easily.
- Trim the frog conservatively, removing only loose, undermined or obviously
In most horses, the bearing surface of the trimmed heels should be as bar back as
the widest part of the frog. (see diagram A below, red line)
When finished, the angle of the pastern should be aligned with the angle of the
hoof wall. (see diagram B below)
- When shoes are applied, the shoe should fit the contour of the trimmed hoof from
the toe around to the quarters, but then be wider from the quarters to the heel.
There should be visible shoe about as wide as the thickness of a dime.
- The finished shoe should extend slightly past the trimmed heels
- Nails should not be placed past the widest part of the foot. This allows for heel expansion
- Walk and trot your horse in hand after work is done to make sure no immediate
problems have developed