Hoof Care Q&A

Q: What is your best hoof-care tool tip?

A: I round the top of my pull offs. This makes it easier to slide them forward under the shoe, easier to rock and more importantly, spreads out the pressure on the hoof.

— Henry Heymering, Frederick, Md.

A: Make a wire brush your new best friend. The greatest thing that you can do to prolong the sharpness of your rasps, knives and nippers is to vigorously clean every foot with a $3 stiff, wire brush before putting your sharp trimming tools to them. Simple, cheap, allows you to see the bottom of the foot better and will save you hundreds of dollars a year.

— Dave Whitaker, Saco, Maine

A: I take a lot of time to readjust the handles of all my tools, whether they are hammers, nippers or clinchers.

Nippers, clinchers and crease nail pullers are tong-type tools. All handles are invariably set too wide to provide a relaxed grip and almost all tong-type tools are too wide at the ends of the handles. This causes the hands to have to over expand their grasp in order to apply pressure.

I have extraordinarily large hands and if they are too big or wide for me, then I guarantee they are too wide and uncomfortable for everybody else. I can close up the handles of G.E. Forge nippers cold. Other tools, such as my St. Croix crease nail pullers, I heat to modify. I close the handles and reshape the…

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