Hoof-Care Checklist: What To Look For In A Hoof Nipper

The lowest price doesn't mean you're getting the best deal

The styles of the different hoof nippers are pretty much the same. There is not much one would change about the basic design of the hoof nipper.

The differences come about from the various methods of manufacture, the materials used and the methods used in heat-treating the nippers.

It is not difficult to make a very inferior nipper that looks as good as one of premium quality. So how do you know the difference? That’s easy. You buy the cheap nipper and use it until it becomes very difficult to cut the hoof. It might last you for only 25 horses.

To begin with, materials used to make the nipper are really important. The reins are expected to be light, springy and not collapse or bend while we are using all of our might to cut a hard hoof.

At the same time, the blades are expected to be really hard (around 64 on the Rockwell hardness scale) so the nipper blades will last a long time and keep their edge without needing to be resharpened.

We would like to get a couple of thousand horses or 8,000 hooves out of a nipper wouldn’t we? At the current trim-only price range of $35 to $45 per horse, a couple of thousand horses would amount to $70,000. We do not mind spending a little to make $70,000.

On the other hand, a non-professional who is doing only…

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Jack Roth

Jack Roth of Purcell, Okla., is a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame and the owner of the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School. He also owns MFC Horseshoeing Tools and Purcell Farrier Supply.

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