Hoof-Care Email Q&A

Q: Are there tools and products you use in your hoof-care work that you think have helped keep you healthy and avoid injuries?

A: I utilize several tools and methods to save time and effort under each horse. First would be a Victorinox double-edge hoof knife that enables me to trim with either hand. Not all farriers are ambidextrous, but most could learn, which distributes the workload evenly between the upper limbs.

I use a Save Edge diamond hone exclusively for sharpening my hoof knives. This keeps my knives razor sharp, reducing effort. And since I’m not using power equipment to sharpen them, they last longer.

I use G.E. Forge & Tool half-round nippers for taking out hard sole rather than fighting with a hoof knife or sole knife. This helps tremendously with the large draft horses that I work on. G.E. Forge & Tool makes the best hoof nippers I have ever used, and their durability and ease of cutting puts them ahead of their competitors.

The more comfortable and efficient a tool is, the more likely you will see a benefit to your body. I use Heller Red Tang and Big Hoof rasps exclusively, as I find them to be consistent, sharp and durable with no variations from lot to lot. This speeds the work along and saves wear and tear on my body.

— Walter Varcoe, Port Jervis, N.Y.

A: The one back saver that has kept me shoeing for 42 years is my foot stand. Once…

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