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Last issue, we shared some of the responses we received to an e-mail we sent out asking our readers to let us know what landmarks they use to guide their trimming. Responses continue coming in and we thought we’d share some more of them with you.
When I pick up a foot to start a trim I look at the most recognizable part first. Usually the frog, and pare it to clean itself, then search for the other ones — Duckett’s Dot, bar content. This time of the year, feet are pretty ugly after the long winter months. Searching for some of the landmarks is tough. Sometimes trimming by Braille is more the case. I’ll look for the pillars and try to define them as the hoof and use of the animal will allow. I’ll try to bring the heels back as far as I can. Sometimes these aren’t so easy to achieve.
— Heidi Larrabee Palmer, Alaska
It is easier trimming a horse whose foot has “settled” into its proper shape as dictated by conformation. Then, it is just a matter of checking your work as you do it to make sure there are no new variations. My landmarks would be:
On a new customer horse you almost always have to start from zero. For whatever reason you are the new farrier, there has been a period of less than the best care on the foot.