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HOOF CLEANING. “Biscuit” stands quietly for a “racetrack” hoof cleaning by farrier Cecelia Clark.
Trimming pony feet is one of the hardest things for me as a farrier. A pony’s stature and uncertain attitude makes the work difficult. We’re both in a very uncomfortable and awkward position. Trimming the off-front leg agitates most ponies and usually starts a fight. Any battle with these little horses causes trouble later on when children work with them or when anyone tries to pick their feet.
Using a 4 1/2-inch electric grinder makes trimming pony feet a lot easier and quicker. Gloves and safety glasses are a must and you need a good person at the pony’s head while you’re working.
I like to start by cleaning out all four feet using the “racetrack” method of picking all feet up from the near side. This gets the animal used to the same position that you’ll use with the grinder.
The grinder spins in a clockwise direction, so I try to use it on the near side of the animal to keep all the debris flying away from the horse and from me. Most of these little guys get the idea very quickly and know what to expect.
Start the grinder away from the pony and do not show it to him. Pick up the near foot and let him settle down before starting to level the hoof. These short, wide-bodied little horses have a slightly shorter inside hoof length, so work accordingly.