I’m fortunate because not only do three out of my four horses wear their hooves naturally on our rocky ground, but all of them are barefoot and unridden. My mare Fortune was born with crooked legs due to poor neonatal nutrition (the mare had been shipped in and out of sale barns with no one revealing her pregnancy), so she pigeon toes in a bit and needs some professional help from time to time. Unfortunately, when you only have one horse that needs a trim and live far out of town, it’s difficult at best to get farriers to come. When you add in a stay at home order, and a concern about someone coming onto the property who may be an asymptomatic carrier, well that only complicates matters.

So what’s a girl to do? Buy a rasp and a nipper and learn how to do this herself. Right now I’m only working with the rasp, very slowly taking off a bit at a time (And learning why farriers wear leather gloves. OW!), but can tell that my girl already is moving better. I’m researching hoof trimming, and am taking it nice and slow. I’ve owned my girl long enough (20 years now) that I know what her movement looks like, and know what we’re aiming for as far as comfort levels.

I know I’m not alone when it comes to horse and livestock owners having to learn something new these days. From calling in my feed order the day before to pick it up, to trimming feet, and even those who are learning other skills or even rekindling old ones like gardening. It’s a changing world and livestock owners need to change along with it. I’m embracing the new environment and learning how to help my horses–on my own.

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