Decembrr

How Long Does It Take You? (or Your Trimmer)

Recommended Posts

I attempted to trim some new horses yesterday that a lady had contacted me about. She had quite a big herd that had some serious hoof neglect. They claimed to have "done the barefoot thing" before, but moved and could not find anyone to trim to their liking...so they just didn't trim at all... and didn't appear to realize or see the problem with this...the horses weren't in work all winter, so it was not biggie.

I had told her that I'd come out, see what I could do...and if I didn't get them all done, I'd be happy to come back the next day and finish.

When I got there, she told me she was pulling out "the worst" for me first...behavior and hoof wise.

He wasn't awful behaviorally (but could've been much better with some manners), but holy smoke, the feet. He had 3+ inch wall length (my nippers couldn't even bite close enough), of course this was horribly flared and pulled away by more than an inch in most spots. Good strong THICK walls, obviously...he wasn't chipping out on his own despite the separation and length. His heels were very forward and long, huge, thick hard laid over compacted bars.

He was a little pushy...wanted to snatch his feet away... but nothing mean. I actually believe it was part discomfort level... as once I got a trimmed foot for him to stand on for each side, he stood much better for the other side.

He might've been less snatchy and pushy had this lady not randomly let him eat grass... and try to literally graze away from me...

Anyway, admittedly, I was pretty SLOW with the nippers. I hardly EVER use nippers. This might've been the 3rd time ever. My hands are small, I can't work them one handed usually (not on walls like THAT) and I had to play with how high he'd let me hold his feet. Yeah, I was slow with the nippers, but it's the only are that I really think I could've been faster with this horse.

All in all, it took me 40...maybe 45 minutes from when I laid hands on the horse to completion. Speed isn't my goal, but I was already trying to get thru as fast as I could because this lady 'fired' someone else (a guy) that was too slow for her... never had him back out.

After this big guy was done... she came back from the pen and said she was just going to be honest with me since I probably "had better things to do", too. She told me that I did a good job, they looked good...but she just doesn't have the time for "this", and I'm just too slow...being a woman and all. They don't have the time to wait around to have all their horses done at that speed....

I apologized, told her I understood...it was her call of course.... I picked up my tools and left.

I wasn't upset in any way... frustrated I drove so far just to be sent packing... but that's how it works I guess.

But it got me thinking... maybe I'm unreasonably slow? Perhaps I should warn potential new clients that I'm not speedy...in fact, I'm really slow?

On your average behaved horse that's been maintained, I probably spend less than 2 minutes per hoof. Most don't need much more than a renewed bevel, balance check... good to go!

Clearly, on set up trims...for grossly neglected hooves...I'm far, far slower...

How long do you expect to take on a set up trim? What about a set up trim for hooves that haven't seen any attention in over 9 months and aren't self trimming at all?

How long do you expect a maintenance trim to take, given they are no significant pathologies?

If you don't trim...how long does your trimmer or farrier take? What's unreasonably long?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It really doesn't take me any longer than 30 minutes for any type of condition as long as the behavior is good. If the horse doesn't behave and the owner won't make the horse behave, then I don't trim the horse.

From the attitude you got from the lady, I don't think I'd go back to work on her horses. Probably why she hasn't had them done too. She doesn't want to make time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Felda. Sounds like she wants it done fast and doesn't care how good it is. You don't need to have clients like that.

My trimmer takes about an hour and a half for two horses. So, that's about 45 minutes per horse. But that includes her answering my questions and discussing what she's doing and why. And of course, we just plain gab about stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

heh, when I first started it took me forever. Muscles not trained right and learning and the sort of perfectionist I am we're talking probably close to an hour per horse. At the beginning I had to do two hooves, take a 15 min break, then the other two. And only one horse a day.

Now? I'm getting better at it. Having learned more and getting my muscles to do what they need. I can do 2 horses and take a small break between the two. Taking about 20-30 minutes on each. But that being said mine all get trimmed about every 4 weeks so there isn't a whole lot of work other than nipping down (In the beginning I choose not to use nippers... I now love them that I've figured them out), filing even and putting on that beval. Which I've also found that bevaling from the bottom gives not only that better angle,, but is easier too.

My trimmer that I use at times and used before I learned probably takes 20 minutes per horse depending on what we're doing. Probably another 5-10 tweeking to my specifications. Just really all depending on the horse and what needs to be done with the feetsies.

The lady you went to? Sounds like she just doesn't care much about getting it done. She seems to have "better things to do" herself. Not my kind of horse owner honestly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

30 to 45 minutes usually but I also gab with my clients and answer questions etc...I have taken alot longer on horses who had terrible behaviour and terrible feet. Dont feel bad....It isnt your problem. Sound like the owners issue.

I also hate how they think we want to do the bad ones first always... Ummm no...Id like to get through all the easy ones without being worn slap out and then the bad ones last. That way I dont feel like I have this huge work load ahead of me to do while tired and if worst comes to worst, I can pack up and come another day for the bad one. Tired trimmer is no good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should have told her it takes a while to take care of all that neglect. [Crazy] Probably not people you want to mess with. I honestly don't know how long it takes me, I never timed myself. Maybe 30 mins?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont think 45 mins- an hour is unreasonable at all for severely neglected feet. That lady is just a total loser. I will not trim for people who give me the "I cant find a farrier" line anymore, its always BS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With that length hoof, it sounds like you worked pretty quickly to me. Also it is the first time you saw the horse so it takes time to evaluate what the horse needs. Plus if this was the worst one behavior and hoofwise, the others would have been quicker!

I think that woman was insane and if there is a decent animal welfare org, I'd report her for neglect. A good job can't be done quickly when the hooves are in an appalling state, the horse isn't perfectly behaved, and the owner makes it more difficult.

It really sounds like someone who shouldn't have horses. She wouldn't have time to walk a colicked horse or do any other health care and probably hasn't the time to feed and maintain fences properly. You have to be willing to spend time when you want to own horses, especially more than one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends a lot on the horse's condition and behavior.

With my mare, it takes me about 5 min per hoof. So 20 min total. She stands quietly, her feet are kept up. I don't have to assess angles a gazillion times because she's already pretty correct so I only have to sight, adjust, sight most times.

Other horses can take a lot longer. If it's taking too long, I will sometimes suggest that we do the fronts today and the hinds another day on a particularly ill behaved horses or horses that need a lot of work. It's hard to expect them to stand there for an hour while you dink around...and frankly, it's hard on ME. LOL

Being unfamiliar with the using the tools is a problem though. If the horse is behaving, even on hooves that haven't seen a nipper or a rasp in months, it still should take about 30 min in my book.

If you know how to use the nippers, it's the same once around as on a maintained horse. Rasping should take about the same. The only increase for me would be having to sight and balance a little more maybe.

A horse that isn't behaving is a whole other ball game though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

im not sure how long my farriers take [Question] never really thought about it, nor have i ever worried about it, i always dedicate my day to the farrier, a good horse owner should. it depends on what the horses needs are. & how many you need done for the day. it sounds like this woman is the kind of person who has horses just because she can. she doesnt deserve horses or a good enough farrier that will put up with a spoiled horse & that takes her time to make sure the job gets done correctly. your better off without a client like that! [Huggy]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I almost always have a helper with me. Some of the hooves around here are thick and rock hard and my littlehands cant always get the leverage I need to nip either...My helper will jump in and squeeze with me to make it go faster.

Trimmed my geldings fronts last night...His wall is probably 3/4 of an inch thick and rock har and long in the month I havent touchup trimmed...Even me AND my SO squeezing and the nippers were flexing his hoof was so hard lol...I was wore out after two feet.

Backup is good when you head out to new cases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off I wanna commend all you ladies that are either trimmin just your horses or trimmin for others. (not tryin to be sexist or anythin) but hoof work is not the kinda work that women have a easy time with cause of the size and strength issue. So with that bein said, it tickles me pink to read yall sayin stuff about yalls little hands and so on LOL. I use draft size nippers 100% of the time. For one reason its cause I do work on a good number of drafts and a lot of horses with very thick hoof wall. Another reason is cause you have to get use to the bite of your nippers just like the cut of your knives. And if you go back and forth between different nippers and knives you might make a big mistake with your cut and nip. And for those that said yall lack the leverage and hand size for thick hoof wall, I actually shorten the handles on my nippers cause my hands are big and strong enough to not need that extra leverage and also I dont like the handles bumpin the horses belly when I trim.

But anyways back to the question from the OP. I tend to take about 20 mins a horse and try my best to not go any faster. I do not trim for speed or quantity. I much prefer to trim at a good calm pace so that I have plenty of time to focus on the details of the hoof so that I dont miss anythin. Now I run into a lot of neglected hooves or bad tempered or standin horses. And those take me about 25-30 mins to do them. But that has to do with the fact that a horse has a harder time fightin with and pushin around someone my size and I'm pretty good at controllin a horses movement.

The lady that you trimmed for that said you take too long and she doesn't have the time to wait for you to trim for her, I would just be thankful that you dont need to deal with her and feel sorry for her horses. There is a old sayin "the recipe for failure is to try to please everyone". Just think about that when you run into people like that, and you will run into them a lot if you trim for the public.

Well thats pretty much my two cents. And once again kudos to yall women who are trimmin. [Not Worthy]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought on the nippers...I use the GE Race Nippers...the blades are thinner and as long as you keep it nice and sharp, I think it's easier to use than the standards or half rounds I've used. (and I've had two surgeries on my right hand so I do have some strength issues)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry...thought of something else...I used to avoid using nippers if I didn't have to because when I was first starting out, I was kind of scared. After spending more time with my farrier and practicing, I have come to LOVE nippers as even with light to moderate growth, it really speeds up the process. You can even do quite a bit of your bevel with the nippers and then just finish up with the rasp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I havent had time to read all the responses but this part cracked me up!! "...being a woman and all" You gotta love people!! It reminded me of an extremely rude horse who was trying to kick me in the head while I was trimming another one. Of course the owner didnt bother to move the horse or find me a safe place to work. Once I finished the the good one, I told her I would try to trim the kicker. She pulled him out of his straight stall and he dragged her up and down the isle way of this old dairy barn. She got him stopped for a second, I went to pick up his foot and he was gone again dragging her down the isle. She told me "I obviously need to get a man to trim this horse"!!! I told her that she didnt need a man, she needed a VET to sedate him because man or woman we cant trim a running horse!!!

So if it makes you feel any better, there are many people out there that are going to think "you should be better", when its truly that "they should be better" by not neglecting thier horses feet or thier horses training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now