Trimmed my horse too short


Where Chickens Ride Horses
14 Years
Jul 9, 2007
always changing
This is horrible. Farrier came when I wasn't home and I think he trimmed her too short. She is having a hard time walking and I can tell she hurts. I am so freaked. I called and let the head guy know and he was going to ask the guy and I am to call back today as it was late when I noticed after work yesterday. I've had her trimmed 3 times already and this never happened those times. My quarter horse will be 4 in April. Any advice?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 29, 2008
You might make a deep bed of sand or shavings don't know which you have handy. Probably about a foot deep for about a week and a half. Is the horse bleeding or just sore?


13 Years
Mar 10, 2008
If she was trimmed to short there isn't all that much that you can do. You could give her some bute for the pain. Keep her on stall rest for a couple of week until the hoof starts to grow out again. With Spring here and her being young it shouldn't take to long. I had that happen once and I kept my gelding in his stall with alot of shaving so he was standing on soft ground. Was it all four or just one hoof?


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
First you want to be pretty sure that it's not a coincidentally-timed bout of laminitis (if it's 2 or all 4 feet) or an abcess if it's just 1 foot. If it *were* laminitis it would be really important not to brush it off as just a bad trim!

If you are confident it really IS the trim, then unfortunately all you can really do is keep her comfortable til things grow back somewhat. Keep her on SOFT footing as much as possible. This is seriously a big issue if you want to heal things as fast as possible and avoid her popping hoof abcesses (so-called gravel) a month or several months down the road. (edited to add: be careful about the stall rest thing -- with a young horse you can work yourself into much *more* trouble that way, especially if she is not used to lots of stall time, physiologically or psychologically. Personally I don't think I'd do it unless the only place I had for turnout was full o' rocks or was rock-hard lumpy-pointy earth)

If she's really seriously in pain, as opposed to just moving a bit short, if you have bute and feel comfortable giving her 1-2 g per day just to take the edge off the pain a lot of people would do that for a few days. Some people would also have the horse shod for the next cycle, to spare her tootsies, but I have really mixed feelings about doing that to a basically sound healthy young horse unless she was MASSIVELY mis-trimmed, and the farrier really recommended it I would sure want the head guy to be doin' it himself, in your situation.

And the other traditional treatment, which I do find useful sometimes, is to get a can of Venice Turpentine (really ought to use THAT, from a tack shop, not regular ol' paintbrush-cleaning turpentine) and paint that on the soles of her feet, just once (can repeat in 3-4 days if necessary). Keep the venice turpentine away from the coronet and heel bulbs and any raggedy cracks she may have in her frogs. This will toughen up the soles a bit.

To me, one too-short horse-real-sore trim is a bad sign (and I've certainly had it happen occasionally over the years), but I would not necessarily ditch a farrier for that unless I'd been thinking about it anyway (and knew a good alternative to go to). But to me, if it happens again, it's time for a different farrier.

Good luck to both of you!

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11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
Rocky Mountains
If you have or can borrow some soft hoof boots like Cavallos, those will help her.

Other softer footing ideas would be a rubber stall matt for her to stand on, or do you have a stall that you can put her in with some deep straw? Anything except that lumpy frozen ground like we have...

Strong iodine painted on the sole can help dry it out which will make it a little tougher.

I am just trimming up my own crew and am conscious to leave their hooves a little long this time of year to protect them from having softened hooves (from all the moisture) and having to walk on ground that is often frozen and lumpy in the morning. Farriers that are used to shoeing will sometimes do a trim that is just too short for a barefoot horse - they take off too much toe and that can make a horse really, really sore. Back when I used to have a farrier trim my horses, one of the first Spring trims made my horse so sore he was ouchy for ~3 weeks.

Anyway, sorry about your girl.


seismic wonder2

I got mad ninja skills
12 Years
Feb 3, 2007
san diego ca
When I was kid my neighbor had horses. I'd feed them a hand full of grass and they would step on me.

THat's about the extent of my horse knowledge.
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12 Years
Mar 12, 2007
Alfordsville, IN
I go about things a bit differently. I soak in ACV (the real, natural kind) daily and wrap the affected feet with either diapers or flip-flop soles cut to fit the hoof and taped on with duct tape. I then do stall rest or limited turn out (like in a round pen). You'll need to watch her soles pretty darn carefully and keep her away from any rocky ground. If you can see a shadow of her coffin bone - stall rest is a must. Bute, I'd steer clear of unless you have her in a well bedded stall because it can block some pain and she may overexhert herself and injure her hooves. I like BL Solution because it's a natural anti-inflamitory but doesn't have the bad effects of bute.

Recently my neighbor's Sec A Welsh gelding was trimmed way too short by her farrier's apprentice. It happens. It took two weeks for the poor guy to get over it. The flip flops and duct tape were the way we went with him as the coffin bone was visible.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
This is SO true. While a really good farrier can (and should!) perfectly well adapt the trim to the horse and whether the horse is shod, there are a lot of guys out there who are basically adequate for shod horses but just don't do enough barefoot horses to have cottoned on to the difference. So they go preparing the foot as if they were putting a shoe on. Which in many cases ends up with too little hoof wall.

I just switched away from someone like that myself last fall, in fact, after much too long thinking it'd get better

Just something to think about, if your farrier does very few barefoot horses.

Pat, with 3 barefoot except that one or the other of the TBs occasionally gets shoes for a cycle or two if the ground is real hard and pointy or something like that.

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