Category Archives: Tools



The more I travel to assist horse owners from one end of this country to the other, the more convinced I become that there is a huge gap in the system of our horse owner education, in relation to the horse’s hoof.

Children attending pony clubs are given tuition in hoof inspection and basic care and attention of the hoof, and one would assume they carry this knowledge onto adulthood, but what about the adults who venture into the horse world for the first time?

It is your responsibility if you own or ride or care for a horse, to seek the how-to knowledge about hoof care and maintenance. Far too many horses suffer needlessly after simple mishaps such as springing a shoe or losing the odd nails while waiting for the farrier to arrive.

This situation can easily be helped if the owner just has a basic set of hoof care hand tools, and if they learn to take off a bent … Continue Reading ››


Participants on my courses arrive very confused about what tools they should use, and also arrive with an amazing variety of tools. Claw hammers are carpenters tools and are not suitable for shoeing horses. Farriers’ tools are available in a huge range of prices. The old adage that you get what you pay for is very true, but perspective on how much use that tool will receive needs to be kept in mind. If you are only ever intending to trim, then buy the best quality rasp available, and buy a handle with it. A lot of people don’t realise that rasps can be sharpened up to 10 or 12 times; you can even do it yourself. To sharpen your own rasps, make a 100mm PVC cylinder the same length as the rasp with a PVC cap screwed onto the bottom. Place blunt rasps in the cylinder with handle end upwards, then fill the tube with neat hydrochloric acid, leave uncovered in a well ventilated space for four to six hours, remove and wash in bicarbonate of soda and water solution to neutralise the acid, dry the rasps … Continue Reading ››


The sole and the hoof wall react differently in a dry climate to protect itself from the prolonged dry conditions. In extended dry periods, Mother Nature hedges her bets as to when the ground surfaces are ever going to be soft again, and so she does not allow the old sole to come away, giving the hoof more protection from underneath. This has the resultant effect (Pic 1) of also allowing the hoof wall to become longer and in some cases more flared at the toe and the sides and as a result the horse’s mobility becomes very unstable. This is where we need to intervene in order to restore the natural flexibility of the hoof. The barefoot trimmers maintain that the horse needs sole callous and they won’t remove it. However, sole callous builds up for the reasons already explained, and when it has gone too far it results in big ugly hooves and lack of mobility. A sharp sole knife is a farrier’s necessity in all climates. The Speedy Sharpener is the perfect tool for sharpening sole knives and ideal for sharpening loop knives and is available on my … Continue Reading ››