By Dave Farley
Your customers may never lift the foot to check your work but you can be sure they take a good look at the hoof as the horse is standing in front of them. A few minutes spent on a good finish will go a long way in keeping your customers happy.
We start our finish work when we pull the shoes. This work, as with most of the finish work, is done on the foot stand. This allows us to take a good look at the hoof and get some of the finish work done as a part of pulling the shoes. After cutting the clinches, we use the file side of the rasp to clean up the wall and begin to shape the hoof. We like to use the Bellota rasp which doesn’t have a real coarse file side. One thing we want to avoid are deep marks in the wall. Doing this work now also keeps us from having to worry about rasping around the clinches (or clips) after nailing the shoes on.
At this point we pull the shoes, using a crease nail puller to avoid any wall damage. After pulling the shoes be sure to clean the wall all the way to the end of the heels. It’s sometimes difficult to get to this area when the shoe is on. After nailing, we bring the foot back to the stand and use the undercut before clinching to avoid marking the wall. Once we’ve clinched we lightly file the foot if needed. By using the undercut we can often bypass this step and go right to the sanding block. A good run with the sanding block should remove any file marks.
Our final step is to apply a sealant like Tuff Stuff. This can help with maintenance of the hoof. It only takes a minute and the customers appreciate the extra touch. Remember what they see when you’re finished.
1. On foot stand, use file side to begin clean up. 2. Crease nail puller minimizes hoof damage. 3. Clean up heel area after pulling shoe. 4. After clinching, use file side if needed. 5. Sanding block provides smooth finish. 6. Sealant is final touch.