Jack, the speckled special needs horse, seen in the video below, has no problem allowing his farrier, Al, to work on his hooves. As a matter of fact, he nudges and licks the farrier with an air of contented gratitude while the man tries to complete his work.
“I love you, Al, for fixing my feet!” narrates Jack’s owner from behind the camera, while the farrier jokes about marrying the affectionate horse.
Every responsible horse owner knows that caring for their animal’s feet is essential to maintaining its good health. Hooves that grow too long or unevenly will eventually split or break, injuring leg muscles and tendons, and possibly compromising the horse’s spinal alignment.
To prevent these problems, the hooves must be trimmed, evened out and fitted with shoes about every six weeks, according to an article at Horses and Horse Information.
A professional farrier understands how to trim and balance a horse’s hooves and how to create shoes best suited for an animal’s needs; the condition and shape of each hoof plus the horse’s activities play an important part in deciding which material to use for the shoe, what size it should be, and into which shape it should be formed.
Trimming hooves is not painful for a healthy horse; it is very similar to trimming the toenails of a human. Jack certainly doesn’t seem to mind having Al file and polish his hooves — he appears to be grateful for the pedicure!