Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hoof Stands

If your back tends to tire when it’s time to pick pooh from your Hanoverian’s hooves, or if you need a stand when you clip around the coronet band while preening your Palomino, nothing will come in handier than a hoof stand!

For anyone who is considering the purchase of a hoof stand, I can’t recommend it enough. The benefits are nearly endless.

It will save your back during daily hoofcare, and when cleaning and prepping hooves for competition.

It will keep your horse comfortable while you work on his hooves so there is less fidgeting.

Your hoofcare professional will appreciate your horse being familiar with quietly leaving his hoof in/on the stand.

If you’re considering learning to trim your horse’s hooves yourself because you don’t live near any competent hoofcare professionals, you’re going to need one of these babies eventually.

In my opinion, though, not all hoof stands are worth purchasing. I figured I’d save you some money and frustration by sharing my thoughts about two of the most popular hoof stands on the market today. The Hoof Jack and the Hoof it – Hoof Stand.

I’ve always used the Hoof Jack.

Its cloth cradle is comfortable for the horse and offers enough flexibility that you can maneuver the hoof as you need to work on it. The posts are rubber instead of steel. The stands, cradles and post come in different sizes. The stand is shipped to you with a DVD on how to properly use it. Best of all the Hoof Jack is light weight.

You do need to remove the cradle from the stand when you need to change over to the post. To do that you have to unscrew a wingnut, but that’s not a big deal and after some practice, changing from cradle to post takes about 2 seconds. I sometimes will prop the hoof on one end of the cradle if I’m being too lazy to change out to the post, but that does wear out your cradle faster. All parts are replaceable.

I’ve also used the Hoof it Hoof Stand.

While the Hoof It Stand is less expensive than the Hoof Jack, and you can make it work for you, it is not as convenient to use as it might seem. Raising and lowering the post within the cradle can be frustrating and the post has to really be pushed into the cradle or the hoof sits on top of the post and rocks around when you’re working on the bottom of the hoof.

However, if you push the post all the way down into the cradle, it’s a pain to get it out again. I have to switch back and forth from cradle to post continually in my job and I could not put up with that much frustration for long. Also, there is a clamp, rather than a screw to keep the post/cradle at the appropriate height and that clamp can be very difficult to open and close.

For someone who doesn’t change back and forth from the cradle to the post often, the savings might be worth it, but in all likelihood, if you buy one, you will eventually replace it with a Hoof Jack. Save yourself some money and just get the HJ first.

Also, I have to comment on other types of stands, especially homemade ones. Before you go that route, think about the stand and what “will” happen “when” the horse knocks the stand onto its side and drops her leg down onto the base. It WILL happen. I’d much rather have my horse whack her leg on a plastic/resin base than one made of an rusty old plow disc.

The super cheap, 3-legged metal stands (my first stand) is really tipsy and just not safe.

Metal posts are also dangerous and not comfortable for the horse. Another thing to think about is the outcome when the horse knocks you off balance and you land on the stand. Give me a rubber post any day!

Hope this helps you!



One Red Horse said...

I have the hoof stand represented in your first picture.  Got it on ebay for a reasonable price.  Absolutely love it.  It is professionally fabricated, extremely stable, easy to use.  I like that there is nothing to have to "manage" while trimming - don't have to be careful that my file hangs up on anything.  IMO it is a great value for a reasonable price.-Cherie

lytha said...

woo, good post, thank you! i also need a rasp with a nice handle....but oh well, i'm still new at this and i'm not sure what's available in germany yet.


BethsRantsnRaves said...

I agree wholeheartedly regarding the Hoof Jack. I loved mine and will go back to it when we move back to the states. I am wishing I had my trimming gear here in Spain, I am in a constant state of hoof cringe! One "con" to the HJ, but it's not enough to change stands. I found, especially as a newbie, that I really tore up the cloth sling with the rasp. No biggie, it's replaceable. If a person is new to HJ, just keep that in mind, maybe it will help your rasping ways! I enjoy how light the stand is as well as how safe it is when it's knocked over. Yep, it WILL get knocked over, just a matter of time! Thanks, Pat, for keeping the posts coming. It's my link to the US and good hoof care!
Beth Cannon, Naval Station Rota, Spain

Pat said...

Hi Cherie,

Thank you for commmenting and for the feed back on that stand, which I'm not familiar with.

Ebay is where I kyped that picture. What is the base made of? I figured it is probably a resin. It has the appearance of the old timey stands made from plow discs. Those are dangerous. I'm all about safety.

Pat said...

Thanks Lytha,

I mainly use the Heller Legend rasps. Aren't those German made? I'm not sure. I also like the SaveEdge. As for a handle. I've tried many, and my preference is the small round aluminum handles. Not sure of the brand, but the wieght the rasp well so it has a nice balanced feel to it.

The cheaper long wooden handles getin my way and poke the horse in the belly, but I use a rasp differently than most farriers do. I rasp the heels back training them to grow down under the horse, rather than rasping down toward the ground which helps the heels grow in a run-forward maner. Rasping technique makes a huge difference in how the hoof grows.

The little plastic handles are not heavy enough and make rasping more of a chore in my opinion. Also, when it rains they get slippery.

Pat said...

Hi Beth!

Great to hear from you. Hope all is going well in Spain.

You'll have to get back in the hoof trimming groove when you return!

Yep, those cradles do get worn. Amazingly though, in five years of professional trimming, I've probably only gone through 3 of 4 of them.

Thanks for keeping in touch!

Latigo Liz said...

Thanks for the stand review. I’ll be getting one soon!

Will you do a review on rasps? I find that the one(s) I used is too long and awkward. But maybe it’s because my technique isn’t right? Guess I need that class sooner than later! ;)

Noahs Ark said...

Per first hoof stand from eBay. The rubber cradle is for boats and will flatten with the weight of the horse's hoof. There is no metal support to help it maintain it's shape.

Pat said...

True. I'm not a fan of the rubber cradles.

Pat said...

Thank you all for visiting my blog and for taking time to leave a comment. Much appreciated!