Saturday, October 25, 2008
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!