Every 6 weeks, our horses get pedicures. They are accustomed to the nip of the clippers and the shhhk shhhk of the rasp as it passes over the growth of their hooves, trimming them down to a healthy length. Some try silly little maneuvers on occasion, pulling their feet away or refusing to rest them on the stand, which requires our kind and patient farriers to hold it between their legs. Most everyone does well, however, even with the occasional quirk.
Domino is no exception to this. As an older gentleman, his slightly wiggly tendencies mostly arise from what we assume is discomfort versus a youthful belligerence or a playful testing of boundaries. He is on equioxx for his joints these days, which certainly helps some, but holding his feet up for extended periods has to be challenging for him. We don’t fault him for it, rather we find ways to be accommodating to his aging body.
After her first few sessions with Domino, our farrier Kenzie had an idea: trimming his hooves via power sander. This miracle of modern technology does more than just sand surfaces, it saves farrier’s hands and allows for an even “trim” of the hoof in half the time. The orbital sander is no new tool in a farrier’s toolkit, but it was new to our horses, and so when she floated the idea past us, we couldn’t say how Domino would react. If you’ve ever fixed a fence or repaired a shelter by a horse, you likely know that something about power tools captivates most horses, but standing at a distance of their choosing while a drill drills or a saw saws is quite different than feeling the vibration of a tool used on them, right under their chin.
But Domino was an incredibly brave boy, greeting the loud unknown without fuss. He didn’t seem to mind the feeling of it (having been in a massage chair that vibrates, I have to imagine it might feel kind of nice) nor did the smell or sound bother him. And because of the power of the tool, he was able to get his feet done in record time, making it an overall more pleasant experience.
Since then, Domino has been seeing not only the farrier, but the sander every 6 weeks, and he and his hooves are happier for it!