evo hoof tools
We all know keeping horses barefoot isn’t as easy as many would think. While there are those who assume barefoot simply means whipping off shoes and keeping horses at pasture, for those of us who opt to walk the path barefoot (and when needed boot) the reality of caring for horses (and hooves) is a constant mind game, from the endless calculations to meet our horses daily nutritional needs, factoring in the sugar surges of living grass, the fluctuating levels of nutrition in stored forage, to trying to managing hoof hygiene in muddy fields that to breed hoof rotting bacteria. Add to that the challenges of individual equine genetics not to mention the impact of seasonal changes on hoof care and it’s a wonder that we horse owners have room upstairs to fit the shopping lists, the car-pool, household administration and the jobs that pay for our horses.
While we all like to maintain a degree of independence with our horse care, the one person we truly depend on above all to help ease the burden is our equine podiatrist or barefoot hoof care practitioner. Fewer and further between than one might think, it is to their specialist skills we turn more regularly than any other equine health care provider, we cherish their time and covet our appointments, moving life, work and family around to accommodate them, ensuring our horses will be ready and waiting at the appointed time on the appointed day.
But what do you do when, midway between the appoint that was and the one which will be, you bring your horse in off the pasture or get home from that hack to find your horse’s professionally trimmed and rolled hooves have lost the battle with loose grave, a flair has flaked and the little crack has started to catch? With a little practise and guidance from your hoof care practitioner you can safely manage these situations til your next appointment with your trimmer comes round.
While we don’t advocate that anyone undertake trimming their own horses without prior training or experience and extensive understanding of hoof anatomy and structure we do strongly believe that barefoot horse owners need to be proactive managers of their horses wellbeing and as such can, with care and consideration, safely manage the day-to-day task of keeping barefoot hooves in top working condition.
It is for this reason that we stock a selection of Evo Hoof Care tools. If ever there was a basic survival kit for owners to keep about the yard or when out travelling we feel that these few products would be at the top of the list. We feel with a little practice (it’s useful to try tidying up the edges on a piece of wooden rail to make sure you are comfortable with a tool first) these tools offer a safer option for us horse owners than the standard straight or 90 degree angled hand rasps more commonly available in tack stores and online which risk interfering with the balance and shape created by your hoof care practitioner.
These hand size rasps have a concave surface, ideal for rounding the hoof wall edge to create and maintain a bevelled edge (more commonly referred to as a mustang roll), and we all know that a correctly bevelled hoof wall is key to a healthy durable hoof. The curved surface of these rasps means that, unlike convention rasps, the hoof wall is always removed in an curve, and requires little expertise to shape the bevel edge of a hoof wall, allowing easy, fast and more précises shaping without the fuss of trying to co-ordinate a 14 inch long flat steel rasp.
The shorter design means these rasps can be used with one hand leaving the other hand free to hold and stabilise the hoof, making it a great option for horses inexperienced or nervous about the trimming process as you can not only hold the hoof as opposed to using a hoof stand if necessary but there is also much less risk of you bumping the opposite supporting leg with the radius rasp then there is when using a long flat rasp. Additionally unlike flat rasps which are frustrating to use in situations where there limited ground clearance or distance between limbs, the compact size of the radius rasp means older horses or those with mobility issues who cannot flex their joints to hold a standard trimming position can have their hooves bevelled while their leg is supported in a more comfortable and stable position within the limits of their range of moment even if that means a minimum of ground clearance.
Benefits of the Radius Rasp:
- Can be used single handed;
- Concave design creates a more natural bevelled edge;
- Ideal for smaller ponies as well as foals;
- Safer to use on a nervous trimmers or young horse than a standard flat rasp;
- Compact size means easier to use on horses with limited joint mobility;
- Finger grooves provide firm and comfortable grip;
- Built-in magnets all the Radius Rasp to be attached to hoof stands, horse trailers, and other steel frames for easy access;
- Light-weight, easy to pack with you when out riding or traveling with your horse;
- Different coarseness options means you can work on different strength hoof horn;
- Replaceable stainless steel blades that will not rust.
The Radius Rasp Original creates the smoothest finish to the edge of the hoof wall and can be used alone to maintain the bevelled edge of hooves between trims or for quick repairs of small chips and flares alternatively use after the Radius Pro when trimming for a more refined mustang roll to the hoof wall. This tool is excellent for regular maintenance of the bevelled hoof wall edge to keep hoof boots fitting well between full trims and is small enough to easily fit into your saddle bag when out on the trail or into your tack box for travelling. It is also particularly suited for light use on smaller pony breeds, miniature horses and foals where conventional rasps generally take off too much hoof.
Radius Rasp Original – RR-1, is white handled, with perforated smooth shaving blade for fine timing and uniform finishes. It is only 4 1/2′ long, 2″ wide, weighs 8 oz
The Radius Rasp Pro, is a more aggressive wall rounding tool that rapidly creates the arc of the bevelled edge during normal trimming. Its curved shape allows you to rasp the hard outer wall edge of the hoof with ease and shaping the edge into the start of a nature upward roll. It leaves a rougher finish than the RR-1 but cuts faster through hoof horn, it will rapidly smooth out and curve the sharp edge left by using a flat hoof rasp or hoof nippers. We recommending using the Radius Pro on larger hooves or when tidying or trimming very tough hoof wall. It is our opinion that owners should not use this rasp on very small ponies, miniature horses or foals.
Radius Rasp Pro – RR-2, has a black handle, with pointed rasp teeth for harder hooves and creating the initial bevelled wall edge. It is 4 1/2″ long and 2″ wide, and weighs 13 oz.
For trimmers using the two different Radius Rasps in sequence gives the best results when trimming to form the bevelled edge. The pointed teeth of the black handled Pro are more effective in removing the harder, more uneven surface on an un-trimmed hoof wall, and quickly round the rough surface left by hoof nippers around the outer wall edge. The shaving action of the white handled Original creates a smoother, more refined finish to the surface of the bevel. Thus the best results are attained by using the two Radius Rasps in sequence.
As with all hoof trimming rasp the radius rasps are most effective when used with quick light pressured strokes. Remember when trimming hooves, less is more, you are aiming to remove only what is necessary to maintain the correct hoof shape.
The Original Hoof Buffer
Creating and maintaining a smooth surface around the edge of the hoof wall free from flairs helps prevent splits and discourages flares developing that weaken the hoof. The Hoof Buffer Original has been designed to flex so that these unevenness and rough surfaces can be quickly softened and smoothed. This flexion evens out ridges and irregularities, blending all aspects of the wall into a uniform contour.
The Hoof Buffer Original has a replaceable flexible sanding belt and has been designed so that, unlike ridged steel rasps, the belt will flex slightly when applied to the edge of the hoof wall. This action allows you to create the smoothest surface possible when rounding the perimeter of the wall while the hard back of the handle can be used to apply more firm pressure when sanding cracks and chips in the wall surface.
Every Hoof Buffer comes with a wrench for adjusting the tension and a spare sanding belt. The belt can be loosened and rotated when signs of wear are showing to enable the entire belt surface to be used in full before requiring replacing. Additional replacement sanding belts are also available.
Advantages of the Hoof Buffer Original:
- Flex’s light to the meet the natural curve of a hoof;
- Less aggressive abrasion of the exterior hoof wall than using steel rasps;
- Uniform removal of hoof ridges and flare;
- Fine buffed finish when sanding that does not require additional refinement;
- Surface lasts longer than sanding blocks as it can be rotated to extend use;
- Varying levels of firmness applied depending on the side of the buffer used.
Detailed instructions of using the Radius Rasps and the Hoof Buffer can be found via this link.