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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Power Tools!

I don't own any power tools. Which is a shame. I own.....screw drivers, a hammer, allen wrenches. I ask for power tools every christmas and....don't recieve them. Matt (boyfriend) pretends he doesn't hear these requests as he looks positively pained at the idea I might actually own and use a power drill.

So I did what every good women does. Buy her own.

I decided I wanted a dremel tool. Versatile, small, and useful.

I called Matt so he could (virtually) join my on the momentous day.

Me: Where would the dremels be?

Matt: Try the tool corral

Me: That's where I AM!

Matt: Look by the bits

Me: Osh doesn't SELL BITS.....oh never mind (can anyone guess what bits I was thinking about.......?) Look at all the attachments I could....

Matt: (silence)

Me: What attachments should I get (keep in mind I had yet to actually look at the tool). Should I get the cordless or the cheapie?

Matt: I think this is a bad idea. What are you going to use it for anyways?

Me: To trim Horsey Feet!

Matt: (silence)

Me: Oh cool! It comes with drill bits. I LOVE drills. I can drill holes!!!!!

Matt: (silence)

I am now a proud owner of a dremel tool.

Let's talk about why I need a power tool to help me trim Farley's feet.

Farley's feet have gone through some wonderful changes over the last 8 months:

  • They are now a full Renegade size bigger
  • They are now concave
  • The hoof walls are TWICE as thick as they were

That last development is why I need a tool. In the summer time, Farley's hooves, even before barefoot, get very very hard. Hard enough to make my farrier cuss every time he had to trim. I've been doing just dandy up until this point - the rain has made her feet easy to work with, I've been able to get an excellent roll on the edges of the wall and the white line has continued to get tighter and tighter.

Until......about 8 weeks ago. It started to dry out. Her hooves started to take on the apparence of summer - hard hard hard. I was still managing to get her heels down and the foot balanced, but my mustang roll was suffering. Magically, her hoof walls seemed to have gotten thicker and there was just NO WAY I could rolll to the white line or the water line as needed from the bottom. I could do the roll from the top just fine, but couldn't start it properly underneath.

It was starting to tell - Farley's feet have been going backwards in the last 6-8 weeks - the white lines is starting to stretch again at the quarters and she's losing concavity. The last straw was sending pictures into Renegade and realizing I felt like apologizing for the how her feet looked.

A girl's got to do what a girl's go to do.

Today was my first day trimming with the power tool. If you considering adding a power tool to your farrier tool collection, here's some of the things I discovered:

  • Using a power tool DOES NOT REPLACE YOUR RASP. You still need your rasp to roll from the top, trim the heels, balance the foot. I ONLY used the dremel tool (with the sanding drum attachment) to do the 45 degree roll from the bottom (and then finished it from the top with a rasp). If you can use the rasp to do the same job, use the rasp - your edge will be more consistent and it will be a cleaner edge. However, if you are in my situation where it's dry and the hoof is hard and thick, a power tool may be the only way you can realistically get that roll (weak girl here is tiny little hands).
  • Use the rasp to clean up the power tool work, just to make sure there isn't any irregularities. Using something like a dremel tool with a sanding drum tends to want to make little undulations (which is bad), especially if you are a new user.
  • Keep the tool moving and don't use pressure.
  • Cordless is good
  • Use the higher speed setting
  • If you are new to trimming - spend at least 6 months using a rasp only - NO power tools. You need this experience.

Overall I'm very happy. Using the dremel let me put a strong roll on the hoof wall, which I was unable to do with just the rasp. I finished the roll from the top with the rasp. The feet look GREAT, and it was fast. I don't think I'll need to use the dremel every time - probably just every other time, now that I have a good roll established.

I was very careful with the dremel and I could see where it would be VERY easy to really create some damage with the hoof. This is why I reccomend that you DON'T START with this - use a rasp for a while so that your mistakes take longer to make and aren't as damaging.

Bottom line: Won't replace my traditional farrier tools, but a wonderful addition in the summer time for maintaining Farley's little feeties.


  1. Mel....your post has given me very ungranny like "urges" to go buy MY OWN power tool. Phebes loves the sound of clippers, so the leap to a dremmel should be pretty easy. How much noise did it make? Is your's cordless?

    Sadly, I'm one of those women (in the vast minority) that gets more excited over buying a row tiller than a diamond ring. Men don't get my type :/ I think my Doug just learned to go with the flow...

  2. tools = goodness

    power tools = more powerful goodness


  3. Isn't it odd, how we so desperately want rock-crunching hooves until it's time to trim, then we'd secretly kind of like the crappy hooves back?

    I am power tools owner and user in this family. Once you know what you like, pawn shops are a pretty good place to look for tools - the tools are used, but generally in decent shape, and they're quite inexpensive compared to the big box stores. With that said, I don't have the nerve to go after Dixie's feet with a shrieking demon (i.e. angle grinder)!

  4. My favorite tool is my cordless drill driver. My next favorite is my jigsaw. Those are my only 2 power tools, but they are still valid choices for #1 and #2.

    My favorite power tool of my husband's is now the 12" chop saw. Zing! It'll cut through wood like butter.

    Horse-related in the sense that they would be usefull for creating and mounting saddle racks...

  5. Sorry, I can't imagine taking a dremel, belt sander, or angle grinder to either of my horse's feet (even if they would let me!). The potential for injury is too great and I would never get over the guilt.

    Still, now that you are comfortable with it, I expect you'll be doing your own dental work?


  6. Dad- injury to yourself or to the horse? Inquiringinds want to know.

    It's actually not bad. Wear glasses and gloves and everything goes pretty well. As far as the horses go-I look at it as my personal mission to show my quarter horse barn that Arabs are NOT crazy, although I think the only thing I've succeeded in is convincing them that MY Arab isn't crazy ( I've been told several times thr I shouldn't sell farley because I'll never find another Arab that's so calm). Hehehe.

  7. They have obviously never heard of Hannah; Jeff's Arab. Can't imagane too much bothering her.



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