|Harley is not impressed by the inedible hoof stand.|
The Hoofjack has been long-listed on my wishlist for several years now. The stand is expensive and not totally necessary, so lots of other things ranked above it on the "must buy" list. Since I have not come into a large sum of money or won the lottery, how, you ask, did I come into hoof stand ownership?
I own 1/3 of the stand! That's right. The barn owner, another boarder who grooms her horse's feet, and myself all chipped in and purchased the real thing. Split into thirds, that cost is very doable. My fellow boarder and I were vacillating over a cheaper version in a catalog, but were hesitant to risk using an imitation. When the barn owner expressed interest in purchasing a stand, we cheered and jumped at the opportunity.
The Hoofjack is very well-designed, durable, and safe. The cradle and pillar are very easy to switch between and the height is adjustable. Can you see the circular magnet on the side of the stand? Those heave-duty magnets allow me to never put my rasp on the floor. This is also nice, because I do not have to reach all the way to the ground to pick it up again either.
At first glance, this seems to be a hoof stand match made in barefoot-trimming-heaven. The only problem is that there seems to be a learning curve involved with using the stand. The first time that I attempted to use it, I completely gave up and put the stand aside. When Harley's foot was resting in the cradle, it felt too wobbly as I tried to trim. I tried pressing his foot into the stand to stabilize it, as I have seen on videos, but the results were not much better. Harley also seemed less patient with the stand than he is with just me. He pulled his foot out of it several times. I found myself feeling kind of annoyed, because I did not want to have to train him to keep his foot in the stand. It is unusual for me to balk at a training opportunity, but trimming is hard work and I felt an overwhelming need to "just get it done". My perspective was that the stand was interfering with my work.
It appears that wishes are not without irony.
Since my first attempts, I have used the stand to finish his foot from the top with some success. The stand is thousands of times better than using brute strength and my back for finishing off the mustang roll and shaving off any remaining flare at the quarters and back of the foot. However, I am still playing around with the optimum height.
When I do use the stand, Harley seems to want the stand set very low. This is not a surprise since the previous stand that I used was, quite literally, my knee. Actually, I find using my knee comfortable for my back when I am working on the bottom of the foot. I can keep my back straight, by bending my other knee so that my shin is nearly parallel to the ground. It is a squatting/kneeling position of sorts, which I have perfected over the past two years. Now I fear that the stand will not be able to match this comfort or the secure feeling that I have cradling his foot between my hands and knee.
Any advice from those who successfully use and love their hoof stands?
|Silly hoof stand. Carrots are for horses.|