Product Review: Sole Rasp & Hoof Buffer
If you trim horses, then chances are you’re probably interested in learning about easier ways to get the job done. I know I certainly like easy. . . but I also like simple. I don’t want to have twenty different tools to trim four hooves. What I do want, however, are the best tools.
Since I’ve been trimming for a few years, I have my routine down pretty pat. Here’s the gist of it:
Clean hooves, trim bars with knife (if needed), trim the hoof wall with nippers, rasp the wall from the bottom and then from the top.
So when Evolutionary Hoof Care asked if I’d like to try their Sole Rasp #1 as well as their Hoof Buffer #1 (I say #1 because they also have a #2 of each of these), I was like, “Oh, okay, sure. I’ll try it.”
But honestly, I wasn’t sure if I really needed any more tools.
So the products actually sat in my laundry room for a few months before I remembered to take them out to the barn and try them.
Well, if you want to know how they held up, keep reading. . .
The Bar & Sole Rasp–1 ‘Original’
Let me just say that I immediately liked the sole rasp. I normally don’t mess with the sole a whole lot. But the sole rasp can be used in place of a knife to get rid of dead hoof horn. The first time I used it (on McCoy, I think), I was amazed at how much white, crumbly horn I was able to rasp off.
When I see areas of crumbly horn (which usually I only see in the little V’s at the back of the foot, on either side of the frog), I always think of what Pete Ramey says in his book, Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You (which I don’t actually have on hand at the moment because I lent it out). But he says something like, If the horn is soft and crumbling, it’s what the horse would naturally wear off if he were on the right terrain–so take it off. The sole rasp makes this easy to do.
I also found that I liked to use the sole rasp on overgrown bars. They can be a little tricky for me to get with the knife sometimes, but the sole rasp makes it easier.
Now I will say that it’s easier to use the rasp when the hoof has had a bit of moisture (as above). We’ve had a dry spell here for the last month, and the rasp has been a tad more difficult for me to use lately (but that could also be because there wasn’t as much dead sole that needed to come off).
The sole rasp also has a handy little hoof pick on one end, so if you discover some lodged in dirt or a rock you missed with the hoof pick, you can easily get it out.
My only concern with the sole rasp is that I wonder about its longevity. I’ve noticed mine is already getting a little worn down on the rounded edges where I’ve used it the most. But other than that, I really like this tool and have found it very helpful!
The Sole Rasp 1 sells for $39.95. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a video demonstration from the company’s website:
The Hoof Buffer-1 “Original”
This tool is basically sandpaper, stretched onto a curved frame. At first, I wondered how much good it could actually do, but once again, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a nice tool to have for giving the finishing touches to your Mustang Roll. It’s very easy to use, and I’ve actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
The cool thing about this product is that it comes with a spare sanding belt and also a little wrench for adjusting the tension on it. You can also loosen the belt and rotate the sand paper to make use of the entire strip.
I’d honestly never thought of using sandpaper on hooves before, but it’s actually a pretty good idea–and this tool makes it easy to use.
The Hoof Buffer 1 also sells for $39.95, and below is a video demonstration for using it:
I’ve also reviewed the Radius Rasp 1 and 2 from Evolutionary Hoof Care (which I still use some). If you’re interested in reading about those, check out this post.