Evolutionary Hoof Care Tools by Leslie Emery
Leslie Emery is the author of the acclaimed 1977 text Horseshoeing Theory and Hoof Care. Although this was written in the days when he was still shoeing, the book made important contributions to our understanding of the hoof. Since that time, Leslie has become a natural hoof care practitioner, working with clients in the Pacific Northwest.
Leslie has spent over 20 years conceiving, designing and experimenting with tools that would assist horse owners to create durable barefoot hooves. This new tool line is the result.
A remarkable new hoof care system appreciated by the horse owner and hoof care professional alike
Every so often an idea comes along that’s a game changer, that offers an improved experience over a tried and true method. The Radius Rasp, Hoof Buffer and Sole Rasp are Evolutionary Hoof Care tools, just as the name suggests.
“I was so impressed, I bought the company.” (LoL, for those of you old enough to remember that Gillette commercial). Okay, I didn’t buy the company, but I decided to introduce the new products to Canada. In this new social world we live in I was eager to “share” something that I thought would make one of the hardest things we do with our horses easier and more accessible to many.
People have been using the same tools to trim horse hooves for a very, very long time. Nippers, hoof knife and rasp have been an effective means to trimming, but require an effort and skill that not many are willing to acquire or expend. The introduction of the hoof stand certainly made trimming easier and was adopted by the professional and amateur alike. Using a grinder certainly speeds things up if your horse will tolerate the noise, but it’s another heavy two-handed tool.
A few years ago, the “Rider’s Rasp” came along and they had a good idea, but was never intended to be more than just a touch up tool for horse owners. From the blogs and some reviews I read, many were a bit disappointed. What they really wanted was a real tool. It’s promoted as a “rounding tool”, but the finish it leaves its kind sharp looking in the pictures on their site (click here). It’s just hard to use a square tool for a round job.
There’s nothing like having the right tool for the job…
The Radius Rasp, as the name indicates has a curved blade, that creates a naturally round “mustang roll” finish to the hoof. It was created as specialized tool for this purpose. So instead of creating a 45 degree bevel with regular a flat rasp, you could get that nice round edge, easily and efficiently with very little effort or exertion. The Hoof Buffer creates a beautiful finish to the roll and can even be used to maintain that roll. These two tools combined create a close copy of a real world mustang roll.
Of course, like the Rider’s Rasp, the Radius Rasp can also be used to maintain a hoof between trims. For the amateur it’s so much easier than knocking a toe back with a heavy, sharp and unwieldy rasp. It’s a lightweight, fast, finger-friendly tool that cuts through hoof wall like a cheese grater on steroids. See the hoof filings fly in this quick video and also how the hoof buffer is used to add the perfect finish.
Easy and economical…
The great news is Radius Rasp is not an expensive tool, retailing for less than most good quality farrier tools. The long lasting, easy to replace blades are a fraction of the original tools’ cost. (click here for to see how easy it is to replace the blades) The solid durable handle will last for years and contains a hidden magnet to attach to your hoof stand, belt buckle, stall door hardware, etc. It’s so small it can even fit in your pocket, but don’t put it near your wallet, credit cards or computer. In case you didn’t know already, magnets are bad news for data storage devices if they make contact.
Besides you may not need your wallet as often, when you use the Radius Rasp to stretch out the time between trims. However, never underestimate the importance of your farriers expertise in keeping your horses feet properly balance from the bottom up.
You gotta have Sole!
If you have some knowledge on how to trim the bars and address the needs of the underside of the hoof, the Sole Rasp is another innovative tool, that can replace some of the tricky work the hoof knife is used for. See this tool in action here. Over thinning of the sole is one of the worst sins of hoof trimming. This tool will allow you to do so gradually and with great care, minus the worry of a slip of the hoof knife doing unintended damage. This is an aggressive professional tool and any tool is only as safe and effective as the person using it. If you don’t know how to identify old sole overgrowth vs. new healthy sole – don’t touch it, consult a professional. Dead sole overgrowth can cause problems and should be address if it exists. Read more about this.