Horse Hoof Trimming Tools & Uses (Quick But Complete Guide)

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 11/20/22 •  7 min read

Hoof is the most crucial organ of a horse.


That’s because it carries weight & contact with the grounds. 

When your horse runs or jumps, it gets full support from hoofs. Basically, this part is considered the lower extremity of every horse. The hoofs are similar to fingernails since they grow every month by ⅜ inch to ¼ inch. 

Therefore, you must cut the extra or damaged hoof to allow the new and fresh hoofs to grow. And for trimming, you need some horse hoof trimming tools to ensure a safe trimming. 

You will find hundreds of different horse trimming tools, but they are not perfect or safe for your horse. Today we’re gonna discuss a set of trimming tools you need for horse trimming.

Can I trim my horses’ foot yourself?

Yes, you can trim your horses’ hooves yourself without damaging the soft tissues. You only need to have a guideline for that and some necessary tools. It’s always good to have some previous experience trimming your horse hooves. 

Yes, hoof trimming isn’t rocket science.

We all are used to cutting our nails; the same process will be applied in hooves trimming. You may treat the horse’s hooves as your nails, which will help you get some confidence.  

But make sure that you have the proper tool and some training on trimming. Otherwise, you can injure or potentially even lame your horse.

What Equine foot-trimming tools do you need?

You will find many trimming tools to remove or cut hooves safely. But 5 basic tools are must have to trim horses’ hooves, including hoof jacks, nippers, and rasp. 

However, let’s get through these tools and see how you can use them.

Horse hoof jack 

horse hoof jack

This is actually a hoof stand.

And what does this hoof do?

Well, to support the horse’s foot through all phases of trimming. You cannot keep the hoof in your hand to trim for a longer period, right?

The hoof jack will come with a hoof stand where you can place the horse’s hoof and start trimming. Consequently, the horse will be in a safe zone and not move much.

Hoof nippers 

Hoof nippers

In plain words, it’s the nail cutter of the horse.

They are more like pliers except for the sharp edges. The hoof nippers come in different sizes, and they could be 10 to 15 inches long and have a strong build. Therefore, you can comfortably hold the nipper and cut the extra hooves.  

Hoof nippers are strong steel and sharp edges that easily cut the extra hoof.

Hoof knife 

horse hoof knife

A hoof knife is a professional farrier tool with a handle and blade. 

You will find it entirely different from other knives. The blade is so sharp that it can cut the hoof, dead cells, and hard flesh of your horse hoof. You can also use it for cleaning the entire horse sole.

However, you should have some professional skills in using the hoof knife

If you make any mistake in trimming horse hooves, your horse will get hurt, and you may cut some soft tissues too. So, be careful when using a hoof knife.


Hoof Rasp

The thing is horse hoofs are not even like human nails.

There might be some uneven areas, or you may fail to use the knife smoothly. In such cases, the radius rasp could give you great relief.

Yes, you can trim your horse hooves using knife or hoof nippers, but not evenly.

It helps the Farrier to smoothen the edges and uneven areas of your horse hooves. It rolls on all edges to create a good shape; the rasp is mainly used to remove the horse hooves’ excess walls.

Horse hoof pick 

Horse hoof pick

Well, technically it’s not a trimming tool, but rather a cleaning tool we should say. This tool will help to remove any dirt and other leftovers from your horse hooves. 

And guess what?

Since your horse hooves have no nerve endings, you can use hoof pick metal tools or other sharp tools there. It will not hurt them; you can always ensure a clean horse hoof. 

Apart from these five basic hoof-cutting tools, there are some tools used for pro farrier use. Such as-

See also: Find out how horses have managed to survive without the need for regular hoof trimming.

What is usually the first tool used in a horse grooming session?

Let us tell you a farrier’s secret……A grooming session is the best way to build a relationship with your horse. 

And that’s why a body brush is usually the first tool used in a horse grooming session. 

Here is why:

To have a brush with stiff bristles to clean your horse’s body, and to tie up your horse and remove the dust and other dirt. Here, the body brush with stiff bristles will eliminate everything within a while.

You may show your care and feelings throughout the entire season. Therefore, using some cleaning tools will increase your confidence to groom your horse better.

In that case, you may also consider the below foot maintenance equipment in your entire grooming. Among them, these three are the first tools used in a horse grooming season.


1. Do you need to wash a horse before clipping?

Yes, you have to wash a horse before clipping since it will remove dust and dirt from the horse’s coat and help smoothen the damaged area and clip better. Therefore, washing your horse before clipping could be a great practice. And it’s better to wash your horse the night before clipping.

2. Can you use a Dremel to trim horse hooves?

Since Dremel comes with high-rotating power of 13000 rpm, you can use this to make the trimming process smoother. Anything around a 4 inches Dremel would be a great fit to trim a horse.

3. What tool do farriers use?

Farriers use basic horse foot maintenance equipment like a rasp, hammer, and hoof knife. Apart from that, they implement some other professional tools to trim the horse’s hoof. 

4. What tool is used to smooth the hoof after trimming?

A radius Rasp is used to give a polished edge on the hoof after trimming.

5. What is an electric hoof trimmer for horses?

Used by self-trimming horse owners, these are easy and quick to trim the hooves.


As you can see, a Hoof jack, knife, rasp, nippers, and hoof pick are the top five horse hoof trimming tools. These tools are enough to ensure a safe & secure trimming process. Besides, you can use them regularly after every 6 to 8 weeks once your horse grows its hooves.

However, we wouldn’t suggest using these tools unless you know the tactics and the entire trimming process. You may end up hurting your horse by damaging the soft tissues.

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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