Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cautionary tales

This is a post which will be old hat to many of you, but as I haven't done a "celery" post for a while, and as I am hearing a lot about trims going wrong - as well as untrimmed horses going well - I thought I ought to post a couple of (true) cautionary tales.  I could have posted many more...

[For those of you who are new to "celery", there is an explanation and lots of additional info here. Please read this link if you haven't already done so!].

The tale of the trimmer who didn't listen

Once upon a time there lived a good horse who had been working barefoot a long time. The good horse was sold to a new home where she lived with a very conscientious owner who knew that all horses' feet need a lot of care and attention, whether shod or barefoot. The owner carefully monitored her horse's diet, exercised her regularly and did her best to ensure that the horse had all she needed to keep her hooves healthy. 
After a few weeks, the owner - who was very conscientious - booked a trimmer to come and see her good horse. The trimmer took great care to watch the horse move and took photos of her feet. After the trim, the horse was a bit footy and the owner asked me whether this was ok. 

I said, not really, but talk to the trimmer and tell him about this. Next time, perhaps he will either trim differently or he may decide (since the horse is in regular work) that she doesn't need trimming at all.  
The owner was unhappy that her horse had been footy but, as she was very conscientious, she booked the trimmer to return in a few weeks. After the next trim, the horse was again footy. 

The owner asked me whether her good horse was footy because she was not exercising the horse correctly. I said, not really, because when you exercised the horse the day before she was fine, wasn't she? She said yes, she was fine the day before the trim, but footy the day after, just like last time. Well then, I said...

To be continued...

The tale of the princess and the 2 trimmers

This is the tale of 2 trimmers, both of whom lived in a land far, far away. There came to this land a princess with a beautiful horse - who was barefoot, naturally. This horse had overcome hoof problems early on in her life and had gone on to great things, amazing everyone with her high performance hooves. The only strange thing about the beautiful horse was that her feet didn't look perfectly symmetrical. 
The princess - who was another very conscientious owner - wanted to do the best for her beautiful horse and of course she wanted the best care for her high performance hooves. So she called on a trimmer, who was very interested in the beautiful horse and carefully examined her high performance hooves. 

The trimmer asked all about the problems the horse had overcome and noticed that her feet were not symmetrical. This bothered the trimmer and she told the princess that she wanted to re-balance the horse's feet. 

The princess, mindful of the problems her beautiful horse had overcome, and mindful of how well she galloped on her high performance hooves, said to the trimmer, no, you may not re-balance those feet.

At this, the trimmer grew angry and said, woe betide you if you don't let me trim as I wish - leaving those feet as they are will bring nothing but trouble. 

The princess was brave and knew she should listen to her horse instead of the trimmer so she sent the first trimmer away. But still she wanted the best for her beautiful horse and the best care for her high performance hooves. So then she called on the second trimmer. 
The second trimmer was also very interested in the beautiful horse and he also carefully examined her high performance hooves. He too asked about the problems the horse had overcome and he too noticed that her feet were not symmetrical. 

But then he looked further. He looked at the whole horse and he saw that the beautiful horse's limbs required asymmetric hooves in order to load evenly, and that in fact  - far from needing to be "re-balanced" they were already perfectly balanced for the limbs above. He understood that this was how the beautiful horse had overcome her earlier problems and that this was why she galloped so well on those high performance hooves. 

Of course, the second trimmer had no need to "rebalance" the feet; instead he looked again at the whole horse and talked wisely with the princess about how best to care for those high performance hooves. 

And they all lived happily ever after, even the first trimmer, who finally realised how important it was to look at balance from the horse's point of view. 

OK - I made up the last bit...


jenj said...

I'll take trimmer #2, please. Can we have more of those?

Nic Barker said...

I second that, Jen :-)