Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Rehab horse places

At the moment my horses are enjoying the snow  - they are unclipped this winter and are revelling in the winter weather, stuffing themselves with haylage then mooching off to the fields for a roll in the snow!
I will be taking horses in again for rehab from the 1st March this year. We only ever have a small number of horses here at any one time and we are almost booked up but there are 2 places left at the moment so if you would like one of the last spaces do get in touch with me on the usual email -  nic@rockleyfarm.co.uk

Monday, 21 January 2019

Workshops for 2019

Since I've been back from my awesome NZ trip I've been working on the workshops for this year which is really exciting. 



The format for the workshops will be similar to last year, with people welcome to bring shod or barefoot horses and we will spend time looking at each horse individually.

The idea of each workshop is to give owners skills which they can use to assess their horse's movement and tools which they can use to improve their horse's health.

So far the dates we have are: 

2nd March 2019: Writtle University College, Essex
Contact Cloe Lambert for information and to book: cloe.lambert98@outlook.com

6th April 2019: Long Island, NY, USA
Contact Jeannean Mercuri for more information and to book: neanpiggy@me.com

19th May 2019 Aberdeen, Scotland
Contact Julie Bradbury for more information and to book: juliejcb@hotmail.com

There will be further workshops for May onwards and I will post the details here as soon as they are finalised. 

In the meantime if you are interested in hosting a workshop during summer 2019 please get in touch: nic@rockleyfarm.co.uk

Thanks everyone - looking forward to seeing you all!


Thursday, 3 January 2019

An experiment: self-trimming hooves on a horse not in work

First of all, Happy New Year and I hope that 2019 is a kind one to us all.

I'm now back from an incredible trip to New Zealand and although I am missing the summer sunshine and the wonderful people it is fantastic to be back home.

While I've been away there have been no rehab horses here and our own horses have had a holiday - free access to the fields and the tracks and no work at all.

One of the questions I am most often asked about self-trimming hooves is how horses cope if they are not in work - its a common assumption that self-trimming is only feasible when horses are doing significant road mileage each week.

Well, I must admit I have never tried giving our horses quite as much time off as they have had this year and I thought you might be as interested as I am to see how the feet have managed.
I never trust photos to give a true picture of hoof health so I will add straightway that his landings are still good - heel first and with good media-lateral balance. I don't think I have ever seen him so hairy but I rather like the teddy bear look for a change!
The hoof wall is a little longer than when he is doing high mileage on roads but the white line is tight and the frog and heels are solid and in great condition.
Despite the fluff still a beefy digital cushion. For reference, this horse has not been trimmed for 10 years and has been out of work for 3 months.
 I can't abide the feather (ack!)  - that may have to go fairly soon...
As with the LF, basically fine and ready to do more or stay the same, whichever is an option.


Sunday, 2 December 2018

Hello from New Zealand


I’ve just spent a great weekend in Carterton, New Zealand, courtesy of Christin and Bek who kindly organised and hosted an amazing weekend workshop.

Of course it was the first day of summer here on Saturday and despite a sometimes dubious forecast we had fantastic weather, at least until we had all packed up when the heavens opened and the lightning stuck!

That’s me done with workshops for this year, but there will be more next year, starting on 2nd March (a changed date from the one I’d previously posted) at Writtle College.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Forthcoming workshops, home and abroad!

I've got some (to me!) exciting news that I am thrilled to be able to blog about: new workshop dates including in New Zealand and the US.

Its been great running the summer workshops here, as well as the webinar last month, so its great to already have some new dates to share.  



The first is in New Zealand on 1st December 2018. There are more details in the poster above (click to enlarge) and you can contact Christin  for more information and to book: christin.schetter@gmail.com

Then we have a seminar/workshop at Writtle College in Essex on 9th February 2019. This will be open initially to students but there may be spaces available for non-students. Contact Cloe Lambert for information and to book: cloe.lambert98@outlook.com.

Next up is the US, with a workshop in Long Island, NY on 6th April 2019 - contact Jeannean Mercuri for more information and to book: neanpiggy@me.com

Finally for now, there is a workshop in Aberdeen on 18th May 2019; contact either Julie Bradbury  - juliejcb@hotmail.com - or me - nic@rockleyfarm.co.uk for more information and to book.

I know its early days but I have had queries from a number of people about running workshops on their yards or local area so if you would like to host a workshop for 2019 do get in touch.



Monday, 8 October 2018

Self-maintaining hooves

Following the webinar last weekend I've been asked if I can put up some examples of self-maintaining hooves.
The problem with doing this is, as we discussed in the webinar, that photos are very deceptive without seeing the horse move. Looking at this photo, someone commented that the toe looked long but in fact the horse has a brilliant landing, heel first and with excellent medio-lateral balance.
When you look at a photo of the sole the toe no longer looks long - as always seeing the horse in motion is the important thing. With that in mind, some of the pictures in this blog are stills taken from video. 
 The important thing to remember is that a photo of a pretty, apparently balanced hoof may be a lie - you just can't tell until you see the horse moving whether it is actually sound and moving well.
However all the feet in this blog post belong to horses who are sound and have been in work barefoot for many years. Most have not been trimmed since at least 2009, one has never been trimmed.
They are in varying levels of work, from light to hard to none at all, but the important factor is that changes to their mileage and workload are made steadily and consistently so that feet can adapt and maintain growth levels to match wear.  

I hope you find them interesting! If anyone has questions then feel free to post. 





Monday, 17 September 2018

Webinar - 30th September 2018

Its been great running the Performance Hoof workshops this summer and meeting so many new people and new horses. Thank you to everyone who has come along!

I've already got ideas for workshops next year and there are one or two dates already in the diary but if anyone is interested in hosting a workshop do let me know.

In the meantime the last workshop - this time a web-based one for those in the US - is running on Sunday 30th so if you are State-side and would like to join us, this is for you!