Thursday, 11 March 2010

Don't shoot the farrier!

Obviously, most of the horses who come here for rehabilitation have been shod - many come in shoes, and we take those off when they arrive.

Luckily for me, most of these horses improve radically out of shoes - its why we carry on doing what we do down here :-) But for me, those first few weeks - when a horse has just come out of shoes and is at the earliest stages of growing a better hoof - are nerve-wracking. I am always desperate for the horse to get a healthier hoof as soon as possible - and so is the owner, and so is the horse - but however much I might wish I had a magic wand and could produce better hooves overnight, I have to accept that I can't, and that large doses of time and patience are required along with the right diet, environment and work level.

It got me thinking the other day, because of course most of the farriers who have shod these horses up till the time they come to me are in the same position. Like me, they are trying to improve the horse's hoof health and biomechanics, and I am sure that they care equally passionately about making and keeping these horses as comfortable and sound as possible.

The majority of the horses who come here have been through a number of different remedial farriery options, but despite that have got worse and worse - it must have been absolutely soul-destroying for the farriers involved. There's sometimes a perception that its barefoot vs farriery, but of course its not - we are all trying to do the best for the horse.

PS: I am sure that there are many horses for whom remedial farriery options work well, but of course we don't see those horses down here.

1 comment:

cptrayes said...

I'm goign through it now Nic, a horse who had a very caring farrier. And I am desperate to get his toes off, but I know he has to do that for himself. Patience is a virtue!!