Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Horses to confound all stereotypes

I am getting Bryan's updates ready to put on the blog this week.  He is a big, 17.2hh Belgian warmblood, a showjumper who has competed at county level and I hope will do so again [ETA: I am told that he has actually competed at national and international level - oops!  Sorry Bryan, I had no idea you were quite such a superstar!].  He does not, to put it mildly, conform to many people's idea of the sort of horse who would benefit from being out of shoes.
Then I got to thinking about Domino - as different from Bryan as chalk from cheese - a proper cob, lots of bone, lots of hair - who has the same size girth as Bryan despite being several hands smaller.  
Dom's owner was told that he wouldn't go barefoot because as a cob he was too heavy a type to cope without shoes.  So - what's YOUR stereotype...?
We have had horses here of all shapes and sizes :-) There are lots of people who think that horses "can't go barefoot" because they do a particular job, or belong to a specific breed - that's when the argument about genetics is wheeled out, along with the theory that thoroughbreds have had "the feet bred off them".
I really don't buy that, because the full thoroughbreds we've had through rehab have all done incredibly well and have some of the most radically changing feet.
I don't think hoof health is dependent on breed at all. We have a huge variety of horses for rehab: several Dutch warmbloods (KWPN); Belgian, Danish and Polish warmbloods; Irish Draughts, a Hanoverian, a Trakehner; we've had quarter horses, an Andalusian, Selle Francais, numerous Irish sports horses, Scottish and Welsh bred horses.  All of them have hooves which can and did improve given the right circumstances.
We've had horses as big as 17.2hh and as small as 14hh. We've had eventers, showjumpers, dressage horses, happy hackers, ex-racehorses, endurance horses, show horses, hunters, reiners.  We've had 5 and 6 year olds at the beginning of their careers and horses in their late teens who've been there, done that and got the t-shirt.
The one thing we don't have is horses who do nothing :-)   
Don't be constrained by the stereotype: hooves are dynamic, adaptable and capable of improvement, no matter what the horse.


Flynn said...

Time for one of your famous montage videos showing all the different shapes and sizes of horse you've had there (unfortunately they can't all be as attractive as the bay in the 6th photo). As I am going through a Ska period I recommend this as the rack to edit it too:

Steph said...

Great post Nic - I nearly chew the inside of my cheek off every time I hear "my horse can't go barefoot because...."