Friday, 7 September 2018

Put DOWN the rasp and pick up the celery...

It was over 7 years ago that I wrote my first post about celery: 

I didn't realise it was potentially explosive to suggest that farriers and trimmers should try NOT laming horses when they trimmed.  I certainly never imagined that so far down the line I would STILL need to be posting the same message but in fact I not only blog regularly but am also covering the topic every time I give a workshop. 

You can see if you search this blog for celery that its a theme I keep having to come back to, and the reason is because horses are still being lamed by trimming. 
Here is an email I picked up this morning, about a rehab horse who went home a few weeks ago. 

"Up until about a month ago, he was doing amazing.  I had heel-first landings and he was really steady and level on his gait."

Shortly after this he had a blip with too much grass, as many people did when the drought broke and the grass flushed. This is always a shame but is normally sorted out completely with a few days of going back to limiting grass during the day. For this horse, however the problem was compounded because a trimmer came to see him that day and rather than assessing the situation correctly she decided that it would help if she removed some hoof. 

The owner's email tells its own tale:

"She then rasped the medial "flare" that he has on both fronts, she rolled his back toes, took the bars back, trimmed the frog, and as she said "tidied his feet up".  

Well I know even in my little experience, that tidy feet don't make sound feet! He's not been walking comfortably since..."

Three weeks down the line the owner is understandably wondering whether her horse will recover. The answer is that he probably will but it will take several weeks.

Aggressive rebalancing of a horse's foot is almost never a good idea and it is DEFINITELY not a good idea when a horse is rehabilitating from long term lameness. In addition trimming a horse who is in the middle of a reaction to grass is a risky strategy and one which will rarely leave a horse sounder and more comfortable.


Ellis S said...

That seems to be a common problem, so many owners are paying out a fortune on trimmers just to end up with a crippled horse. I really enjoy your blog and have used the information to benefit my own equines. And also to protect them from the rasp happy professionals.

Peggysue123 said...

Well said Nic. I pretty much never touch my horses feet now and they've never been sounder.

Nic Barker said...

Thanks guys - its a message that is slowly getting out there, I think, so thank you for spreading the word!