This morning, as I left for work, I was able to see what I consider a wonderful, peaceful moment. My horses were all laying together, one right next to the other, next to the barn, in the sunshine, relaxed, at ease, and enjoying each other's company. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me (and no, I don't have a photo)! Lola is truly part of the herd now and the three of them get along so well, I could not ask for a better match. Anyhow, knowing that it has been a long time since I've written , I decided this morning, to share with you all, my experiences from last night.
If you were wondering, I got into trimming for two reasons (horse health and desperation). It all started when I was in Virginia. First, I had a very difficult time getting farriers to travel all the way out to our place. And, to find one that didn't want to hit your horse if he moved a muscle was the other trick! I'd also always question how my horses' hooves and frogs looked with this hoof care being provided to them. I just felt like they were not in the best possible condition. Now the horses were never lame or anything, I just felt like something was missing.
Finally, I found a trimmer that was doing the natural barefoot thing and had them out, once. I was informed that the man and his family were moving out of state and that they'd not be returning to care for my horses. I asked what should I do now (and felt very upset). They told me to learn to do it myself. This gave me a lot to think about. I was afraid to even try in the case that I'd mess up the horses but, I had no choice really.
All while this was going on, a fellow natural horsemanship friend, Dave, in the horse group I was running were doing Gene Ovnicek trimming methods with their horses and running clinics (that I could not afford to attend). Anyhow, I was stuck with a choice, learn it and make my horses' hooves healthy or, resort back to the traditional farriers with whom I was not overly pleased. I decided to bite the bullet and do research and self-study. I purchased Gene's materials, Pete Ramey's book, Jaime Jackson's book, and read a lot on the Internet. I purchased all of the tools and got to work.
Fortunately, I have been extremely successful. My horses, Fosse and Whiskey (now Lola too) have never been lame and seem very healthy and as for Fosse and Whiskey, they are much healthier than when the good 'ole boys trimmed them. Fosse has one club foot to contend with too! I've also trimmed several rescues including Fosse's half sister Stella who came to me previously foundered, Wilbur my TB who had really strange, flat feet, and Mini-me who came with dutch clog feet (My friend Dave helped with the initial trim on that one and I continued to rehabilitate his feet until they looked fabulous a year later--I had to trim every two weeks) and all of these cases ended with great success.
So, there you have it. I have to say that I don't claim to be perfect and don't trim anyone else's horses. I am probably quite conservative with my methods but what ever I am doing is working. I have have happy healthy horses. (And yes, it is a lot of work but it is worth it.)