Q: I don't have a question
for you. However, I would like to say that I have been reading regularly your
site on Q&A's and really appreciate the time and effort you put into
responding to them and posting them.
It all started about 8 months ago when our retired farrier was not very happy
trimming our horses and was desperately trying to get out of coming over. One of
our mares had a very bad front foot. It loves to flare and then inevitably
crack. What an ugly foot. I decided to take some courses to be better educated
about their feet and general well-being. A local college was offering a course
on hoof trimming and emergency shoe removal being taught by a certified
journeyman farrier. That course was so beneficial that I recommend it to
everyone. The only drawback was working on dead hooves, but I was happy to learn
from my mistakes on them rather than my two girls!
I applied what I learned in the course to my horses. (removing the flare,
applying Rain Maker and taking them for walks through the mud) After all this
time I am still afraid of the nippers and spend a lot of time doing the job
little by little with the rasp, but the farrier from the course says that's o.k.
as long as I am comfortable with what I am doing.
On our farrier's next visit he walked with slumped shoulders into the barn with
all his gear, picked up the problematic foot of the mare and looked at me with
surprise "Her foot looks much better than I could have imagined and the
crack is not extending!" I felt really good. I let him in on my 'secret'
and he all of a sudden became much more talkative and much more willing to
answer my questions. He remained our farrier until we moved to another town.
Anyway, your page was also extremely helpful to the farrier who was instructing
the course. He would use the first 20 minutes of the class to tell stories of
his encounters before going into theory and then practical. One of his stories
was about a horse with no heels that just would not grow, and the shoe he was
thinking of applying next. During that week I happened to read your article
about Nonexistent Heels and the drop down egg bar shoe. I immediately printed it
out and brought it into the class for him. He read it over and was very
intrigued. He applied it, and voila! Heels!
That farrier is now our farrier; we just happened to move close to his town. (I
think our old farrier was actually sad to see us go. I think it had to do with
the fact that he got fed lunch after trimming.) Our girls have not been shod
since retiring from the race track (close to four years for one and one year for
the other). But after having read your article on Shoeing the Natural Horse,
they are getting shoes!! (and I have also taken driving lessons and bought a
road cart and will be driving them as soon as spring hits; can't wait).
Thank you so much for your dedication. Your articles are very helpful
P.S. The horses seem to be perkier (jumping, bucking and running) since their
feet have been being regularly taken care of. (Maybe it's due to the added daily
fuss over them.) Their feet sure do look a lot better, if I say so myself. Maybe
crazy....but it also seems as though they have gained respect for me.?.