Roland’s nags and nails: coming a cropper when caught short

  • This blog is sponsored by the PRO FEET range of hoof care products from NAF

    This week my training farrier, Kris Parsons, received a phone call from long-standing customer and successful endurance rider, Jan Prette-Jon, to share the exciting news that she had been selected to represent England in the Celtic Challenge.

    It takes a huge amount of dedication and commitment to achieve national team selection, so we wish Jan Prette-Jon of Apple Tree Endurance and her horses Astral Mystique, White Legacy and CSA Demi all the best when they compete on 1-2 October. We will be shoeing those horses the week before, so, whilst we’re always really careful, we’ll be mindful of the added responsibility of shoeing for the England squad!

    It won’t be long now until I head back to college once again. As an apprentice farrier, I have to attend college twice a year. At the last session I was set written assignments, revision and practical work (shoe-making) to present at the start of this new college block. I’ve already done most of my written assignments, but now need to concentrate on producing quality shoes to take with me (see picture top), as well as improving my knowledge of arthrology (that’s the study of joints). My current favourite is the metacarpophalangeal joint, aka the fetlock. Hmmm, it’s about as hard to say as it is to remember.

    Finally, to any ramblers among you, beware of Devon gates. I often have to pop over them to water the hedges when caught short. It’s a regular part of being a farrier as we dash from one yard to the next, especially after the umpteen cups of tea and coffee we consume to keep us going throughout the day.

    Anyway, the occasional booby-trapped gate is easily missed. As I climbed over one this week, I failed to notice that it was hinged only with string. As I was swinging a leg over, the string snapped and the gate pivoted violently. Kris tried to save me, but momentum was against him and I landed with the gate beneath me. I’m sure Kris would have helped me up, if he hadn’t been bent double with laughter at the time…

    Until next week



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