Roland’s nags and nails: ‘enough is enough’ said the horse

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

    There is no doubt that it would not be possible to shoe a horse without its co-operation. This week, I was unceremoniously ejected from underneath a horse because it had lost its patience with me.

    I am probably the world slowest trimmer, as I try and balance the feet and produce a level trim, so I am always at the mercy of the horse I am working on.

    Most horses will put up with some faffing, but not many will put up with my level of faffing and I have to respect the animal when they say enough is enough. After all, it’s not the fault of the horse that I take an inordinately long time on each foot, so “fair do’s” if I am ejected.

    I do try and give the horse a rest and return its foot in order to extend the period of co-operation and good will. The truth be known, I’m also knackered myself, so it’s a good opportunity to recover my own energy levels before diving back under for another go.

    I’m acutely aware that I am only able to do the work by the express permission of the horse, so when that permission runs out, I need to hand over to Kris Parsons, my training farrier.

    Trimming is the most important part of the whole shoeing process, as its imperative that the horse lands levelly and loads its joints correctly all of the way up the leg. An umbalanced trim or a trim that does not consider the horse’s conformation can have serious implications.

    That is why Kris is spending a great deal of time with me going though each trim and demonstrating in minute detail how to improve and master the most difficult of the shoeing elements. I just hope his patience lasts longer than that of the horses.

    Certainly, I am getting the distinct impression that when approaching a horse to trim they’re thinking, “oh no not him again. I hope he’s got a damn sight faster since last time he trimmed me!”

    Until next week



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