Roland’s nags and nails: off to Cairo on a mercy mission

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

    A major event is looming. We’re off to Cairo to shoe and trim neglected horses and ponies who are in desperate need of care. Kris Parsons, my training farrier, was asked last week to be the Cairo Farrier.

    This is a brand new initiative to work alongside the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) and Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (ESAF). Please see more about it at www.facebook.com/cairofarrier.

    We leave on 23 March and, for one week, we’ll be doing whatever we can to ease the pain and suffering of those horses. A big part of our remit is to train and educate the horse handlers and charities on how to maintain and manage the on-going hoof care needs.

    Since the Arab Spring, there has been a huge drop-off in tourism so many of the horses we will be assisting will be those who have earned their keep giving rides around the Pyramids. They are now in a terrible state.

    With the money raised so far Kris, Alex and I will be working alongside a veterinary team from New Zealand. This is quite a serious undertaking and we would appreciate your support via the cairofarrier facebook pages. Any helpful hints and tips about Egypt will be greatly welcome and, of course, if you would like to donate some money too, that would be terrific. Again, you can do that via the facebook pages.

    Please spread the word to your own friend networks and I will document the trip with pictures and will report back. Anyone following me on twitter or via my blog will get a comprehensive update.

    On matters closer to home, my trimming is really coming on well. Getting the horse balanced correctly is so important and Kris’s patient teaching is really paying off.

    Furthermore, I nailed on a few more shoes this week and have a feeling that very soon, “nailing-on” will become part and parcel of my every day duties alongside removing shoes, prepping feet, trimming and clenching up – see photo of me in action!

    That just leaves “fitting” shoes, hot or cold, which is another milestone altogether. I have to first get through the self-harming phase of learning how to nail on properly. Such a shame as I’ve only just stopped self- harming when trimming. I have a feeling that a hammer is going to hurt more than the rasp did!

    Please visit http://www.facebook.com/cairofarrier and I’ll update again next week.

    Until next week,



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