Roland’s nags and nails: remedial farriery and a human salt lick

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

    Although I haven’t really touched on the topic of remedial farriery since I started my blog, I find it fascinating. I imagine that, being Kris Parsons’ apprentice, I’m getting a great deal more exposure to remedial work than some apprentices do.

    It’s part and parcel of a farriers’ duties to reverse any impending hoof failure and catch any problems before they become serious. Often the task is a bit more involved when trying to correct issues further up the leg. My training farrier, Kris, is often consulted by equine vets on various leg and hoof capsule issues, as well as getting a number of referrals for remedial work.

    Pictured (top right) is a 17.2hh hunter suffering from under run heels and weak horn growth. The horse also had a rotated pedal bone. Graduated shoes and gel pads have made some difference to the bone alignment and now Kris is concentrating on strengthening the hoof capsule, particularly the heels which are weak and collapsing. He has put the hoof in a plaster cast, very much like a plaster cast for a broken human leg. The cast will support the hoof wall while giving a chance for stronger healthier horn growth.

    As with all remedial work, it takes months to get the results you want so it is very important to get the approach right in the first place. Sadly, we are also seeing a lot of laminitics but, from my point of view, I am getting excellent training. You cannot buy this kind of experience.

    Finally, on a lighter note, I’m all in favour of a “curious nuzzler” breathing heavily in my ear in the winter. It’s warming and also quite pleasant. But, on a hot summer’s day, hot air being blown in my ear and down my neck is the last thing I need. I’ve also noticed that I seem to have even more appeal if I’ve been sweating on and off throughout the day.

    This week, towards the end of a particularly physical day, one horse completed a full hair, neck and facial lick of me. I did my best to discourage him with a few gentle elbows to the muzzle, but there was just no stopping him. He even managed to get his tongue in my ears — yuck! After resigning myself to getting the clenching up job done as quickly as possible in order to get out from underneath him before he started on any other parts of my body, I wondered if I could charge for being a salt lick! Surely it would be worth a few quid?

    Until next week,



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