I told you I would have something to tell you today, well, I have officially become a horse owner!! This is Prince and he is a 16hh ID x TB.
This led me to thinking that it appears, and I really am generalising here and not knocking anyone
at all, that the majority of EP's are horse owners themselves.
I think a lot of the other disciplines of unshod, trimming, barefoot, natural, etc., have a fair percentage of horse owners who are practitioners of these arts. But when we look at farriers, it is by far the small minority who have horses at home.
I know there are a lot of very experienced farriers out there who do actually know a lot about the horse rather than just the hooves, but I fear they are in the minority. To my mind unless you are around these animals a lot of the time, which involves all aspects of the management of them then you do not actually know as much as you think about them.
In case you are thinking, well he has only just become a horse owner himself, so what does he know about it, I have had over twenty years experience working within the horse welfare industry in one way or another, and of course my extensive training as an EP was a lot more than just the hooves and the trim, quite rightly so. Plus my Equine Science Diploma filled a few gaps.
So in order to effectively deal with the survival/flight equipment of the horse, i.e. their hooves, you need to really know what affects them. It is not only the soft or stony ground or how much work they do or do not do. It is also what they eat, what their environment is, what is their routine, who are their herd and where are they in that herd, so it includes their psychological status as well as their physiological state.
Without being totally aware of all of these aspects of the animal in front of you, I think that you cannot efficiently deal with their hooves. They rely on their hooves every second of their lives, they rely on those of us that change their hooves only once every few weeks. But, and it is a big but, if we get it wrong it is wrong for a long time and seriously changes that animals world.
We have a responsibility to know as much as we can about the animal itself and all aspects of it's life, as well as being aware of the body processes and mental processes happening inside it.
Every animal is different, each hoof on that animal is different and we need to adapt for their sake.
So, I will leave you with those thoughts of mine and hopefully a few more of your own now!
I hope everyone is well and your four legged family are keeping their weight on and starting to grow their winter coat now. So who do we believe, those saying a mild winter or those saying a harsh cold winter? Who knows but we always need to make sure we are prepared for every eventuality as much as we can be.
Good wishes to you all and above all take care of yourselves as your animals cannot take care of themselves.
P.S. It might be that I am having problems with my mobile, so if you do wish to contact me, please use the website contact form, facebook or email. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you.