25/01/2009 ~ Basic Hoof Care
Riverina Arabians Inc.
Horsemanship Discussion and Practice Group!
Today saw our first official event, a Basic Hoof Care Day with Barefoot Trimmer, Glen Hammond, from Nashama Equine. Glen is also our President, so who better to instruct on our very first day?
We kicked off with some theory after cuddling the very lovely 3yo gelding in the yards, Glen's demonstration horse, Aslaan. After going through hoof structure and a few other things, we adjourned to the shade out in the Bansama Stud veterinary yard and watched Glen trim. He was here to answer all our dumb questions, so lots of chatter ensued.
Glen showed us what a body sore horse does to his farrier, giving us a lot of food for thought on our own horses' legs. Aslaan is still sore in his ribs from his float accident and in need of the dentist to take his wolf teeth out (happening in a few weeks). Julia, his owner, expected him to be a bit off as he is sore but, after a cuddle and some sympathy about his woes, he was a trooper. About the only criticism anyone had was Julia had to send him away to demonstrate how to be polite when catching your horse rather than setting up a bad day for the farrier with an argument before the halter is even on. Aslaan started the day with a chuckle for everyone. He was terrific in demonstrating gait, hoof form and basic handling, and also how to steal the farriers knives from his apron and hat from his head - all very nicely, of course.
Glen chose Aslaan because he was next here to be trimmed and because he is still a little rib sore. We were all surprised at just how polite he was telling the farrier he needed his leg back for a few moments. He very ably demonstrated the fact horses that are possessive or bad with their legs are most often sore. Glen and Julia had not done any bodywork on him until the first couple of repossessions of his legs. Students were able to feel the slowly healing ligaments and better able to understand the fact so many mistake pain for naughtiness.
After the instructor was done with Aslaan for the day, we all wandered down with some carrots and the instructor was able to discuss individual things he could see in the hooves of each horse. Natually, the boys were keen for some carrots and were very happy to stand without halters and have their hooves examined. Rhydian provided the biggest laugh of the day as he had been placed in the hay yard while we did some stuff in the arena with the yearlings and he decided to play 'Nup, not leaving the round bales!' Farrier proved some farriers are smarter than the horses they trim by producing carrots!