Stepping Away from Mainstream Hooftrimming

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Stepping Away from Mainstream Hooftrimming

Post by Leila »

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About a month ago, Cerise purchased some DVD’s over the internet on Hoof Rehabilitation for Horses. Before, a few of us would do a little hoof trimming ‘on the side’ – meaning – the farrier and his boys would come every 4 to 6 weeks and trim the horses their feet down, and after that we would do bits of maintenance trims (in my case mostly taking flares down).
Watching these new DVD’s though, gave a whole new perspective on the anatomy of a horse’s hoof and the dynamics involved. Taking in this new information and looking at our current farrier and his methods, I realised that he is actually just harming the horses. If I looked at the problems Charlie has had with his hoofs – they would re-occur after each trim, and whenever the farrier came, for the next week his hoofs would be very sensitive and soar.

I wasn’t too happy with this realisation because it came down to me having to make a decision.
a) I let our current farrier trim Charlie’s hooves knowing that he is actually just harming him
b) I educate myself and take full responsibility for Charlie’s hooves and no longer depend on a farrier.

The reason why I wasn’t ‘too happy’ with the realisation I had, was that I now knew that the farrier was harming the horse’s hoof and thus I could not just “ignore” this and let the point of ‘hooves’ be something the farrier takes care of – something that the farrier must deal with on his next visit, and I can just ‘wash my hands off’ this point and distance myself - because ‘it’s not my area’, ‘I don’t deal with this’, ‘it’s his problem’...

With this new knowledge it became my problem though and it was up to me to do something about it. So I started studying the DVD’s and slowly started trimming Charlie’s hooves.

Then a week later or so, Cerise came in my room saying that the farrier was gonna be here nownow and that it was up to me if I wanted to take Charlie down.

My first thought was that I should bring him down to get a trim, ‘to be on the safe side’. On the safe side from the perspective of ‘what if I did anything wrong’, ‘what if I am fucking my horse up’ – ‘let the guy just do his job, this is his area of expertise’. But then I also knew that if I let him trim my horse it would undo everything I’ve done so far and that I’d have to start over from scratch. So it came down to a point of trust – to allow myself to trust myself and stick to my common sense.
My only point of certainty was that I knew that the traditional method of trimming was harming the horse and that what was being in explained in the DVD’s made a whole lot of sense.

So I decided not to bring Charlie down.

This for me was a very hard decision because it somehow felt that I was ‘letting go’ of being able to depend on the farrier and that it was now all up to me. I also knew that he wouldn’t agree with this way of trimming (this was clear from past conversations on the topic where he would disagree with certain styles of trimming) and kind of ‘wanted to be nice’ and ‘stick to his method’ and from that perspective ‘just let him trim Charlie’ – not wanting any conflict or confrontation of any kind.

I also in a way didn’t see myself fit to take care of Charlie’s hooves - seeing him as ‘more than’ due to his profession being that of a farrier – you know, hooves is what he does – and me only being into horse stuff quiet recently, and learning new things – thinking that he as ‘the established knowledge’ might see me as a dumb, spoiled, stupid, girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing (which is all just self-judgment and pre-conceived I ideas I have about myself as being inadequate)

I went down anyway to assist with the horses that were being done because some of the people weren’t on the farm. As they were busy doing the hooves I observed and was quite satisfied with my decision of not letting them do Charlie. When Polo (horse) was done I left.

Afterwards Rozelle came to me in my room saying that they almost did Charlie’s feet but that they told them not to do it. She then also said that the farrier disagreed with the way I was trimming and that according to him I was harming the horse and that if I was to continue he didn’t want to work on my horse every again.

So there big fear and anxiety came up – for me this confirmed my anticipation that he wouldn’t agree and that if I was going to trim Charlie myself, I wouldn’t be able to ‘fall back’ on the farrier if I wanted.

I started looking at all the different possibilities of what he might have been referring to that I might have done wrong, that could end up in me having done harm unto Charlie. I re-watched the videos, rechecked all the documentation to see where I could’ve done something wrong. The only point that I could see was that I might had ‘done wrong’ – was that I had taken down his hoof a bit too much.

I did self-forgiveness that day out loud on self-trust and fear of making mistakes and fucking Charlie up. But I was still very anxious about his feet and the ‘possible harm’ that might come from what I had done (abscesses or bruises or pain in general). I resisted going to the horses and taking care of Charlie because all I could think of was his hooves and me having fucked them up. Each time I would go up to him I would immediately check his feet to make sure that everything was still ‘right’ and that he was still standing (lol I even imagined his hooves having fallen off and him laying on the ground). I’d also want to get away from Charlie has soon as possible because I wanted to ‘get away’ from this uncomfortable point. The fear was quite extensive.

I then realised what I was doing, and that I was actually neglecting Charlie in a way as if he was something ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ because of his hooves and the new responsibility that came along with it. It reminded me of the day when I first got Charlie, I was so scared and afraid of him because I was afraid of the amount of responsibility involved. This being was fully dependent on me and that was it. When I realised that point – I stopped – and I embraced the responsibility, just as I had done before when I got him.

Later that day I looked again at everything, and I picked up one of the hooves that was trimmed by the farrier and that hoof was looking worse than Charlie’s. Meaning that his argument against the way Charlie’s foot was trimmed was invalid, because if that was the case – it could also be applied to the way he was trimming hooves ( I feared I had taken the hoof down too much – yet the other horses their hooves were cut flat – the harm he was speaking of might as well happen to them).

So I set all my nervousness and anxieties aside and allowed myself to trust myself once more. Charlie’s feet are looking good and I am satisfied that I can maintain his feet on my own. I know that this is a step in the unknown but this is a point of responsibility that was going to have to be taken either way. I know I might make mistakes, but I also know that I will get right eventually. And I’ve got Cerise who is also joining me in this ‘new journey’ of taking care of our boys’ hooves and we can support each other in this.

And – looking at it from a practical side - if everyone were to look after their own horse’s their hooves, there would be no need for farriers doing a mass amount of horses and fucking up their bodies completely. This bieng just a consideration for in an Equal Money System.

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