Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 78 Here we go again...

Today a new trimmer came to look at Little Love's feet and give her a trim.  Earlier this week I took pictures of her feet and sent them to Claudia, "my specialist" in the US, so she could give me some feedback.  Of course, having five pictures of each hoof on my computer helped me, too, to figure out what needed to be done.  With my notes in hand, I was prepared for the trimmer. 

This woman was completely different than the man who came weeks ago.  In fact, she was from the other end of the scale when it came to it.  She had recently graduated from a holistic hoofcare school which meant she had a lot of knowledge but perhaps not so much experience.  I'm not so convinced about these schools here in Switzerland as it seems like pretty much anyone can set one up without having much experience themselves.  Anyways, the good thing was that this trimmer was open to discussion. 

She took two hours to trim the feet.  TWO HOURS.  And this is not because she did a lot of trimming.  She was just not that handy at it. She also wasn't handy at holding the leg up or positioning it for rasping (she used the rasp a lot).  I could see she had the idea right, but the way she was grabbing and holding the leg was not productive.  She was also slightly intimidated by horses (or at least my horse) and her tension escalated the situation.  She was outwardly calm, but I could feel that what was going on inside her was a completely different story.  Little Love does not do very well with people who are afraid, because usually they are really careful and tiptoe around her.  She finds this highly suspicious.  After about 40 minutes Little Love had just about had it with this woman and by the time we were on the third foot, Little Love was pissed off.  She actually started threatening to kick, something I have never seen her do before to that extent.  This of course freaked out the trimmer even more (which in turn really freaked Little Love out).  Finally I had a talk with Little Love, telling her to hang in there and let this woman finish (I actually told her the woman was only still learning and if Little Love could be as kind as teach her - she likes teaching).  She agreed, but I had to hold the two remaining legs up or it was not going to happen. 

Anyways, the trim was not extensive, which is alright since we are still lacking toe height after the last trim. She did back up the toe (carefully) which is good and trimmed her bars.  She did the best job on the first foot, since that was when Little Love was still standing patiently and letting her lift and put down the foot a thousand times.  I'm not exactly convinced trimmer did much to help Little Love's feet in the long term (correcting her angles), but she didn't really do anything to damage them either (at least as far as I could see).  There was a lot of the old bruising coming up from the previous trim when she bled and this woman mentioned that there was a hematoma deeper inside the frog of the right hind.  Hmmm. 

In any case, Little Love was a bit sore afterwards.  She was still walking on the hard ground around the barn, but was definitely tender. I gave her arnica and I left the boots on for the night.  I'll be going there tomorrow morning to see the extent of it.  It is amazing how little will rock the balance between being ok and being sore, because like I said, the woman didn't do that much. I have ordered another pair of boots for the back feet, hopefully they'll get here next week.  I initially ordered them because I was worried about her wearing down the hooves too much on the asphalt (since the toe height is not great although it's better in the back than in the front), but now I might need them for her if she is sore again. 

Also, seeing this woman do her trim made me think that I might actually be better off doing the trimming (or more like rasping, although she did use the knife on the bars) myself.  I've done some theory online and will be getting more next month in Finland as I attend Claudia's hoof seminar.  I'll also be learning how to trim for the first time in my life after the seminar.  I know three days of trimming won't take me very far, but maybe I could learn enough to keep Little Love stable until we move in the summer? (we are moving to Finland).  Something to think about...  


  1. Yes, I think you should go ahead and do the trimming yourself!

  2. That's what I've been wondering all along, why don't you do it yourself?

    Täh, muutatte Suomeen? Jee!

  3. Be brave, you can do it!

    Expect it to take forever though, like the new trimmer you just described. It really does take a while to get acclimated to using the tools while holding the feet up. Take your time and work only two hooves a day. Break it up, rasp the hoof walls one day and tackle the bars the next. Take a TON of pictures!