Who my clients are
I would love to say that all the horses I work with have healthy feet. Some do! But unfortunately many people who take their horses barefoot do so because of pathologies. Often Equine Podiatry is seen as a ‘last resort’ when traditional methods haven’t worked or where the owner is looking for alternatives. I regularly see laminitis, navicular and other conditions. Sometimes I’m told that ‘the horse just doesn’t like the farrier’. So I deal with healthy horses and unhealthy horses; straightforward ones and tricky cases; ridden, non-ridden, driving, working and breeding stock; youngsters and elderlies; donkeys, Shetlands, cobs, TBs, Clydesdales and everything in between.
What I expect from you
Please have the horse ready when I arrive with the feet picked out and any mud cleaned off the feet and legs. Thoroughly wiping with a towel is usually sufficient. Washing/hosing the legs is ok if there is enough time for them to dry before I arrive (but working with wet legs can be slippy and dangerous and leaves me with wet jeans for the rest of the day). A flat clean dry surface to work on is ideal (eg concrete or tarmac) or just an area of short grass if hard standing is not available. Working in mud is not acceptable and working in long grass is difficult. A covered area with good lighting for working in adverse weather is helpful. Please understand that a suitable work area is necessary for an optimal job as well as for safety – it’s not just for convenience. If you don’t have ideal facilities please consider getting some rubber mats to work on. Even an old roll of carpet is better than mud.
I deal with each horse on an individual basis taking into account its conformation and biomechanics. I will advise on any changes to implement if you want to see a significant improvement. You may find that I ask you to take on more responsibility for your horse’s hooves between visits than you’re used to from previous hoof-care providers. I will work with you to formulate a plan that is best for the horse but also realistic and achievable for you the owner.
For my safety and for the safety and comfort of the horse, please inform me if there are any behavioural or medical problems which are likely to make trimming difficult. In extreme cases if sedation or pain killers are required in order to carry out the trim please organise this with your vet. I reserve the right to refuse to trim a horse if I deem it unsafe to do so (the full consultation charge will still apply).