I'm a bit disappointed. I am attending a hoof trimming workshop in March, and I was so exited about taking Allie with me... then when I finally got around to paying, there were no spots left for 'full participants' - people who can bring their horses. I can still attend, just as an 'auditor' only. Boo. It is a basic level course, but I need to attend to be able to go to one of their advanced workshops. There are ones in Canberra and Cowra in April (around my birthday) that I would love to take Allie to, but it's a bit of a hike for one day only! Maybe if I can stay overnight with her at the host's property. Might work out. They almost NEVER run courses in Sydney!
I realised yesterday that I have been trimming horses since I was 12 years old. That is coming up to 15 years this year. Wow.
I was 12 when I had just gotten Pom. We had the farrier out a few times to have his feet trimmed and Pom hated him. He didn't like most men, except for my dad actually. He was mucking up, popping in little rears and trying to get away from the farrier, as he was rough and mean and not polite at all. Then, when Pom pulled his hoof out of the farrier's hand, the farrier lost it and started to beat him with the rasp. I was mortified, and my mother never ever had a farrier out to see Pom again. Instead, she bought me my first rasp, and without any form of knowledge or training, I had at my poor pony's feet. I asked Mum and her friend that owned the other horse in the paddock what to do, and I remember Karen saying "just file them like you would your own nails". So I did. I didn't know what I was doing back then, but I realise now that it was a basic mustang roll. I never touched the bottom of his feet, and I don't even think I set his heels or anything. I did A LOT of road riding back then, and luckily he had amazing feet anyway, so I doubt I did any major damage. He never went lame anyway, and he was as fit as an endurance arab, riding 6+ hours a day during the school holidays. I wish I had taken solar shots of his feet. I have some pics of his feet from the side, but I will need to find and scan them. He had four white feet. Never had a problem with them. :)
I'm starting to realise (it's been a slow process, I know) that I want to do this seriously. I've been thinking of doing a Diploma of Equine Podiotherapy for a couple of years now. I might try to have a crack at it next year maybe? It's almost $5000, 12 months distance study with a bunch of 5-6 day long blocks of visiting the centre in Victoria for practical exams and the such. I would LOVE to do that.
I do worry about the dissections and cadaver trims though. I am going to do a cadaver trim at my course in March and I do hope I can look past the 'this used to be a living breathing horse' to see the amazing way the hoof works. I have been present at dissections of horses before (with my 2 year Diploma of Horse Industry Management course which I was 6 months off finishing when I gave up. Oops..) and I struggled with it. Especially the horse head class. I was near hyperventilating in the next room and it took almost a whole hour for one of my classmates to coax me into the room to at least have a look. Which I did, then I ran away again. I WAS only 18-19 at the time though. Maybe I've matured. I sure hope so!
In other news, Allie and Gracie are slowly coming back in to work. Still no word from the saddler - I would like to hop on next week, and it looks like it may have to be bareback! Wish me luck!