I miss trimming.
My business was going so well before Allie was diagnosed. I was working WAY too much (what with a full time job as well) but I had about 60 horses on the books. I did at least 2, sometimes up to 10 after work each and every single day and then another 10 or so every Saturday, with Sunday morning normally taken up with 2 or 3. I did about 15-20 horses every week. I travelled up to an hour away from home to trim horses. I had clients that competed in different low level comps, with some paddock puffs and weekend or hard working pleasure horses thrown in. I did foals, young horses, big giant pricks of horses, ponies, horses with laminitis, navicular and various other issues (quite a few with behavioural issues). I was exhausted, but I was helping so many horses and every horse I worked on (with trim cycles nice and short like I prefer) had improvements every time I saw them. I had clients I was teaching how to trim, helping them find their confidence to look after their own horse's feet (under my supervision of course).
I loved it. And I realised that I didn't want an office job forever, I wanted to be out on the road seeing ponies and horses all day long.
When Allie got sick I couldn't handle seeing all these other horses when I felt my horse had no future. It broke my heart but I could not handle getting the occasional text saying "my horse is a little sore after his trim, should I boot him?". I couldn't handle the pressure of having these people depend on me for their horse being sound. In Sydney, we only have a handful of decent barefoot trimmers and we are all incredibly overbooked and find it very hard to fit in all the clients that need us. There are also some pretty shit barefoot trimmers too, who I'm not happy to refer my clients to. I limited my client base to what I could physically cope with and I always turned up when I said I would, always kept my appointments, even if that meant trimming 10 horses in the pouring rain. To be honest, I'm the most dependable hoof care professional I've ever heard of. I tried very hard to get that reputation and to keep it, to the detriment of my marriage in some cases.
I'm Facebook friends with a few of my (old?) clients. I've seen quite a few posts complaining about their horse's soundness and not being able to find a decent, dependable barefoot trimmer. I know quite a few of them can't wait until I get back to trimming. To be honest, neither can I!! To know some of my old clients with horses who had soundness issues have returned to shoes without my help and support. Gosh that breaks my heart. I've put so much effort into these horses, and I know these people need their horse to be sound, but I feel helpless not being able to help them while I'm away from trimming to have my baby.
Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. Since taking a break, I've come to realise that I'm a fucking excellent trimmer. I didn't realise that trimming and keeping horses sound barefoot was so difficult until I had to watch my clients have trouble while I'm out. These horses were always sound under my care, some with boots, most without. Most just need a good, balanced, short trim every 4 weeks with dietry support and they're good as gold. Now, these same horses are struggling. Just because there aren't more trimmers out there like me, who trim like I do and are dependable.
I plan on returning when my baby is a few months old. Mid next year. Just taking it slowly and keeping it local, maybe doing 3 horses a day 2-3 days a week. Sometimes taking bub with me, sometimes while Andrew has bub.
I just need to wait. I'll be back out there making a difference again soon.