Sunday, 7 December 2014


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.


Val said...

You'll get there. It will be worth it with bub.

Good barefoot trimmers are hard to find everywhere!

OneHindResting said...

Hang in there ;)

You are an awesome trimmer and it will be great for horses, owners and you (!) when you can trim again. You never know, there might be some owners that are willing to hold your bub while you're under the horse... just saying! :P

When I have another horse back at performance level, I would love for you to be my guide to keep me on track.

I know that you do/did this already, but maybe there is some way you can encourage more involvement from owners? That way you can help more horses and they will be less affected by the dodgy trimmers. I really don't think you need to worry about doing yourself out of the business - you're too good a trimmer and there are always new owners and remedial cases.

It is the most absolving thing in the world to hand over responsibility to the professional and not have to think about your horse's hooves (but conversely also the most frustrating thing in the world for me to be dependent on someone, when I had shoes on Harry). Maybe when you get back to trimming, you could ask owners what would make them feel like they could have a go? It can be a scary thing to try, and it is also physically quite hard to start with too...

It sucks because when owners see their horse have difficulty staying sound with these other trimmers, they think they will have the same problem. It undermines their confidence in their ability to successfully trim their horse, under your supervision... gah!

Ahhh... hang in there, you'll be back soon enough! ;)

OneHindResting said...

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