I came straight home cause i'm just dying to tell you this little short story.
First off i should kick myself for walking out the door this morning without my camera. For some reason i just didn't think i'd be needing it - "WRONG"! So here's the story.
I got called out by a client i've had for years. Here's what i mean about how people change farriers for no apparent reason to me and end up in trouble. I've been this womans farrier for just about 16 years now, her horses have never been lame while i worked on them. So she calls me yesterday and says "John can you come out and check Karims feet - the farrier has done something funny and Karim is standing on her sole and not even the hoof - can you come check it out"? So ok - even though you are using another farrier instead of me i'll come out and check things out.
So i get there , Karim is not an easy keeper as far as joints and knees go. She's got full blown arthritis on the right front knee with lumps protruding out everywhere and the left foot has a serious case of ringbone , so gawl dang it ( i'm italian i get emotional remember ) the feet need very close attention paid to them when a horse has issues like this.
So i'm told it's the left front foot that i need to look at , I pick the foot up and just immediately GASP at what i saw. There was a huge hunk of sole that had and was never being cleaned away protruding from whole bottom of the foot - it was so overgrown and sticking out so far that the horse was standing on it instead of the hoof wall .
Before i even picked up the foot i noticed while just looking at the foot while the horse was standing that the toe had grown much too long in a forward fashion and the heels were sheering and being pulled forward by the long toe as well. That alone was enough of a red flag for me - but when i picked up that foot to look at the sole i just couldn't believe it. Who in their right mind ( especially a farrier ) would ever allow such a rediculous growth on the bottom of the horses foot. I beside myself ! And i started thinking and trying to understand how and why and all the possbile reasons for such a thing. Does the farrier really have that little clue ? How can that possibly be ? This is so hideous . Was he just lazy ? No i don't think so. What the farrier told the woman who owned the horse was this is the "Natural method" and "There's nothing more i can do" blah blah blah blah add Naseum. Like i said i'm Italian but gawd allmighty if i don't stop trying to figure out how such hideous things exist in this farrier industry i'll just get myself all worked up or worse yet go insane !!!
The woman who owns the horse just wanted me to explain to her what this farrier was doing to her horse - I'm sorry to say there's no explanation !! i tried to come up with some logical "Excuse" why such a horrendous condition existed on her horse but fell very short - Zip , Nada ! She and i just went round and round and round with countless scenarios and Nothing though to explain concretely either how or why this horses feet should look this way, Even though her farrier was adamant ( and i mean adamant ) the feet should be done in such a manner.
Well - Ok. I tell the owner of Karim to come up here while i show her personally what is happening and what to do about this mess and to just "Stand right there and i'll show you". She stood right there and watched as i explained and started to go to work on the poor foot. Very first thing i did was just get my nippers and give a slight tug on that huge hunk of sole on the bottom of the foot and the whole bottom of the foot (the sole) just Popped right off the foot leaving the whole "Natural" foot underneath. Needless to say my client was quite shocked ! She's still all eyes as i keep going forward with finishing the foot and giving her a play by play explanation of all this.
Now that the huge obstruction is out of the way from the bottom of the foot i have access to pealing off the rest of the loose sole and getting to the natural foot. Well what my client was watching was how suddenly this cleaning of the old sole created a hoof wall with nearly 2 full inches growth - for heavens sake even i was shocked to see that much hoof wall. I'd say it would take about 4 months to grow that much hoof wall. You guessed it my client was shocked.
So eyes still on me and i'm still not done talking to her as all this is unfolding before her eyes it's time to cut off that nearly 2 inches of hoof wall growth. Snip snip with the nippers and 20 seconds later all that hoof wall is removed. Now the natural angle of the hoof was restored to aligning with the pastern bones - the toe of the foot was rasped back to where it belongs , the heels are not so sheered and that foot now matches the other good foot ! What the HELL was all that about and what the HELL is going on here ?
I just "Can Not Believe Such a Thing" For the life of me i simply just cannot understand how anyone least of all a farrier can ever believe that the condition of Karims foot was the least bit correct ! This isn't the first time i've seen such things nor is it the first farrier shoeing i've seen like this. I see it all to often ! What do these guys do just close their eyes ? Do they just not pay attention ? Do they just have no "FEEL" for anything at all ? Do they just make sure they hold their hand out to collect the check ? Do they even care? What !? And he came highly recommended !! JEESUS i just don't GET IT ?
And they (The Farrier) sure as hell aren't getting it either ..
My opinion - these guys should not be allowed to touch horses feet . This is how the term Malpractice was created. Horses blow up like this - they blow tendons and ligaments and get ruined like this.
Obviously there is something wrong with this whole picture.
Horseowners don't know - they get farriers that don't know , the horses come up lame and the horseowner gets another farrier that doesn't know and this viscious circle just goes round and round. And the horses pay for it ! This happens world over. I get emails from people all over the world telling me these same kind of stories - horses in trouble everywhere. Time for a paradigm shift . For the farriers too. I have to remember to not put the blame - this problem starts at the educational level as well. Farrier schools don't teach the right thing either - the farrier school i graduated from (Considered the best school in the world) didn't teach hardly any of what i know now. They just did not teach it.
What else can i say ? i could go on and on about this stuff. Seriously - the Gimmicks out there in the Farrier industry , Like the woman that emailed me wanting me to check out this new style of shoeing ( In Kuhoots with a Vet ) that i took one look at and said to myself #1, i have NEVER EVER needed to shoe a horse in such a trumped up manner of shoeing with every gimmick ever invented on the horse and #2 i would never ever ever shoe my horse like that ........... LET ALONE this shoeing was at a cost of 500.00 per two front feet !!!! FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for two front feet !!!!! Are you getting a clue about what's happening out there yet ? Like i said " I COULD GO ON AND ON ". BELIEVE ME " ON AND ON "....... And you know - I'm "The renegade" because i started opening my mouth about this and blogging about this and putting information out there so people / farriers / horseowners / the schools etc etc can make that paradigm shift and pull their heads OUT of Wherever it's stuck. It just doesn't stop here - it goes ON and ON. boggles my mind............ ANYWAY !!! like i said - i can go insane if i don't stop at some point - Soooo. Here take a look at the hoof picks i make and give away as a promotion to help spread the word that the truth about shoeing is out there for you and the horses.
These hoof picks are totally hand forged by me custom horse head hoof picks with your name hot stamped right into the metal , they work real well , comfortable in the hand, and they're great conversational pieces and when someone asks you about these you can tell and share with them the value they can find at www.YourEquineSource.com where they can sign up themselves for the hoof pick giveaway. You need to sign up too - just leave your physical mailing address and your name at John@Care4Horses.com Go ahead - Now ... Do it.
Aren't they just CUTE ! No two are alike. Go ahead i know you want to sign up - just go to John@Care4Horses.com and leave your physical mailing address and name.
thank you so much .
as usual happy and safe riding .
John "The Foot Doctor" Silveira