We had 3 awesomes students this month. Don and Debby from San Diego and one of my local customers, Kirsten.
We had a few horses hauled in for trims over the weekend and took a field trip down to the end of our road to trim 4 beautiful horses that belong to our neighbors, Scott and Karen.
Snacks and lunch is provided. And on the last day we all go out do dinner to unwind and recap our 3 days together.
A good deal of prep work is involved in gearing up for the clinics, which includes...
...setting the garage/classroom back up since the last clinic.
Snacks are set out for the students to munch on during the day.
The dogs are kicked out!
And the horses are advised to be on their best behavior!
When everything is ready to go, it's time to hit the garage door opener and...
...class is now in session!
After we go over our tools and get our aprons fitted, we spend the early part of our days discussing hoof anatomy, diet, and other aspects that are critical to producing healthy hooves, before we move outside to work on the horses.
Samples of different types of gravel...not to be confused with the food.
Then it's time to go out to the horses!
After I demonstrate the trim, horse and hoof handling, Kirsten starts her first trim on Danny's hinds.
Our driver escorts us back and forth between the barn and the classroom...well, she would if she could reach the peddles.
Tool handling! Learning to handle the tools while being mindful of the hoof is not an easy skill at first.
Debbie is working on one of Peaches hinds.
Don seems to be having fun working on Little Jake!
(A frequently asked question is why do farriers and NH practitioners always where hats? Well for me, a hat keeps my hair away from the horse's body. Most horses are not the cleanest things to get so close to.)
Kirsten is working on her own long time friend, 28 year old, Gypsy.
Our next victim! I mean volunteer...a visiting pony, Lilo, teaches us about addressing flare.
Before and after!
Sophie sleeps through all our hard work!
It was a great three 3 days together and we topped it off with a nice long Mexican meal in downtown Yelm. I try to keep in touch with my long distance students, as well as help my local students when they need assistance.
Of course, 3 days isn't enough time to learn everything there is to know about trimming hooves, (Heck! three years isn't long enough, we will always have more to learn.) and students are strongly encouraged to begin their journey into learning how to trim by first going to Pete Ramey's website, hoofrehab.com and reading his articles as well as ordering his book and watching his DVD series, Under the Hoof, before coming to class.
Pete and Ivy's research as well as that of other important hoof anatomy experts like Dr. Robert Bowker, will provide a good background.
Then in class, we go to work on the hands-on part of the trim. By the end of our 3 days together, students are fairly skillful at reading different types of hooves, recognizing different hoof issues, and handling the tools well enough to sculpt a properly trimmed hoof.
Good job everyone!
Clinic information is on the right of this screen.