My horses are “left over” from an abandoned equestrian center in the 90’s. We rescued them 2007 and it took a year to get the horses healthy. The horses were dewormed, we set up paddocks and pastures, stallions were fixed and we made the first few steps to connect with the herd.
I set up the pastures so the horses had to walk a lot and kept their hooves somewhat in shape.
I studied with Carolyn Resnick and through the Waterhole Rituals I could connect with the horses. Later on I became a Certified Instructor and taught the Waterhole Rituals to hundreds of people in several countries.
At a point I really wanted to start riding the horses and found Gabriel an Hungarian Instructor who came to work with me onsite.
Over the next months Gabriel and Lisa, a working student, started to teach the horses to get their hooves trimmed, flares were removed, heels trimmed down and balance restored. I worked intensively on my seat and Gabriel had me do lots of physical exercises on the ground and on the horse. I learnt a lot about the importance of the preparation of the rider.
Step by step the horses got in better shape and their hooves too. I gained a new level of respect and understanding for what it really takes to ride a horse. One crucial part was not just to have good, but excellent hooves.
A few months ago I decided to learn to trim myself. While living in Europe some fifteen years ago I had taken a few theory courses in barefoot trim so I had my eyes trained along with the experiences observing my own horses hooves.
I found online help and started to trim the horses on the terrace, lots of photos were taken and studied from all angles. My new online teacher helps me analyze what to do and give me courage to take the next trimming steps. Now I dare file the heels, I can identify the flares, understand better the role of the coronet band and the bars how to use the rasp without filing my own fingers….
In this writing moment I have been trimming for two months and it’s fascinating, almost addictive.. My horses are very patient with me. If one of them get tired they will pull their hoof and let me take another one. I also found it much easier to trim the hooves when had been raining because they were much softer. So I wait for the rain, then I took the horses out in the garden to eat a lot. Once their bellies are full trimming is really easy.
I think Spirit surprised me the most, while I was expecting she would be the most difficult to trim, she turned out to be the easiest. For those of you who know her, you know she is very shy, but the key to trim her was just to let her pull the hoof when she wanted, also let her walk away when she wanted. It took only 20-30 minutes the first time where she pulled her hooves and walked off, after she has been standing just still.
We want the hooves tip top before the new riding instructor is coming in December so we can continue our riding journey.
I am so grateful for all the lessons I continue to learn from my horses.
Much sunshine from Stina
First Trim Elena