About people, places and beautiful horses we have found around the world
Warrior and Jim
These two magnificent Shire geldings live in Aberdeenshire in Scotland.
I met them one day when I was supposed to be watching two, fairly new, fairly small, very ladylike, hoofcarers who had been asked to do a “first trim” on the horses over a year after the farrier refused to come because the horses were Too Big and Too Dangerous.
Both these horses have been in the “rescue system” for so long that they are on their last chance… If they go back to the “shelter” again, they would go down.
The current owner (or carer) has had them for a few years and really loves them and wants to do the best for them but is certainly not able to do their hoofcare herself.
And so the hoofs were terrible…
But this story is not about the technical details of their feet… even though we may briefly mention that they both had a problem, which is very common in heavy horses, of the hoofs deforming to resemble a cloverleaf or make the horses resemble three-toed Sloths.
This story is about how two beautiful, gentle creatures had been beaten and emotionally traumatised, year after year, by handlers (not their current carer) who thought that the only way to get big animals to “behave” is to physically intimidate them with anger, aggression and pain.
And it is partly true; not many humans can stand hanging on to the enormous hoofs of these creatures if they are rearing kicking and biting… So some humans use the only way they know to “show the big fellas who is Boss”.
But the story is also about one day when two horses learned that this is NOT how all humans treat horses.
Warrior came first to have his feet trimmed.
His owner joked that his name should have been 'Worrier' as his nervous tension was easily seen in his posture and facial expressions… He had been through this before and he kept looking around for the team of big strong men who would hold him still while they “did things” which he could not understand, to his feet.
But we did not have a team of big strong men… we had one very young and small lady, one more mature lady who was even shorter, though not quite as fit or slim, and one fat, bald, tired, old hoofbloke.
Under the circumstances we decided to give the job of holding the horse to the biggest person there… we gave that job to Warrior!
But he had never been treated as a person before, let alone being trusted with such an important job!
He was a bit nervous at first but soon learned that he was quite capable of doing, and being, what was required and did a marvellous job.
He learned to relax and trust, and help as the humans took turns exhausting themselves trying to correct the deformities in his feet that were caused by years of neglect…
And at the end he was very proud to have been a part of the hoofcare team team.
Jim is an Old Horse…
In years he is only perhaps in his late twenties…
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