Starting our Journey Chapter 1

I had gathered all the clues I could about Valentine’s past life and now it was up to him to tell me the rest, in his own way.

He had a nice shine to his coat and seemed to be in good condition, if you were just taking a quick glance, but when you looked real close, his eyes told the whole sad story.  Besides being in a lot of pain he was very bored and unhappy.  They had removed his horseshoes, but left nail holes and overgrown hooves. I decided to start with the feet first, knowing first hand how grouchy I can be when forced to wear shoes that squeeze or pinch my feet. It made perfect sense to me, that he might have behavior problems from sore feet.

A farrier was recommended to me as “the best there is”! Now, in hind sight I’m wondering WHAT in Sam’s hill, was he “the best there is”, AT. I had noticed that he was particularly good at talking, drinking coffee, letting his dog roam around and a little random swearing. I hadn’t witnessed any superhero farrier abilities, so it must have been his ability to overcharge clients. I was charged $85 for a $40 trim and his ability wasn’t even close to being in my top ten, hall of farriers fame. I immediately made a mental note to move my name into the top ten, hall of “Shame on Me” list, for ever paying him that much.

The trim job he did was decent for a horse that would be wearing shoes, because shoes would have protected the over trimmed sole. Only one little problem with that philosophy, I had told him the horse was going barefoot, in an attempt to fix all the man created problems that had been acquired from wearing ill-fitting shoes in the first place. Sometime during the attempt to even up his feet or chatting, he cut off all the sole on the bottom of his feet nearly to the point of bleeding. To you and I, this would be the equivalent of peeling the calluses off the bottoms of your feet and then be required to walk on sharp rocks or hot pavement, OWWWEEEE!  Needless to say, he was falling to his knees lame after the trim and I could barely get him back to his stall. Terrific, I had become the proud owner of a horse with a very wounded soul and now he was also nearly sole less on his feet as well.

I continued to be nagged with the feeling that most of his lameness problems seemed to be a result of him standing neglected in a stall for long periods of time in the wet urine, maybe being overworked intermittently when he was out of shape and  the result of very bad shoeing.  Also he’s a very intelligent, playful, social sort and was frustrated at not being able to express himself. So express himself he did, in the only way that he could. . . by pawing, banging and kicking the stall.  That was NOT a good thing for his feet, he banged so hard that on the white feet, you could actually see the blood/bruise pooling on the hoof wall. After lengthy research I decided to try Cavallo rubber hoof boots on him. I was hoping I could hand walk him around without pain and increase the circulation in his feet.  I measured his feet, got lucky that he had a fairly average size and was able to pick them up at a local feed/tack store.  I also bought the gel inserts to provide extra padding for his sole and frog. The “frog” is a triangular shaped shock absorber and an important part of the circulatory system on the bottom of a horses foot. Each time the frog makes contact with the ground, it helps pump the blood up the leg as well as provide extra cushion for the legs.

I took a lot of negative flack from various people at the stable. ” You are just wasting your money” one girl said ” I heard those boots can cause sole bruises and rub them raw around the top of the hoof”.  I replied, “well I guess it’s my money to waste and everyone here has made their attempt to fix this horse without success, so it’s my turn to help him”  I really didn’t care what anyone said or thought and promptly tucked the earbuds of my ipod, MP3 player into my ears, turned to Mr. Valenine and said, “Mr. V, it’s just you, me and your new tennie shoes”.

(to be continued)


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