Tuesday, 31 March 2009

I know its been ages...

...since the last post - too much going on here to have time to sit down in front of the computer very often...

We have a new rehab horse, who arrived last Thursday, and is proving a sweetheart. He had his shoes off on Friday and is now longreining round the farm very comfortably. He is an 8 yr old dark bay KWPN who has come here with a navicular diagnosis. Pic is of his feet last Friday morning, and I will take more in the next few days.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Hunting on barefoot horses

A clip of the barefoot boys - Felix, Hector, Charlie and Jacko - out on Exmoor, rock-crunching on our flinty tracks.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Just utterly gorgeous...

...down here at the moment - warm, sunny, Spring is springing and the lambs are boinging in the field - it feels like a well-deserved treat after a long, cold winter :-)

Andy and Jack went hunting on Saturday, on the first really warm day - I unfortunately couldn't go, as I was on Mary Bromiley's course all weekend, but apparently they had a marvellous time and Jack was such a sweetheart that Andy hasn't yet stopped smiling!

I've started turning the horses out at night, as the grass is beginning to come through and it will be a lot safer for them that way than going out on it during the daytime. 

They were thrilled to be out on fields which they have been banned from since last summer, and there was much wild abandon initially, as they reacquainted themselves with the boundaries. 

So far so good, Charlie and Hector hunted today and were on very good form, and I will carry on with that regime unless the weather turns nasty again. 

Thursday, 12 March 2009

HIJACKED...email, that is...!

Apparently one of my email accounts was hijacked last night and some nasty little computer nerd sent out a load of spam to all my contact, which purported to come from me....

I think I have now sorted out the problem, so apologies to anyone who received junk from my email address, and if you are in any doubt please use my rockleyfarm.co.uk email address in future :-)

Apologies for the inconvenience, chaps :-)

Friday, 6 March 2009

Gold star for Horse and Hound!

Credit where credit is due, and Horse and Hound have come up trumps this week, publishing 2 very eloquent and no-nonsense letters about barefoot trimmers from obviously satisfied customers - one of whom also has shod horses :-)

Its great to see them publish both sides, and to see barefoot opening up as an issue that can really be discussed broadly, with balanced input from everyone. 

Well done Horse and Hound, a brave step and very sensible step to take.

Performance in the sunshine...

...The sun is shining and we've got to the end of the most manic month I can remember, all intact :-)

Next week is looking great, with much better weather (it snowed again Wednesday and Thursday!) and both Andy and I will have the chance to get out hunting ourselves instead of sending our horses out for other people to have fun on!

Charlie is back on top form and hunted last Wednesday, and will go out again on Monday with a friend who has not hunted on horseback for a while ;-) Charlie having been the master's horse regularly for the last few weeks (along with Felix) is feeling rather important and doesn't take kindly to being anywhere other than right behind Raven, so I hope he is happy being in the front all day :-)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

National Occupational Standards for barefoot

Well, finally after a long lead time, at a meeting organised by Lantra yesterday, there was unanimous agreement on the way forward for barefoot - the development of national occupational standards which will underpin training for the future. 

The meeting was, I think, historic (in barefoot terms!) because for the first time, all the main UK barefoot organisations, and the welfare charities, farriery associations and veterinary representatives not only met each other but agreed that the way forward was to put in place standards for barefoot trimming, covering not only trimming but nutrition, environment and exercise and equine behaviour - a holistic approach (which UKNHCP training has had since the beginning!) that will help improve overall horse health and welfare  as well as hoof health. 

It seems likely that this will be the start of much more knowledge-sharing across farriery and barefoot, which will be very valuable for all of us,  and will hopefully end some of the strange divisions that have been perceived between barefoot and farriery. 

All good stuff, and a very good day for the horse, I think :-)