Horsing around with a local farrier minus the horse shoes
Fri, 18 May 2012 02:00:00 GMT —
A mani and pedi have become a favorite past-time for scores of women needing a stress-reliever from everyday life.
Horses require a similar type of care, only it's vital to their health and well-being.
A local woman ensures that care in a field traditionally held by men.
She's known as a farrier, minus the horse shoes.
"First you pick out the sand, dirt or any kind of crud that may be on the bottom of the hoof," Michelle Miller said.
Miller travels throughout the Tri-States making sure domesticated horses get grounded on all fours. She's what's called a horse barefoot trimmer, also known as a farrier without the horse shoes.
"Horses out in the wild traditionally would have to move upwards of 20 miles a day to get enough food and water to survive. Our domesticated horses have it extremely easy. They don't have to work nearly that hard for their food. It's put right in front of them, so they don't get the chance to move, and therefore, don't get the chance to wear their feet correctly. So the barefoot trim basically removes what would be taken off in the wild. If you don't have regular hoof care, your horse's hooves are going to, the toes are going to get long. The wall in general is going to get long. It's gonna take the hoof out of a working position," Miller said. "Basically, the whole bottom of the foot is designed to make contact with the ground and if your hoof is overgrown, it's not going to happen."
"Now I'm going to pull his foot forward and finish the mustang roll from the outside. Mustang roll is basically a rounding out, the edge of the hoof wall to prevent chips and cracks. It also keeps the hoof nice and tight," Miller said.
Do you get requests for shapes just as humans do when they go for manicures?
"Well, I've had people say nothing fancy. Just the basics," Miller said.
The horse hoof trimming field is traditionally dominated by men.
"It's important to have women trimmers out there. I have one client who has horses that have been abused by a man, so they're nervous around men. Doesn't matter if the next trimmer is nice or not, it's just something about a man that makes them nervous," Miller said. "A lot of time, I can go out there and trim a horse that a male farrier wouldn't be able to have any luck with, and they'll stand nice for me."
A horse farrier does the same process you just saw, only those professionals also place horse shoes on the animal.