I am no professional hoof trimmer. I am not amazing at hoof trimming, though I tend to be intuitively as helpful as I can be to horses in that area one day. So I’m learning, and evolving… lots of evolving.
I picked up Cherish’s hoof under the light of the stalls in the night. Thoughts of David Landreville’s photos swirled through my head. I took a deep breath.
Instead, I cradled them. I felt gratitude and I released judgment. I stroked her legs, her pasterns, and the bottom of her hooves. I felt with my fingers, in the crevices and along the edges and right along the sole. I skirted the heels with my fingers. I picked up my rasp. I breathed.
I rounded a little, softly and slowly. I felt with my fingers. I adjusted a little more. I felt into what would help support, what would provide arch, provide sink, provide shock absorption, provide a good feeling to her. I put her foot down when she asked, which wasn’t very long into me holding it. I stroked her leg. I kneeled with her, and placed my soft palm along her face. I noticed her responses. She chewed, and blew out. She adjusted her weight. The way she stood on her leg was different now.
I stroked up her leg and felt her shoulder. This, too, felt different.
She picked her leg up for me, and again, I cradled it in one hand and felt with the other. I switched. Again, I picked up the rasp and began slowly, gently shaping. I put the rasp down and felt with my hands. I breathed. I closed my eyes. I absorbed what I could. I put her hoof down, and waited and watched.
I turned hoofcare into an active meditation with her. She let me know what she felt. I let her know what I felt. I shaped and supported as I felt I could help her. I let be what I felt I could not. She let me know that it felt much better. I let her know how grateful I was for her, and ended there.
There we were, under the light in the sea of darkness, two beings, feeling together… around hooves.