Dawn Westcott - Exmoor Pony Project and Holtball Herd 11
Some years ago, we decided to go completely barefoot and, for our horses and Exmoor ponies who had been shod for years, this required a careful, patient and skilled transition. Clive has seen us through that entire process and today, he also takes care of the feet for our Exmoor Pony Project.
This means he is dealing with many Exmoor ponies, from foals to veterans, and stallions, mares, geldings, colts and fillies. They are at various stages of socialisation - from completely unhandled through to tame and trusting. They also display a wide range of characters - and feet.
Clive is knowledgable, patient and good-natured when dealing with the ponies, particularly when introducing semi-feral youngsters to the idea of having their feet trimmed. This requires an intuitive understanding of body language, energy connection and spatial awareness, around highly sensitive ponies, along with all the hoof care skills.
Clive is also a great person to discuss the wider care, management and diet that affects the feet and he will always look at ‘the whole horse’ - not just the feet. A great example is how our Arabians have evolved to be not just barefoot, but also rugless all-year-round, resulting in glowing health, vitality and continued free-movement as they get older.
We encounter the unexpected, unwanted and imperfections and issues with hoof care, just like anyone else. But I have to say that Clive makes it a great deal easier to stay on top of things with a multi-herd set up like ours.
I can highly recommend him.
photo courtesy of Kirsten Bruns