Onward we travel to Zurich, Switzerland. This would be my fifth hoof care clinic in this beautiful country of the world within the last three years.
Crossing the border close to St. Gallen at Lake Constance
In my Blog last month, I told you about my experiences in Germany during the first clinic, which was held in Bavaria. Most of these clinics are being held on weekends, so during the week I will have a few days to see some sights I had forgotten about or never seen before, because during my time spent in Europe the Cold War was prevailing and travel beyond the Iron Curtain was not possible. This time, I traveled to the Spreewald, a Biosphere Reserve 100 km southeast of Berlin. This area is inhabited by Sorbs and Wends, Slavic people who settled here during the Peoples Migration and still speak their Sorb language. There is also a Wend community in Texas. Preserving the cultural diversity makes all the difference and makes life on earth so interesting.
The Spree Wald
The Zurich Seminar was organized by Franziska Baumann, who breeds Sax Arabian Horses together with her husband Rainer. Hoof trimming, problem solving and therapeutic trims were on the agenda. All participants could bring up to two horses for an evaluation and self trimming experience.
First up, an Irish Cobb, or Tinker. Beautiful horses with generally great hooves.
Tinkers have typically broad and healthy frogs.
It does not get much better than that: this frog is made for landing and shock absorption. We leave the frog alone, no hoof knife was used there. Any trimming of this frog would be invasive for no reason and only weaken the frog by robbing him of the protective callus layer. The bars seemed overgrown and laid over, we shortened them to relieve bar pressure on the sole.
Next horse up was an Arabian from the Baumann Ranch. After a conformation and movement analysis, we mapped the hoof with the whole group together. Horse owners had first dip at trimming 'their' hooves.
Rainer Bauman at work on one of his Arabian horses.
No horse was too small for evaluation and trimming. Towards the end of the day, we trimmed some (small) driving horses.
This Mini is used to wear hoof boots in his driving job.
What makes working these seminar in Europe so rewarding is the fact that everybody is into it and an enthusiastic contributor. I always enjoy teaching these workshops with many participants returning year after year. The next stop in Europe is planned for April/May 2015. I will keep you posted.
For now, all remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hopefully you will find some Easyboots under the tree.
From the Bootmeister, Christoph Schork