OBI (Set up trim 9/10/6. Latest pictures and text added 29/5/7)
AGE. 21 years !
ACTIVITIES. Endurance. Light schooling and hacking.
HOOF CARE / HISTORY. Worn shoes intermittently for thirteen years. Barefoot for four years.

"Obi is my first horse. My father bought him for me when I was fourteen and he was four. The deal took five minutes and entailed the sentence, "What's the cheapest price you'll take?" We didn't even take him out of the stable!  I was a 'riding school brat' and had read every horsemanship textbook published. I am still an avid collector of any old book that has "Wins a Pony" as part of the title.

Looking back I can appreciate that a 14.3hh, four year old, Arab wasn't the best choice for a first pony and we both have a few old lumps and scars to prove it. One of the first things I did for him as his new owner was get his first set of shoes

I can still remember watching him gallop down the field afterwards, feeling uneasy and sorry. I wondered if his feet felt strange and heavy. It seemed odd to nail metal to a creature so non-empirical and made of air and fire. I shrugged the feeling off as it was necessary to have shoes on if I wanted to ride him. Time went by and he had shoes, on and off, for the next thirteen years with no problems.


Image courtesy west end photography

When he was seventeen I decided to take his shoes off. I had no time to ride and he only hacked out with my friend a couple of times a week. I had been researching on the internet and discovered that it was possible for some horses to cope with small amounts of work without shoes. I decided to try and see if Obi was one of those horses. We took the shoes off and we set on a regime of transition (no work for one week, no road work for two weeks). He managed perfectly well.
Some time later I got another horse - a two year old, draft X. I was unhappy with the idea of putting shoes on my new horse when the time came, because it was more expensive for bigger hooves. But I wanted my new horse to be able to work full time and wasn't convinced they did hoof boots that would fit him. I went back to the internet and discovered something called the 'Barefoot Trim'.

It seemed that a horse could work at the same level as a shod horse with no shoes or hoof-boots at all. I wasn't totally convinced but I had nothing to loose. I kept the idea to myself (didn't want to be laughed at) and found a trimmer to cover my area.
We haven't looked back since. Both my horses hack out with shod horses and both do 20 mile pleasure rides over all terrain’s. They never lose a shoe and never slip. Obi is still fit and healthy at twenty-one ! (and I am nearly thirty!). He has a very loyal fan club of people that know and love him. He has been my best friend all these years and been with me through heartbreak, highs and lows and for that he deserves the best of everything. Mel and Ross are passionate about what they do and take (an almost embarrassing) pride my horse's hooves. That is good enough for Obi and me".
Sarah Harper

Left front 29/5/7
Left front 29/5/7
Right hind 29/5/7
Right hind 29/5/7
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