Archie the Friesian is the latest addition to my herd (I say “herd”; it’s now got two members). He was purchased in March 2017, but has been living with me since about January and I’ve known him since he was eight months old. He is now fourteen months, and currently stands at about 13.3hh.
He is my horse of a lifetime (I hope) and will be a long term project. We’re still getting to know one another as I only moved back home last month and he hasn’t been handled much at all up until the last few weeks. Temperament-wise, he’s friendly, inquisitive and very playful, with the downside that he’s also very strong and currently pushing his boundaries. Although I’ve dealt with a variety of behavioural issues in horses, and I have experience with youngsters, Archie is definitely on a whole new level for me.
Obviously as this is a blog devoted to horses’ feet, Archie’s hooves will be on here at some point. I’m not sure when exactly that will be, as he’s decided he absolutely doesn’t want his feet being touched. In order to avoid stressing him out and therefore giving him a reason to keep being sensitive about his feet, I am going to take his training slowly. The aim is to have him self-trimming effectively, something I’ve managed with horses with worse feet than his in the past.
Self-trimming is something I have a lot of faith in, as it seems to allow the horse to grow a hoof that best serves its purpose; i.e. moving correctly. I have seen plenty of horses with “wonky” feet, and all of those deviations meant that the horse was able to move far more comfortably than if the hooves had been made to look conventional. At the moment, Archie is slightly pigeon-toed and has longer toes than I’d like, but he will start going out in hand on the roads regularly in the next few months as part of his early training and I will review his feet continually through these early stages.
Keep an eye out for his regular updates!