Feeling the Hoof, and Asking the Horse

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.

Published by Kara Cumberton

Wellness and horses are my things. I'm a rider, a bodyworker, and a college student studying integrative health and wellness. I also love nature, yoga, my dog, art, writing, and cooking.

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