Just before the end of 2017, Michael (vet) and Giannis (farrier) traveled to the large island of Evia, which lies along the eastern coast of the Greek mainland. There, they toured some of the northern villages and examined 78 working equids during a visit that lasted 3 days. Alongside a routine check for any worrisome signs and an assessment of its overall condition, every animal had its mouth examined to ensure that it was pain-free and could chew properly. Naturally, whenever a problem was identified, suitable treatment was given. Giannis examined every set of feet and trimmed for balance and comfort. There were, as always, some more complex cases that needed extra care, including a pony with an obvious deformation of its front legs and an elderly mare with a rotten tooth that needed to be extracted, but the team proved equal to every challenge!
These trips wouldn’t be possible without the support of the local communities that we visit, and we thank them for their help with organising things and for offering the team their warm hospitality.
The first part of the seminar presented the basic anatomy of an equid’s foot and the principles that flow from that to the correct trimming of a hoof. Then, it covered some elements that will help owners begin to identify, assess and address some common hoof problems. The participants got hands-on practice in farriery, as everyone was given an opportunity to shoe either a horse, donkey or mule – always under the close supervision of either Giannis or Tom.
We’d like to thank “Petalo” farriery supplies for kindly accommodating the first (theoretical) part of the seminar and for generously providing, free of charge, the materials we used during the practical session as well.
We are also grateful to the “Double GG Ranch” for its warm hospitality and for hosting the day’s practical session.