Rehabbing a horse is a labor of love, and watching the amazing transformation that each of our horses goes through is the reward for a lot of hard work! There is so much that has to be accomplished before a rescued horse is ready for adoption, and so many people who play a role in turning that horse into a “good equine citizen” who will have a home for life.
Today as I watched Chip getting his feet trimmed by my farrier — and behaving like a perfect angel — I couldn’t help but feel grateful for SAFE’s go-to gal Daphne Jones. Daphne has been trimming SAFE horses for many, many years. When a new horse comes to the rescue, Daphne is almost always the one who gets the opportunity to find out if that particular horse is going to stand quietly for a trim or turn into a tasmanian devil. She’s been first to trim all of the baby horses that SAFE has cared for, and she’s rehabilitated some pretty awful looking neglected hooves for us as well. You can say that Daphne is a farrier or a barefoot trimmer, but that’s really not the whole story, at least not where the SAFE horses are concerned. In a sense, Daphne is a trainer who prepares each horse for a lifelong experience of foot care. She has a gift for teaching a scared or squirrelly horse to trust her and to allow her to do what needs to be done. She builds their confidence, encourages them, praises them, and shows them that trimming is nothing to worry about or fight against. She sets them up for success, and sends them on their way to the farriers that they will meet in their future lives.
So watching Chip getting trimmed, I was reminded of just how much Daphne prepared him for today’s experience, making it safe, pleasant, and really not a big deal. I was proud of Chip, of course, and told him over and over again what a good boy he was. But I also felt very grateful that the SAFE horse have Daphne to help them master this very important skill. So thank you, Daphne Jones! You’re a wonder!