This is Big Man, the most loving horse I have ever had. He is a Tennessee Walking Horse with a heart of gold. He taught my daughter to ride when she was 6 years old at the walk, trot and canter. He was always so careful around her and everyone. He was the big gentle giant at 16 hands, always looking for love. He took me on to pass my Level 1 in Parelli Natural Horsemanship and was well on his way into Level 2 when I discovered he had severe navicular. The month before he died we were riding around bareback with just a string around his neck, walk, trot, canter and backing up. I was so amazed at his ability to read my heart, and I his.
I would urge all horse owners to stop the practice of shearing down the heels of their horses. This, I have learned, is a navicular death sentence. Many gaited horse owners do this to smooth out the gaits not realizing the terrible damage they are incurring. Please learn about the hoof pastern axis and how to get your horse aligned properly. Education has come too late for me and my best friend. I have also found that many farriers and vets are still unaware or have forgotten this very important part of hoof care. Don’t suffer the terrible loss that I have, educate yourself.