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Luke Silcock of Berkshire Farriers gives Frankie a Future…

Without Luke Silcock I don’t believe my Frankie would still be here.

In July 2014 x-rays showed pedal bone rotation in his rear hooves. The right hind was worst affected with the image indicating the bone was on the verge of pushing through the hoof sole.

Katie, my wonderful vet spoke to Luke first, explaining she felt it was worth giving Frankie a chance given that my lad was still walking (albeit incredibly slowly) and weight-bearing on both feet. Once he had agreed to see if he could help, the images were sent across and Luke came out to see us . . .

The outlook wasn’t great – our hope was that we could get Frankie to a point where he could walk round a paddock, pain free and eat a bit of grass. Anything less was no life for him as far as I was concerned. But there was no guarantee and we simply had to take each day at a time.

Luke created tailor-made remedial shoes and supportive pads (for a nine-year-old horse who had never worn shoes before), and provided me with a mine of sound advice and reassurance. In addition to his regular visits (always on time and never re-arranged or cancelled), Luke was always at the end of a phone if I needed to check or clarify anything with him, and was always realistic and honest about the future.

I was astounded when just a couple of months later Luke suggested Frankie could have a leg stretch outside the confines of his deep, deep, shaving bed.

Then a few weeks later, he advised to take him for a little hand-led walk which we built up over a period of weeks. The next step was to introduce a bit of paddock grazing, and finally the following May (less than a year after the x-rays) we were back out riding, and Frankie was sounder than he’d ever been before.

Luke was kind and sensitive to Frankie, his hooves and his special needs throughout the 18 month “recovery” period, and now we’re back to four bare feet, riding sound on all surfaces, cantering, and even popping a few low level poles – a point I hadn’t even been able to consider a possibility when we saw those initial x-rays.

I am eternally grateful to you Luke for giving Frankie a chance when others would have written him off – his new hooves have brought with them a new lease of life for us both, and we wouldn’t have that without you having shared your support, skills, ingenuity, good-hearted cheery banter and realistic down-to earth-optimism with us.

Thank you for helping us Luke, and thank you for giving Frankie a future.

Georgie Porter
Communications Officer
Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service