Jumbo update 10 December 2012
We at Jumbo are all very excited to hear from Dan and Rachael that the shoes for Suni are a great success and she is walking with her foot flat on the ground in the correct position.
A few years ago I did a bare hoof course for horses with Dan Guerra and was impressed with the depth of training that I received in a few short years and with Dans incredible skills ranging from his in depth knowledge of anatomy and science to his ability to fix all sorts of problems related to the leg and hoof to his rapport with even the most difficult of horses. I am sure Dan probably regrets ever having me on the course as over the years I have contacted him for advice on all sorts of problems that I have come across !!!
When Moses got to 7 months old and his tendons were still not tightening I got hold of Dan to ask if he would be prepared to help with advice on an ele foot problem as although it is a very different species the problem is very common in horses. With his usual enthusiasm Dan got totally involved to the extent that he put together a very impressive team of experts and we came up with a prototype shoe for Moses which I made up ( very crudely) to test the concept which worked and Dan then set about gathering the materials he would need to make the shoes. Ben Tutton was staying with us at the time and he spoke to Nigel Goodman who very kindly offered to pay for Dan to fly out to Malawi and fit the shoes on Moses so that he would be able to observe and make any last minute adjustments. It still amazes me how very many extremely generous people out there who come forward with such wonderful offers of help!!
I was aware of Suni a little ele in Zambia who had a similar problem to Moses with her feet and the idea was that if the concept worked on Moses we would transfer this technology to make a shoe for Suni so when Moses passed on I spoke to Dan and to Nigel to see if they would be prepared to divert their efforts to Suni and neither of them hesitated for a second before answering that of course they would. Rachael and her team then started to work with Dan to give him the information that he required to make a shoe for Suni and on the 4th December he and Mark Winter flew out to Zambia to fit the shoe on Suni.
I have just had a few emails from Rachael and Dan to say that the trip was a huge success and thanks to Dans team, Nigel’s support and Rachael agreeing to use Suni as the guinea pig we all now have the knowledge to be able to fit shoes on little elephants who have orthopedic problems.
I am really excited about this and cannot thank the team enough for all of your great work and support.