Monday, December 17, 2012

Slip, slide, squish

Not a lot happened over the weekend. It rained most of the time, not hard, but steady so everything was wet. A lot of mud, a few slick spots and at one point I almost fell when feeding. I managed to stay on my feet, but dropped one of the flakes of hay I was carrying. Haven't hit the dirt in a long time, but there's always the odd chance.

I did have the farrier scheduled for Sunday. He called Saturday morning and asked if I wanted to move it up a day? Sure, why not? He was scheduled for around 12:30, but showed up early. That doesn't happen often, but ok...  He was actually filling in for the last guy who is booked up and couldn't make it.

First up was Mondo. Since all of the rain and all of the mud, nobody has been turned out, save Kat who was brought in Friday night before the weather fell on us.  True to form, Mondo was a trooper and stood like a rock. The farrier was more than impressed with him. Liked everything about him, his looks, his demeanor, calm nature, everything.

Next was his momma Solis. She too stood like a rock, even though again, she has not been turned out in a while because of the rain. No fuss, no muss- just the way I like them. He was liking her nice big build and also her nice big feet. He asked if this was the horse with the big feet his buddy had told him about? No but we'll get there... 

"Now comes the fun part" I joked as I went to get #3 on the list. My TB mare needed her trim and she too had not been turned out.  As the guy was under her and working on her feet I explained that I try to turn them out for at least a day or two before they show up. Common courtesy, let the horse get all their 'bugs' out so they will stand and behave for him.  Although she trotted excitedly between her stall and the barn aisle where we were working- she too stood patiently and quietly while he worked on her feet. Any wonder why I really love this mare? Again I heard the amazement in his voice as he commented too about her being one of the quietest TB's he had worked on.

Now it was time to move on to the big WB mare. She was also glad to be out and thought it was going to mean turnout.  She behaved herself for walking past Kat's stall even though she despises him otherwise. She was good for the first hoof and gave an inkling of things to come when he moved on to her left hind, the 'problem leg'.  He moved on and did the other back hoof, then the other front and we tried again for the left hind.  She gave me issue at first when I got her, in just picking it up to clean the hoof out. If given time to relax, she will let you pick it up, hold it up and trim the hoof as needed.

She has yet to learn to relax for the farriers. They have yet to learn my ways with this mare. When working at the big farms all those years ago... I always ran my hand down the inside of the leg. I get to the hock and press gently up and out saying 'this one'. I don't like bending all the way over, don't like grabbing their leg or trying to force the horse to lift it. They are too big for that. Over time it has become habit for me- I just don't bend all the way over anymore. 

With my hand on the inside of her leg, as she relaxes and half cocks it, I can easily start to pull it out behind her and lift it up where I can work on it. She knows I am not going to be quick about it, it's not going to hurt and she can relax.  After a few tries on the part of the farrier, I showed him how I pick it up. Placed it on his stand for him even, but a couple nips and she pulled it away. She knew it wasn't me under there. Once again I got her hoof in the stand and he stepped in to trim and she pulled away. Nohing mean or anything, she just isn't there yet in the trust department.

I finally ended up taking the nippers and trimming her hoof under his guidance. Rasped it down for the most part and called it good. This guy had never had a client jump in and take a shot at the job before. Let alone a 'chick' as he put it. LOL! I didn't want to do it, but if the mare was going to be done, this was how it would happen in her mind.  Part of being a good groom is being able to control your horse while someone else works on them, or being able to jump in and do what needs to be done.  It's all a matter of knowing the horses you care for, their individual quirks and how best to get through stuff with them. When to make an issue of it and when to let it go- note it and work on it another day.


  1. Well he hadn't met this "chick" had he, glad he let you step in easier in the long run for all

  2. Those are really funny!. Happy Holidays and we hope you had a Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year to you!