Sunday, August 7, 2016

Not what I intended

Since moving I have been using a new farrier. I have him do my mare because in all honesty I don't like to. She's a good girl and all that, but when working on her back feet she tends to pull them up under her. It's something she has always done for the past 12 years that I've owned her. When he uses a stand, she relaxes and leaves it up for him. So he's worked on her a few times and she's been a breeze to work on. The last time he was out, there were several horses to do and one of the mares was really giving him shit. She wouldn't hold still and wasn't cooperating very well at all. Her owner isn't exactly clueless, but he also didn't know what to do to straighten his horse out either.

I offered to help. I untied the mare and held her. She still didn't settle down so I grabbed her by the nose and twitched her by hand. That changed her tune in a hurry and she decided to behave like she should. Since I had a hold of her, I could release the pressure when she was good, or increase it as needed when she wasn't. She settled right down and the farrier was able to finish putting her shoes on without issue. He was quite pleased and I told him he does a good job on my horse but if he gets hurt under somebody elses horse, he can't come do mine.

Next up to be done that day was a yearling filly. I had been asked in advance to hold her so I knew this was coming. I love working with the babies. They might get a little freaked out, but a lot of times its just their curiosity getting the best of them. She did well enough being led over but when the farrier started to left a front leg, she got a bit squirrelly. I told the farrier to hold on a moment and I put the filly next to the rail so she had only two options. Forward past me or backwards over him and neither of those were allowed so she would be standing there snd getting her feet trimmed. With the rail on one side and the farrier and I on the other, she stood quietly and was trimmed without issue.

So fast forward to present. Before leaving for the road trip with the kids, I moved the horses to a new barn. Plenty of drama going on that I wasn't involved in, but having issues of my own with the barn owner, I was done with that shit. So we're at the new barn and my friend that lined everything up is getting shoes on her gelding. There's a group of women out there, fairly new to horses and they want this one mare trimmed. They are relatively clueless as one of them could NOT believe the farrier used NAILS to put the shoes on my friends gelding. As in Oh. My. Gawd. Did he just put a NAIL in that horses HOOF??? Um, yeeeaaahhh... that's how its done.

So they had a guy at the barn bring in a pair of mares. The one they wanted trimmed was brought into the round pen and left with the halter and lead on. The other mare the guy couldn't catch, but with a bucket of grain was able to entice her into the round pen too. As the farrier finished up the gelding and was ready to start on the mare I asked if he wanted me to hold her? "Yes, please." As if he was jumping at the chance hoping I would offer so he wouldn't have to ask.

So the guy that brought the mares in, came in the round pen to catch the mare. She didn't exactly know what was up but wasn't sure she wanted to be part of it. I caught her with little issue. The guy was going to hold her until the farrier stepped up and says "She's held horses for me before. She's got this one." I don't know if this bothered the guy or not, but he stepped back and let me have the lead.

Nobody knew much about the horse. Her age, if she'd been handled much before or anything else. The farrier got to work on her and although she gave a little resistance at first, she relaxed enough to let him do the front hoof. When he went for the back leg, she turned up the heat. She picked her foot up at first, then went dirty on him and started kicking. Not cool. I grabbed her nose to twitch her but she started backing up and wasn't letting up. He didn't want to push it so he figured he would do the other front hoof and call it good. I didn't agree but let him work on the front hoof while I sent my friend for a lead rope.

Finished with the front feet, I said, "Now let's get those back feet." I looped the rope around the back pastern and pulled the foot up. The mare resisted a little but soon gave in. I took the rope off and the farrier stepped around to trim the foot. The mare stood there and let him. Three down, one to go and we stepped around to the other side. Again I put the rope around her pastern and pulled to pick the foot up. Again she resisted a little and then gave in. The farrier had said something about Clinton Anderson. The thing is, I was doing this a loooong time ago in the arab show barns with the babies. I remember seeing CA do this on tv once and thinking- "well shit, that's nothing new." If anything it validated that what I was doing was along the right lines. Not that I needed it, but I think everyone understands.

So this group of women and even my friend are all standing there super impressed that the farrier was able to get the mare trimmed, I was able to difuse things and the mare had a good experience. Win!-Win! all the way around. Even the farrier was happy that it ended on a good note and the experience was a good one for the horse, but mostly I think he was glad he wasn't gettimg kicked at! I get it.

There's been plenty of other things my friend has seen and heard of that I've done. All with quick and good results. She's still in a bit of disbelief in some of them. One was changing the bit she's using and the differences it has made. One of these days I'll get her horse back into long lines and a snaffle bit. I think she's going to be surprised at what he can do when he's moving like he should.