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March 19, 2013: The Farrier Cometh

The Farrier Cometh is a play on the Ice Man Cometh, which is a pay on the Ice Horse Cometh. I nearly didn’t cometh. I was late for Joshua the farrier’s appointment. I’d spent my morning in town. There he was when I pulled in the driveway, pulling the shoes off Signy, who was paying him no mind.

Today, warm, sunny, NO WIND. A good day to soak up the sun’s rays and talk with Joshua about a wide variety of topics. Pete who was holding Signy when I arrived, handed me the lead line and went to get ready to go to school. So I took over the job.

No new shoes for any of the horses this time around. Joshua just removed the old ice shoes, trimmed the horses’ feet, and called it good. The horses will remain unshod now until May 6th, which is our next appointment time. It’s never good timing with these kinds of things – either the ice shoes come off too early or too late. But it is important that the horses’ feet get a break from having shoes on them. And it’s important that they get a bit of a spring break because they get exercised all winter. It’s sort of a balancing act, boredom is at one end, and overwork is on the other.

Later, after Joshua left, I first took Tinni and the goats, and then took Siggi and Hrimmi for a walk. The road surface is now very slick. The grader’s going by didn’t do a whole lot of good. The older horses again had to figure out that they didn’t have shoes on. So they slipped around a little bit. Hrimmi, who has never had shoes (and won’t have them

Joushua trimming Hrimmi's foot

until she’s four), did the best. She took her sweet time and carefully picked her way around the questionable portions of the road.

I’m very impressed with her road trail savvy. She’s the smartest of all the horses. A wise idea to train her by having her follow the others. I wish that I’d done this more with Raudi. But, perhaps I learned something. Even at Moose Creek, I ought to have asked others if I could have Raudi follow their horses on walks. Hrimmi much prefers to walk off-lead – I think she feels safest figuring out things for herself. So when she balks, I now just let her go. It’ll work out.

Well, I now won’t be riding for at least another week because I don’t feel safe riding on ice without the horses having ice shoes on their hooves. This is going to be tough because the weather right now is conducive to riding. But, I don’t want to get hurt or risk having the horses hurt themselves.

It really did feel like spring today. The sunlight was dazzling, the warm air invigorating. To me, it felt like this was the first day of spring. (And now it’s been duly noted in the March, 19, 2013 dispatch.) Perhaps last week’s wind was last winter’s gasp. I can handle winter weather – but the wind was really pushing it.

I talked with Josh about the weather and about last week’s winds. I asked him if he worked, and he said he did not, that his wife was having a baby. This is number six. All these years and he’s not yet told me his wife’s name. The next time he comes here I’m going to ask what it is. After five years of ongoing visits, I think that now, Ms. Manners would say this is most appropriate.

Tomorrow, a day of rest for all the Squalor Holler Farm animals. Pete and I are going to Anchorage. I’m going to the dentist where I’m going to get a second Maryland bridge. The old one gave up the ghost after nearly thirty years of sitting in my mouth. Gonna miss it.

Next: 79. 3/20/13: My Dental History