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April 09, 2012: Farrier Visit

Josh Morris, who is our farrier, came by to remove the horses’ shoes and to trim their hooves. We have the shoes taken off at this time of year in order to give their feet a break. Good timing this year, since the ice on the road is nearly melted.

Josh was in a really good mood, I think because of the weather. The sun was shining brightly and it was warm out – in the 40s. Spring IS here. Saturday was just a statistical anomaly – Anchorage had a record set for the amount of snowfall.

All the horses behaved quite well. We didn’t even have to put hay down in front of Raudi and Siggi, which is something we used to do. We had two tied to the hitching post while Josh worked on a third. It was an equine assembly line.

Blacksmiths are an interesting lot. The majority travel by truck and do the work on the premises. Equine house calls of sorts. The horse community here is a tight knit bunch, so the farriers are a good source of information – they know who is doing what. I once shadowed a farrier in Fairbanks, and I learned all kinds of stuff.

Josh is fairly circumspect and we are (at least right now) out of the loop, so this kind of exchange is brief. Pete and I both hold the horses for him, and while we do this, chat. Pete generally talks about gear, tools, and trucks, and I talk about relationships. I cannot tell you how his pickup is running, but I can tell you he has five children between the ages of eight and two, and that his wife home schools them all.

We are going to have to take a more proactive role in our horses’ farrier care because the cost is high and our numbers are growing. (Gulp.) Pulling shoes isn’t all that difficult, nor is trimming, but putting them on is a bit more difficult.

Our numbers are growing – after Josh’s visit, I took Tinni and Signy for a walk. The two very much enjoy one another’s company – it’s less boring than being

Josh trimming Raudi
Josh trimming Raudi

A farrier's tools
A farrier's tools

Josh is fully equiped

taken out alone. As I was walking along, I got to thinking—Signy tends to stay by herself when out in the paddock. But, she’s no longer alone. She now has Junior to keep her company.

There’s been little change in Signy’s physical self except for the fact that she now seems to be very uncomfortable. She’s shifting her weight around a lot when standing at the edge of the herd. Last night Pete got up and did the 4 a.m. check. This morning he remarked how peaceful it was. He obviously had an experience that was similar to mine.

Getting up at 4 a.m. – I don’t know how good parents do this, night after night after night – foregoing sleep is a sacrifice that I would be reluctant to make – in fact this was key in my carefully calculated decision, which was not to have children.

Next: 123. 4/10/12: Circles of Confusion