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January 11, 2013: Hoofing It

Today Joshua Morris shod the horses and trimmed the foal’s hooves. It was a no hardship sort of day. The horses know Josh well, and they also know that being shod is serious business. It’s sort of the difference between real life commands and silly pet tricks. It takes a while to remove four ice shoes, trim the hooves, reshape the shoes, and put them back in place.

The horses have to stand quietly, especially when Josh puts the heated shoe on the hoof. Right now, all, especially Signy, have long hoof hair, so he has to be very careful. If their feathers caught fire, the horses would get burnt. I understand that having to stand around for a long time is boring, so I often give them some hay. They would do just fine without it. This now, is just being considerate.

Hrimfara was third in the line-up, behind Siggi and Signy. She behaved like she was what she is – just one of many. She stood still as Josh trimmed her feet and then rasped them. He put her hooves on a stand before rasping them. I call this getting a pedicure. Her good behavior got me to thinking – the adage “stands still for farrier,” is true in this instance. And she’s only eight months old.

I talked with Josh about Raudi’s problem, explaining that her inability to trot could, as Colleen Galvin, DVM, intimated, be related to sore suspensory ligaments. Josh, after hearing what I said, momentarily appeared to be thinking about the problem at hand. He said that come spring, he might put egg butt shoes on her rear feet. In the meantime, he replaced her smaller three-ought (000) rear ice shoes with larger two-ought (00) ice shoes. Josh’s response, in relation to Dr. Galvin’s response, made me think that in our area, equine health care providers DO work in concert

"Stands still for farrier"

Smoke from hot-shoeing

with one another. When it works out, it seems magical.

In the meantime, I’m working on getting Raudi in good shape, mentally and physically. After Josh left, I again ponied her while riding Signy. It was snowing – there were huge flakes of snow falling out of the sky. The words that came to mind were “Ideal Winter.” There was also a few inches of snow on the ground; this made for good footing. It was a most wonderful ride – we trotted a long, long ways and then on the way home cantered some. Cantering is something that we still need to work on. Raudi sometimes doesn’t rate herself very well – she sometimes gets ahead of Signy and cuts her off. She did this today, and I dropped the lead. But she stopped and waited for me to retrieve it, which earned her a gold star.

What I’m doing is working. Raudi seems to be happy again. She’s not chasing the other horses away from their hay, and comes to me when I step into the pen and call her. I think that her slightly sour attitude may have been related to sore rear legs or back issues. There are implications here for all horse owners. This is that discontent (in horses) might sometimes very well be related to physical problems.

I ended my horse day by taking Tinni for a ride around the loop. He likes getting out, and likes it when I ride bareback. His forehead (he has nine stitches) is now healing nicely.

Next: 12. 1/12/13: Nasty Weather