Saturday, July 13, 2013

Slipper Feet

Shetland pony toes...
The farrier came earlier this week.  It was 102' in the shade.  The ponies were more than content to stand politely in the shade and get their feet worked on.  We were his last stop, and I'm sure he was more than glad to be done for the day and crank the AC on his two hour drive home.

We were talking about how hard the ground is - he asked if we had rocks in our pasture because Sunny's feet were so chipped up.  Nope, the ground is so dry it's like concrete, though.  They've all been wearing the edges off, and stamping flies sure doesn't help.  Taking a breather between horses, he pulled these hooves out of the truck for show & tell.  He'd trimmed the pony the night before - poor little thing was walking spraddle-legged so she wouldn't hit her belly with her feet...

He said he had to use a hacksaw to trim off her toes before he could even start to make her hooves look right, and would be making several trips back to adjust angles so that she wouldn't continue to walk on her heel bulbs.  The owner wanted to know why he couldn't make her feet pretty immediately.  Some people should NEVER own a horse of any size!!!!! 

With the new goal of riding at least one horse per evening, I rode Thunder Wednesday after work.  He's got 'whoa!' down cold, that's for sure.  I'm thinking he's going to make a great trail horse, as he seems happiest when he's exploring new territory.  I rode all over the yard and up around the tractor trail out to the cow pasture.  The other three stood at the gate, Sunny whinnying occasionally, but Thunder paid him no attention.

I wrapped up in the orchard where I could do some circles and worked on walk-trot transitions.  He wasn't real enthused, and I'm thinking I may get the bumper spurs out next time.  I need to reinforce my heel enough that he doesn't fall out of gait whenever he feels like it.

Thursday was an exceedingly long day at work.  My brain was mush, and getting focused enough to direct four additional feet just wasn't in me.  I retrieved the horses, did my chores, took a shower, spent some lap-time with Nu-nu and fell into bed.  Day two and no horse ridden.  Yeah, I'm a great goal setter, but apparently not so great in the carrying out department... sigh.

With the new gate into the pasture I've been able to go from leading all four of them at once up the road and back, to leading two at a time cross country.  (I'd take all four, but the creek bed crossing is narrow, steep, and not really safe for more than three of us to navigate simultaneously.)

While my folks were here we experimented to see what the reaction would be if I took two and left two behind, and while there was some whinnying, nobody tried to climb the fence or push the gate down, and some hollering from the ones left back has continued to be the extent of the fuss.  I expect it helps that once they have their halters and leads on, they know they're going.  Well, that and the fact that it's been too hot to want to race back and forth.  

I've been round-robining the pairings so that nobody always gets left behind and they don't have a designated "partner".  Considering that the pair leaving is completely out of sight for half the way - it takes about 5 minutes round-trip for me to get up and back - none of them have even thought about charging the gate or dragging the human on their way to catch up to the other two, I'm giving them a gold star for manners. Even Sunny.

Friday night we hit 104' again, and the fly hatch from Thursday morning's token sprinkle was vicious.  Once we'd navigated back through the herd of cows that had decided the creek pasture with it's shade trees would be a cooler option the horses headed into the barn immediately.  Between the heat and the bugs, I couldn't justify dragging any of them out to torture.  Today's supposed to be a repeat, but tomorrow's forecast is for 90's, so I'm thinking maybe I'll load up and head in to the arena in town, ride all four, and get back on track.


Sam said...

I would love to see before and after shots of the pony. Sheesh...


Kellie said...

That poor pony, I can't even imagine how he walked. Did the owners offer any kind of reason why the pony was in that shape? Not that anything would excuse such neglect.

WOW! It's hot there! and humid too I bet. I wouldn't worry too much about not riding in such conditions. But I know what you mean about setting goals and seeing them through.

I'm guessing your folks left? It was wonderful that they got to stay for so long.

Stay cool.

SunnySD said...

I'd love to see the before & after shots, too. No idea who owned her or where - farrier wasn't saying, but I sure hope they continue to have her trimmed.

I wish it was a bit more humid here, Kellie - it would mean we'd had some rain. Unfortunately, it's dry as a bone. Makes the heat slightly more tolerable, though - lol!