Thursday, February 24, 2011

Till our feet grow small

Last night, the horses had an appointment with the farrier.

I had planned on leaving work early but ended up talking with my boss for an additional twenty minutes. Such are the best laid plans of mice and men. I knew the farrier would be early. The first time he came when I wasn't there, he tied up Annie and she flipped out. See here for post. Needless to say, she has never tied well. She has broken cross ties so many times that I got used to just throwing the rope over a rail and having her stand quietly. I never thought to mention it to the farrier because I like to hold the horses while their feet get trimmed. Anyway, after that incident, when Annie totally flipped out and fell over, breaking the weld on the pipe rails and cutting her leg, I seriously debated on whether to find a new horseshoer or not. I decided that it wasn't his fault because he had no reason to know that she didn't tie...

Anyway, yesterday, he was at the barn long before I arrived (at the scheduled time).  He had already trimmed Nadia and Scout and was working on Annie when I walked up. I asked him if he'd had any trouble with any of the horses and he said no, not at all. He had Annie haltered and ground tied and he said she was doing fine. When he finished with Annie, I released her and went to halter Yalla! She came right up to me and pushed her head right into the halter the farrier had been using. He was using a rope halter and I joked about how big it was on Yalla! He laughed and said that he'd used it on minis and tied it on for me. Yalla!, as usual, was curious and nosed him while he worked on her front feet. Several times she stretched her head up and out, nose-kissing me as I blew in her nostrils. She can be such a lovey. I decided that if I ever want to show her at halter, I now know the secret to getting her to reach up and out with her nose- just blow at her. lol.

When it came time to do her back feet she got testy. Fortunately, the farrier was strong enough to keep her foot as she struggled to pull it away from him. On the second hind, he pulled it out and forward, keeping her from reclaiming it for several seconds. I was amazed at her suppleness thinking that if it was Nadia she'd probably fall over if her leg were held out at such an angle. Anyway, Yalla! completely relaxed. She dropped her head and gave a huge sigh. It was a great lesson for Yalla! Much better than having the farrier smack her as I've seen some do to misbehaving, restless horses. I was glad to see how level-headed Yalla! seems, not panicky like her mother, and how smart she is, learning to accept rather than fight.

All in all, it was a good day. All the horses have pretty feet again and I had a great time with Yalla!


Till our feet grow small - song: Time Will Crawl, artist: David Bowie, album: Never Let Me Down

6 comments:

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I have employed the stretching forward when a horse doesn't like to relax a hind leg. I'm not sure why it works, but it sure does wonders to help a horse relax.

Yalla! is a good girl. She has had a good upbringing and a steady environment. That's goes a long way to overriding what she might have learned from her mother in a different setting.

Jessie McCandless said...

Sounds like success! Glad everything worked out, even if it was off-plan :) Sounds like you have a good, patient farrier, and those are hard to find....

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Good stuff. You have a good farrier.

Dan

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like your farrier has a good memory and knows how to deal with horses without beating up on them. That's pretty cool.

Funny about the blowing for halter, I can just see it. LOL

achieve1dream said...

That's great! I'm glad you have a nice farrier. I still remember when I was a kid and had the farrier over. My dad was working and my mom didn't know anything about horses so she let me deal with him. When my sister's horse started acting up he smacked her on the haunches with his rasp! I was so pissed, but I didn't know what to do. I was a kid and wasn't about to yell at an adult, so I said nothing. I calmed the mare down and let him finish, then never used him again. So yeah, good farriers are worth their weight in gold.

I'm glad everyone was good and Yalla was fun. :) I love Chrome. Raising a horse from a baby/weanling is just so amazing. It's been the best experience ever. And I love blogs because we can follow along with each other. :)

Shirley said...

Yalla! did well; I was thinking abour what you said about relaxing when the farrier brought the foot forward; if you think about riding, when a horse has his back hollowed out compared to when his back is rounded in a collected frame, they relax more in collection; and bringing the foot forward rounds out the back- I bet it was much more comfortable for her.