Monday, July 11, 2011

Shiny New Shoes

The farrier was out last week.  Tori got a bit of a trim, and Knightmare got her first trim in quite some time.  She needs to be redone in a few weeks.  Her hooves were so bad that he couldn't even trim them all the way.  She's got blood vessels running through the sides of her hooves right now where it would normally be trimmed off.  Nasty.

She is feeling better now, after the first trim.  More spunky.

Knightmare is a bit of a nightmare.  He did some training with her, and he figures she was probably green broke, once upon a time, and then left in a stall or out on pasture for a few years. She needs some work.  Luckily, he's accepted the job.  After #1 and #2 get back from camp, he'll start coming out for an hour a week.  They'll have to learn how to do the ground schooling, and then work with her every day between his sessions.  He doesn't think it'll take too much retraining, mostly she's just testing everyone to see what she can get away with. 

Over all, I still think she was a good investment.  She's put on quite a bit of weight, and has some great muscle tone developing in her rear end.  She doesn't bite, and it's not her instinct to kick.  Once she's saddle safe she'll be a fine horse.


  1. I barely understood a word you said. I do know what a farrier is. I understand 'saddle.' I know it is a post's worth of explanation, but blood vessels in hooves? Why more spunky? Ground schooling? Muscle tone in rear end--why? Green broke? Why is stall or pasture bad and what is alternative? Ground schooling? Sorry to be so woefully ignorant. But, you have a way of being succinct, yet thorough and accessible in your explanations. You don't use more big words to explain the big words/

  2. lol. Sorry, Linda. Ok. The edge of the horse's hoof is supposed to be akin to human fingernails. Shiny, hard, no feeling. Except they're also similar to a dog or cat's claws. The lower part has blood vessels, veins, nerve endings... Horses walk on their hooves. Imagine if you put all your weight on your toe nails... ouch!

    In captivity, the hooves don't wear and break down well. They keep growing and growing. But hourses are heavy, so they start to spread out wider, or curl under, and crack up the center. Ouch, ouch, ouch. And those blood vessels, veins, and nerve endings grow along with them. We have to wait for them to retreat before her hooves can be trimmed properly.

    Spunky, because it doesn't hurt so much to walk, since the worst of it has been trimmed.

    Ground schooling, is training on the ground. We don't know if she is saddle safe yet, and ground schooling, getting her to listen to and respect us, is the first step.

    Green broke is like green belt in karate. She learned the basics, but douesn't have a lot of hours on her yet. She has some understanding of what you want her to do, but still likely to make mistakes or react instinctively.

    Muscle tone in the rear end is important, because that's where a horses' power comes from. She was very thin there when we bought her. It can be indicative of illness, but most likely in this case, being left in a stall or small pasture, and not getting proper exercise.

    Not that a stall or a pasture is bad, but it's not natural. If horses roamed freely, they'd wear their hooves off by running and scratching on rough terrain, kicking predators, etc. They would run and exercise. They would entertain themselves. When we (humans) keep horses in stalls or small pastures, we are responsible to make up for what they're missing in the wild. We hire farriers to deal with their hooves. We take them out for exercise. We feed them. We give them toys and companions to play with. Or at least we should.

    It's our opinion that she was probably given the basics - food, water, shelter - but that's it.

  3. Wendy, You answered a question my daughter asked me years ago. I was set up as a craft vendor at a mule show. She (13yrs) was allowed to roam around where the mules were being judged. She came to me and asked why they judged the mules and only looked at their behinds or at least focused on that end. I had no idea. So, it is muscle and power. Good things to know, I guess.

    When I give my three hens food, water, and shelter, they are not happy. They dig holes in their 10'x10'. They bawl for hours. They much prefer going out around my yard and making their own I can understand the horse situation.

    Thanks for the explanations. Don't be sorry. It's not your fault that I know next to nothing about horses.

    I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing pictures.