Monday, July 06, 2009

In the interest of saving moolah, I'm performing my own hoof maintenance for now. You may recall back in '06 I was on the path to becoming an AANHCP trimmer but got derailed because of the parental illnesses. I'd already invested in the equipment and two clinics plus reading material. I know enough, and I had a bit of hands-on practice with a bit of professional guidance before being turned loose to do maintenance on my own beasts.

But I'm nowhere near an expert. However, this weekend...

I took a stab at it. I've been a naughty horse owner because I lost track of time and didn't have the trimmer out recently. When I went out Saturday, I discovered that while Shaveya's hooves are longer than they should be, they look all right; but Cheerios' looked bad. I mean BAD. Bigtime flare on the fronts, and the persistent quarter crack he's always had on his right front was worse. (It looks like he blew an abcess on the right hind about two months ago, too.)

I'd brought my trimming tools on instinct. Good thing. I collected him and for my own sake, put him in cross-ties. He was a good boy. I managed to get the flare knocked off and trimmed him down a little. I still have a ways to go to get him to the right length, but it's a MAJOR improvement. He was eternally patient with me. I went slow to avoid cutting anything I shouldn't, so it took longer. Just the fronts, though. I couldn't do the rear hooves after all the bending and squatting. But the rear hooves look OK (albeit too long).

Since I'm recuperating from my end of putting up nearly 300 bales of hay yesterday (helping the barn manager, working off board), I'm holding off on further trimming until tomorrow at the earliest. Gotta read my Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey books a bit first, and remind myself how this is done.

Maybe I will do this after all. Maybe I should start out with the hoof trimming, make money while I study into L3, THEN apply to the Parelli Pro Program.

You know what? For all the pain I'm in today after the intense labor (I'm out of shape, am I?), I must say I really love farm work. I love doing it. It's good honest work and the rewards are solid. The pace of the farm works for me, too. You do it when it's time to do it, and that's that. I love seeing the horses' expressions as they watch us loading hay.

Speaking of, it's time for dinner.

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