Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Friends and Good Horses

There is not much better than good horses and good friends.  Today, I had both.  Three friends joined me for riding on the ranch.  Of the four horses on the trail, two had cattle experience and two had not.  We don't bother the cattle, but it's good for the horses to see them and smell them.  I rode Classy out on the trail.  He was so good.  Yesterday, we rode with the bareback pad around the ranch, so Classy was pretty calm and easy going today.  He's a good ride, when you use him the day prior.

At one point, I made everyone cross a wet field.  I had thought that it was going to be dry and instead we found mud and muck.  One of the horses wasn't pleased with this.  Classy was fine, and I was surprised.  Later on, I did a little water work with Classy and Alexa and Fox.  Classy was hesitant but eventually went for it.  I had him stand in the water, he played a little bit in it.  It was fun.

Playing in the water reminds me of the summers with my friend, Mary.  We found a pond on a back road that wasn't developed.  The pond crossed the gravel road, so we would gallop our ponies bareback through the pond.  It was soooooo much fun!  Good memories.  I miss those days of riding bareback and dreaming on horseback.

Later on, I played with Freckles a bit.  She was not wanting to let me catch her.  She kept walking off.  So, I persisted and eventually we met up.  I like her a lot.  She gives up easily.  I haltered her and then just remained in the pasture working on weaving between trees and walking over poles.  Even had her backing between the poles.  She is just a good, good girl and seems to get things fairly quickly without a fight.  I've been pondering sending her to a trainer, but then I come back to the fact that I don't always agree with what people do with training horses and maybe I should just suck it up and do it.  Truthfully, I've done it before.  Several times.  I still have Classy, after 19 years and he's doing well.  He had a good mind to start out with and I think Freckles is the same.  She's a sweetheart, my little Freckle Face.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Down One Floor Please

Yesterday afternoon, I pulled out the trimming tools.  Classy needed to be dropped one level.  He was just trimmed about 4 weeks ago, but has already had a major amount of growth.

Here are some photos from our trimming session.  I also started treatment on thrush using Pete Ramey's remedy which is posted on his website.

Here is the whole photo album, I'm just going to post a sampling here.

The following photos are Classy's left front hoof.

(Above Photo)
Left Front Hoof Before - just cleaned.  Lots of crumbly, chalky sole.

(Above Photo)
Sole cleaned, bars cut down and ready for the grinder

Left Front After  
(Above Photo)
Hoof walls brought back down and "mustang roll" attempted

This is what is going on behind me 
I did the trim in the pasture.  I wanted Freckles to hear and smell the grinder.  Since she hasn't experienced it yet, I wanted her to get a good idea and feeling from it.  I wanted her to see that Classy stands quiet and just lets me work and that there is nothing scary about the process.  She spent a lot of time, sniffing and nuzzling both me and Classy.   She's such a sweetheart.

I use an Angle grinder most of the time to trim down the hooves.  It works great and doesn't take much work to get your horse comfortable with it.  There are lots of videos that demo this method of trimming..

You can also check out the following Yahoo Group:

I'm not a professional and I know there is a lot to learn.  My technique could use a lot of fine tuning.  But, I though I would share my hoof trimming with you today.

Happy Trails and Stay Sound!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dancing Feet

Today I was watching Classy out the window.  He was napping, standing up.  And later was stepping out. He looked a little "off".  And if you talk to any horse person about their horse, they can tell you when their horse is a little off.  After 19 years of ownership, if I can't tell, well... then somebody needs to come slap me.  So, I pulled on my shoes and climbed through the fence holding a hoof pick.

First thing I checked was for a digital pulse and heat on the hooves.  Founder can happen to any horse and it's always good to be proactive and prevent it.  He felt normal and I compared it to Freckles hooves which felt the same temp.  Then I started picking them out.  I noticed that he is already ready for a trim.  He grows so fast in the summer and I haven't been riding much lately so he's not getting much wear.  So, tomorrow I will be trimming hooves.  Also we are going to battle Thrush.  Oh yuck.

On the subject of Thrush, I have heard of so many products out there.  Many trimmers have their own remedies and some believe that some of the products out there actually kill live tissue.  I stood at Aslin Finch looking at all the Thrush remedies and the associate wouldn't leave me alone.  I read through the ingredients and she pointed out what one most people walk in asking for.  I suppose I am a bit of a snob, when it comes to my horse's feet.  I really don't listen to what "most people use".  Because there are so many people out there that believe that shoeing is the only way to go with a horse.  There are so many people out there who couldn't trim their horse's hoof, even if their life depended on it.  So, instead I got on my iPhone and looked up Pete Ramey's site.  Because if Pete says it's good, that is good enough for me.  So, Pete recommends Neosporin and Athlete's Foot Ointment.  Go to his website and get the whole nitty gritty details:

I'm going to try it tomorrow and hopefully it will help out.

I also picked out Freckles' hooves.  Neither horses were tied or haltered.  I just walked out there started petting and picking feet.  I'm pretty lucky to have these two gentle, trusting creatures who will allow me to do this for them without being jerks and behaving badly.  Both of them are sweethearts, my giant furry children.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freckle Face

Well, our new AQHA mare, Freckles fits in so well here. She's very interested in us, comes to the fence line and sometimes has even whinnied for us to return after giving her attention. I hope that tomorrow morning I can work with her on saddling and playing around. It's a Saturday, so my husband will be home to help, I hope! He has really taken to her as well and has started calling her "his horse".

Today, I went out and caught her. She has a little bit of proud flesh on a hind leg, so I worked on that. We worked on fly spray again. She was really worried about it for the first few times and today, she stood calm on the left side and got a little more scared on the right. She's definitely a two sided horse, meaning that she needs to be taught on both sides. You cannot just show her something on one side and expect her to accept it on the other.

She is very accepting of things and I already feel like I can trust her for the most part.

I brushed both her and Classy. Classy got to wear his new fly mask, which I am sure he hates but since he's lost pigment around his eyes, I worry about sun damage and blindness. So, i am going to try and be proactive. I also took snips of hair from their tails to send to my friend Candace. She is making horse hair bracelets from your horse's tails.

Here are the pieces that I gathered from both Classy and Freckles today.