Tuesday, January 15, 2013

busy week catch-up on November Hill

Last Friday we had hoof trims. In spite of the mud lately, everyone's hooves are doing well. My husband has taken over learning the trimming process, as he is stronger than me and much better at manipulating the rasp and the hoof knife. I'm still learning what to look for, so I can stand there and point out to him what he already knows while he's doing the trims!

At this point he has completely taken over the donkey trims and is doing a good job. He's also doing touch-ups on Keil Bay and Cody about every two weeks, which is really making a difference since their hooves tend to grow really fast.

His next candidate will be the pony - who has pretty much perfect feet. We'll likely put him on the touch-up schedule along with the geldings, but will see how it goes once that gets started.

The trimmer will come every 6 weeks to do Salina, Cody, and Keil Bay, and to check the others and continue teaching. It's given us a lot more confidence and is a relief to know that small things can be corrected in between trims!

We've taken a slow approach to purchasing the tools. We started with a rasp and new hoof knife, a sharpener, and gloves. This trip the trimmer had a hoof stand a friend was selling at a great price, and we grabbed the opportunity to add that to our tools. No more using a landscaping timber!

On Saturday the chiropractor was here for Salina, Keil Bay, and Cody. They all had minimal issues, but all seemed appreciative of the work, especially Salina and Keil. Since they were getting 48 hours off with the chiro, and since all this timed with two really warm days, I went ahead and did their deworming on Sunday (I generally don't ride them on deworming days, and I also try hard to time the deworming when we're not having extreme weather or on the cusp of a big weather change).

Now, as soon as this rain/cooling front moves through, we'll be all set ride again. I spent yesterday getting pine pellets, peat moss, and stocking up on feed supplies, then getting the stalls topped off. We were just getting dried out from the last rain spell, but it's muddy again and they're all trying hard to be the muddiest horse on the property. It's way too warm to blanket them, even with single-weight turn-out sheets!

Spring bulbs are coming up already, and the tree bark chewing started. The herd completely girded a red oak this year, which forced us to scurry and wrap more trees in the front field in case they decide to look for another one. So far, so good.

It seems greener this winter than it usually is - we over-seeded the back field so that's looking nice, but even in front, the grass is still growing. So much for my theory that the chewing has to do with them missing the green stuff!


Grey Horse Matters said...

You did have a busy week. I'm sure Keil and Salina loved their chiro. Wish I could have joined them!

Isn't it odd how they will pick a certain sort of tree and strip the bark. We had a horse - Lifeguard - who used to do that and also reach up and eat a green leaf or two from the maple trees. This was a little embarrassing at a horse show one time when he was happily munching away while waiting to go into the ring. He also started eating a pine bark at the Saratoga show once. And trust me it wasn't like he didn't get enough to eat at home.

billie said...

Normally they do this to the tulip poplars - which is why those are wrapped at this point! I'm not sure why they do it either - Eleanor Kellon says it is pretty normal and doesn't mean they're not getting enough to eat otherwise. I think what happens here is it becomes a sort of social thing - one starts it and the rest join in, and when you have 6 of them going at it, it doesn't take long to gird the tree. LOL about Lifeguard at the shows!

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Ha - we were using a fat chunk of a piling for our hoof stand until I found a good deal online. ;D

So nice that your husband is sharing some of the trimming responsibilities. We never know when we may be called upon...

Enjoying the mild weather here too. Looks like we may be in for the deep freeze weekend after next though - according to those who are brave enough to forecast out that far. It gives plenty of time for more rigorous winterizing anyway, though I hope it's not true. :D

billie said...

Oh, I need to go look at the extended forecast... hadn't seen/heard about an upcoming arctic blast!!

Victoria Cummings said...

How lucky you are that Matthew is learning to trim. I'd love to be able to do little corrections every couple of weeks. My farrier has this really nifty stand that is padded and adjustable up and down and allows the horse's leg to solidly balance while he's trimming. It makes a big difference keeping the girls comfortable while he's working on them. His hoof stand is also adjustable, which is good for Silk since it's hard for her to lift her legs as high as she used to.

This weather is crazy - in the 20's in Calfornia and in the 50's on the East Coast. But we're having a snowstorm this morning, so winter is far from being done with us!

billie said...

I've been studying the hoof trimming process for several years - and I can do touch ups with some degree of confidence but the length of the rasp, my small hands, and my not quite up-to-par upper arm strength make it hard to do the whole job. M. is really pretty good at it already.

This stand is adjustable and has several attachments you can use depending on whether you're working on the top or bottom of the hoof. It's a nice one - we were lucky to have it literally show up on the barn threshold. :)

Matthew C. said...

Looking forward to trying out the new hoof stand with the pony soon!

billie said...

Me, too - probably with clicker in hand. :)