Sunday, July 27, 2014

Horse Saints and Experiments

A few days ago, my mom and two young nieces came over from the north coast for a summer visit. The girls had their first horseback riding experiences here two years ago and were ready for another go! It was also my younger niece, A's, birthday and on the evening of their arrival we had some great cake made by my mom and decorated by A's sister, M. 
Pre cake, we got our appetites up with some fishing at the local river. My husband made the kid's day as ever getting them set up for fishy success and with just a little assistance my niece A landed this beauty in no time! 
That evening, I also enlisted A's help in a little horse experiment. Trimming hooves has become nigh impossible this summer after a practically non existent winter, the hooves are rock hard and trying to shed out old sole even with nippers is almost a joke. I personally don't have enough water to spare to keep their eating areas wet and get a good soak going that way, so I decided to try packing a damp clay poultice into Scrappy's hooves and then booting and leaving them on overnight. Since I was fairly certain I wasn't going to ruin his feet overnight but caution is the better part of valor, I only did 2 hooves instead of 4, for starters.

bag o' mud and a couple sizes of boot just in case
assistant A gets acquainted with Scrappy
pretty much like it sounds..gob mud into sole and put boot on
:-)
 When getting covered in goop but still needing to handle boots in between times, it's best to bring something to wipe your hands off on. Or, you know, this happens: (better than wiping my hands on A though, right?)
 My nieces quite enjoyed the fluffy mini Doxies, and it was pretty mutual!  M and Rip
 Saturday morning A and I went out eagerly to see how our boot experiment had gone, and let's just say Trial 1 is a failure, as Scrappy was standing at his fence line eagerly awaiting breakfast with both boot shells slid off and the boots hanging around his ankles. He had a slight wrinkle of consternation regarding the crap attached to his legs by the silly humans last night, but mostly had eyes only for hay. I'm thinking I'll first try putting less goop in there, as I was pretty generous and I think when he put his foot down into the boot it really smooshed down and got slippery in there. My husband suggested vet wrapping the boot on, which is an interesting idea though I also get a vision of going out in the morning to feed and discovering Scrappy had hogtied himself with slipped vet wrap and muddy boots. Back to the drawing board there, but I've got a few idea and will post what comes next as it works out or doesn't.

 After a hearty breakfast the girls were ready to saddle up, so I pulled my faithful horse saint,Blaze, out of the field. I feel guilty these days that I don't use Blaze more, I think he really enjoys some time out being used, but he is great babysitter/kid/LD horse, and I don't do a whole lot of that stuff lately.  Anyhow aside from basic maintenance and saying hey in his field, Blaze hadn't been worked in the last month, but I knew he would be good for the kids and in fact I decided to up the ante to a "Trail ride" through the neighborhood instead of going in circles in the arena like last time.

<3 my sweet boy <3
The girls were all game for the different riding experience and since my usual kid saddle, the "western" Abetta has been bastardized beyond recognition, including not having any way to attach stirrups currently, I threw the Skito and treeless Sensation up there. I figured with me hand walking him it was a safe enough bet and lord know it's kind on the hind end, especially for those not used to riding! 

M on Blaze
    
A on board
We had a nice cruise through the HOT neighborhood with my mom and I walking and the girls trading off riding Blaze, though we all walked together on foot on the pavement part heading out where we had to pass the Beast of Doom:

Blaze thinks this mild looking Donkey is devil spawn
A getting toasty riding Blaze. She ditched using stirrups by her second time on board and wanted to know if I didn't have 4 saddle horses we could ALL ride and really go somewhere. Horsey girl potential indeed! 
 We cooled ourselves off at the river after our horse hike Saturday and spent the evening on a great dinner and board games; Sunday was shopping day, and there's certainly nothing exciting to be told about the city consumer experience except that we did manage to find some critters for them to ride while in a mall, too!
The girls loved helping feed the horses every day and after horse chores and breakfast this a.m. my mom wrangled them up and they headed home. It's always great to get to see and enjoy time with the family and seeing the next generation enjoy animals and especially get interested in the horse fun is also rewarding in and of itself.

 My feeding crew led back to the barn by doxie Wilbur
Stay cool out there, it's a balmy 102 degrees here!

7 comments:

  1. That mud experiment sounded like a good idea at the time! Too bad it didn't work.

    That fish is amazing! But Blaze is the best, really. Kids, endurance rides, he can do it all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Could you mud the foot then do a diaper/vet wrap/duct tape boot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. certainly on the list of possibilities :)

      Delete
  3. Wow, you had to make mud yourself. God makes ours here, and does too good of a job, it's yearround. Sorry that didn't work, I was really hoping it would.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, we're in a 2nd (or is it 3rd?) year of drought here. Mud is long ago and far away, like hooves that I can reasonably trim.

      Delete
  4. Dude, your hubby is like king fisherman.

    ReplyDelete