Thursday, September 5, 2013

Horse Life in the Foothills

After reassuring myself that Scrappy was ready for an end-of-September 50 with the completion of 2 hilly LDs at Mendo, it's been a week and a half of everything but riding. Some good has been accomplished and some vehicles have taken a shit. Fortunately my old orange hauling Ford is as throaty and reliable as ever but my husband's Dodge is currently taking a nap at the mechanics. Still, after a surprise thunderstorm late last week that brought us at least an inch of rain overnight, many hooves were trimmed--and glorious sky photos taken.

But were starving horses given snacks afterward, Blaze wonders..
The rain softened hooves and loosened up a bunch of old sole in everyone's hooves and I got a great trim put on Desire and cleaned up Scrappy's hooves but by the time I got to Blaze yesterday his feet had hardened up pretty solidly. Still doable, but I had an idea. The other day Renegade boot expert Ashley over at Go Pony! blog posted about using a Renegade boot as a soaker boot, by lining the shell with duct tape to make it actually hold water. I thought that was a genius idea, couldn't find my duct tape, got irritated, and just put 3 un-taped Renegades on Blaze's hooves to trim him. My idea was to "fill" the boots at the start,  and, leaving the hose on low in the dog water bucket next to my trimming area, snag it and re-hose the boots any time I gave/took a break. So, sort of more labor intensive than just lining the boots but still pretty easy. And, believe it or not, it worked! I go pretty slowly on my two 17 year olds, letting them set their foot down periodically and move around, trying to keep it a pleasant experience, and with all the old sole to shed out and some wall height to take down, the trim took a good hour and a half. His hooves got a pretty good "set and soak" in the boots. It was easy as pie to hook the nippers under the loosening sole and just peel off what wanted to go. I really remember why I enjoy trimming when the hooves are a little softer!

Blaze hinds 
I had all that leisure time to trim Blaze slowly because I was stuck at home anyway, waiting for my vet to show to give Scrappy his much needed dental. Unfortunately, as ever, she got stuck in an emergency colic and will now hopefully, fingers crossed, be out tomorrow afternoon to take care of him.

Blaze isn't bummed the vet didn't show, he's just hoping I brought snacks
No snacks, just freshly rolled toes to kick goat butt with! 
 Meanwhile, hay was retrieved and stacked in the barn a couple of times. Here I hope you will indulge me in an nostalgic aside. I've been buying hay and all sort of other goodies at Lizzy's Feed and Tack off and on for the last couple of years. It's one of the local feed stores that has been around for 15+ years and unfortunately it is closing at the end of this year. It is a 2 story feed store with an impressive inventory that covers large animals and small, with everything from western saddles to English bridles to cow halters to dog sweaters. The staff has been virtually the same for 15 years and are very friendly, polite, and fairly knowledgeable, often sending me out to the Bulk barn not just with my receipt and a smile but with a bag of gifted ripe seasonal fruit too. The Bulk barn itself is big and airy, open on both ends, and immaculate. Sacks and barrels of feed, salt blocks, stacks of different types of pristine, flawless hay, all set in their place tidily and forget a stray hay string, there isn't even a stray piece of hay on the freshly swept floor. It looked that way every time I've been there for the past couple of years and it never ceased to amaze me. They used to drive the 17 windy miles out to us to deliver hay but with imminent closure the deliveries have ceased as they sell off the last of their remaining inventory. It's been really sad to watch the stuffed 2 story store dwindle to one story, and then, as it is now, almost empty and echoing with the inventory barely filling half the floor and the Bulk barn empty of all but hay. I feel for the employees saying goodbye to this workplace and commitment, and for the sweet lady that's worked there the whole time and expressed her worries about finding another job. As a child of two small town entrepreneurs I love to support quality home businesses and it is always sad to see a worthy local business close.

A lovely load of 4 grain hay to be stacked in my barn. I'll miss their hay!  
 Feeding time with lots of assistants :-)
 For now we have plenty of lovely hay stacked in. Horses are trimmed and happy and healthy, soon to be more so once Scrap gets his teeth taken care of. September is upon us and while the days still often reach 90 degrees, temperatures are cooling nicely at night. This redhead is much happier greeted by mornings in the high 50s instead of the low 70s! It is 3 weeks until our next AERC ride at Chamberlain Creek, with a dash home to the Mendocino County Fair next weekend on the books if I can fit it in, and hopefully getting out on my horses some point before then too!

1 comment:

  1. Life in the foothills sounds relaxing, even though it is full of chores. =)