When Farriers Come to Call….

Sorry, it has been a while since you have had a visit from the comic relief contributor.  Here is my best effort at relating some fun facts about farriers, horses, and their not so dainty toenails.

Monday September 15 was a nice busy day.  I got the chance to run out to the barn and visit our lovely trio of horses in the middle of research, Aikido, and assorted other wonderful functions.  “The Big Trim” was supposed to start at 3pm and of course, I ran about 10 minutes late….

The farrier was a very understanding man and, was not upset in the least at my tardiness.  I quickly assured him that we needed him to trim the triple threat of ponies and I sauntered off to retrieve the first victim… I mean pony.

When I came back to the tie up area, I asked for a few minutes to wash and pick out hooves but, he said it was alright and just got to work.  Our First um…. patient…. was Jellybean.  Simply because she came running to the gate when I walked up to the paddock.  Funny thing, farriers remember problem ponies and, problem ponies remember farriers.  I had a dressage whip in hand just in case.  It turns out that Jellybean has a good memory.  She stood there and let the farrier cut, trim, and file her hooves with minimal fuss.  She did try to turn away at one point but a light tap reminded her to stay still.  EXCELLENT! One pony done two to go.

On the trot back to the paddock Jellybean must have told Knots and Gracie what was going on…. No one wanted to be next.  So, here come the tricks.  Knots is a little piggy and will eat almost anything, including air from an empty feed bucket.  How do you catch a piggy horse? I ask…  simply pick up the feed bucket and BOOM!  horse in hand.

Knots turns out to be a bit more naughty than Jellybean.  No kicking or mean spiritedness, just pulling feet away from the farrier and looking to get a nibble of hair when he was doing the front feet.  Don’t worry too much, Knots met the dressage whip and stood perfect after that.

Back out to the paddock for the last of the three…. Now, Gracie loves to eat but, she has a more discerning palette than Knots.  She requires some sustenance for trickery. Having no food or treats, I resort to the old school catching…. a.k.a. Chasing.   She finally has pity on my poor muddy shoes and lets me halter her and take her to get the dreaded trim.  No story here.  She stood quiet and nuzzled my shoulder the whole time.  BOOM! Done!  And back to the paddock.

Now we have three well manicured ponies ready to work their butts off.  Nope!  Farrier visits mean it is also worming time!!!   Amanda was kind enough to do Knots but I got the joy of medicating the other two.   Let’s start with Jellybean, again she was the most eager to be a “pocket pony”.  SLip on the halter to hold her head and bust out the little plastic syringe with yucky pasty goo inside.  Now, I can’t smell the nasty yucky gooey medicine but, apparently Jellybean could. As soon as I uncapped the syringe she started thrashing her head and swinging her butt around. This was unacceptable so I “forcibly corrected” her with my fist and she calmed down.  Only until I put that vile concoction up to her lips… More thrashing and butt swinging….  I had enough.  It was time to assert some dominance here.

DISCLAIMER:  This method only works if you are 6’9″ and 280 lbs.
As jellybean swung around between me and the fence… I decided to throw my shoulder into hers and pin her to the fence.  Again, this works because I am actually bigger than this horse…  She squirmed, she wriggled, she tried to back up, she tried to move forward.  NO GO JELLYBEAN!  Syringe went straight in and SQUEEZE!  I let go and got back… she stood there pouting with a little white goo hanging from her mouth.  But she was wormed.

Gracie must have witnessed this with some trepidation…. She was at the far end of the paddock giving me “the eye”.  When I called to her with an open halter she just glanced my way and continued to stare off into…. whatever it is horses stare off into.  Finally I slogged through the mud and muck and caught my poor little traumatized pony.  Somehow, she seemed resigned to her fate.  Gracie is older than Jellybean and has been wormed many times before so, this should be old hat for her.  Nope, even good old Gracie had to throw a minimal fuss.  Again, I thank God for my size.  In a good sense, all Gracie did to avoid the wormer was put her nose straight up in the air.  HA!  That doesn’t thwart me you silly horse!  I am the mighty 6’9″ boyfriend with an additional 3′ of arm length!  BOOM! Syringe in mouth and SQUEEZE!  Now hold the head up until you swallow… GOOD HORSE!  and she canters off to the water trough to wash her mouth out.  That gooey, yucky, white pasty stuff must be nasty.  hehehehe!  Good thing I ain’t no horse!

That concludes our stories for today.  Maybe soon one of the horses will dictate a post for me to provide for you all.

Hope you enjoyed the ramblings and crazy that is a horse husband without a ring.

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