Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Twelve Hoof Trims, Please

This is a picture of what was trimmed off Gabbrielle's hooves today. Her hooves are hard, thick, and they grow fast. Bombay and Lostine leave behind shavings, broken pieces or sometimes crescents, but I've never seen a more complete trim than these. My farrier managed to trim twelve hooves in an hour and a half, even with all of our yakking.

My neighbors managed to drive behind the barn 8 times during one 30-minute period, even stopping behind the barn to get out to check to see if they had everything. Of course, they had to slam their doors as hard as possible. Gabbrielle got very tense and difficult to handle. The neighbors do construction and remodeling, so they haul trailers behind them and each time that a trailer hit a pothole there was a loud crash. I started sticking my thumb in the corner of my horse's mouth and rubbing her gums to relax her. The farrier said it helped a lot. Of course, I know the fact that I get angry at all the unnecessary traffic rolling through my property doesn't help. My horses pick up on that and get tense, so I had to block it out and think about what nice day it was.

The other morning I went out to the barn at 4:45 AM in the dark, and some guy came tearing up my road behind my barn, turned into my neighbors' driveway, turned around on their property, and raced back down my road behind my barn totally ignoring my PRIVATE ROAD - 10 MPH signs. If I didn't have a fence between us, I would have run out into the road and stopped him to ask what he thought he was doing trespassing on private property that time of the morning when everyone should be in bed. This place is getting nutty. I just don't know what people are thinking anymore. Maybe I need to put up a gate at the end of the street with a password that only neighbors can use. They might appreciate that more than speed bumps or spike strips!

There was a time when everyone in this rural neighborhood worked so hard during the daylight hours that they all slept hard and well at night. The roads were completely empty between 8:00 PM and 7:00 AM. Now I can't even look out a window at 2:00 in the morning without getting slapped in the face with headlights. I've never seen so many insomniacs in my life. There's nowhere they can go, because everything is closed. If it is all just tourists passing through, they sure pick some strange hours to travel.

In other news, I saw something small and grey flit underneath my haystack this morning. It looked like one of the AWOL baby jackrabbits. They may have survived the owl's keen eye and sharp talons after all.


Rising Rainbow said...

I laughed when I saw the picture of the hoof pieces because I was thinking about posting such a picture myself. I was only going t show one piece, but it is bruised. I have never seen a bruised hoof before and thought maybe other's hadn't either. Any way, the point is it made me laugh.

You must have taken it when the pieces were fresh. Mine is curled up a bit! lol We did twenty trims last week. That's trims on twenty horses.My farrier bill makes me crazy.

I try not to think about goofy neighbors. Mine would make me crazy if I let them so I just try to not think about the problem since there's not much I can do about it right now.

I'm glad to see that you have found the missing jackrabbits.

Mrs Mom said...

Glad to hear that Gabbrielle is doing so well for your farrier these days! Keep up the good work there!

BTW- I love that pic in your post below of her. What an expressive face she has!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Rising - Yes, I cheated by saying 12 hoof trims (3 horses x 4 hooves = 12). 20 horses x 4 hooves = 80 is much more daunting. It would be interesting to see a bruised hoof trimming. Today I saw 2 of the 3 baby jackrabbits. Perhaps tomorrow morning I'll be able to catch all 3 in action.

Mrs. Mom - I don't know if I ever told you, but my farrier did say that Gabbrielle is getting easier to work with at each of her last couple of trims. I feel totally comfortable picking up and picking out her hooves too. This trim just got spoiled by the ruckus.

Rising Rainbow said...

The worst part of trimming them all in one day was it was cold outside and I froze my _ _ _ off. The farrier stayed nice and warm because he was working. I was standing still just holding. Since they were all good, I didn't exert much effort and hence I froze. I still wasn't warm by 9 that evening. I will take a picture of that bruise and post it.

Twinville said...

And I was impressed with my Baby Doll's trimming done all in one piece. Gabrielle's trimming looks like an actual hoof, as if there is half a hoof trimmed off!
They look so strong and healthy,too.

Baby Doll needs a trim, but I keep playing chase after our farrier and after a week of 4 phone calls, I still haven't gotten one back. I don't know if I should just find a different farrier or what.
Her hoofs are also knicked and I've been applying hoof conditioner because they are so dry and the terrain is so uneven and rough up here.

Sorry that you've got such annoying neighbors still and that crazy insomniacs are ruining your peace and quiet.
But what great news that the bunnies are still alive!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Twinville - Regarding farrier's who won't return your calls, sometimes it is just a matter of them being busy. However, a lot of them won't do emergency or last-minute calls unless they know you and your horse and have been working with you for a while. Some won't take new customers without a recommendation from someone that the horse is safe.

I had one farrier who would set up appointments and then not show up, so I fired him for making me lose time from my job. I used up vacation hours waiting for him and he didn't even call to say he wasn't coming. I fired the next farrier for beating my horse. The third one was great, but he moved away. The fourth one was the charm for me. He comes every 12 weeks like clockwork, and always calls me to confirm. He's always on time, courteous, and fun to talk with. He even invites me to his house for parties and sends Christmas cards! I hit the jackpot with him and do everything I can to keep him. Giving Christmas gifts and tips is a good idea when you find a farrier you like.

I'd say call as many farriers as you can until you find the right one. Unfortunately, not many advertise in the phone book, so you'll have to ask around and look for handwritten ads in feed stores.

Twinville said...

Wow, it sounds like you really did hit the jackpot with your farrier. Lucky you!

Good news, though!!
The farrier I had been trying to reach got back to me today. Yay!
He had been super busy all week and was very apologetic when he called.

He had trimmed Baby Doll while she was at the lesson barn and had told me that he'd be happy to come trim her when we brought her home.

He did a really good job with her at the lesson barn. She seemed comfie with him, and he was easy to talk with and knowledgeable while being helpful.

Like you mentioned, the really good farriers only take new customers if they are recommended, so I'm very happy that my lesson barn instructor/friend recommended me.

The farrier will be here on Wednesday, so that is a huge relief, as I fully expected him to not have a slot open until next week at the earliest.
I'll let ya know how it goes.