Thursday, September 4, 2008

Her First Pair of Shoes

Poor Gabbrielle got a hang nail. I had noticed that her right front hoof was starting to crack, so I had my husband help me nip off a chunk so that she wouldn't be putting weight on it. I would have nipped it myself, but the hoof wall was so thick and hard that I didn't have the strength. While cleaning her hoof out, a terrible stink arose into my nose. I worried that she might have thrush, and consulted Mrs. Mom, one of the blog world's favorite farriers. I started cleaning and washing her hooves out a couple of times a day.

Then last night I went outside and was shocked at the depth and flare of the crack. I called my farrier, and he said it was serious enough for him to come right out the next morning. He said that she does not have thrush, which is the good news. The bad news is that Gabbrielle will have to be quiet on her feet for the next few weeks. He trimmed all her hooves, nailed a pad and a special, continuous (round) shoe onto the cracked hoof, and put just a normal shoe onto the other front hoof to balance it out. He also put some Betadine solution and other ointment into the crack to keep it clean and help it heal. For the grand finale, he wrapped it up in duct tape.

I am so proud of my 3-year-old girl for behaving herself and not getting spooked throughout the process. She was standing just a couple of feet away from the oven when he fired it up. He also dropped the anvil onto its table pretty hard, and she didn't move a muscle. She was merely curious about everything. When he nailed in her first pair of shoes, she accepted it.

Among those challenges, we had several interruptions right at the most touchy part of the process. My neighbor came over to ask if my farrier would trim a new horse that he is boarding on his property right after he finishes with my horses. My farrier was very hesitant. He usually does not take on new customers without a recommendation. He questioned my neighbor about the horse, and the answer to almost every question was, "I don't know."

He didn't even know the horse's age. All we could get out of him was that the horse hadn't had its feet worked on in a long time, and hadn't been handled in a long time. My farrier agreed, but only if someone would be there to hold the horse for him. I guess my neighbor thought my farrier could just go over there, catch a strange horse that hasn't been handled in a long time, remove its shoes and trim its hooves all by himself.

By the time my neighbor left, Gabbrielle was quite antsy. She had been nice and relaxed before he showed up. I think the tension of my farrier not wanting to be dragged into that kind of a situation rubbed off on her. I said, "Well, that interruption didn't do much good for my horse's mood."

No sooner did my farrier start pounding in the first nail, and I had more unexpected guests pull into my driveway! My mother and her friend showed up to give me a birthday gift and use the bathroom on their way to Lake Tahoe. I had to hold Gabbrielle tight and pay close attention to what she was doing so that my farrier didn't get hurt. At that point, we didn't know how she was going to react to having shoes nailed into her hoof for the first time.

My mother and her friend quietly got out of the car and tip-toed to the doorstep to set my gift there. My mother has heard all my stories about people spooking the horses, so she knew better than to make any loud noises or sudden movements. They waited by the car until my farrier finished with Gabbrielle, and then I haltered Bombay for a trim and invited them over to talk, because I knew Bombay could handle a lot of activity around him when he's being trimmed. It turned out that Gabbrielle could handle it too, but we weren't taking any chances while those shoes were going on.

My gift turned out to be Blue Grass perfumed dusting powder by Elizabeth Arden. It has a pretty little horse head symbol on it. I love dusting powder, because I use roll-on deodorant and never have the patience to wait for it to dry. I roll on the deodorant, try to blow dry my armpits, and when that takes too long, I hit them with some dusting powder and then I can get dressed.

Here's Gabbrielle modeling her new shoes...

...and duct tape.


Midlife Mom said...

Thank you for your kind comments about our dear Buddy. We are grieving but know that he is not in pain any more and that is a comfort. Stop by again sometime, love to meet new friends.

Mrs Mom said...

Good Girl Little pretty filly!!!

Look at that NM! All that time is paying off in BUCKETS with your babies!!! I do hope oyu gave her LOTS of rubs and scritches and told her what a very very good filly she was!

Hope she heals up right quick for you!

Mrs Mom said...

I forgot--- love the duct tape. Have to get some of the pretty pink for your lovely lady should she need it again ;)

the7msn said...

How is it that I haven't been to your blog until today? What was I thinking? This place is just chock full of interesting information. I'll be back...regularly.

Twinville said...

Oh wow! That crack is impressive!
How'd that happen? You have such a soft surface area for them it seems.
I keep worrying about that with Baby Doll because we are in the mountains and the ground even has boulders and rock sticking out of the ground that can't be pulled out without huge tractors.
She's got rock hard hooves, but she does get sand cracks because it's so dry here.

I'm impressed that Gabbrielle did so well. You've raised that girl right.

That was kind of rude that neighbor just showing up during your appt asking the vet to take care of another horse. Would he do that if you had been at the Dr's office being treated? Sheesh, the nerve of some people.

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my friend!! When was the special day?

If it was yesterday, we share the same birthday!! Now that would be really wild!

I'm imagining you blow-drying your arm pits. Bwahahaha! What a visual. :D

Thanks for the smiles.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Twinville - I suspect she just hit a rock and got a small crack, and it got worse each time she hit the ground. The crack got worse throughout the week. My equitation instructor won't give me lessons on my property anymore, because the round pen is too small and the ground is too hard. My neighbor has offered to let me use her roto-tiller, but it requires taking down some fence panels in order to get my truck in there to haul it around. I haven't had the time. The D.G. on top is soft, but everything else is packed in.

That neighbor is rude. He and his wife are always staring at me, snooping, spying, eavesdropping... They don't give me any privacy. It was also rude of him to throw my farrier's schedule off for the day by not making an appointment like the rest of us.

Happy birthday to you! Mine is actually Sept. 15th, but my mother is in the habit of giving me my gift when she's up here on her Labor Day vacation.