Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Local Lessons for Me

I know that the timing I have scheduled for the horses' barefoot trims (every 8 weeks) must be right on, because every time my horse trainer mentions that the horses' hooves are chipping and asks when the farrier will be out next, it always turns out that he's scheduled to come the very next day.  In Nevada, I only had to trim their hooves every 12 weeks, probably because of a variety of differences in ground conditions, climate, and possibly even feed.  The farrier said it is time to start applying his recommended Hoof Alive conditioner religiously.

So, this morning I tied up each of the horses and began slathering the gunk on each of their hooves.  Much to my shock their fetlocks were filled with those tiny burrs that get stuck all over the dogs' leashes if they drag on the ground.  I didn't have the horses over here until July last year, so I didn't get to experience this little challenge of managing horses in Arizona.  It looks like I will have to start shaving the horses' fetlocks religiously too.

The burrs are at their freshest and sharpest this time of year, so if I pull them out by hand, they get stuck on my fingers.  Then I have to be careful not to close my fingers together or touch anything, because they'll push in and stab me.  They are like little coarse balls with a dozen spikes sticking out.  They have to be lightly flicked off with a little finesse.

They were getting stuck on the lead rope when I took Lostine for a walk yesterday.  No sooner would I pick them all off the lead rope and flick them off my fingers, and Lostine would drop her head to snatch some grass, and then come up with a whole new batch of burrs on the rope, so I removed them all and kept her head up, and then looped the lead rope around her neck.  She walked beside me and all I had to do was tug on the rope under her chin every once in a while if she got too far ahead or dropped behind.

When we got home, I dug up a couple of combs and stashed them in each saddle bag, so that I would have a comb with me when I'm out on the trails to get the burrs out of both the lead rope and the fetlocks.  My horse trainer was telling me that a horse she was riding got a cholla ball stuck right in his hind leg pit near his penis, and she had to pull the sticker out quickly and flick it away with a comb before he kicked her or had a bucking fit.  All these sticky sharp things are really taking the joy out of being on the trails this time of year.  I guess you have to start doing your groundwork in the heat at the end of summer, so that you can enjoy the trails more in the fall.

I have one funny story to tell:  While my farrier was doing his trims, an unmarked helicopter kept flying overhead.  The pilot was getting low enough to look into my barn.  Then he flew up and down the borders of the public lands surrounding my house.  Because he was so low, the sound of the rotors was loud and annoying.  It's hard enough to carry on a conversation with your farrier when he has his butt pointed at you and he is rasping a hoof, without having to compete with a helicopter buzzing your location every few minutes.

The farrier was concerned, because he had seen this same helicopter buzzing over his house the day before, and he really does not live that close to me.  He lives down by a completely different mountain range.  We speculated the it must be some kind of law enforcement, and they are searching for someone.  As the farrier was getting into his car, I handed him his check, and the helicopter flew directly over us, then began circling us.

I leaned in and yelled, "They're after you!  You must have done something really bad."

He laughed and drove off, and the helicopter followed him all the way down my street, and down the next three streets until he hit the freeway, and then I couldn't track them anymore.  Oh well, I guess if he doesn't show up for the next hoof trim, I'll figure he's behind bars... and not the kind you find in hooves.


Sam said...

We've been told he is looking at land and property. We had surveyors in the desert near our horses. I think our little bits of desert are going to become smaller!


gowestferalwoman said...

lol think about it.

He talks on his cell- only way to get a hold of him. He drives around to semi to rural areas only. He never brings out any noticeable tools, just a medium sized container. Never goes inside anyones house. And people give him money.

LOL never thought about it - but that sounds like what drug runners do LOL

"but you got the wrong guy!! Im A FARRIER!!!!"

Crystal said...

Oh sticky things, not sure if your burrs are the same as ours, but if they are, I feel for you, they are horrible!
Funny about the helicopter following your farrier.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sam - Don't tell me that. We did all kinds of research to make sure that the public land in front of our house would be around and not developed on for many, many years. If they take away access to that public land, I'm going to have to move again. It's the only reason why I bought this house for way too much money.

I'm also going to have to get my own surveyor out and build something on the southern acreage of our property pretty soon, because some snowbirds have been pissing on it to show me that they think it is their land. We need to get that straightened out.

Almost every time my horse trainer comes over, they come out of their house and stand where they think the property line is, as if guarding it to prevent us from riding the horses near it, but they are really standing in my back yard. It's so annoying. It's one thing if they take away my privilege to use public lands, it's another thing if I have to scramble to prevent us from losing our private land to squatters and people using it as an easement without our permission.

Marissa Rose said...

Ok I wrote a whole long comment and blogger ate it.

I have a suggestion about the burs, albeit a pretty cruddy suggestion haha.

Could you use vet wrap on the lead, or on their legs? That way you could just throw it away when your done. I was going to suggest polo wraps on their legs, but then you'd end up getting burs off of polo wraps!

achieve1dream said...

LOL on the farrier thing!!!

With the burrs after you shave their fetlocks can you put vaseline, bag balm or something similar on before you go for a walk? It might help stop them from sticking....