Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Little Help From My Friends

I love it when one horse is not cooperating with me, and another horse steps in to help.  Usually, it's Bombay misbehaving and Lostine disciplining him, but today it was Lostine misbehaving and Rock taking my side of the argument.

I needed to pick out all the horses' hooves because they had been standing around in a mix of mud and manure after this latest storm.  I've learned how quickly thrush can set in around here, so I have to stay on top of it.  I tossed the hoof pick on the ground and approached Lostine with the halter, and she ran from me.  I followed her with my lead rope poised to strike if she kept running, Rock perked up, looked at my body language, looked at Lostine running from me, and he took off loping after her.  He herded Lostine into a stall corner, and then turned to face me as if to say, "I've got her.  You can put the halter on her now."

When I picked up the hoof pick, fresh blood smeared all over the palm of my hand.  Since I wasn't bleeding, I figured Lostine or Rock stomped on it during the chase and one of them was bleeding.  However, I looked closely at everyone's hooves and didn't find any blood.  Perhaps I squashed a gigantic mosquito when I picked up the hoof pick?

All the horses were really good about picking up their feet on cue, but Gabbrielle won the prize for most cooperative, because she picked up each hoof before I even bent over and touched her leg.  I love it when horses do that.  They see which hoof you are approaching and have it ready for you to pick out.  I give P.S. credit for that, because she has been diligent about picking out Gabbrielle's hooves before working with her several times a week.

I'm also pleased with how the horses' hooves have toughened up.  The cracks aren't nearly as deep as they used to be, leaving less room for bacteria to grow, and the soles are not so hard that they chip and crack yet not so soft that they peel off.  Being the newest horse to my style of trims, Rock has a ways to go before his hooves catch up to being as healthy at the other three horses' hooves, but I can see an obvious improvement in him too.

My husband and I realized just the other day that we have never seen Rock pin his ears back.  He just seems like a jovial guy, always happy and content.  When the other three horses want to move another horse out of their way, they pin their ears back.  Rock just starts walking and bulldozes them out of the way, keeping his ears forward the whole time.  It's rather humorous.

I can't wait for this heat to subside so that I can get to know him better... especially from the saddle.  Right now I can only shovel manure in the barn during the day, but it's too hot to clean up the arena in the direct sunlight, so I have to either wait for the sun to set or for the clouds to cover the sun and a wind to blow in.  Even though the storms drive my dog Midge nuts, I've come to appreciate the hour or two of nice breezes before the rain moves in.


Allison B said...

Funny how Rock did that! I taught Shy how to pick her feet up on command and now when I approach her, she usually have them up for me. I love it! I am sure it is not nearly as hot up in Michigan, but I can't wait for the weather to cool down either.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Rock is a great name for your amiable boy. He is the solid rock in the herd. Did you pick his name?

Cheryl Ann said...

That's funny how Rock has settled in! We are having day after day of humidity here and the horse ranch is forecast to have RAIN for the next 5 days! I'm hoping I have the energy to drive up there today, but this stupid bronchitis is really keeping me down.
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Once Upon an Equine - We did not name him. He originally belonged to a little girl who named him Snoopy. His second owners named him Rocky, but shortened it to Rock, and we just kept the name. I sing the song "Rocky Raccoon" to him a lot when my neighbors aren't around to listen in.