Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Very Productive Day

Although I was a little surprised that I was up and ready to get to work at 6am this morning (what is wrong with me?! Wait, don't answer that!) it ended up being one of those rare days when time was on my side. If my back would have been on my side, I could have gotten everything done I wanted to, but unfortunately it forced me to stop short. I'm still feeling pretty darned productive, though!

First, after everyone was finished with breakfast, I doled out the shots and wormer. The horses were thrilled, let me tell ya.

Then it was Paula's turn to be trimmed.

She wasn't even due for her trim yet, but obviously there's a lot of work that could be done here.

If you compare the below photo with the one above, you can see I really dug into the flare on the right. I used the nippers to cut it out, then used the rasp to smooth it into place. I also took the hoof knife (which I rarely use) and cleaned up the heels a bit.

Her feet have really recovered from being so neglected last year. It's taken me over a year now to get her back to where I had her before she left my care. This is how her feet were supposed to look and I'm thrilled we're finally back to that point. Progress!

I went ahead and led her out into the driveway. Yes, even after trimming she can walk on rocks with no pain. I love barefoot trimming....

Side view below. I'm finally getting some heel back on her.

Dakota was asleep in the warm sun. She's next!

I had to take a break though. Charlie's already taking one.

I came inside and iced my back for a few minutes. Sophie joined me.

Once I was finished with my little break, Dakota was next. You might remember her leg issues we've been working on. This was when she arrived at my place:

Wasn't for a lack of care whatsoever--she looked great! I just wanted to try some things to see if I could get her looking a bit better. I've had lots of experience with epiphisitis while working with halter horses and I also have experience with specialized trimming because of Eddie, so I was hoping that what I've learned could be applied to Dakota.

In September I was able to get this far with her.

I took quite a bit of weight off of her to smooth out her legs and did a pretty drastic corrective trim. She was sore and didn't look nearly as good as when she was dropped off, but we were making progress.

Today, she's got her weight back up (obviously from her snoozing picture) and I didn't have to correct her nearly as much. She was a tad sore from the adjustment I did do but not nearly as bad as our first try, so I feel like we're making a ton of progress. Here's after today's trim:

Still far from perfect but she's getting there. She's come along a lot further than I ever thought she would. I had figured she would be a pasture pet. Now there's hope for a job for her as well! She runs around like a banshee once she's healed and I'm pleased that as I've let her gain weight she's not gotten worse, so keep your fingers crossed for us that our success continues!

Below is how the bottom of her foot looks before trimming. If you study the hoof long enough, it will tell you a lot about the horse. Here you can see that Dakota wears her toe into a point, which is consistent with the swinging motion she uses when she walks. I want to make it easy for her to bring her foot straight out in front of her rather than swinging it to the side, so I'll round off the toe, almost overexaggerating a mustang roll and I'll clean up the rest of her foot and balance it out.

Balance is very important when working with a horse with leg issues. Compare the top and bottom photos--you can see I've change the whole shape of the foot, not just trimmed the excess. The hoof below is a healthy, properly traveling hoof and since we want to encourage Dakota to get healthy feet and legs, I'll keep pushing her into that direction by forcing the proper shape through nipping and rasping.

On the right side she is terribly flared out, so I've gut that part off, rounded it with my rasp and will need to try to be better about trimming her every 4 weeks instead of 6. If I can get to her sooner then we'll get to where we want to be much more quickly and smoothly.

Dakota is the worst one to trim, in terms of her behavior. She's not awful but she fights a lot, which results in the rasp grazing my knuckles as I carefully try to balance her feet out.

Actually, this isn't too bad. Usually it's much worse--I have scars! LOL I could use my brain and put on a pair of gloves but I haven't found a pair I like yet. Usually they are too bulky to be able to feel what I'm doing with the feet.

JJ also got trimmed but I didn't take pics as I was wore out and just wanted to get him done fast. Poor JJ also has some sort of fungus in his coat--it makes him very rough so I have him a medicated bath and then rubbed MTG all over him.

He now smells like an iodine campfire! LOL

Seriously, though, JJ did great. This was the first bath I had ever given him (terrible, I know!). He didn't care at all! He just ate the grass in the yard and I scrubbed him up and rinsed him off. He reminds me a lot of Eddie--he will reach for his grain while I'm pouring it and take a huge mouthful of the grain waterfall :) He doesn't mind being sprayed down with water at all. He's incredibly sweet and smart, but easy going. JJ looks just like his momma but he acts just like his daddy.

I also rode Paula today. I did get a bit of video but she was having a bad day today. I don't know what was up, but she wasn't as spot-on as she usually is. I'll work on the video or get more tomorrow, or both!

I got some water hauled as well and when I got back I was too tired--Laramie and Bambi will have to wait for their trim until tomorrow. I had so much stuff to put away after the horses' day of health and beauty!

I forgot to mention, when I came inside for lunch I made some Chili and put it in the crockpot. I just made up a recipe and it happened to turn out great!

It's a little healthier form of Chili:

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 can rotel
1 can black beans
1 can chili beans
handfull of chopped red onion
1/2 package of chili seasoning

I browned the ground beef, added the onion and let it cook a bit before combining it with the rest of the ingredients on the crock pot. I set it on low, went out and had fun with the horses and by the time I came back in it was all ready to be served! Enjoy!


Sydney said...

About the rasped fingers- masking tape/ducttape on your knuckles works well ;)

Jessie said...

Thanks for the tip Sydney! Great idea :)