Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sucking it up and a give-away

Last year, I had Mrs Mom and Mr Mrs Mom come up to Colorado to teach me how to take care of Estee's feetsies.  Since they came up late in the season, I didn't have to do a whole lot to maintain her feet.

When we brought the horses back up this spring, we had our farrier come up and do the trim, because there was no way I was going to take off as much hoof as need to come off.  Eventually, though, I knew I'd have to do it myself.  Frankly, it terrified me.  Ole Thrush came back for a visit and I knew that I couldn't put it off any longer.

Last week, I took a deep breath, put my big girl panties on and gave it a go.  First, let's just say that Mrs Mom and Mr Mrs Mom make it look far too easy, but I did learn something cool from them...

I may not be very good at the actual rasping of the hoof, but I can flip that damn rasp around and look impressive.

I was afraid to mess around with Estes' hooves, which is why I wanted to learn how to do it right.  Frankly, after learning more about trimming, I went from being merely nervous about it to having almost a paralyzing fear of it.  I could really screw up her hooves.  I took a deep breath, put on my big girl panties, picked up the hoof knife and made my first itty-bitty cut.  Estes didn't kill me and I didn't hurt her.  I shaved bit after bit off of her sole and frog, then hit it with the rasp.  To say that I was conservative would be an understatement, but I figured if I took off just the tiniest bit every week, I couldn't do too much damage.

It was, so far, the hardest thing I've had to learn to do to take care of my Equine Soulmate.

So, what about this give-away?  I know that we have all had to learn to do things that we were afraid/intimidated/didn't want to do in order to take care of our horses.  It may be the worst experience of our lives, but we suck it up and do it because we love our horses.

As a reward, someone should win a horse-themed gift.  Leave a comment telling us what you did/learned/overcame in order to take care of your horse.  Was it worming, vaccinating, trimming?  Certainly we've all had things that we didn't want to do, but did out of love for our animals.  Each comment left before midnight (MST) on Friday, June 17 will be entered into a random name picker and the winner will receive a $25.00 gift certificate to reward themselves with.


Allenspark Lodge said...

Our farrier called this morning to say he was going to be up in our area, and would I like him to stop by and check the horses. He had left them a tad bit long knowing we ride hard rock and would wear them to a good length quickly. He also knew we had had bad/wet weather and soggy pastures, so he thought they might need a "buffing up". I was delighted with the results! He commented that the thrush was gone, and their feet looked great. He said he was amazed we had kept them in such good condition. Bill had scraped the corral as soon as it was dry enough and the horses like the harder ground, so they really take care of their own feet. Thank you Mrs. Mom for teaching us how to watch for thrush; we caught it early and scared it off!

Rachel said...

So proud of you for biting the bullet err... rasp and getting 'er done!

Personally, I am still scared of messing up my mare's feet, so I watch and ask questions and leave it to the pro.

And this will sound stupid, but the thing that I overcame to take care of my horse? Was simply to longe her.

My first horse had terrified me to the point that I thought I'd never willingly be around another horse. Being deaf and having to watch constantly for a horse that would charge you from any direction? Created panic everytime I was near her.

The first time I stood with a 5' girl who trained stallions, and learned about a horse's drive line and that I could ask my new girl to do something and both of us could respect and actually LIKE eachother... WOW.

To say I was shaking would be an understatement. Everytime she LOOKED at me, I about wet my pants. I just *knew* she would suddenly go crazy and attempt to stomp me into the ground.

And she didn't. A soft cluck from me and she began to walk - eyes soft and ears forward, ambling past me as I held my breath.

In the coming weeks, I slowly learned to breathe again. And I think we have both been healing for eachother.

Gosh you made me all weepy - I love my girl!

And you'll have to come out here and double dog dare me to take a rasp to her feet and learn more!

Funder said...

You're doing it right now. The hardest thing I ever learned to do for my horses was to trim - and I didn't have anybody good to learn from! I trimmed based on a couple of good websites and a very firm conviction that I could do better than my drunken farrier. I was right, but it didn't make the "I can really screw up their hooves" feeling any less. I did it the same way you're doing - "If I only trim a tiny bit once a week, I can't maim my poor horse too badly!"

I don't even want to win (although I love winning stuff! squee!) - mainly I just want to cheer you on for doing such a hard thing for your girl. You rock!

Jennifer said...

The summer it rained for about 65 straight days, I think. Too wet to ride, too wet to longe, too wet to lead. I'd watch him slip and slide all the way to the side yard.

The mosquitoes would begin their 100-band assault as soon as I'd step outside. Deep Woods Off kept some of them off. In the hot and humid, I wore rubber boots, jeans, and a long sleeve heavy button down. I sweat until the shirt was soaked.

But the horse had rain rot. Mosquito repellant strong enough to keep him from being bitten up into welts kept the sweat and the dirt in. His coat was NOT pleased.

So for two straight weeks, I bathed him in iodine shampoo, and covered him in rain rot sprays, and more mosquito repellant.

Did I want to fight the heat, the humidity, the never-ending rain, and the army of mosquitoes? Nope. But he couldn't bathe or treat himself, and was counting on me to take care of it.

Mrs. Mom said...

This is NOT a contest entry ;)

Just an Atta Girl! Now use ALL of your tool, slow down a tad, and keep it up!!!!! And give Her Royal Highness Queen Estes a smooch from me!

Anonymous said...

Administering IV fluids under veterinarian supervision. The times that it was necessary were horses that have been treated medically for colics. Just recently it was for a case of shock, etc. Not something to recommend, but something I'm glad to know how to do.

Shirley said...

Good for you- I'm sure you'll do fine and Estes feet will be all the better for it.
I can't say as I am fearful about doing anything for my horses, I am always happy to learn something new. However, I know my limitations, and even though I can and do trim feet on occasion, it is usually just enough to get them by until someone who knows what they are doing comes. I think the thing that I disliked learning the most was giving vaccinations- I detest getting needles myself; to this day I can't watch when they are drawing blood on me for a blood test. I'm not in the least squeamish about blood, it's the needle. But giving needles to my horses has helped me overcome a lot of that.

Linda said...

That is VERY impressive. Congratulations!!! I'd say giving shots was the biggest obstacle I overcame for my horses. I give them pen and vaccines. I have a fear of needles, so I transferred that on to my horses--and going through the hide freaked me out. Now I just stick it in there hard--needle first, let them calm down, then put the tube to it. They're less stressed when I do it than when the vet does.

Dreaming said...

Hooray for you! You should be really proud - I tried taking shoes off one time and it darn near killed me. But, I didn't need my big girl panties for that since I was in my teens and knew no fear. I needed to put on the panties to give vaccinations. The first time I did it I had a wonderfully patient tutor who showed me, over and over again, on a very forgiving horse. I hadn't done it for years, and decided to do fall vaccinations myself this past year. I felt so good when I accomplished that task!

TjandMark/AKA PearlandHawkeye said...

Good for you on trimming. Before Eric the Bold was trained I would do the donkeys and screw them up too. I took too much sometimes, but they survived and are fine, or as good as they get.

I have always had trepidation with giving shots. In 4-H I practiced on a lot of oranges to get confident with pushing through the hide, but I still, (after hundreds of vaccinations including the cattle) have a very slight hesitation in my spirit. But I just do it anyway. I push through.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Good for you!

I think that everyone who owns horses should take a whack at trimming feet sometime. I would still like to learn how to nail a shoe on. I just never seemed to be able to take that plunge though. My brother tried to show me several times and I could get everything just right and was not able to actually nail the shoe onto a live hoof.

I'm back to thinking I need to learn though. I have had great success running Moon barefoot around these local events, but I know if I ever want to go on the road, there are added benefits to having a properly shod barrel horse.

Yea, and I don't like to give shots either. The little vaccination shots aren't so's the times I have had to give antibiotics that I hate the worst.

Momma Fargo said...

Dang the luck I am too late. However, I will tell you anyway. My black Morgan had an injury that was deep and went down inside about 12 inches. Tore muscles from the inside to one hole on the outside. I had to reach inside there and clean that for three days straight until the vet came. YUCKY.

cdncowgirl said...

Needles!!! OMG needles. But there's a little twist. Kiser to do all my own shots (the IM ones at least) including antibiotics (once Cessa needed 2 shots twice a day for what felt like forever - and for the record shooting into the hindquarters is WAY harder than into the neck IMO)
Anyway babbling,so after giving my own shots for AGES I went through a period where all of a sudden I just couldn't I'd freeze up, sometimes with the needle actually IN the air just not into the skin lol.
Tht went on for probably about 5 years. Anytime I had to give a shot I'd try but my bestie Kimfer would end up doing it. Then one day I said to her "This is too ridiculous. I used to be able todo this, it's not hard. I HAVEto get over this. Do NOT do this shot for me."
Took a deep breath,went torpor and froze. Took another deep breath and did it! Thinkiheld that breath lol. Sometimes I still get that feeling like I'm gonna freeze but I do it anyway :)

By the way I don't trim hooves. I have NOT gotten that brave. So big kudos to you for taking that on!!

Mel said...

I had poste. My confession on my blog an then couldn't find this post again on time for the contest deadline! Bummer. But if you must know, one of the hardest things for me is that I don't like to get wet. So I've ha to really work on sponging during endurance etc.