Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pretty feet!

Oh my god, I finally have a good trimmer! Like I said, all the other horses at the new place have awesome feet, so I was really excited to get the trimmer out to balance Dixie. Of course I didn't take before and after pics, but yall would be shocked if I had. Keep in mind, she was "trimmed" two weeks ago in Ohio.

The guy in Ohio was just a farrier who gave a perfectly standard farrier trim. I was never really happy with his work, but it's hard to see hoof changes day-to-day. When she got here, her feet looked good from a normal person's standpoint and substandard from a barefoot hoof nerd standpoint - long toes (hurf, cause she's a TWH) and short heels, no roll, short laterally and long medially. She was sound though, and I've been riding her anyway. The rocks and sand were already starting to roll the edges, and she lost a decent chunk of that too-long outside wall off of her RF. (It was beautiful self-trimming, actually, cause it gave her that concavity on the sides that she needed.)

Joe, the trimmer out here, is an Olivo person. I am not up to date on the bickering amongst the barefoot people, so I don't know if she's the best in the universe or just second or third best, but I'm happy with him. He immediately saw all that I'd seen and more. He was very patient (and Dixie was very good!) and he didn't bring her toes back too far. He spent about 45 minutes trimming her, then we talked for another half-hour - he had bones! I got to see an actual coffin bone, navicular, p2, and p3.

Sara asked how often the horses out here get trimmed - he said in the summer, they go 5-6 weeks, then in the winter, 6-8 weeks, depending on how often they're ridden. S's horses get ridden the most, so they tend to go longer. I think Dixie could go longer as well, because I'm riding her quite often, but I'm going to have him back in 6 weeks. I want all the underlying things brought firmly under control before we start letting her go two months between trims. We're hoping to see some good heel growth and get rid of the fairly minor flaring in front.

Before he worked on her, I took her out for a short lesson all by herself. She was quite sure there were wolves in the sagebrush, but I picked a destination (a particularly tall juniper, not far from the neighbor's horses) and we rode there, dammit. Then we gaited back to the other edge of the neighbors and I got a very nice rack. Turned around and went back to the juniper again, then gaited back to the ranch. And past it! She was appalled, but cooperated. We didn't go far past the ranch gate, just enough to prevent the habit of going straight home.

Yesterday we went on a short ride with S and saw more mule deer! They are even funnier looking than whitetail, what with the big goofy ears. Let's play "who can spot the deer" - it's much harder to see them in a picture than in real life! They were a little wary but generally unconcerned about us, and we stood and watched them for at least 10 minutes. Dixie was not quite convinced they aren't equinivorous.

Group of deer

Click on the picture, and it'll take you to my flickr page. When you're sure there's no damn deer in that shot, move your mouse over the picture and a little box will pop up to show you where they are. They are remarkably well camouflaged.

If that's too much like one of those damn magic eye posters for you, here's a pretty good silhouette.

Deer silhouette close up

And here's a shadow picture of us, on the way home.

Me and Dixie 2

We went on a BIG ride Saturday, but I didn't think to bring the camera, so no pics from it. Hopefully we'll go back this weekend and I can get some shots of this stunning mountain we climbed. We're probably 30 miles from Reno, but it's so high up you can see the bigger casinos! And just huge gorgeous mountains everywhere else you look, and bright blue sky, and the light's just magical, and there's no sound at all but hooves thunking and the wind whipping through the scrub.


  1. I love the concept of "equiniverous", but don't tell my horses, please! It's so good that you have a great farrier - that's a real gem. I love looking at horse bones and skeletons - Dr. Dave, who does the medical/chiro/saddle fit discussion at the Mark Rashid week-long clinics in CO, has lots of bones around to demonstrate things with - I think they're fascinating.

  2. It sounds fabulous!

    I am so jealous that you'll be able to go 2 months between trims and that the walls were starting to round on their own. I'm so happy that you finally found a great trimmer, though!

    You should show him the pictures of her feet that you took right after you got her.

  3. A good farrier = gold. Maybe better than gold. Chocolate?

  4. I am glad to hear that you have a good trimmer.

    That terrain does look dry and stony - probably quite good for self-maintaining feet if you ride enough.


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