Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hoof update: too much of a good thing...

We've had exactly an inch of snow (not even rain! snow!) since early November. It's dry. It's tragically dry. I've been riding a lot and sort of picking a hoof up, looking at it, and calling it good. I mean, they look like this (sorry about the dirty; couldn't find my pick):
Solar front right

Walls are freshly trimmed BELOW sole level! I sharpened my knife* til it cuts wood like butter and it just skipped off of the sole.

Now here's the side view, same hoof:
Front right

Definitely long. At least a quarter inch long. Hard to tell with all her glorious feathers, but I think the quarters are pushed up a bit, too.

Heel view. Pretty balanced, at least.
Heel front right

Here's the front view. You can see how sharply I rolled the toes back. My only plan of attack is a) hope it really does rain and snow starting tomorrow and b) keep the walls shorter than the "sole" and ride on the pavement at a walk/running walk.

Front right

The back right is the only hoof that's even thinking about shedding that horrible crap.
Rear right

I just can't get any purchase with any kind of tool to pry it out though.
Rear right solar

The whole set is here if you're interested in looking at all the views I got.

Don't even think about telling me to stand her in a bucket. She lets me trim her hooves quite patiently these days, but she is in no way going to stand in a bucket. One person (hi S!) suggested any kind of grease might help, so I think I will slather her feet in lard tomorrow. And I've really got my fingers crossed for a good soaking rain to soften her hooves and let the sand do its work. If not... I guess I'll have to get the hose out and water her hooves on a warm day.

*I read Christoph's post right before one of my daily trips to Home Depot, so I actually remembered to buy a chainsaw sharpening file. Mine is 7/32" / 5.5 mm, and I'd recommend the next size down from that. It gets in the tip of the knife, but juuust barely. I whizzed it along the beveled side of the blade several times, til I stopped feeling rough burrs and nicks. Then I deburred the flat (convex curve) side of the blade on my ceramic knife sharpening stone. If you don't have one of those, use the little unglazed ring on the bottom of a coffee mug, or a thick flat piece of leather (like a strop). Whatever you use to deburr the outside of the knife, hold the knife almost parallel to the surface and give it a swipe or two, it doesn't take much.

I have a ton of other stuff to blog - I had a great ride with C at Fort Churchill, except Dixie stumbled pretty hard on the way back to the trailer (and that's what made me LOOK at her feet). I've painted cabinets all the way down one of the long sides of the kitchen, and my color choices are working great, and I haven't broken down in tears about the wrecked state of my kitchen yet. I painted the heinous built-in fluorescent light in the kitchen and you know what? It looks WAY BETTER for $8.

Just a reminder, if you're on Facebook you can follow the thrilling hourly "kitchen looks amazing!" / "oh god i hate painting why did i do this shoot me now" updates if you friend me. Just, like, have a horse in your profile or message me and tell me who you are cause I don't actually accept totally random requests.


  1. It must be soooooo rough, having to cope with feet that are tough and hard and dry.

    It took me a long time to type that sentence b/c of the tears of jealousy all over the keyboard.

  2. I KNOW RITE, thus the blog title. I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for my poor horse with her literally rock-hard hooves! Just... maybe? a little for ME, trying to rasp them with my girlie muscles??



  3. You always keep me entertained throughout the day on FB! I love following your adventures! (And I use exclamation points way too much! It's like a disease now! I think I need an intervention!)

    I wish I knew how to do hooves for my guys. I can't wait to lure MM up here to teach me. Maybe this summer, if I can get her up during canning time.


    PS Blogger is giving me a hard time with identity today. Must be the SOPA blackout so they can't verify me.

  4. I'm not sure what to think on your super tough pony feet. Not quite as damp as the NW peoples (aarene) but exposed to wetness often enough that I don't think we've ever had rock hard feet. I think Rose would protest too though if I put her feet it buckets.

    And I LOVE being your friend on Facebook. Your endless collection of photos greatly amuse me. If only I had a great many daylight hours to work on projects... but I use them all for the horse... sigh.

  5. I love yall on Facebook too!

    OS, I have a strict exclamation mark policy. One means excited. Two means NO REALLY EXCITED!! Three is reserved for sarcasm, or possibly super duper excited - it's left as an exercise for the reader to determine which. ;)

    Caitlin - I know right?? Who could possibly complain about rock hard feet? I feel so guilty.

    I have a lot of ambivalent feelings about my employment status, and they drive me to do the most/best I can on the house. If we sell the house for a profit, maybe it won't be so bad that I'm a failure in the greater world of white-class employment. Feminist guilt ahoy. :-/

  6. Also, OS: Feed grass hay. If the white lines are stretched, feed crappier-looking (lower sugar) grass hay.

    Their toes are too long. I can tell you that without even looking at them. Roll the toes back to the white line. If there's heel, trim it down to the frogs. Roll the quarters a little shorter. Take pics. Post them. Think about the advice you get, and follow what sounds right. Take more pics. Repeat.

    I've DIY'd it, I've had fabulous trimmers work on my horse, and I've had totally average trimmers work on my horse. If you fix the diet and pull the toes back, YOU can do as well as a crappy/average trimmer.

  7. I usually start having that problem about July and it truly is a P.I.T.A!! I have yet to figure out how to 'fix' it. Just keep trimming and eventually it either has to come out or you will get some moisture, it softens and comes out in huge hunks.

  8. Get your hands on some old carpet. Roll it out on some concrete. Water it well like you are going to plant that sucker.

    Tie horse up while standing on carpet, for maybe a half hour? Voila! Soft(er) hoofies for trimming. :)

  9. OMG Lisa the wet carpet is a BRILLIANT idea! Thank you, thank you so much.

    BEC - so glad I'm not the only one. Karen Chaton down in Gardnerville never seems to get this and I keep wondering if I'm doing something wrong? I think she's more diligent about keeping her two boys perfect, and I think she trims with an air sander - maybe that helps.

  10. Case has a clubbed hoof from a bad farrier job. It had been fixed before we moved to GA, then my first farrier screwed it up (and Molly Moo too!), so I feel like I need a pro to get them back where they should be. Something about the dominant hand and the off hand for rasping has caused the majority of the problem, which has led to unevenness in Moo's body.

    And, I'm much more of a "show me" kind of person. Hence why I want to lure MM up. But, she has family about 10 miles away. So, maybe it'll be sooner rather than later.

    I feed grass. Unfortunately for Case (and my pocket book) I feed Coastal. Casey eats so much more Coastal to maintain his weight than of some of the other grasses, including other Bermudas. But right now, since moving, Coastal is all I can find.

  11. Yar, that front hoof does have jammed quarters. It's not just the coronet band, you can see a curve in the wall too. Use that sharp as hell knife to take down the wall in the quarters, walk her and repeat. You could probably take care of that jamming in an hour.

    I was going to ask if she'd accept soaking boots but I like the wet carpet idea.

  12. hahaha--my horse's feet are so rock hard that I can only do two at a time! It's obnoxious. Looking forward to the weather coming in so that I can do more.

    The air angle grinder is great in these conditions, though I only really use it to clean up the bars and to keep them from getting overlaid.

    Got tons of thick, hard, crusty sole right now.

  13. I'm so thankful that we have a good mix around here. During the summer it gets a bit dry, but with Lilly's feet, I find the more dry they are, the better they do. I think the carpet idea is fantastic for what you have going on with Dixie's hooves!

  14. WET CARPET THAT IDEA IS BRILLIANT. Hard to work into a transport situation though.. but for home use DANG that is perfect!

  15. Andrea, I know right! I dunno, I think you could transport a soggy wet 2'x4' area rug pretty easily - stand the horse's front feet on it for a couple mins while you get everything else set up, then move it to his rear feet while you trim the fronts.

  16. That's it. I'm moving to the desert.

  17. We're in a soggy mess right now, so I sure don't have rock hard hooves. In the summer, when they do get too hard, I use hoof dressing. I know that's old fashioned, but it works for me.


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