Friday, March 2, 2012

Poor little lamb

One of my friends was telling me about her poor kid - they went to some place like Great Clips and he ended up with a bowl cut. He's old enough to be mortified by it, and while it is character building to have a horrible haircut, they're going to get it fixed soon. (I mean, think about it - how many perfectly normal haircuts do you remember from your childhood, versus the time you cut your bangs an inch above your eyebrows, or got bowl'd, or fell asleep in your chewing gum and ended up with a pageboy? This is the stuff that memories are made of!)

So that's kinda how I feel about Dixie today. The other horses may laugh at her, but it'll be a memory she treasures in her golden years! Yes, I attacked her with the clippers again. It looks a lot like a 4H kid's first attempt at sheep-shearing. We just got done with another nasty snowstorm, so I confined myself to her head mostly. It was, in fact, a Learning Experience for Dixie - the last time I clipped her she came utterly unglued when I got within about 3" of her ears. Today was a lot of normal Dixie drama, and I ended up getting one good pass over her mohawk bridle path, plus I did for some of the fuzz around the base of her ears.

Cleaned up her jawline and cheeks, too.

Here's the other side:

No, wait. How about this?

She persisted in trying to eat the phone (if it's not buzzing, it must be food, right??) and the sun was setting straight behind her and it wouldn't have come out anyway so I gave up.

I touched up her feet too, but they're holding up quite well. I've gotten in the groove again and I go to town on them about every two weeks, so there's never a huge amount to take off.

Front right, pre-trim:
Front right

Heel view - I don't think I've ever seen her heels this open. YAY ME!
FR heel

Front left:
Front left

FL heel

I didn't take after solar views, because they didn't look much different! I took the heels down as much as I could, knocked off a bit of wall that was too long, and put a hell of a roll on all four feet. One side of her front right frog was thrushy so I cleaned it out and smeared a lot of goo in.

I go through cycles in my trimming - I'll get her feet looking (I think) really nice and get all smug and complacent about my routine. Then someone will post pictures or a discussion on a blog (my latest inspiration: Pangea's crappy pasture trim on Andrea's new blog) and I'll start really thinking hard about trim theory and looking at exactly what I'm doing.

So, the two things I'm thinking about now:
1) I don't THINK Dixie needs the support of those bars, and I'm watching them hard, but I didn't take them out today. I get confused about bars - it seems like every school of thought approaches them differently, and even the major trimmers change their approach over time. I just read a Ramey article and I am moved to not trim Dixie's bars, not today at least.

2) Breakover. That's actually one of the main things I think about when I think about trimming - it's so complex and so crucial. Even (especially?) when you have a horse that's going sound barefoot, there's still so much room for adjustment in the breakover. Dixie's walls are so thick! Look at the walls back by the heel buttresses - they're about a quarter of an inch thick. A quarter of an inch versus an eighth of an inch versus a sixteenth of an inch at the toe will have a huge influence on her hoof flight path. Breakover's been something I've neglected, and I wailed on her mustang roll today.


Front left

Front left

I even got in the super-awkward position and rolled her back feet, too. (I am especially bad about keeping the walls level with the sole and letting them just chip off on rocks. Bad Funder!)


A third thing I've been thinking about, off and on, is rings. I thought that Dixie didn't really have rings/event lines, but I wanted to get some pictures and really look. I'd say she does not have event lines. Grass hay, yall. Grass hay.

Pretty nice trotters. Not perfect - gonna keep working on the thrush, maybe I can get those heels down further - but pretty nice.


  1. Sweeeet. I have yet to approach my horses with clippers, or take over their hoof trimming. I feel so laaazyy ;)

  2. Now that you're done with Dixie for a bit, I've got 4 more standing around waiting for their mani-pedi here!

  3. Nice feet, well done. After a year of careful effort my two are without event lines as well, and that also means that they chip less. It's interesting that you need to round the edges. Riding on softer ground I don't need to do that.

  4. I think Dixie's feet look GREAT.

    Also-- I had a mortifying bowl cut as a kid and your intro gave me flashbacks.

  5. We've gotta get better on learning trimming skills. The Mustangs do a really good job of self-trimmimg - when they are kept on the right kind of ground, but when it is snow pack over 18" deep, there is nowhere for them to take care of themselves. They are all pretty long right now, although they have great shape and no signs of any type of disease. Just need to be a lot better about getting them on what little pavement we have so they can walk them off. Talk about lazy, huh? Love Dixie's feet!

  6. I'm struggling with the bars too... I can't believe that there are so many different lines of thinking on those! With Lilly's hooves lately, the more bar I remove, the more bar that grows back. Does that mean she needs the bar support, or that she's trying to get rid of excess? So much to ponder!

  7. The first thing that ran through my mind when I saw your pics? Her bars are too long. They're running down under where her tendons attach to the coffin bone and causing some discomfort- that's why she's landing toe first and pulling her toes long.

    I call BS on the argument that bars should be left alone. They are part of the hoof wall, if you trim that why wouldn't you trim the bars?

    BTW- if you keep the exterior wall from making ground contact you will have significantly fewer to no event lines. In many cases they are concussion lines that have nothing to do with the diet.

  8. S, I have got to disagree. I just don't see the bars as too long. They're longer than the most concave part of her sole, sure, but they're not even as long as her walls. They're not totally folded up with tons of crap under them. Look at this picture again and tell me that the bars are TOO LONG.

    I think when she lands toe-first it's because of chronic thrush up in her heels, plus crippled DC's from being shod too young. I was actually dreaming about treating thrush last night, lol!

  9. Bars! I keep changing my mind on them too.


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