Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trimming Toenails

No, wait! Don't run off! Things don't ever get so slow around here that I'll have to post about trimming our toenails. This post is horse-related and it comes complete with photos. Haven't you always wanted to see a horse receiving a pedicure?

This morning was just too glorious to stay cooped up inside. I set the kids to work on their schoolwork, grabbed my camera and wandered outside to see what I could see. Yes, I was slacking off in terms of my educational duties, but in my defense, I was also tending to my mental health. Yesterday I had to spend the day in town stocking up on groceries and getting ready for a weekend invasion. The 4-H Shooting Sports team will be here for a Head Games Camp and although we're looking forward to it, I wanted to escape into the crisp morning and revel in the quiet that surrounds me.

I wandered out into the pens where the squeak of the rusty gate announced my arrival and DH was beginning the task of trimming the yearlings' feet. I began to relax as the comforting sounds of the camera's shutter became mingled with the heavenly smell of horses.

Waiting their turn:

Ok, call me strange, but there is something very attractive about DH when he is working with horses. Yes, even when he is trimming their feet. It's imperative that a horses feet are well cared for and DH is very particular about it. His nighttime reading often consists of a huge book titled "The Principles of Horseshoeing" and we are regular subscribers to "The Farrier's Journal". He has read and studied and put into practice all things farrier related:

The tool he is working with here are called nippers:

Yes, you're next sweetheart:

Here he is using a rasp:

DH designed and made this very cool shoeing box about 5 years ago. He's a perfectionist when it comes to anything and it is so much fun to watch him make things. This box is perfectly balanced when he carries it around. Now my FIL makes them and sells them.

Here's a good angle that shows the bottom of this colt's hoof. The triangular portion in the middle is known as the frog.

Here's an after shot. Each horse has different upkeep requirements. Some horses hooves tend to flare out and some tend to grow longer in various areas. A healthy hoof is of the utmost importance. I'm only a little familiar with a couple of hoof problems:

Laminitis (founder) can be caused when a horse receives an excess of carbohydrates (grain overload).

Navicular Disease is a chronic degenerative condition of the navicular bone. It affects the navicular bone and it's blood supply.

And Thrush which is a degeneration of the frog, but it often occurs from horses that have been permitted to stand in wet conditions for prolonged periods of time. Not much chance of that here!

DH is 6' tall and trimming 7 colts does a number on your back. I think he deserves a backrub tonight!


Shelljo said...

Thanks for the memories. My dad used to trim hooves for extra income. I loved going with him and watching him trim hooves and sometimes shoe horses. Maybe I'm weird, but I also like the smells that go with trimming hooves. That's the only thing your post lacked--smells.

agent713 said...

Okay, horse pedicures...or hooficures or whatever they're called, are much nicer than ones for humans. Cool shots, like normal :)

Karin said...

Hi Shelljo! Glad this brought back fond memories for you. Wish I could bottle these smells too, although it's probably just as well that some remained unbottled!

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