Friday, April 17, 2009

A Good Bunch of Boys

Yesterday we had a wonderful day weather-wise. While not really warming up as much as I would have liked, it was sunny. We'll take sunny and cool.  It was also time for all the boys to get their hooves trimmed. Morgan, our farrier, is a man of few words and busy . He is one of the very few good trimmers  that will come all the way up to our little mountain to make a meager $20.00 per trim since I keep my guys barefoot. Over the years other horse owners have started using him up here and now we have enough to make a day of it for him between the smaller farms. I am usually first on the schedule, so if we have any problems it makes him late for every following farm call.
From day one I've worked on all the horses standing nicely for the farrier. It's hard work and hard on the back. A horse that kicks, pulls away and insists on resting their weight on the shoer's knee makes a tough job harder. I don't blame any farrier for refusing to work on a horse. Plus I won't tolerate it since I'm cleaning out those hooves too before and after rides.  
To make things work faster yesterday I decided to try something. Rather than going up and back numerous times over muck and mud at the gate ( you livestock owners know it ALWAYS lands at the gate area) I put small flakes of hay out around the trimming area near the barn and driveway, haltered up all the boys and literally turned them loose. As hoped for, they all trotted down to those piles of hay and tucked in.I had visions of having to round up a running herd of five horses but I had nothing more to do  than walk a few steps and bring a horse over to Morgan, get the trim done, release and grab another. We were done with 5 trims in 45 minutes. Only Nick considered wandering off in search of greenery and we grabbed him first. He went back up into the paddock with his own little pile of hay when done. I was pretty happy that all the guys stuck around and calmly walked away from their hay pile, politely waited while they had their hooves made all pretty and ambled slowly back to the munching . I gathered them all up in twos and put them back, paid Morgan and sent him on his way to the next farm call.  I love being able to streamline a chore like that and I am also very proud of my sensible little band of geldings.

3 comments:

  1. WOW - what a day! You describe it well and I can almost see what was happening! I recently discovered a blog you may enjoy. It's of a farm in NY - her recently had someone come out for the annual shearing of his sheep. He has two border collies that help in the process. Her'es the start of the process:
    http://blog.bedlamfarm.com/index.cfm/2009/4/14/Wednesday-Shearing-Day-in-Bedlam

    ReplyDelete
  2. So that's how horses get loose? (OK - kidding - I know the one time I encountered a group of horses on the road while I was walking the dog they'd had a fence problem. The owner was surprised....but not as surprised as my dog!)

    I'm impressed that you can train a horse to have its nails done. I really can't even train my dog to do that very well. It's a miracle my dog passes for well-behaved because I do not have the training mentality!! It's great that you do!

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sue,
    We've had one fence failure, 2 hours later horses where found and being lead home from a lawn 2 miles away. I have dogs that aren't as good as my horses too!

    Jen, Wonderful blog, than you for the tip!!!!

    ReplyDelete