Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alpha Mare rules the remuda

It's been so long since I've written, it's hard to know where to start.

Since my alpha mare throw down, we haven't had another significant test of my authority in our little herd, but I have to say it's going very well.

Lily has come around, and while issues with raising her back left hoof continue, we are making progress. I'm using both carrot and stick - hard ground work if she doesn't raise her hoof and a cookie immediately following a successful hoof raising. I've had one time where she raised that hoof with no groundwork required, but it's not consistent by a long haul.

But she's not turning her butt to me at all. She's starting to come to me for haltering. She's becoming less worried about cinching and we are taking our sweet time to tighten up.

Canyon seems more confident, but I haven't taken him out alone on the trails again - not because I haven't wanted to, but because time keeps evaporating on me. This last month has been insane with swine flu forced quarantine and a jam packed two weeks as we make up all those activities that we missed.

Apparently we don't cancel around here.

Anyway, I've managed to make it out for quick stops, mostly to test our new ebay saddles - a flextree circle Y for Adam,

and a cordova fabtron for Sierra.

The fit looks good and both were decent bargins. Around here everyone is still charging as if the entire stock market hadn't plunged into 6k.

I noticed as I fitted the saddles that Lily's got an overdeveloped shoulder on one side, I'm making a note to ask the farrier about that. Canyon had the same thing and it's almost gone now that his hoof has grown out.

Speaking of shoes...

We have a new farrier, Phil Notebart, who just moved here from Colorado. He says he did some shoeing in Parelli land... My old farrier said our new barn was too far out for him, the last one was a stretch as it was. So he gave us Phil's number, saying he was new in the area, but really knew his stuff.

Here's Phil.

As you can see, he's on the ... shorter side. I liked his attitude with Lily, he was very patient and they had a good talk before getting started. By the end I thought she was going to take her shoes off and hand them to him.

Here are a few pictures of Lily's hooves, one before and one after her shoeing...

I'd say she was over due, wouldn't you? Course Mrs. Mom and Mikey probably know much better. It's all fingernail to me. For all I know she was just fashionable.

I'm trying to learn about hooves, but honestly I'm just happy to clean them. I can't imagine ever getting to the point of using one of these.

But this, maybe...

I love sparkles produced by serious machinery.

Lily did better with a loose hold. Initially she pulled back, scattering everyone and the cart with all the tools. So we opted for hand holding... That's Adam, jumping into horse ownership. In a month HE'LL be picking her hooves, as soon as I know she won't stomp on him. He doesn't scare easily, but he's got back issues and I don't want her sending him into some horrible back spasm as he scrambles to get out of the way...

Other good news, Canyon and Lily are smitten. But I'll let Canyon tell you about that next time.

And Canyon is over his fear of plastic bags now that I've been giving him carrots out of them. I actually make him take the carrot from on top of a bag. At first he was ... relunctant. Now he's like "What?! It's just a carrot holder. I was NEVER afraid of THOSE."

I'm worried that the next plastic bag he sees on the trail will really make him crazy as he runs over to check it for carrots.

See you soon! I promise!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Whoooeee! You've been busy. I'm glad things seem to be going well with everyone and the horses, too.
I agree about the time issues, though. Sure wish we could add some more time to each day. lol!


Anonymous said...

which hoof had the shoe??

Mikey said...

Looks like a good farrier there! I'd say he's a keeper. Good solid work, nice truck... and yes, your horse was due :)
I love seeing other farriers at work :)