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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Drama afoot

On Thursday Farrier Scott came out, and he brought his apprentice.  He told me that he wouldn't let her trim the colts and he wouldn't let her work on anything she couldn't handle yet.  Small world, she's one of my neighbours!  Apprentice is actually the girl that bought my friend Heather's place shortly after we moved, and Heather is who we got George from.

The big horses had been trimmed a few weeks ago so on the books were George, Rootbeer, Odin and Tavi... that's right, the colts were getting their first real trim! 
 There's a reason mom left my halter on
Scott wanted to get the colts done first.  Odin was right by the gate so I walked up, gave him a pat and slipped his halter on.  Kinda surprised because I haven't really done a lot with him as far as catching and when I have he's always been very standoffish.  
Odin was SUCH a good boy!  Other than a couple little tugs he pretty much just stood there.  Impressive for his first trim... nippers, rasp and everything!
I think we used up all our 'good luck' there though... if Odin was an angel Tavi was a rodeo star!  Right off the bat, I went to catch him but Scott said "let's just see if he'll let me pick up his foot".  NOT a good plan, he pulled his foot and was off like a shot.
It took, Scott, Apprentice and myself to get him caught; and even then it took some doing.  Kinda funny because he's the one that I can always walk right up to and scritch all over, especially by his ears and on his cheeks.  Scott did admit that if he'd let me just catch him before trying to mess with his feet it probably wouldn't have been such a problem to get him caught.
Well once the little booger was caught things didn't calm down.  Nope his blood was up and he was ready to let everyone know how he felt!  Darn redheads lol  Every time Scott tried to pick up a foot Tavi would jump forward, backward, try to run off.  Now both colts are basic halter broke and Tavi has had a little bit of tie training but I wouldn't say he's good to tie.  That ended up being our only option to safely work on him though.  Thank goodness we've got those big slab fences in the pens!  We snubbed him up on the post and with the slabs he couldn't get over or through the fence.  
There was plenty of hopping around but he did settle enough to get all four hooves done.  And by the end he was pretty relaxed and happy; he was blinking, chewing, licking, lowered his little head and after it was all over he cocked a foot and shut his eyes.  
But after all the drama catching Tavi I decided that for the next little while he will keep his halter on.  When I go to 'catch' him I'll bring a second halter and put it on and off over the one he's wearing.  Now normally I would NOT leave a horse turned out with a halter, in fact I don't leave a horse stalled with a halter normally either.  But in this case I think it will be easier on everyone in the long run.  I believe Tracey over at the Mustang Diaries does something similar when teaching her mustangs about halters and being caught.

Next up were the shorties.  Scott told Apprentice that SHE was going to trim George.  You shoulda seen her eyes just about bug out of her head! lol
Apparently she wasn't too thrilled to be working on a donkey, she had never had a good experience... but George being the STAR he is soon turned her around.  She was loving on him big by the end of his trim.  Scott always says George is one of his best clients, and one of his favourites.  George stands perfectly still and always gives his foot without any discussion needed.  Plus Scott just loves donkeys.
The Star

Now if George is a star then Rootbeer is a SUPERSTAR.  While Apprentice was trimming George, after Scott had checked her work a few times, I turned around to see Scott trimming Rootbeer.  Darn do I wish I had had my camera!! (even told Scott that)  There was Scott, kneeling on the ground, crouching down, trimming Rootbeer's feet while RB just stood there, no halter, no helper scritching, nothing.  The little guy just stood like a statue... a statue that you could pick up the feet on!  It was so cute to see his little back foot propped up on the hoof stand while he just stood there.
Superstar on his lunch break

I did ask Scott if he has 'grown up' client horses that SHOULD know how to have their feet done that are as "rambunctious" as Tavi had been, he sighed and said yes.  He also said not to feel bad because Tavi was just a colt and would get better... I still tipped him $20.


  1. I'd say 50/50 is pretty darn good for babies and their first trim.

    The worst colt I ever dealt with was Moon, who had been handled from birth. We ended up holding him upside down against the wall in a stall (that's where he ended up after flipping himself over and wallering around like a pig in mud). You would have thought Moon (he was just a coming yearling, same as your guys) had never been handled a day in his life.

    Cheers for the little guys. I know just how your farrier feels. Trimming Mighty Mouse was a lesson in how to crunch up. ;-)

  2. Yay! Trimming time can be full of drama!
    We're nuts about feet here (ok, I am) and I hang a hoofpick in each "section" of horses (ok, they're all over the place) I go around each morning after I clean pens and ask for feet. Every single horse here gives me a foot nicely (except jack the donkey, he'll give it, but watch for the kick) it helps me keep a close eye on their feet and they learn that it's just Mom and she wants a foot again. And again, lol. Most of them are like George and Rootbeer, they just stand there.
    I love George, he's cute stuff!!!

  3. Sounds like it went pretty well overall.I pay on an hourly rate whe I do the young ones , just in case .Usually that in itself takes the pressure off and I don't wind up paying extra, but if it takes longer then my farrier isn't out the money for clients he could be seeing that day

  4. Yay colts!!!! Proud of the babies AND you. George and Rootbeer will have the apprentice spoiled rotten, but guess what-- stops like your place will also show her what the GOOD life is!!!! ;)

  5. It sounds like Scott and Apprentice, basically had a pretty easy day of it. How wonderful to end on a positive note, with the little guys who stood so perfectly!
    My guys are pretty good - but the farrier feeds treats and Pippin forgets his manners as he is always trying to turn his head and find the treat in the farrier's pocket.

  6. I got a good little chuckle at the mental image of Rootbeer being done:) Thanks. No blood was spilled so in my books I'd say, Success!

  7. Ah yes.... (content sigh)..... that's why I don't have any babies! LOL! Thanks for reminding me. While the experience as a whole is very rewarding, there are some thing about babies i don't miss...

  8. Sounds like it went well for youngsters. If Tavi hadn't gotten all wound up first, he'd have been a star too and he ended on such a good note. That's awesome.

  9. Not too bad for a first trim, at least Tavi ended up relaxed, and he'll be better next time, you'll see! It;s nice when the farrier actually likes to come to your place, I always think a compliment from my farrier is worth a lot.