"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, August 24, 2012


The farrier came today, and he was very happy with Lily's barefoot progress.

First trim & front shoe removal on July 20:

He left the toes long to see how she'd wear them down-he didn't want to take off too much and then have her be constantly footsore because of not having any foot to wear down.

He filled the nail holes with wood putty. I thought this was ingenious, and it actually worked-the nail holes did not crack during the 4-week period between trims.

Left hoof. Note the slightly uneven heels-the farrier said she puts more weight on the inside heel, but this can eventually be corrected.

Right front. Same issue with the heels on this side too.The mat was wet on this side, so the underside of the hoof was also wet, and there's some gunk stuck around the area of the white line.

Second trim, today:

I just realized I took this one at a different angle from the first. But you can see that he completely took off the nail holes. The toes are still somewhat long, for the same reason as before.

Her feet look uneven in this shot, but they actually look more even, in person, than they have in awhile!

The chip on her left front that had me concerned a week ago, but she's worn it down herself.

He took off some of the apex of her frog on her right hind, I'm not sure why, and there was some vascularization close to the surface of the frog-maybe an old bruise? Or maybe she had thrush starting there? It looked really ouchy, and I was upset because the farrier did NOT bring up any issues after the trim-he actually said she had no thrush, too. I'll get pictures-I didn't have my cell on me at the time, and by the time I took the photos of her feet above, I'd already applied Durasole to her feet. I was cleaning Willy's stall across the way while the farrier was doing her back feet, so I didn't catch this until after he'd left, and he didn't mention it while we were talking about her feet afterwards. Next time I'll just stand there and watch the entire time. I thought that in barefoot horses you mostly leave the frogs alone, especially on hooves like her back feet, that have been barefoot forever.

I'm soooo itching to do this myself; I'm just afraid of screwing up. Anyone do their own trimming out there?

Any plans on riding in the arena were pretty much done-I wasn't going to ride her in that rocky, sandy footing with a sore foot. So I decided to take her out to the park instead and just walk in the open areas on the grass. We have Tropical Storm Isaac threatening to come in the vecinity of Florida, so I wanted her to get some exercise, in case she ends up cooped up for the next few days due to the rain. I switched the baucher back out for her pelham, with only 1 set of reins on the shanks, in case she decided to go cuckoo, though she'd been so good the last several outings that I wasn't expecting her to be any different.

Dianne rode out with me on Beau, and as it turns out, it was probably a good thing they were with us! Lily was looky going down the white trail to the park. The grass on both sides had been recently mowed, and there were clumps of dried grass clippings lying in little piles all over the path and the grass. Lily stared at them as if they were rabid.

Going down the powerlines the horses were fine. The sky was overcast, and a nice cool breeze was blowing-the weather was perfect for riding. We turned left at the end of the powerlines, and I decided to take us through a service path that leads inbetween the park horse pastures and the Horses for the Handicapped covered arena. A stablehand was turning 2 horses out, and Lily just had to stop and watch, then leaped forward, terrified, when the girl slammed the gate door. Oookay... Overreact much? It's not like she's never heard a gate slam shut. I had to spin her around, narrowly missing poor Beau's surprised nose, and then we made our way hesitantly up the path. The footing had patches of black mud in the grass, which Lily snorted at as if they were cavernous holes in the ground, refusing to walk over them, and then, at the end of the path, tried to turn tail back home for no reason at all. She's been on this path before, just in the opposite direction-it's not like she's never seen it, either. I spun her around again to face forward, and she settled down as we crossed over to the park barn, through the children's playground. She actually didn't care about the playground at all, and we walked through the parking lot quietly, heading up the grass that runs along the pasture fence line. All of the park horses were turned out for the night, and a little red dun mare came trotting up to say hi, followed by a cute silver dapple pony. Dianne used to work at the park barn, and she was telling me about the two horses, when all of a sudden, they both took off running and bucking along the fence line, and some of the other horses joined them. It was like someone had flipped Lily's Dynamite Switch to "On". She whirled around, tail flagged, and tried to take off with the other 2 horses, but was brought to a rude stop by my hands on the reins. She arched her neck beautifully and pranced, but I felt all of her energy relocate to her haunches, and before she could try anything, I moved her off of the grass along the fence in a hurry-I did NOT want her rearing on an incline. She protested, tossing her head and prancing more, and I tried turning her away from the playing horses, but she spun around to face them one more time and gave a LOUD BLAST through her nose. Once, in a single exhale. If she had had fire-breathing capabilities, flames would've come out of her nostrils at that moment. *lol* I got her onto the grassy field on the other side of the path by the fence, maintaining her moving in small tight circles to keep her mind off of going UP and AWAY. She settled into an animated walk, neck arched, but as we were walking away on a straight line, she did manage to throw in a single rear, just to let me know exactly what she thought about me not leting her play with her new friends. She landed, and we walked off as if nothing had happened. Dianne in the meantime had just been focused on staying out of wild woman's way, and Beau did all of us proud by staying impassively calm. There have been times when he's fed off of other horses' excitement, but not today, thankfully.

Note to self: do NOT walk along the fence line by the pastures when the horses are turned out, especially if riding by ourselves!

Lily settled down quickly, and we made our way back through the hills to return to the powerlines. It's amazing how much my attitude affects her- if I'm calm despite her own nerves (like today), she really will settle down quickly. However, if I allow myself to be affected, her nervousness will snowball. She was a very good girl for the rest of the ride, and I rode her on a long loopy rein. Our ride was almost exactly 45 minutes long. I was glad I'd chosen to do this ride, though, because Lily was definetely sore on pavement.

Back at the barn, Lily had barely broken a sweat, so I only hosed down her shoulders and back, then let her dry in front of the fan. She then went out with Willy and their haynets. Hopefully it stays dry tonight and tomorrow-Diana and I are supposed to go for a hack in the afternoon. Go away, Isaac!

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