Friday, January 6, 2017

Manicures - Upstate Style

Dave the farrier is the man. He is intelligent, gentle, and complicated. He understands horses in a way I someday hope to grasp the edges of. He combines personal observation of the animals, popular training methods, hoof care, herd dynamics, natural horsemanship, and folklore. In one hoof-trimming session he will explain both his thoughts on trimming feet, training for road riding, and what the swirl of hair on your horse's forehead means. I can not thank Patty Wesner enough for bringing this man into my life.

Now, that photo looks pretty simple. You see Dave and Merlin, working in the front lawn on some basic manicure work. What you don't see is how Merlin got to the front yard from the fence he usually is behind. Weeks of ice, rain, and snow froze all the gates shut. Some are fixated in inches of solid ice. Dave could have worked with Merlin inside the fence. He has no issue going into a pasture to treat hooves. But on this farm Merlin the Fell is loving alongside Monday the ram. He is protective of them and I didn't want to chance the possibility that he would see Dave bent over trimming feet as a sign of ovine aggression.  So I spent most of my morning chipping away inches of ice at a gate and freeing it. Watch the first song in Frozen. I did that.

Happy to report Dave had nothing but nice things to say about Merlin's temperament, feet, condition, and head swirls. My Moo (Merlin's pet name) is doing well. I miss riding him but right now that just means roads. All the trails are ice-coated and steep and when you don't have health insurance you don't exactly want to risk sliding off a thousand pound animal on a cliff side. But I am getting a lot of time outside thanks to Aya and the slowly-declining rabbit population. So there is that.


Blogger Sharon said...

Hi Jenna, You are very fortunate to have a good farrier. I have had a difficult time finding a good farrier, who comes on time, is dependable, and does good work. I had a great farrier for a long time, but he retired and the situation changed. The equine population has declined a good deal in the last several years... the animals get old, and are put out on pasture. Mine have both died and been interred here on the farm. Currently, all I have is a bunch of tack, blankets, etc., and a horse trailer. It would take a very special change it.

January 6, 2017 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Have you used the stock tank de-icer?

January 6, 2017 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

YES! are you the sharon who mailed me one! Using it right now (posted about it on twitter)

January 6, 2017 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Yes I am. I love these de-icers. They last many years and provide an ice free stock tank. I have to run extension cords to use mine, but it is very worthwhile for me. I hope that this addition makes your life easier, and the livestock get water all the time without ice in the way.

January 6, 2017 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger renee said...

Nice to hear the rabbit population is decreasing. I remember when my brother (in England ) went ferreting as a kid . And how the population boomed after he stopped

January 7, 2017 at 3:14 AM  

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