I took My Boy away from his breakfast, gave him some treats, then cleaned off his hooves. I always have him clean for the farrier. Paper towels work great to soak up his wet muddy legs and feet.
I did not want to lounge him and get his hooves and legs muddy. So I just hand walked him for about 10 minutes to stretch out his legs. The farrier showed up and My Boy was a good boy, except for his hind hooves. He did not want to balance his weight on his left leg. That poor leg is a bit arthritic. I call it the scar leg. He has a scar above his pastern from a pretty severe fence wound when he was a yearling. My farrier said he does not flex well in the pastern on that leg. I felt bad for My Boy. He fussed and bounced tried to hop out of the farrier's hold a bit, which he has not done since I've had him. I stayed at his side and placed my hand on his hip so that he could brace against it a bit. That helped a lot. His hip was trembling a little. I could tell he was uncomfortable. He also gets so worked up over things like this. He started to pull back and balk a little and the farrier had to fight him to get him to stand for him.
Since I have leased and owned My Boy, he has gotten shoes on his front hooves and just trims on his back hooves. This time he got shoes on all four. He is really tender and just imps along the rockier parts of the trails, and with the trail riding and the guest ranch trip we have planned this summer, I wanted him to be well protected.
My farrier recommended giving My Boy a dose of bute the day before his next appointment. He said that might make him feel more comfortable having to crank up that hind leg for farrier work, and to stand on it while the other hoof is being worked on. He did tell me he has quite a few clients with horses that have to be twitched or even sedated to have their hooves done. So I feel like my horse was pretty good considering. And for once, I do not feel like he was being a pill, I think it was painful for him to have that back end all out of whack.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that My Boy had some rings along the top of his hoof. I was a bit concerned because I couldn't remember for the life of me if they'd always been there or were new. I asked the farrier what they were. I had worried they were fever rings. But he said they were just growth rings and were normal.
I also asked about a dry, cracked, flaking area of hoof wall along one of his hoof's nail holes. Turns out that is due to moisture getting into the old nail holes and breaking down the lamine. It is typical of the wet climate we have. And since My Boy has had a lot of wet footing and mud in his pasture this winter, it is inevitable. And this hot and dry one day, wet and damp the next day weather is hard on the hooves. I know it wrecks havoc on my own skin. Before long the hooves will dry up with the heat of summer. As you can tell, I can be quite the worried horsey mommy!
My sister uses a different farrier than I do (I kept the one My Boy's previous owner had been using for him.) Last week, my sister had her mares trimmed and her farrier informed her that starting in July, he is raising his rates due to the price increases of gas and steel. My sister's farrier said he knows farriers that are charging $200 for 4 shoes. And he's thinking of requiring clients to haul to him to save on gas. I was curious to see what my farrier had to say. I have been paying $75 for front shoes. Today he did all 4, and charged me $95. I just wrote the check for a $100. Figured I would show a little appreciation for charging a fair rate. It wasn't much, but I think he was surprised. My sister's farrier will soon charge $125 for 4 hooves. My mom only pays $65 for front shoes. It's interesting what farriers charge. I wonder what they base it on, and why it is so varied? My farrier said that he's trying not to raise his rates. I thought that was pretty amazing.
One of My Boy's new shoes.
I enjoy farrier chat time. We talk about random things like politics, horse racing (he's a fan) the economy, and his horses. He and his wife ride and breed Quarter Horses (cutting horses) so they are busy with around 23 head. He just had a few babies born and is still waiting on two more.
After the farrier appointment I let My Boy graze for a while, then put him away and rushed home to eat some macaroni and cheese and clean the horse dirt out from under my nails before heading downtown to my salon for a hair color. My salon is near a busy tourist attraction in my city. I used to park in a paid lot right across the street, and it can fill up on Saturdays. I got nearly the last spot and walked up to the pay machine. I was having problems with it taking my card, so the parking attendant came over to help then told me for 2 hours it was going to be $24 to park! I said, uh, that is too expensive for me, got in my car, and drove about two blocks up and paid $7 in a different lot. I used to pay $12 in that lot across from my salon, I have no idea why it is now $24 for 2 hours! Highway robbery. I can barely afford the hair color (it is the one luxury I allow for myself) let alone a huge parking fee. Goodness! But I had a great time at the salon, my stylist was in a fun mood and she made me a french pressed coffee with lots of sugar and cream. And she thought my summer guest ranch trip sounded great and she wants to go, too!
I left the salon feeling fabulous with my new do. And no hot date with a cowboy. Instead, I had dinner plans with a girlfriend at her house. I had not seen her, her husband, or their children in months. And while I was up there playing with the kids, her two year old son jumped into my lap at the same time I bent down to him and he nailed me with his hard 2-year old head right in the eye bone. Instantly I said get me an ice pack. It hurt like heckle. When I went into the bathroom a couple of minutes later and looked into the mirror I noticed it had goose-egged on the bone under my eye (this freaked me out more, I could see the goose-egg in my line of vision.) This Pony Girl does not like injuring herself. I took aspirin and iced it, but I was kind of quiet during dinner. It's a good thing I have seen some goose-eggs on the kids at school, so I did not panic too much. I know it is fairly common, and a good thing when you see swelling and pooling of blood (I heard that a bad bang with no bump could mean a more serious internal injury.) My friend's son felt bad, and I felt bad that he felt bad. He was too cute and gave me a little hug. Then they gave me cheesecake. But now I have a black eye. That goes so well with the new hair. I always figured my first black eye would come from a horse. Who knew I'd get it from a 2 year old child? Goodness, my students will have a heyday with this on Monday.