Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spa Day

I had a very busy day. I was up early so that I could drive up for My Boy's farrier appointment. My farrier won't work in the rain, not because he's a wimp, but something to do with not getting the shoe nails wet (and we do not have a covered area to work under. The turnout shed is too far from his truck and equipment.) I drove through a rainstorm on the way up and pulled over to call my sister and see what the weather was doing 40 minutes up the freeway. In the town she lives in, it was partly cloudy but dry.

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.


  1. You really have a black eye? Wait til the boyfriend (no, Pony Girl hasn't found a cowboy yet!) see's that! He is going to give you all sorts of heck!
    If I didn't really like my horseshoer I would switch to yours. But I have been using mine for 4 yrs and even though it would save me money switching I just can't do it. I did tell him if his prices ever get to $200 for a set of shoes than I was FINDING A NEW SHOER! I don't know if he thought I was joking but really, $200?
    I am ready to scoop poop tomorrow and hopefully the sun will come out (Yes, I know, I am dreaming)and I can get one or two of my girls out for a spin!

  2. Six years ago when I left TUndra Country, $200 for four shoes and a trim was the standard. In Downstate Tundra Country (read; LI) it was closer to $300.

    Glad I am a barefooter, and trim my own these days.... (Speaking of which they are due... never a dull moment!)

  3. $200 for a set of REGULAR shoes?? Holy Crap!! Makes you wonder if this "barefoot" craze is based on the fact that few people can afford to have their horses shod anymore. Not to mention the difficulty finding and keeping a good farrier.
    My last farrier was Mikey. She only charged $3o/4 if you hauled your horses to her house. And she was GOOD. I heard that she increased her price since then to like $45 if you haul into her shop but that is still dirt cheap. That is what most people are getting for a trim now.

  4. $200 for Four? thats about right for here too. It was $125 for a trim and front aluminums here.

    Ponygirl - I think we need to see a picture of that black eye! Hope it heals soon!!!

  5. Love the new banner - great job!

    My farrier has been charging $35 for a trim, but just had to raise his prices to $40 because of fuel costs. Given how far he has to come to get here and how bad the road is, I consider this a bargain.

    Sorry, but I had to laugh about the black eye with the new 'do. But hey, you can just wear your hat down low and tell everyone you're a model for Dorman Burns!

  6. Oh we need to see the black eye!!! Thanks for the info on the store. I am always looking for horsey places to shop!

  7. Just say you ducked when you should have dodged or "you should see the other guy if you think this is bad!"
    We pay $80 for four shoes and our gas up here is over $5.00 a gallon.

  8. Poor Pony Girl with the black eye. I agree that a picture is a MUST. On the farrier note I was shocked when you posted what you pay. I thought the $50 my wonderful farrier charges was a bit steep. I can get another guy for $35 but I don't like the way he shoes. Plus my farrier has become a great friend of ours. He only charges $20 for a trim but $50 for the shoes. My mare has to be drugged when she is shod. Before I owned her she hurt her leg down close to the hoof (she still has the scar) and there is no telling what she suffered during that injury and the apparent healing of it.

    What color is your hair now?

  9. We are able to just put front shoes on one of our horses as well. It definitely saves money!Our farrier charges us $130 for a full set, $75 for two, and $40 for a trim. He taught my sister how to trim the pony's hooves herself, so that helps somewhat! Sorry about your goose-egg.I always marvel at how my kids can get one of those, and then run around like nothing is wrong. Getting hit on the head HURTS! I have an appointment in two weeks to get my hair done for the summer as well. It always feels good to get that done!
    PS-No, I don't know any available cowboys, but I do know some good looking ones!

  10. Congrats on the new hair color. Must be a really good salon to want to pay all that money for parking. They should offer to stamp our parking slip so you can park for free if you're using their business. Have you ever asked?

    Yeppers, I want to see that siner of yours. hehe
    Having 3 kids of my own, I can tell you that I've been hurt more times by them, just by rough housing, clumsiness, or playing, than from any of my animals. Yikes!

    I pay $30 for feet trims here. We do barefoot. Our farrier thinks its better for the hoof, especially with our dry, desert climate, which cracks and makes hooves brittle.

    I'm getting ready to post about hoof trimming and how some people dont seem to be able to afford it, so they just let it go....I've got some shocking pictures taken today, too.

  11. I just paid $150 for 4 shoes plus pads on the front. My horse has classic Thoroughbred flat feet in the front, so the rocky ground hurts him in the summer. I asked my farrier about the "barefoot thing" and if it would work for my horse. She laughed and said, "not if you want to ride him!" No saving money for me! Jack's worth it though ;-)

  12. Oh, I forgot to say how much I like your updated layout! How did you get the cool header with your picture and title? My blog needs some help, but I haven't had much luck figuring that part of Blogger out!

  13. I don't shoe mine, but I was paying $25 per horse for a trim and I upped it myself, he never asked, to $30 per horse for a trim! Felt that was fair.

  14. Our farrier charges $30 for a trim (just raised from $25). Far as I can tell (from my dull brain) it's $40 for front shoes and trim.

    I love farrier time. We sit and chat about all sorts of things..horses...hay...vets.

    I was going to suggest the bute as well. It just helps take the edge off.

    Sorry about the black eye!

  15. Farrier prices are going up all over the place. When you think about how much they travel, and their equipment costs going up, it makes sense.

    I trim my own and never shoe, so I'm not totally up to date on costs, but about a year ago here the only farrier I *might* consider using (he's the best around but still not up to my standards) was charging $35 for a trim and $85 for front shoes only.

    Sorry about your black eye, that's no fun at all!

  16. Wow ~ What a bummer to get a black eye to go with your new hair cut!! It's amazing what the price of gas is doing to all industries!! Even the farrier's are feeling the hit. Makes sense to me since they do drive so much!! The cost of having horses is tremendous, but the rewards out weigh the cost!!

  17. I pay $100 for shoes all around and $30 for a trim unless I pay cash. Then I pay $90 for those shoes and $25 for the trims. With 28 head you can bet I pay cash most of the time.

    I do know lots of show horses that pay a lot more. I think reining horses and english horses with big trot and $200 and up. The whole thing just makes me crazy.

    Sorry about the black eye but glad you didn't get it from a horse. Your kids will get it, they've probably whacked someone in the face with their head. I swear all my kids got me at least once.

  18. Black eye eh? There will be lots of questions on that one! You are so right about it being better if you get a goose egg. When it doesn't come out like that you need to worry.
    We pay $65 for front shoes and a trim and $45 for just the trim. Even my little ponies are $45. My farrier says they are harder to do as they are so short and he has to bend over so much more. My old appy has trouble standing on one back leg too. Even when I am just cleaning out his feet he seems to get cramps in his legs. I think I will try what you did and put my hand on his hip and help him balance and lean in me.
    It has been so hot here that my guys went back in the barn by noon time and then I put them back out about 4 when it had cooled off a bit. Now they are in for the night. Don't leave them out all night, too many wild critters around here! :o(

  19. Ouch! I had one once...thought mine would come from a horse as well, but it came from an elbow from a team mate when I played rugby in college. I am paying $85 for trim and shoes on the front....but with gas prices...I am sure that will be going up.

  20. Pony Girl, love your posts. I had an older QH mare who got ouchy when the farrier or I picked up her back legs. I ended up giving her daily joint supplements on a vet's advice and it helped a lot (she was about 16 at the time...she would come home from rides and lie down as if exhausted...but no, it was just the pain after exercise, poor girl). I also had bute the vet recommended to give her on riding days but found I didn't need to do that as long as I gave her the supplement (MSM, Chodrotin, (sp.), etc). She is still being lightly ridden at age 23 this summer...I had to give to her to new owners when I moved to Alaska. Didn't think she would do well with 6 months of snow, ice and 20 below weather!)
    I also have used Easy Boots very successfully on unshod back feet when riding in rocky NM. I kept the horse's front feet shod. They are a bit hard to pry off but pretty darn useful and last forever. A good long screwdriver or other simple tool makes their removal easy. Julie in Alaska

  21. Oh my goodness!! A two year old!! They will get ya every time!! I have many a pair of glasses broken because of two year olds!! LOL!!

    My farrier charges 35 to trim and 65 for front shoes. I am not sure what all four shoes are. We only do front shoes. And that is just sometimes. I do know when I was going to school up in Ohio, that four aluminum shoes were about 125 and that was back in 2000. So, I could only imagine what it is now. People who shoe a lot of show horses charge more. Don't know why. I about married a horseshoer, they just make their prices based on the cost of fuel, shoes, nails, time and if the horse is good. Sometimes they will tack on an extra charge if the horse doesn't stand well. It's hard to find a good consistent shoer!! Keep yours if he is good!! Don't let him go!!

  22. Howdy Pony girl! Had to chime in on this. Love seeing what everyone else is charging. If Wade or I go out, we charged $90 for full shoes and $40 for a trim (50 if it's draft or we have go more than 20 miles)
    Now at our shop, where people do bring them to us, it's $60 for full shoes and $30 a trim. It works pretty well for those people who have say 2 horses that both get full shoes (we live in real rocky country so full shoes is the norm) they save $60 coming to the shop.
    As for the $200, that's not uncommon at all. In the Phoenix valley, especially Scottsdale, that's about right. I can't even imagine having to pay that, and I think it'll get worse.
    Also, we have a couple clients who ride their horses to our shop, sit down and rest, get their shoes redone and then ride out. Makes a nice Saturday or Sunday ride :) We also have an arena down there, so you can ride one horse, get one shod, then swap them out. Work your horses!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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