2017.03.22: Trimming Up

So between the Pennsylvania Horse Expo (5 days of 57 hours of work), and then a random March snowstorm (6"+) and needing to rearrange Jeffra's schedule due to said snowstorm, I haven't had much time to breathe much less work with Storm. But today was the day the farrier was coming, so we took what we got. Despite a forecast of 20-30 mph winds, with gusts up to 40, we had a mild day. I was relieved to find him in a mellow mood, and so I brought him in the barn, and went and got Toppers out of the field. Toppers went into the cross ties while I picked out Storm's feet. With the melting snow the ground has been soft, which means mud packs in their hooves. That's not necessarily a bad thing for the support of their feet, though, but it does mean having to pick out giant packs of mud before she can work.
She finished Toppers quickly, he's small and has great feet so it doesn't take long to trim him up. I stuck him back in his stall (he wasn't pleased about that), and Jeanne decided we should try to trim Storm in the cross ties so he could see out the door and see Toppers in his stall. He was acting very quiet, so we set to work. She had me do all the nipping and helped me learn how to do the bigger work with the nippers first, before doing the finishing work with the rasp afterwards. Doing it that way saves a lot of effort in the long run because nipping is a lot easier than rasping. It also saves the rasp, too. So I nipped, and then she did the rasping and trimming up with the hoof knife. He had a lot of growth in his frogs that she took off, and she neatened up his heels. She noted a few things I need to keep an eye on, as well. She also pointed out that his front feet are beginning to finally level out. She's been trimming him for almost two years now, and  we are finally getting his front feet to grow level. His lateral side has traditionally grown faster, making his hooves flare out at the sides. For the first time she didn't have to deal with that in his front feet. That is very good news for the use of his body and his balance. Now we need to work on his back feet a bit more, and continue to improve his overall body balance, and he will be good. I am hopeful that I'll be able to maintain him barefoot for most of his life if I keep the focus on keeping him very well balanced.
We was getting a little antsy and I was getting tired (his legs are HEAVY, and that position is difficult even for someone who is fit!), so she finished him up quickly and I put him out again to go lounge for the rest of the day in the wind. I'm glad he's improved, after all, he just turned 15, so he ought to be improving!
Next Page: 2017.03.25: The Gate to Freedom
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