With shaley ground and a long drought, you can get away with avoiding your trimming duties for a while. But eventually, the hoofs cry out for attention.
Today, George was conveniently out with my daughter and a friend, so I tied Bridget up to the fence inside the pasture with a pile of hay in front of her.
I tied her up as a sort of signal that we were taking care of business rather than recreating. Because I don't generally insist on things with Bridget, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. If she wasn't going to give me her feet, I wasn't going to make her. But she was very helpful and picked each foot up with alacrity when asked. I couldn't hold on for all that long, but I kept circulating from one foot to the other and got quite a lot accomplished. I keep my ex-rasp to use on dirty feet - that way I don't have to spend ages cleaning the foot if I'm trying to act fast, and I don't worry about ruining my new rasp. I finally unclipped her from the fence and finished up at liberty.
Chloe wandered up, and I asked her if I could do her hind feet, as they are starting to get way too long. The last couple of times I've tried to trim her she was tied up in the barn in Mississippi, and she was very uncomfortable/unwilling. Today I just went up to her in the field with the rasp, and she was perfectly lovely and let me do her hind feet.
The way I was trained to do feet involves measuring, marking, exfoliating, nippering, rasping - all in a very systematic way. You can only really do this if you have a horse who stands nice and still with its foot in the hoof stand. The way I'm trimming our horses - "borrowing" a foot for a few moments at a time - makes it difficult to stick rigidly to the method. I just have to keep to a few basic principles and try to make some quick improvements. I think eventually George, Bridget, and Rose will become more placid about standing for longer periods of time for trimming. Meanwhile, I'm doing the best I can.