The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In at the Deep End

Yesterday, my little date with the bank statement spooked me so much that I actually started looking at jobs on Craig's List.

Then yesterday, a call came in response to my recent ad in the local free paper. Could I come and trim just one foot? The owner couldn't get hold of their farrier, and this one foot was way too long.

Um, ok, well, I'll come and have a look.

So this morning I drove over, and here is the one long foot. She was not kidding about the long part.

 And here is the underside of the other - not so long(!) - forefoot:

You can see how the bars have grown up to form a sort of substitute-frog to support the hoof, as the actual frog is nowhere in contact with the ground, and is disintegrating anyway. She's partly gotten in this pickle as she is blessed with hard feet which don't break off. (Well, the main reason of course is lack of trimming.) Amazingly there was almost no flaring, and the white line was tight (when I finally found it!)

Fortunately, they'd decided I should do all four feet. Took about an hour and a half, and there was still some fine-tuning to do. But we figured we'd quit while the mare was still cooperative, and I'd come back and finish another day.

And then they decided I should come back and do their other two horses. Hooray! Maybe I won't have to be yet another waitress-with-a-philosophy-degree.


  1. Wowsers!

    I've been tossing around the idea of trimming other people's horses myself. Will you keep posting about your experiences? It would be good to read about the success you're going to have (I'm thinking positive for you).

    Plus, as a fellow hoof nerd, I'd like to see all the crazy feet you find.

  2. Were you terrified to trim that long, long hoof? I mean, where on earth do you start? "Fortunately, they decided I should do all four feet." I'll say!

  3. Thanks for the positive thoughts! You should start trimming other people's horses!

    I was somewhat leaning toward the terrified side. And very grateful for nippers! When I first started out just doing a few horses at the barn, I only used the rasp. If I'd only used the rasp today, I'd still be there!

    I started out getting rid of a lot of that long, curled over heel, and then I nippered out a bunch of false sole, which exposed wall, which could then be removed. There's still a lot of false sole at the toe area which didn't crumble out as readily as elsewhere - next time I'm going to have to do some digging - uncover the true apex of the frog, figure out more exactly where breakover should be.

    This mare's left hip is bad (from having birthed an outsize foal five years ago), which is one reason we quit when we did - it's not that easy for her to put extra weight on that leg.

    I hope her DDFT isn't freaking out at having to reach all the way to the ground now. She walked out real nice after the trim, but time will tell.

  4. I'm fascinated that only one forefoot grew that long, how did that happen? I've seen a few ponies and donkeys with chinese slippers, but that was always on both feet.

    How wonderful that you got your first call out!

  5. Sandra, I don't think that foot was actually longer - just more squashed and run forward. Which may be due to the fact that her bad hip is also on the left, and she may weight that left forefoot more than the other to compensate for her left hind - the additional weight may have caused the foot to squoosh forward like that. Just a guess.