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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Not Without Honor Except in Your Own Household

Unlike those polite equines who belong to Other People, my own horses are totally unimpressed with my sympathetic bedside manner. All right, all right, I know - it would go easier if only I did it more often.

Today, while Rose and George were out on the lawn, I decided it would be a good day to give them a bit of a trim. After an hour or so of lush grazing, surely they wouldn't mind standing still while I did their feet? Actually they would.

But I discovered a good way to deal with the George. First of all, you trim Rose. Of course, Bridget has to hover over the fence in order to chew my hair; and George, who is on the same side of the fence as us, tries to occupy the exact same space as me and Rose. So I pretend to be very stern and manage to keep him, oh, about 33" away.

Then, having established that I am the Bad Cop today, when it's his turn for trimming, I keep up the don't-mess-with-me-young-man attitude. When he wants to put his foot down, I just hang on for dear life and refuse to let go. He hops around on three legs and finally concedes that it is in fact possible to stand with one foot off the ground. It can't have been too traumatic for the dear boy, as when I cut him loose, he didn't go away. I'm glad I got to his feet (well, just the front ones today), as the heels were starting to contract. He has hard feet that just keep growing, with very little flaring or chipping. I think he'd need a lot of travel on rough ground to wear his hoofs down.

When Rose was having her turn, she was distracted and restless. However, persistence paid off again, and she ended up letting me get all four feet done.

Here is Rose's abscess slit grown almost half way down her foot.

I said I "pretended" to be stern with George - he responds well to a sort of jokey bossiness. He really doesn't like you to be for-real mad at him, but here is the sort of attitude that seems to make George go, "Oh she means business, but she's still my friend":

My son, aged 5, 1997

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