Oh Wait, I think that was on Facebook.
Okay well you just have to trust me when I tell you that I did say that. Or at least something along those lines.
Anywho, today was my first lesson in working with a hoof file.
Let me back up just a tad.
I put up my post about Sassy, I had contacted Pete Ramey (and his web manager did finally contact me and gave me the number of someone in California- Thank you, but long distance farrier service doesn't work well in situations like this) and I also contacted a local farrier through his web page. (His wife responded and basically confirmed that he follows the heel first landing theory, and then directed me to his website where I can purchase a membership to his weekly newsletter- while I appreciate that, there was no response to my question of, "will you work on my mare?" The lack of answer was all the answer I needed)
But in the middle of all this came the phone call, "I'm not a professional but I would be happy to help you try this." Then (after I said yes of course) came the email further explaining the success she has had with her own horses (some of them previously lame) and where she learned how to do what she does. Some of it being taught, a lot of it from reading, even more from just doing. (much like some of my blogging friends)
So we set up for today. "A" showed up bright and early (just as I was getting back from irrigating) and we took a look at Sassy. The mare is looking very sexy in her "high heels" but it isn't doing much to promote those heel first landing we are searching for. But she was just trimmed and shod less than 2 weeks ago, so we have to wait a bit before we can do much with her. She needs a little more hoof under her before she goes barefoot again.
(side note: Sassy was different today, emotionally I mean. She can tend to be a little "bratty" at times but today she was sweet and receptive and spent a good amount of time putting her nose on each of us. I may be humanizing a bit, but it seemed as though she was sensing that we are trying to help her.)
But the delay with her is a good thing. If I want to do this myself, this is not the horse I need to learn on. At least not in the sense of learning how to handle the tools of the trade. I need to become much more comfortable with what I am doing before I start working on her...ok lets go with even a little bit comfortable.
Luckily we had a willing subject.
I'm sorry I shouldn't lie like that.
What we had was a less than willing subject who fortunately didn't express his dislike for the situation too strongly. Basically he tolerated it.
I'm speaking of course the painted pony.
Even though he was also just trimmed recently there was room for improvement. A got out her tools and didn't just "go to work". She had me watch closely, she explained as she worked and then she said, "your turn."
It was so much more than just "File this here, this way" (although there was that too). There was also instruction on "don't forget to breathe, relax your knees, move your body with your file just a little, get a rhythm going, hold that stand with your foot, etc etc etc" All those little things that you learn as you go to help make the job a little easier.
We talked about bars, and flares, and angles. I worked on fronts and backs and just got used to the weight of the file in my hands, the secure feeling of resting my leg against his,-even though we had the stand, proper placement of said stand, and using my body and not just my hands.
It was a simple easy lesson, a great place to start. My confidence level is growing already. Not that I am ready to go out and tackle it on my own. But by time we were done, I was no longer so nervous.
Then we "talked horses" and I know you guys know how that goes. A few minutes becomes an hour and finally we both had to get on with the rest of our day. She gave me a little book to read written by one of the people who instructed her. It is "Introduction to trimming the barefoot horse". I will start with reading that, and get ready for our next "lesson".
Next time we get together we are going to work on some of her horses, again to get me more comfortable with what I am doing and to start training my eye to see angles and balance.
Truthfully I don't know if we will be successful with Sassy, but we certainly can't fail any worse than anything else has, right?
Oh, I also should mention that I am getting a different lesson tomorrow. Well not so much a lesson as some guidance. CNJ is coming over and is going to give me some pointers on my riding in the arena. This is something I desperately need. Someone who can watch me as I am riding, point out the things I cannot see or feel, and hopefully help me figure out how to correct it. I have not seen her in a while and am looking forward to getting to visit with her.
One of the things that A and I talked about is that sometimes- no, often times- there is more to learn from our fellow horsewomen (ok, men too) than there is from the professionals. Not that we don't need professionals, but just that it seems that once they start making a living at it, it can morph into more self promotion (can't blame them, it is their lively hood after all) than sharing information. I really do learn so much from the blogs I follow and the folks who follow my blogs. Not to mention the folks I meet in my neighborhood, and just through day to day life.
It seems as though everyone is starting the new year with lists of goals and reviewing 2013, and I have chosen not to do that. After all, 2013 has come and gone and the lessons I learned are still there. (biggest one still being- I have all the horse I need right in my own back yard) But it seems as though my goals for 2014 are laying themselves out right in front of me. I suspect there will be lots of learning on the horizon for me, and lots of letting go of my fears and feelings of inadequacy in order to open the doors for these learning experiences.
Now it is time for me to head off to my J-O-B...least favorite place in the world. Not that it is a bad job, I just hate leaving home.
|Note the slight smile on Trax's face? I've never ever seen him do that!|