Monday, October 17, 2011

Chamie's Feets, and Riding in the Wind

It turns out, the pictures I tried to get of Chamie's feet don't really capture how bad they are, which is good news for all of you. I took these on Saturday, after 2 days of treating them with Thrush Buster. I also soaked all 4 feet in a Lysol/hot water/epsom salt mixture yesterday. I'll tell you, just the Thrush Buster alone has made a huge difference (that's the purple you see). A lot of that black shit I was able to just pick/scrape off after a treatment or two, which is great, and her frogs became much more prominent. Guess they didn't disappear after all! I didn't go out to see her today (wahhhh) to see how her feet look after the soaking, but I will be out tomorrow when she gets trimmed, HOORAY! So, without further ado:

Front feet. Not terribly overgrown, but they still look like they haven't been done in 3 months or so. Angles are awful, and she's obviously wearing the inside edges more and the outside edges are flaring. Also, it's hard to tell here, but her hoof wall doesn't come close to coming in contact with the ground. She's sort of teetering on this hardened "crud" that I tried to work on, but it's going to take more than a hoof pick.

Back feet. Here you can really see how the hoof wall is about a half inch off the ground. Just...bizarre. Keep in mind there is no crud in her feet-they were picked as clean as I could get them.

Right front. More frog is visible here than the first day I saw her, which was Thursday. Still, ew, right? I apologize for the quality of these pictures. She's still getting used to having her feet handled, and doing this by myself was a major challenge. You can see I couldn't even capture all the flare/overgrowth on the outside of this foot.

Left front, with my sleeve obscuring half her heel. Nice shot, Sarah. Still, you can kind of see more of the same. I still can't believe this is a CLEAN HOOF. Well, as clean as I could get it with a hoof pick and brush.

That's all I could get. My back is officially going to totally give out on me if I now have to handle and treat 8 frigging hooves almost everyday. Time for a pain management program for moi.

Now for Miles News!! It's been windy city here lately, but I so needed a good ride on my boy today I said the hell with it. It was beautiful and sunny-and the wind gusts were insane. I lunged him briefly (he was only a nut in the "scary end" of the outdoor arena, where there was farm equipment working in the field that was in ear and eye-shot). It's ok, because he needs to get used to that stuff, but combining that with the wind was too much, so I chickened out and rode him only on the "safe" side. Still, we had some very nice, very forward (ha ha!) work at all three gaits and we finished the ride by popping over our crossrail.

He's been great lately. We jumped a vertical last week. We've gone on trail rides with new friends. His coat is blooming and his weight is picture perfect. It's not great writing material, but it's great for me right now. I keep telling him he's going to be meeting his predecessor any day now, and how she's a super sexy older lady that he had better respect:) It would be great to pony her off Miles to get her into shape (assuming her feet get under control) before riding her. This from a girl who has never ponied a horse in my life (Hi Amanda! Want to teach me?;) My ultimate goal would be to have her available to go for trail rides when my parents or friends want to come out and ride. Either way, those two will be spending a whole lot of time together, so I hope my boy will be the gentleman I know he is almost all the time.

Happy Autumn everyone! Talk about change-it's everywhere I look these days.


  1. Oh poor horse. Those feet look shocking!

    Sounds like you had a great ride on Miles :)

  2. *Whistle*
    Yeah, those are some overgrown hooves. The farrier will have a bit of a job with those, good news is it's just excess and she's probably got nice feet hiding under there.

    Ponying isn't that hard. Just make sure the horses get along BEFORE you get in the saddle.

  3. Ooh, youchie. Those toes could use some TLC. I too was recently wondering about how to pony a horse. I don't think I'd be brave enough to try it without someone more experienced there to help me in case things went wrong.

  4. :-( Those feet are icky, but it looks like they're cleaning up well. I'm so incredibly happy that you two are back together and Chamie's finally getting some decent care. :-) How did your husband handle the news?

  5. Oh her tootsies...well, you will get them back under control!
    I used to Pony ALL the time when I worked at Double J ranch for a summer but haven't done it since then. I don't remember getting taught how to do it but we just did it, and with horses that never were ponied before. They seemed to be OK being next to each other, assuming they didnt want to kill each other, lol.
    SO jealous about your jumping!!! I WANNA! ;)

  6. Ponying is pretty easy. And having been on the track so long, Miles should be used to it, though probably more so as the pony than as the lead horse, but he'll figure it out. You can get them used to being walked around together on the ground by leading them places together. When you decide to mount up and try it, practice in the arena for a bit till everyone gets the hang of it/figures out how to get going in the same direction. That way if you run into trouble, you can let go of the pony and they're not going anywhere. You can practice while you warm Miles up, then tie Chamie up outside the arena like I used to do with the girls while you work Miles, then pony again while you cool Miles out. As a general rule, you want to keep the pony's head at or just in front of your leg. If the pony gets too far ahead, their chest and shoulder can get in the way of your leg or make you bump and upset the lead horse. If the pony gets too far behind, they can get kicked by the lead horse or get behind the lead horse and get the rope under the lead horse's tail (and that turns into a rodeo pretty quick, speaking from experience). lol! Wear gloves to avoid rope burns. Never tie the pony to the lead horse, dally around a saddle horn, ok, tying the pony to the lead horse's saddle, not the best idea (again speaking from experience). lol! Once you all feel comfortable ponying in the arena, hit the trails! Ok, so I made that sound a whole lot more difficult than it really is. It's really not that hard, like Kristen said, as long as they're not trying to kill each other, you should be good to go!! And you can have fun with it. I've played around with my girls a lot, with circles and figure eights, making the lead horse switch sides while the pony stands still, making the pony switch sides while the lead horse stands still (yay sending exercise), all kinds of things. With all the ponying I've had to do over the years, either rehabbing some injury or because I don't have time to ride two, you figure out ways to get creative. lol!

  7. You guys are awesome, thanks for all the advice, especially Amanda:)
    Sprinkler, husband is the best husband ever. He listened while I babbled/cried about her situation, hugged me, and said we will figure it out. He is, what they call, awesome. Also possibly resigned:)

  8. If Miles is anything like Calabar, he will *love* having a Mare around he thinks he can boss. He will be wrong, but it's good to let him think so.

    Your hubby sounds like Steve, who has rescued his own eclectic group of animals--mostly cats and dogs, but still.