Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Comfortable Jeans, Happy Horse

The farrier came again yesterday to trim Beautiful, C'ya, Cowgirl and Shadow. Beautiful is finally to the point where I can say she was perfect. We trimmed her in the 12x12 stall, as usual, and she didn't move an inch after we set her where we wanted her.

She's comfortable with the farrier now. He always comes in and puts his arm under her neck and gives her a big hug before he starts. She knows him and even starts to lift her feet as he walks toward them.

Whew--huge sigh of relief! That has to have been the biggest obstacle I've ever had with her--getting my wild horse comfortable with strangers picking up her feet, stretching her back ones out to get them up to his height and placing them between his legs---then using the big old nippers and rasp on them.

He tested Cowgirl's hoof and didn't find a central spot for her pain. He thinks my assumption is correct, that she's pounding so much she traumatized it. Horses can even create stress founder--like road founder--by pounding and pawing. She hasn't foundered, but he said we really have to solve the problem that's causing it. He recommended hobbling her in the stall. I don't have any experience with hobbling. My solution has been to give her constant turnout.

The thing is, she is NOT a nervous horse. She's demanding. She's only five and can go out on a trail fearlessly after not having been ridden a month. She's been like that since the very first--when she was 3 and 4. She is about as bomb-proof as they come--and for a horse that young, it's phenomonal. Her pounding and pawing appears to be from pent up energy. She's a horse that wants to be used.

When C'ya gets her feet done, she is an abolsute GEM. She hangs her head down and picks up those feet for him--completely relaxed. Every inch of her just seems to melt even as she fully supports her own weight. She is an incredibly laid back horse. She is only four and the sweetest thing in the world. We were talking about that and I said something about it being too bad she didn't have perfect conformation (she's the one with the sickle or cowhock or whatever you want to call it) but he said she's going to be great. He said she turns out and her movement will be out, but it's better than turning in like our older horse Shadow who, if he's not trimmed well, will trip and hit on himself.

Now to the title of the post. I got to thinking about the picture of Cowboy and me where I'm adjusting my jeans--the Panda Express thing--all of it. I decided that I want my jeans to fit comfortably to loose. I could care less about "pounds", but I do care about comfort. So, I'm not setting a specific goal for myself except that my jeans feel loose enough to be extremely comfortable in the saddle. This will 1.) Keep me from having to buy new jeans, and 2.) make Cowboy happier.

I'm going to use Cowboy as my motivation because I'll do things for him I wouldn't do otherwise, and I let him get away with things I'd never let anyone else get away with.

For fun I came up with some Cowboy diet thoughts based upon his expression the other day:

As you know, a husband would get slapped for saying (or thinking) ANY of these things, but since it's Cowboy.....

I'll keep you all up to date on whether or not I've reached my goal--and I'll use Cowboy as my barometer!


  1. I feel the same way about jeans, there's nothing worse than getting a pinch too tight. I don't have a scale in the house (or a horse) as a barometer. I usually go by the fit of those jeans to know how my weight's doing.

  2. I am so glad that Beautiful did so well for the farrier! I just talked to my farrier the other day about Chance. I need to get her handled more before he can trim her.
    My Paint, Fritzy, paws like crazy. She paws when tied, when waiting for feeding, whenever she is bored. She wears out her shoes so quick. I have hobbled her numerous times. My trainer thought it would stop her from pawing once the hobbles were off, but no, didn't help. So now I just live with it. I think pawing is one of the hardest habits to break.

  3. Joanne--that's interesting you don't have a scale. I didn't have one for a long time, then I bought a cheap one that lied a lot. Every time you stepped on it, it gave you a different reading. So, I could just get on and off and on and off until it said what I wanted. (My husband broke it last month by taking it to the barn and weighing hay).

    Paint Girl--I think Chance will come around quickly for you with the farrier. She looks like a sweetie! Still, even when they're small, they're powerful.

    That's interesting about your horse. I had my doubts about hobbling her. Your experience sounds pretty typical. She's actually my daughter's horse, so I'll share this with her. I'm going to let her make the decisions about what to do.

  4. Cowboy is very cheeky! (British word). I would never own a horse that looked like him because all that white would be covered in lipstick kisses.
    Both my mustangs behave better in the little pen. When Wildairo wouldn't hold still in his big area to let me put his halter on, I took him into the little tiny pen and he let me. Echo freezes when I put him in there. I wonder if it's a mustang thing or are all horses like that?

  5. Arlene--That's a great description of Cowboy--cheeky!! I'll remember that one.

    I'll tell you, I was surprised that the farrier originally wanted to trim her in the stall. I even argued with him about it and brought her out in the turnout anyway. He finally got his way though, and it worked out great. So, I'm guessing that many horses do better that way. Beautiful isn't a kicker either--which might make a difference. She'll do almost anything before she kicks--and he knew that. Her problem has always been putting all her weight down on him--but not this time. :) Big smile.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.