Monday, February 28, 2011

Dear thumbnail...

I really liked you on my left thumb.
I tried to make you look better because I rasped you a couple times a few weeks ago. That is the reason for the dark purple nail polish and sparkles.
But today you decided to put and end to your resilience.
I was trying to be nice and help a second week student with a problem I had on the weekend.
It involved a horses foot.
It also involved the owner leaving the shoes on for about four months which caused the hoof to look like a duck's foot and the shoe to break off leaving broken off nails. Note to readers: When your farrier recommends 6-8 weeks for re-shoeing LISTEN!! It'll make your horse last longer and your poor farriers job easier.
Anyway, with my hoof knife I was helping dig this nail out and the horse jerked.
The day before at the end of class I sharpened my hoof knife on the big sharpener and DAMN was it sharp.
It was sharp right into my left thumb nail. I didn't notice at first I thought I just caught my cuticle until another classmate shrieked because I was bleeding all over my boots.
I would show photo's but it's pretty nasty.
I also never realized I had a thumb until I split it in two with my knife. Every time I hit it off something or hit it with my hammer (which never happened until today just for the record) I am reminded of why human nails are not cloven because one piece of nail lodging itself under the other F*&^%$^# HURTS!!!

Farriery: not for the faint of heart, afraid of blood, weak of knees and or back.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A visitor

Every day at least once, sometimes twice this certain little boy comes to visit me.

He knows there's bacon, leftovers and lunch meat.
Who wouldn't come around for bacon?

He usually forgets to wipe his feet before he comes in but that's ok; I don't usually remember to take my boots off either.

But back to the main issue in hand: Ham.
Who really could resist this puppy face?

Ok, maybe my fingers could.

The main issue is that he hides dog biscuits and eats the real meat.

He hides the biscuits in my t-shirts and under my bed and in my shoes but I continue to feed him dog biscuits anyway. I think I like the sense of wonder, wonder when I am going to step on one and have smashed up dog biscuit bits to sweep.

Then he gives me this face and I have the urge to feed him more ham.

But school is going good other than this week was a rough week. Everyone had the flu. It was horrible. I am still coughing and hacking my lungs up. Mostly everyone is feeling better now after we drug butt through the week. Sitting here in a tank top is nice, but I can't help but sorta miss the snow, mostly because it's where my horses are. On nice weather days like this here there's nothing more that I would like to do but go on a nice long relaxing ride.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week three. Pictures.

So the talk about me wanting a cute little ass (read donkey) to drive and such went around the barn. There are no lack of jokes so my instructor bill (screw you Bill) gave me the littlest, cutest ass to trim.

I picked up one foot on this Jack, held by Josh who came all the way from New Zealand. He went right on his hind legs and started striking, AKA flailing with little thumb sized, accurately placed hooves in all directions.
Naturally I knocked him over.

He was only a bit past my knee.
I called upon Josh to come sit on him to stop his flailing and handed another classmate my camera for evidence of the day. There was a lot of laughing and even more cussing from other students called upon to trim the other mini's in the background.

I got him done.

Then I hear this commotion behind me and see Jim trying to trim the Jack's mom. She was also going in all directions and climbing walls.

How many men does it take to trim one spotted ass up to their knees? Lets count.


Umm.... Help please?

Four. I mean, I think the donkey is in there someplace.
No mini donkeys were harmed in the trimming of the hooves.

Then for the awwwww factor. Me holding a 6 month old Mini foal I trimmed today. It barely weighed 30 pounds.Well thats all for now. Still alive and kicking, or is that getting kicked? I miss visiting all your blogs, maybe I'll be on more regularly after class once the snow melts more here. Woo hoo 70 degrees here I come!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dear blogary...

I never thought I would say this but unreliable Xplornet is better than no-net. Sorry I have not been around as much but that requires me sitting in the office. I do not like sitting in the office because the office lady is a big...we won't go there. Sitting outside at this point is a little...chilly.

Ten things I have learned at horse shoeing school in the first two weeks:

1. Not every horse is out to kick you in the teeth, but some might try.

The horses that come into this school are of three varieties.
1) The owner is cheap. Considering the people who bring their horses here are paying $25 per shoe. These horses usually come in groups owned by one person and they are working horses. They are quiet and don't mind the noise and commotion.
2) They have a bind trust this school is considered the best in the world. Students are here from all over the world. I guess if it is some sort of important horse they trust the instructors to help the students not totally lame their horse.
3) The horse has been rejected by their normal farrier because it's probably going to kick you in the teeth no matter what you try.

2. If the metal is not red-hot in colour it does not mean it is still not red-hot.
Just for the record I have not tested this theory. I am the only one in the barn who does not have a metal burn.
After watching a fellow student catch a falling shoe that had been sitting on his anvil
a couple minutes I decided juggling hot shoes was not going on my resume.

3. I miss my horses. I miss driving and riding and feeding and grooming and cleaning stalls.
The days go by real fast here though because I get up early and take care of all sorts of horses feet all day. Then I eat dinner, watch one of the few channels that are not Spanish, go back to the forge to make more things out of metal then sleep someplace in there.
Rinse, repeat.
I've also had several freaky dreams about trimming a horses hoof and the hoof kept growing and I kept trimming and I wasn't getting anywhere.

4. When it snows in Oklahoma (read 5-10 inches) the whole state shuts down. Schools, restaurants, banks, stores, gas stations you name it, it's closed. But we still have to shoe horses.
This "blizzard of 2011" apparently was worse than the blizzard of 2009. I went from sitting
in my tank top under a tree to -12 and snow in 24 hours. We have to keep the taps dripping in
my trailer (AKA girls dorm) or they might freeze. They also sent us a propane heater but since our trailer is usually a toasty 75 we haven't used it.

5. Come with a backbone or learn real quick to grow one. Luckily I had one. I think there's about
17 other classmates of the male variety. Most fancy themselves cowboys.
The horses made real quick work sorting the ones who are horsemen and those who are not, out.

6. I like having my own room, bathroom and fridge. However when I was a kid I wanted a bunk bed. I never got a bunk bed. The first time my face met with the bottom of the top bunk I decided bunk beds are not that much fun, unless you make blanket forts.

7. DO NOT HARASS THE GOPHERS! Or are they prarie dogs? Sage rats? Giant moles? Who cares they make mounds EVERYWHERE! One guy from Quebec (there's 4 other Canadians here) and some other guys were poking at one that came above ground. It tried to crawl up the Quebec kids boot. Whatever devine wisdom he had escaped him and he tried to pick it up. It bit right through his fingernail and he flailed, with the rodent still attached to his finger. He screamed and flapped several times before it let go and started tossing dirt like a backhoe back underground.

8. I love Oklahoma. Theres so many cowboys, good food, horses, horses, horses and wonderful people.
However compared to Canada everything has more fat, bigger sizes, more sugar, more salt and more preservatives. A small here at McDonalds is a large back home, I kid you not.
I want to live here minus all the sugar. Someone bring me my horses.

9. My one instructor is a cow whisperer. He can make any noise a cow can make and the cows believe him. He moo's they reply, even dead asleep in the field.

10. Almost two weeks ago I still wanted a miniature horse.
Then I trimmed some.
One was foundered and required a hacksaw before hoof knife or nippers.
He was all sorts of backyard breeding and was of course, a stallion.
At one point three people tackled studly to keep him from kicking or gnawing someones face off.
The others conformation could have been mistaken for a goat.
It was also as wild as a march hare. I literally had to tackle it in the stall to halter it and only two steps into leading it to the barn it planted it's little rear on the ground like a sitting dog.
I still want a cute little ass... By that I mean donkey.
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