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.


Dom said...

It's funny... I never understood owning minis, but then I watched some and now I want one (or six to make into a driving team).

Jeni said...

Sounds like all is going as planned ! I'm laughing at the mini story .. and really laughed at the cute little ass!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Stay away from the "SUPER sizes!" ;)
Funny comment about the cowboys and how the horses sorted them out. Yeehaw.

juliette said...

Hang in there! It sounds like you are doing super well - other than the missing your horses part. I hear you on that one - being away from your own horses is difficult.

I love your observation about the food sizes and sugar and salt. Welcome to America, right?

That gopher story is awful - ouch!

Dreaming said...

It is wonderful to get a picture on your world. It all sounds so interesting. Mini's are a hoot. I can see one planting its butt on the ground - they can be like that!
How interesting that the McDonald's sizes differ - but I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. When we visited Europe we were surprised at how few obese people we saw, unlike here. I guess it's the same in Canada.
Keep learning. Have fun!

Caitlin said...

Reading about Oklahoma makes me miss it more. I'm from there originally and all my family still is there. =)

Also, I agree, minis are cute but my barn learned the hard way when one got loose out in the big horse pasture that not all horses like minis... at all. Take Rose for instance. When mare ears and kicking at it didn't make the mini ass leave her alone she picked it up by its collar (it's owner had a dog collar on it, don't really know why) and shook it. Luckily the mini ass was fine, dizzy for a moment, but fine. The mini's owner began actually putting it its pasture after that rather than letting it roam. Hopefully your horses won't think a mini ass is something to attack, lol.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That's crazy... all of it. But you made me laugh.

Shirley said...


Desert Rose said...

Well it sounds like you still have your sense of humor!!! hang in there...I know you can do this and will be an excellent shoer!!!

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like farrier school is going much as I expected. Funny how the horses sort those cowboys out. Yeah! for the horses exposing the frauds!

I really didn't go many places when I was in OK. Did Mickey D's for breakfast so didn't really order in sizes. Now you have me wondering. LOL

But fat and sugar, there's a reason so many Americans are obese. Very sad what we're teaching our kids. I've found I feel much better without that stuff.

I had a similiar experience with a mini horse, not trimming of course, just handling a very naughty mare. Taught me real quick I didn't want minis. For one thing they are just too darn close to the ground. My back always hurt from the bending over involved and you're off balance having to been that far over, or I am anyway!

Thanks for the update. I'm so glad to hear how you're doing and how things are going there.

MaryAshley said...

Loved this post! Just got Richard back yesterday (had to drive the 6 hours to Dallas, blech) and he had similar things to say about school. He loved it, loved a lot of the people, but said there were certainly some yahoos and that it was rather awful when any given yahoo was charged with holding his horse. Offer to visit Texas still stands; you'd love it here if you love OK! Enjoy your next 10 weeks. Dick enjoyed meeting you and said you had a wealth of knowledge.

Jen said...

Such adventures you're having in Oklahoma! *grin* It is unfortunate that the word cowboy all too often translates into a self-proclaimed [yet largely clueless] horse expert with a superiority complex.
We've got LOTS of those around here ;o)

Jessie McCandless said...

I love reading about the differences between Canada and Oklahoma. That much snow is probably no big deal for you at all! LOL

Sorry you have to deal with those horses that no one else can do. That's 100% of the reason I've never pursued trimming other peoples' horses. That and it is HARD work!!

achieve1dream said...

LOL That's awesome!!! It sounds like you're learning a lot and having tons of fun.

I've had a cat bite through my fingernail, but wow who grabs a wild prairie dog/gopher with bare hands???

Yeah the food down south (and in the US in general I think) is horrible!!! I can't even eat at restaurants anymore. It makes me too sick. Way too fatty. And greasy. Yuck.

And it sounds like you're getting to experience some of our weather too. We can have so many different weather conditions all in one day it's crazy. :)

Did you take your camera so you can take pictures at all? I'm sure you're too busy, but I thought I would ask anyway. :)

Have fun!

Janice said...

I'm with Shirley and #7 I think I will be laughing about that for awhile. I will also be able to conjur that up in the future when I need a good laugh.

Crystal said...

Haha sounds like fun, except missing your ponies! I hate going away and leaving them too.

The Wife said...

Welcome to the South! Gotta watch those prairie dogs! ;) I think you've learned some really useful lessons!

allhorsestuff said...

Oh my word..amazing place. Wish we could seems your horses to you...that would be so cool for you to drive Indigo around Oklahoma!!

I hooted with the cow whisperer! Har! I used to whinney to the saddlebreds, seemed miles away, yet I could see them in the field from my back yard. They would niegh back...I know cause my sisters best friend told me she watched me do it from the upstairs window. I was 10..and I just found out -a yr ago!

Hang in, you are really going to be GREAT!

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