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.
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.