Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blacksmith or pig farrier?

I'm alive. Busy but alive. 10-11 pm is usually my home time these days so sleeping and eating takes higher priority than blogging unfortunately.
With competition in full swing I have been putting on sliding plates and barrel rims so much I dream about them. No really I do dream about feet. I wake up paring soles but there's no foot in my hand. It's unnerving.
luckily I leave in less than a week for a 10 day vacation, THANK GOODNESS!

Going to so many different barns I see crazy things that people do with their horses. I've learned to nod and accept whatever people are doing with their horses (unless neglect/inhumanely being handled, obviously). In the last couple months I've seen some strraannnngggeee stuff in barns and on the way to or from them.

Like the other day I'm at this guys barn. Hes probably in his 50's and has a couple ponies and draft crosses. I'm trimming and hes carrying on about who knows what. Then he pipes up "I ain't got no pasture. They have that pen but it's all dirt so I tie them there to that tire with a logging chain and some rope." I respond without looking over "Oh yeah?", ignoring the point thats a little 1920's. He points and sure enough is this huge tractor tire in the grass on the other side of the barn. He went on to explain how the horses figure out the rope eventually, which I am sure they would. None of them had any marks on their legs from being tangled up or anything. The guy was dead serious too because as I was leaving he clipped the horse to the tire and let him graze. I had to snicker because just a week before a friend of mine was talking about her childhood pony and how they used to tie him to a tire or tree to let him graze but she didn't tell many people because they thought it was crazy to do that to a horse. Each to his own I guess.

Then there's this billy goat. So I am driving to a barn and along the highway I see this lady and what I assume is a large golden retriever. By the long tan hair and size of the animal the lady looked to be walking her dog along the highway. She slapped it on the rump just as I was coming upon them. The "dog" rears it's large curly horned head in an obvious tiff, turns around and starts chasing the girl who turns on her heel and high tails it down the side of the road, billy goat in hot, furious pursuit. I flew right past them, quickly looking in the rear view mirror and said out loud "Did I just see that!?". The girl was still running but the goat was slowing down, tossing it's head as if to say to the lady "That is for interrupting my meal!". It had probably been loose from the house in the direction they were running. Really random, but something only I would see in a days work.

Then last week I had the strangest request. I am at this barn a couple towns over trimming two horses and shoeing one. They had a daughter about 5 years old or so and she had this pet potbellied pig they just got. Miss piggy was so long in the toe and walking on her pasterns from years of neglect with the previous owners care. In other words she was in dire need of a mani/pedi. You can guess what I am getting at. I trimmed and shod the horses the owner pipes up and asks me to trim said pig. I shrug my shoulders "suuuure, why not".

Now potbellied pigs can be nice, or mean depending on how they are treated and trained (just like donkeys I find) this one was quite friendly and knew a few tricks including how to sit, lie down and play dead. If they are trained properly you can also pick their feet up and trim them similar to a horses feet, as their feet are alike in structure (minus the cloven part).

So anyways this pig was a sucker for belly scratches but was not having me handling it's feet. So I did what I had to for a pig in dire need of a trim: flipped her on her back and stood over her so she couldn't flail.
This is where I wished I had a pair of earplugs with me. Miss piggy starts weeing and WEEING and oh my gosh, WEEING the most earsplitting, your killing the pig, cry and I hadn't even touched her with the nippers yet.

About 5-10 minutes later her toes were back to where they should have been minus our ear drums. The little girl who owned piggy bends over as I am flipping her and exclaims to her pig "See, doesn't that feel better?" no sooner had those words come out of her mouth did the pig flip over in a blind rage and barrel between her young owners legs, sending her reeling over backwards right on her butt, unharmed. Miss piggy decided a rampage was in order to tell the world of the disgust in getting her feet trimmed. Water and food dishes were flipped, toys tossed and lots of grunting and disgusted squealing. Piggy's little owner stands up, completely disheveled "My pig, I can't believe my pig did that to me." Up to this point I had kept a strait face but I couldn't anymore. I cracked and started laughing.

The whole scenario was humorous and kept me grinning the rest of the night.
We just needed a banjo playing to complete the mood.


Shirley said...

That pig cracked me up! Where are you going on your vacation? Somewhere with pool bars and sand and sunshine?

Jeni said...

Rural Canada.... Go Figure!

However, a video of Miss Piggy on the rampage would probably won some money on some TV shows!

Enjoy your vacation!

Mary said...

Great Tune! I had a Shetland pony when I was young that was tied to a tire before I got him. He was an onery little sucker and if he bolted, there was no turning his head around, his neck was so strong. The options were get run under a tree with very low hanging limbs or bail. I perfected the flying dismount. He couldn't be stopped. I hope you have a great vacation, it sounds to me like you need a break! Have fun!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Sounds like your work is never boring!

achieve1dream said...

Oh my goodness!! All of those stories are great, but the pig one had me laughing so hard I had to read it to my husband lol. Thanks for the laugh. I really needed that. :D

Jame said...

I have this wonderful image in my head of SuperGirl straddling a big pig with nippers held high...*snort* At least the girl is learning young that yes, animals can hurt you, so be careful! I wasn't much brighter at that age, I crawled in to a new momma dog's pen to pet her young puppies....I still have the scar on my thigh!
Hope you're going somewhere with rainbows & cute guys & perfect horse hooves for vacation!

Jen said...

Sounds like you had a "Whattaweek" too. And aren't you ever so glad that pigs don't wear shoes? (methinks your vacation was earned ;o)

Crystal said...

Wow craziness, Poor girl probly though her piggy was gonna stand nice like her horses. Wow thanks for a laugh, I needed that!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

OH my! What an adventurous life you're leading now. One day you could consider writing a book about all the unusual and interesting experiences you have. Perhaps name it: The Farrier's Journal or And a Blacksmith Speaks.


But I hope you don't end up like my busy with everyone else's horses that he can't even find the time, nor the energy to spend with his own. He hasn't ridden in years!


~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I feel sick to my stomach. Is that man serious? Report him to the Humane Society or what ever agency you have for animal cruelty. I would rather see an animal euthanized than live that Hell.

I finally was able to get 4 horses and a donkey removed from their owner. Similar circumstances.

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