Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hoof pastern axis

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday.

Recently I was talking to an old friend of mine. We always seem to come up with ideas to pick eachothers brains. Her husbands horse was recently diagnosed with navicular and mild to moderate sidebone. Hes not always lame but warms up out of his head bobbing. I wasn't really interested what she said about the sidebone but more about how hes got navicular, in both front feet at that. She said she was not happy with the job a farrier in the area (a very well educated one that attends seminars regularly. Hes always up to par with methods used). Plainly she said "He doesn't have enough heel".

This brings up the debate when we find a horse has a problem, be it lameness, problems with riding such as stumbling or wanting the horse to break over quicker; Should we set them up or down to change the way the hoof sits and breaks over when it touches the ground?

Something my instructor Bill told me on the first day at school is to "trim/shoe the horse the way he is made" plainly this means the horses hoof angle should match the angle of it's shoulder (for front feet), hip (for hind feet) and/or pasterns.

(Images from google and all rights go to their original owners)

The front hooves should be the same angle as the shoulder and the hind hooves should be the same angle as the hip. Although this picture is of a donkey who has a lot steeper hooves than a horse you will get the general idea.

This is a relatively foreign term for a lot of horse owners. Maybe because they haven't studied feet in relation to their horses body or because they trust their farrier.

When it comes to lameness and shoeing it seems to be a common practice to set a horse up to alleviate pain and make a horse break over quicker. Arthritis, navicular, founder etc . When we set a horse up and make a horse break over quicker they are more likely to land toe first, have contracted heels due to lack of pressure on the digital cushion or put strain on tendons.

What I am getting at is to start a debate of sorts.
What is the opinion of my readers?
Have you looked at your horses hooves in relation to how they are made and how they actually look now?
Do they match the angle of your horses shoulders/hip and pastern bones?
I'm curious to see how many of you look closely at horses feet and what they look like (pictures if you can get them)
Have you had a horse that was set up or down that became lame and only became sound when it's angles were rectified back to the way it was made?
I would love to know.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Re-Post: Seasons WTF!? Greetings

A year ago I was driving home from doing some morning chores and came across this rather peculiar, festive fellow. I know many people enjoyed him I hope he can bring more joy and laughs this year. Merry Christmas.


(Please if you take offense please divert your eyes to another blog thank you. ps- Seasons greetings)

So I love living in a small town, especially when I see things like the photo on this post.

You know everyone.
Everyone knows you.
You go to school with the same group of kids and can still call them by name all these years later.
You can walk into the deli and the person behind the counter says to you before you even order "Lamb Gyro, no onions, bottle of white creme soda" yup. Mmmm.

In a small town people need to find things to do considering the big city is a good distance away. Sometimes they entertain themselves by wreaking havoc but chances are they don't because your mom knows what you did before you even get back in the door. That is the kind of town I was born and raised in.
Once and a wile they give you the desperately needed dose of WTF!? (What the F***!?)

Today in the early morning hours I was driving back after getting an E-test on my car (which has over 300 thousand KM on it and tosses out a test of 3/4 lower than the max allowed amount. Good car, good) and doing my morning barns when I see something on the side of the road.
I squinted and strained to see what it was. It was red and green and sticking out of a snow bank. As I drove by I realized it was this fellow, whom I came back a wile later to take pictures after nearly swerving off the road I was laughing that hard.

Do you think the people who ran him over came back trying to make peace with his vengeful soul?

See this guys story. He is a raccoon. Raccoon's get hit by things and die at the side of the road. Sometimes they aren't so lucky and they are spread over several feet of asphalt. But this coon was lucky see because he died on the side of the road only mildly mangled to rot. That was until we got our snow almost two weeks ago. The snow plow came by and scraped him up, placing him neatly in the snow drift so he can perfect his T-Rex impression. Then by some random act of randomness someone put a pair of headband Christmas antlers on him. They didn't stop there they also put a nice shrine of candy canes around his taxidermy body.
So if this offends you I am sorry. If only all road kill could be so festive on the side of the road and not on my tires.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas or Happy holiday and santa didn't bring you too many road apples for your stocking.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eleven things

Because ten is such an even number.

1. Up until a little more than a month ago any rain here was the beginning of August. Talk about two inches of dust it was a complete mess.

2. The sky has decided to open up and dump a generous inch or three on us at least once a week.

3. The soil here is mostly clay. A little bit of rain means a lot of mud. The soil back home is sandy. Stuff dries up much faster.

4. I hate cold but I have to say I would rather see the ground freeze than this mud. It's like a slip and slide. I almost broke my darned neck walking out to feed the horses on a very subtle incline.

5. There were no inclines of any kind back home unless they were man made.

6. Self explanatory
7. The dirt on the spotted horse hindquarters in #6 has been rained on for two days before I wrote that. Rain, Y U NO WASH MY HORSE!?.

8. Those dots in the background are cows. Angus, Herfords and black baldies. I love cows. They moo and spook at things and headbutt eachother and groom eachother with their slimy sandpapery tongues. Sometimes I come out to feed and I find Indigo and Sebastian standing at the back corner of the pasture with about 10-15 cows standing on the other side staring back. Not spooking or fretting or anything that would mildly suggest the cows haven't been there until a few days ago. Just having some sort of silent conversation between equine and bovine. I imagine they discuss what it is like to be brushed and ridden by humans and how wonderful it is to be turned out on a field to eat the leftover corn.

9. Indigo routinely beelines to said field when I let her out of the gate. Sebastian has security issues, despite Indigo's regular attempts to thwart his company, he goes frantic the moment shes turned out in the yard and he isn't. Indigo could care less. He however follows her when I let both of them out to munch grass in the yard which makes the spotty horse, well, angry. She wrings her tail and trots off, nose to the ground. Sebastian follows, trotting sideways at his dangling lead rope. Hes not really scared of it he just hasn't figured out where that slithering noise is coming from when he moves.

10. Roughly the number of days until I head home for Christmas.

11. McDonalds hot beverages are more sugary than I bargained for like a lot of things in the USA. I might be up for hours now. It however makes me miss Tim Hortons that much more. I know the first thing I am doing as soon as I get over the border. Mmm iced cap.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Long time no see?

Thank you followers for not abandoning me. I am here.
If you have abandoned me I understand and will not take it to heart. I am a bad blogger! I have not lost interest in this blog at all, rest assured it will be back and regularly posting in the near future.
I am in the USA, Missouri to be exact. Right between the place where you can get dialup internet and where no internet exists.
I've been shoeing/trimming horses and training lots too. I have a lot of stories as well. Humorous ones involving horses, donkeys, cats, chickens, children putting plungers on other childrens heads and mavericks getting bucked off of ladders and then getting in a fist fight with said ladder. Hi-lar-ee-ous!!

Of course Indigo followed me here. Her and Pepe, my cute little ass met.
Lets just say Pepe met his match.
Normally he is king of the pen. Indigo was not buying his cheap tricks and let him have it. He got up in her face and well, the spotty horse is quite crotchety about other horses (or donkeys) getting in her 15 foot personal bubble let alone threatening her in such a rude and uncivilized manner.
The results were Pepe getting his ass (haha) handed to him. No burrito's were harmed in this picture (physically).

When she was finished with him he respected her wishes and cowered in the corner of the pen.
Other than making a taco out of Pepe Indigo (and Sebastian who has followed me here too) is fat and sassy. I'm doing well and keeping busy too.

For now I am still alive. If you wish to keep in touch with me until I get regular internet again please contact me through facebook or by e-mail sydney[at] or e-mail me for my facebook. Facebook is the only real thing I can get to every day on the cell phone. Blogging seems to fail every time I try on the phone.

So what has everyone been up to? I have not been around to reading blogs as it proves to be far too difficult on the phone. Please enlighten me I would love to hear what people have been doing the past three months.
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