Saturday, October 27, 2012

Miniature horses and ponies...

I want to make this really clear right now. I know other farriers feel the same as I do because I get called when no one else will come out to trim and fix the buggers.

Miniature horses are NOT big dogs. They do NOT cost less to keep and maintain than a big horse. Hoof care is no exception so when looking for a farrier don't expect quality hoof care to come half price, which is what most mini owners expect.

They still eat hay, the hay comes out the other end, hurt themselves on invisible objects and have four hooves.

There's only two types of ponies (and mini's); Foundered and gonna.

Having said that this is what happens when a mini's owner is denied farrier care by several farriers recommended by a local vet. These are his hind feet. His front's were not that bad and I forgot to take a picture.

It's a bad picture because he is standing on the grass but the bottom of his hooves are deformed and turned towards each other. His last trim was June of this year so it wasn't like it took years for his feet to become this way. The owner didn't want to attempt to attack the problem himself but was running out of options as no other farrier would answer his call or come out because they had mini's.

This is the after. This little guy was extremely cooperative, unlike many foundered patients. His feet are still turned a bit due to the hoof capsule being crushed dbut in due time he will turn around.
The owner and his brother were extremely pleased to set up followup appointments and despite having other farriers out before to work on this guy in better condition than he was when I worked on him they had absolutely no clue what founder was other than they knew a horse could get it from eating too much grain and it caused the hoof to grow weird. We had a nice long talk and now they understand what founder is, what causes it and what precautions they should take, especially in fall which is a prime time for founder.

Having said this mini's are the hardest horses to trim. I would take a draft any day over a mini. It doesn't mean they are any less important when it comes to hoof care. It means the little buggers ensure I will shed some blood and lose some skin. Not from them, although many owners assume mini's are big dog's and never take the time to handle them. Their feet are small and the mini's are wiggly. Fingers and hands plus a rasp do not equal trimmed mini feet. They mean I am likely to have to put a liniment on a horse later that evening (I love you absorbine liniment) and subject my hands to what feels like battery acid. I also usually walk a little hunch backed for the rest of the day.

I want to hire a midget. Anyone know a midget that want's to learn how to trim mini's? I'll pay them.

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