Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I haven't had a haircut in a year, but my horse's hooves look great.

Clearly, I have my priorities right.

A few weeks ago, Phoenix got his hooves trimmed and I've been meaning to show off pictures of his lovely stripes. Appaloosas, those amazing spotted horses, have striped hooves because of the pigment. The little Lady's hooves are mostly white except for one thick stripe in a hind hoof.

I was worried about some nasty cracks in Phoenix's hind hooves. My ol King had brittle hooves but this guy tops it. What happened to all those stories about the tough little Indian ponies with hooves like rock???? Not only does he have brittle hooves, he's a hoof growing machine. It doesn't even slow down in winter.

I do own a set of hoof nippers and I used to have a rasp... until it sprouted legs and walked away, which tends to mysteriously happen around here... but I'm not confident enough to trim hooves myself. I'll do an emergency trim if I have to. Imagine how bad a hangnail is on a horse. The thing is, I choose not to let the hooves get so ragged that I have to step in and fix it. I'd rather get regular trims by a perfeshnul.

So basically, I'll trim the cat's claws, maybe the dog if he's sleeping (he's a strong little monster) and I've been known to cut my husband's hair, but I'm way to picky to chance a hoof trim.

Here are Phoenix's front hooves, as he stood in his clean shavings and ate his evening hay.

(He's not really club footed, he's just standing like a dork. Must- get- face-- into --- grain-bucket!!!)

(And yes, I did get rid of that little piece of plastic from the shavings bag out from under his hoof.)

Let me just take a moment to reflect on how much I love this raggedy old barn. Yes, the ceilings are too low and the aisles are too narrow and the stalls are too small. But it's surprisingly warm in there. Cozy? And those shavings smell so good, and the horses smell so horsey. And the hay. I love the smell of hay.

Let's get a closer look. I love those stripes!

Here are his hinds. That near one is the one I was so worried about.

There is a surface crack in it, but we just have to keep an eye on it. So far it doesn't go anywhere that will cause problems. (And look at that long tail!)

His previous owner (whom I adore) told me the day I first looked at him that they'd always had problems with his hind hooves. They tried putting shoes on him but the shoes just fell off, and worse, the nails pulled out a few more chunks of hoof. Yeesh. No shoes for this guy. I prefer barefoot anyways, and have found an awesome farrier who only does barefoot trimming. She's a firm believer in letting the hoof function as it's meant to. It's more natural, healthier and yup, easier on my wallet. These horses aren't doing a lot of road work or high performance. They just don't need shoes. What they need is a regular trim to keep everything in shape.

Me however... I really could use a haircut. It's officially past that cool grown-in phase and into full on ratty. I'm having a hard time caring though. I really should get it done before I have to leave the house for a few days...

But today is all about my equine friends. Here's his handsome self! This is the first thing I see when I go into the barn.

I'd like to think he's happy to see me. I am really falling for this guy. I like him more every time I see him.

And everybody's sweetheart, the little mare. I couldn't get far enough away in that narrow aisle to get a good picture of her.

Hey little Lady, why the long face? Snort! Pfft! bwa hahahaha! (See the little brown shadows above her eyes? When Bucky was 6 or 7, he used to call them her "eyebrowns." It was so cute! I hope he doesn't read this.)

So I definitely spend more on the farrier than the hairdresser, but that's the way it should be. I don't walk around on my hair.


dilling said...

horsey goodness....i can smell it from here!!!
get a haircut already! ya hippie!
hope you are feeling more like yourself after your horse time.

RunDrums said...

I have always had a soft spot for appys. :)
and if "your" hair is at the rat knots stage, it is time to get it cut!! 1 inch off will make a big difference.
what does your fairer charge ya for a trim??
I give 25$ each for mine.

Tod said...

Heh, stripey hooves... who knew. Not me.

And I just noticed in your sidebar that you are reading The Golden Compass. Do you like it? I just started re-reading The Amber Spyglass, (the final one.)

coffeypot said...

This from a city boy whose experience with horses centers around a quarter horse, as you know, but is there vitamins that the horse can take to strengthen his hooves? Is there any hoof strengthener that can be ‘painted’ on like you do your fingernails? And what is the cost for a furrier to come out and trim the hooves verses trimming and shoeing?

Trailboss said...

Hey there hick chick! I too would love a barn like that. There is nothing in this world like the smell of hay and horses. Love it love it love it. When I first got my Morgan after 30 yrs of waiting for another horse (I sold my other one at 17) I spend hours in the barn watching him eat, snort, fart or whatever. I didn't care, as long as I was within smelling distance.

And after all, you could always put your hair in a "pony" tail.....hahahaha. Poor excuse for humor huh?

Trailboss said...

I meant to ask you if you ever use biotin in his feed? My quarter horse has brittle feet and it really has helped his a lot. There is also some really good outside items to paint them with, but I am sure you know all of this. After all, you are a horsey gal just like me!

JKB said...

mmm...appaloosa. It looks like your boy has a nice long tail, though. So many of those breed have little fly tails, nothing much to speak of. (My first horse was an appaloosa of the fly tail variety.)

And I second Dilling. Getcha hair cut. :)

Heidi the Hick said...

Well geez, it's only been a YEAR since my last hair cut!


Answers to questions:

-My farrier charges $30 each for a trim. I have no idea what the going rate is for shoeing because I haven't had a horse shod in...at least ten years, maybe closer to 15.

-vitamins, hoof strengthener, additives- I do put Rainmaker on their hooves and it smells amazing, it's like that shea butter stuff. Mmmm mmm. Mary says it really only moisturizes the outer hoof wall. I used to use pine tar but I don't anymore. Biotin would make his hooves grow even faster and I don't know if that would help. I might try it in the summer.

-yes I think horse farts are kinda nice. Much better smelling that people farts.

-I love Phoenix's long tail! Copper used to have a long tail and a nice thick mane but it's all falling out. She still has a tail but it's mostly hock length, and much thinner. I might never brush her tail again for fear of pulling out hairs!

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh- one more thing- yes we are really enjoying "The Golden Compass"! My daughter read it last year and I'm reading it to them now. Slow going, because they are really pushing their bedtime and trying to get any excuse to stay up later.

It's beautifully written. Also, one of those rare special books that a mother, 13 yr old girl and 11 yr old boy can all appreciate!

Jethro said...

It's okay baby! It's almost time for the "once-a-year-whether-you-need-it-or-not" haircut when we head off to Calgary! The hooves will be fine for the next 5 or 6 weeks right? Hey, how come we didn't get to see a photo of a Copper-kiss? For a horse-sized critter, she sure is gentle with humans...

Hey, maybe you should let your hair go into dreads like that perma-smiley kid on American Idol!


Heidi the Hick said...

Jethro-I would be awesome in dreads and it would only take about a month to do it!

(I'm kind of looking forward to my haircut.)
xo to you too

billie said...

Heidi, we are all barefoot here too. I love our natural trimmer. He's teaching me as we go so that eventually, hopefully, I can trim the feet myself.

Our little painted pony has a wide white stripe on his right rear hoof. I love that stripe! He has the best feet of all our horses - never been shod, and they need nothing to be so healthy.

I'd absolutely go for the trimmer over the hair salon... :)

Heidi the Hick said...

Sometimes in summer the horse's tails are brushed out and I've had the same braid in my hair for two days.

Sarah J Clark said...

I've never enjoyed looking at a horse's hooves as much as I did just now. LOL.

SwiftUK said...

Hi. Nice and unusual horse pics! Do you mind if I use the long face picture in a short youtube video I'm making? I'm just promoting a money-making opportunity, trying to get people to sign up! Thanks, Simon. :o)

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