First of all -- as most people know, I am a bit of a prankster, especially at the barn. So, of course, now that I am officially back, I have started setting up some lovely little props around the farm. The above pic is of my latest work (in Jennie's trunk). And I have now proven that Jennie is officially blind as a bat because, after about twenty minutes of watching her walk back and forth to the tack room and not shrieking, I started getting a bit fed-up. It turns out that she thought the bloody hand reaching up out of her trunk was a pink glove! Jennie, get yourself off the road and on to an optometrist's chair ASAP!
And now on to the Ponykins, who has been going through a myriad of changes lately. First, Heather got on him last week and managed to install a Dressage Pony Button on him in one ride! She is a great teacher and he is obviously a super-fast learner (Einstein and Smarty Jones have now been added to his list of nicknames). Now, with a fair amount of leg (and spur) and some soft contact, he willingly arches his little neck and stretches down into the hand. And all without draw reins or any other gadgets. Hooray! Thank you, Heather! I will definitely get some pics of that soon.
Secondly....Salem's feet. I have been pulling my hair out over the barefoot situation, as there is not a single farrier down here who does an actual barefoot trim. My farrier trimmed Salem's hooves exactly as if he were going to put shoes on them. This is not a true barefoot trim and it has lead to mucho flaring, chipping, cracking, and under-run heels for Mr. Salem. Well, one of the feed store owners has done quite a bit of research on barefoot trims, including attending a clinic, and he trims his own five horses. He was kind enough to come out and show me a few things on Salem's front feet. He took off all the flares, cut the bars down a bit, and gave the hooves a bevel or "mustang roll." This takes the weight off the hoof wall, which will cut down on the flaring. He also discovered a small abscess that popped out of Salem's right front coronary band (more on that later). Here are the results:
I'm not quite sure where we go from here, as I can't exactly ask Joe to come out and fix Salem's feet every few weeks. He left me a rasp and showed me how to file them, but Salem will need more than that eventually. I guess we'll have to see what happens...
Moving on -- seeing how Salem had been fluffing up like a little chick (plus the fact that his skin had been getting increasingly flaky despite my best efforts), I decided that it was time for a Body Clip. Now, this was a big deal, seeing as I had never body-clipped and Salem had never been clipped before. To make things easier, I got a syringe full of Rhino Tranquilizers (not really, lol, but the stuff was strong!) from our favorite vet, Dr. Bob Scott. (Heather and I are the co-presidents of his Fan Club and always half-joke about making glittery "We ♥ Dr. Bob" posters whenever he comes.) Of course, first Mr. Salem had to have a bubble bath...
(Jennie was originally holding Salem for these pics...until she stepped on a dead frog, threw Salem's lead rope on the ground, and ran away screaming like a little school girl. Salem reacted to this by looking at her quizically, pooping, and going back to munching grass.)
After Salem had completely dried, I put him in the wash rack and got everything all set up. Salem got his syringe of Rhino Tranquilizers and embarked on a lovely little "trip."
Last but not least -- Gas Chamber Hoof! :-) I got some White Lightning to clear up Salem's abscess. It's supposed to be the best stuff for abscesses, thrush, white line, etc. (it supposedly also kills Anthrax), but it involves a very complex process. You mix the product with vinegar and put the horse's hoof in a plastic bag...for 45 minutes.
*sigh* What are you doing to me now?
Next time, I will have After pics of Salem's new look -- body-clipped, dressage-cut and dyed black tail, and pulled mane. And maybe I'll have some Dressage Pony pics, as well (fingers crossed).