Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting Closer

It seems the going is slow! After my last post, the next day I trimmed Jack's hooves with the hoof grinder as well, and he behaved well also. The fact that he's thousands of years old (ok...will be 30 in 2010) and can't hear probably helped! His hooves are black, and quite a bit more firm than Arabee's mostly white hooves, and took a few more passes with the grinder (or else the wheel wasn't as sharp after being used on Arabee) Either way, they were much nicer to look at after the trim than Arabee's - I'm going with the operater's skills had improved with practice.

Recently the temperatures have been much too cold for taking my kids outside, especially the baby, so I had been staying inside almost constantly. My husband and father in law have been doing the feeding chores (horses, goats, and our LGD) instead of me since before the baby was born, and we had moved the goats around and several have been born - I didn't even know what to feed my own animals anymore! So we took Cora and Luke to their grandparent's house last night and Matt taught me how to feed the animals again. It was fun!

My plan is that I will do chores at night, and work on soaking a pair of hooves at a time. When we trimmed them the other weekend, I discovered a bad case of scratches on Arabee, and I want to renew thrush treatment on Jack, to make sure he keeps the progress we made in the fall. I have a pair of Easycare's soaking boots, which are really nice - your ornery old gelding can't pretend he accidentally stepped out of the rubber tub you were soaking his hooves in - they are strapped to his pasterns!

So, the only thing I need now is a good tying spot. I got away with not having a place to tie my horses for several years, mostly because Arabee will stand ground tied, but if I'm going to try to soak hooves and be doing other things, I need a safe, secure place to tie.

Ideally, it will be all of these things:
  • Level
  • close to electricity and water
  • have footing that won't get muddy
  • be secure enough that if I have both horses tied to it, and they pull back at the same time that it won't come down
  • wither height
  • have a lighting source
  • be reasonably close to my tack room
  • free of obstacles/sharp things to get hurt on
Can anyone think of other important criteria to have in a tie area???? Let me know, I'd appreciate it!

I think I might have my husband really glad to have a good idea of something to get me for Christmas and my birthday, and I will be thrilled to get it! Until then, both horses are in serious need of mud and mane tangle removal, so it won't be a bad thing for me to babysit them while they soak.

So, with these cold temperatures, chores and soaking and hopefully handwalking is what I'll be doing with Arabee for the rest of December. I'm starting to really look forward to riding again, but my stomach muscles have a long way to go before they'll be strong enough to keep my butt centered in the saddle during a big spook, so the grooming and groundwork will be good for me.


Anonymous said...

On your hitching post. I would make it so you can tie the horse over it's head. Your horse's probably don't pull back and may never, but if they do it's a lot safer for them if they are tied higher than their head. I'm amazed at how many low hitching posts there are.

I just got a new pony! Actually it's a straight egyptian purebred gelding, 7 yrs. old for an crazy low price. He's small, only about 14 hands but he's broke to ride and drive and seems pretty nice. I'm hoping he will work out for the kids. I haven't had a chance to ride him much yet but plan on riding him tomorrow with my husband. He looks cute, just a little fat but has a cute, cute face.


Nicole said...

Oh Michelle - I wish Arabee wasn't a puller! Jack is a pro at tying, but Arabee is another story - it's actually probably the main reason why she has been taught to "park"!!

She doesn't pull unless something really freaks her out - but you know how horses are, even little things can sometimes do that. An inner tube really helps her, I guess the give in it keeps her from feeling trapped, but I don't see cross ties ever working for her. For some reason though, I thought it was best to tie at wither height, but I guess that's why hi-ties are so popular for endurance?

I'm really not sure yet what I'll do for her at ride camp if I ever make it to a ride! I'm leaning towards an electric pen, but there's risk to that too. But I don't really like the idea of tying her all night, either, knowing her pulling history.

Congrats on finding a pony!! If you have one, email me a picture, I'd love to see what he looks like! I bet the girls are really excited. Early Christmas present?

Anonymous said...

Send me an email and I'll send you a picture. madetmer @ juno . com

Red Gate said...

I am an occasional lurker here, but thought I'd suggest the Blocker Tie Ring (endorsed by Clinton Anderson). I started using it when training wild mustangs for the BLM, and absolutely LOVE it!! You are able to tie to 3 different "tensions," depending on how your horse is, and your horse literally teaches (or re-teaches) herself how to stand tied! If yours is a bit squirrely to begin with, just be sure you have a rope at least 25 feet long to start with, so it has lots of give in the beginning. Honestly, I have no affiliation with these things other than I just love them and use them for all horse dealings nowadays!