July 10, 2010

Running Stallions and Falling Frogs

I arrived at Laurie’s for my lesson, half an hour early to groom and tack up Divine. As I got out of my car Laurie was leading Eksodus to his round pen. I haven't pet him lately at her request since he's been getting nippy, her daughters aren't doing much with him either. Since he's been a bit ornery lately Laurie wanted to work with him. As she approached I asked if I could pet him and she said on the neck so I did. He was very soft and it was nice not having to evade his curious lips. I met Laurie's mom who was visiting as well.

As I walked towards the barn her mother was walking over to Gadiel's paddock, and for good reason. Gadiel had his tail up like a flag and was galloping full out in circles around his pasture. He looked like the wind with his mane flying, his head tossing and his ears pricked forward in pure delight. We stood and watched him a quite a while, the sound of the rhythmic hoof beats were exhilarating and calming at the same time! Legs was getting a little upset that Gadiel was getting all our attention so he started running in small circles near the gate of his pasture. He threw his head and kicked out his heels. He was so cute and beautiful! Then Eksodus seemed to join in on the attention getting show and ran in circles around his round pen, his flaxen mane sparkling in the sun and his red coat gleaming. Even though he's not as big and strong as the older stallions he was quite a sight to behold!

Finally I drifted back from fantasies of Arabian horses running free through the Saudi Desert and fetched Divine to begin tacking up. She was quite fidgety today, mostly excited from the sound of pounding hooves I assumed. I curried and brushed her, ridding her of dusty hay and bedding pieces....someone must have rolled on the ground for fun! I started picking out her hooves which were very packed with red clay/mud. I alerted Laurie to some chips of her outer hoof wall that were coming off. She stated she needed to get the farrier out this week. Then while picking one of her front hooves a big chunk of what seemed like frog dropped to the ground. The frog is the cushy part of the hoof. Anyhow the chunk fell off and I freaked out! Was Divine okay? I called Laurie over and she didn’t seem very worried. She said since Colorado is so dry their hooves react more when it actually rains. The frog normally gets trimmed by the farrier so what fell off was the “dead” part, kind of like our finger nail cuticles. I was relieved! I still have a lot to learn about horse health and care, so I tend to worry about a lot of little things, I guess that will subside as I get used to what's a problem and what's not as far as horse ailments go. I know there are some good texts out there that get really detailed and hopefully have pictures of diseases so you know what thrush looks like for example.  I'm glad Laurie is a good teacher of this subject too!

Anyhow I had a good ride on Divine and did a lot of leg work on the lunge line, ouch I'm sore. I love lessons with Laurie, she has a lot of patience and finds my weaknesses and helps me work on them. Trainers like that are worth so much to a rider like me! Well I guess that’s it for now. Happy riding!


TX Doodler said...

I was just getting real familar with hoof care with my last trainer. My ride was a handsome Arab gelding, that really stole my heart. I was also real worried about any nick or cracks on him & would call my trainer over. It was always something minor she was already aware of-but it still would freak me out. The frog part scares me a little because I'm always afraid of picking to hard or hurting him.

My new ride & trainer are rough riders. They don't do nearly any of the grooming & hoof care I'm use to. I miss it because it was so theraputic for me. My trainer "Mr Cowboy" says "don't smooch on them, be in the mind set to get here & ride him. That's it." Very different approach for me.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the lessons are going well!

Horses do shed frog from their feet - it is alarming when big pieces come off, but perfectly normal.

Dreamy Horse Crazy Gal said...

Kate-that is good to know just freaky to experience!

TX- That's a bummer that Mr Cowboy doesn't like to smooch on the horses...that's the best part isn't it?