Monday, July 30, 2007

Nude Nags!

Going down . . . . .

. . . . . getting dusty!

Yeah Baby!!

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Now for the tummy . . . . . .

. . . . . .oh yeah, that was awesome!!

This has nothing to do with hoofcare, but I just wanted to share these funny pictures of my gelding, Danny, having a good roll.

When we keep our horses blanketed, it sure makes life easier for us. But dang it, horses love to roll. It must feel awesome. Maybe almost as good as sex to them. If I asked horses to vote on whether they wanted to be blanketed it or not, it would be a hooves-down, NAH. Or neigh…meaning not just No, but OH HELL NO!

Shedding and new hair growth is happening continuously with naturally-kept horses and they are normally much more efficient at regulating their body temperature than we are with blankets. Healthy, horses can handle the cold and they can handle the wet, although they may get chilled if both are happening at the same time and that can be a problem in the Northwest, but if they have a loafing shed to get out of the rain, and out of the hot sun, they’re pretty happy with no clothes on!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Taming a Wild Mouse

For those of you who have been to my website to the "Success Stories" page you may have read the story of Minnie. I found her, fending for herself mostly, in a huge field and she hadn't been touched by a human for a very long time. We're not sure how old Minnie is, but I'd guess around 8 years old. I just wanted to share these before and after shots with you. Although there was some pain involved for both of us, seeing these pictures brings a tear to my eye and I was most closely involved with her transformation. She still has a bit of a mean streak somewhere deep inside her, but she's mostly a pretty nice little girl now, and it's only been 4 months since I found this mousy little mule running wild.

Mean Minnie Mouse just after we brought her home in March 2007.

. . . . . and her feet.

The new and improved Minnie! June 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Do we need a union?

Dogs love us!

Pete Ramey trimming for a customer in Georgia.

When I was a teenager, we were into natural hoofcare long before it was a ground-breaking movement. We rode our horses until their shoes until their shoes were paper-thin and fell off, then we rode them barefoot! That has been over 40 years ago, if you can imagine me being that old. I certainly can’t.

The thing is this. The cost of having a horse’s hooves trimmed or shod has not kept up with the times. From time to time, I hear horseowners complain about what they are charged for professional hoof care.  I think to myself, these are the very same people who spend small fortunes on their horses! They invest thousands on saddles, bridles, bits, brushes, blankets, trucks, trailers (big inhale here) and over $3.00 a gallon for gas! But yet they take issue with what farriers and trimmers charge to care for the one thing they absolutely can’t do without in order to ride their horse. THE HOOVES!

So pardon me, but I just had to get that off my chest. Hoof care professionals in my opinion are the most underpaid people on the planet. Our job involves the 3 “D’s. It’s difficult, dirty and dangerous. Don’t even get me started on the nightmare of scheduling…that’s another entry.

Yet, over the past 45 or so years that I can recall, fees for hoof care hasn't really gone up all that much.  Especially when you consider that I personally remember my mom paying 35 cents a gallon to fill her gas tank.  And well, I also remember her complaining about the price of gas back then.  And the price of bread and just about everything else.  So I guess it's all relevant, but thanks for listening.  I feel better now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rescuing Feet

Some farriers only know how to nail on shoes.

Hoof that needs some help.

Subsolar abscess has nearly eaten this hoof alive. Sad!

My Dream

My dream for my future is to build a Hoof Recovery Center right here on our modest little 10 acre farm. Purchasing the 40 acre parcel next door is also a part of that dream. When I can do that (thinking positively) I will build a very large facility/arena with indoor automatic walkers, stalls filled with sand for founder cases. Large paddocks and there will be a very natural environment set up on the property, like you see in some of the larger zoos, for the horses to live as the wild horses live.

I will invite students of Natural Hoof Care to come and reside on the property and work taking care of the horses, in exchange for learning. Am I concerned that there may not be enough horses with hoof pathology to keep the place going? Nope! The second leading cause of death for horses is hoof disease. (The first is colic, but hoof related issues must be over-taking colic as we educate ourselves about healthy feeding programs.)

I see so many problem hooves when I’m out in the field and I’ve spent some time in the rendering man’s back lot cutting the hooves off horses whose vet/farriers failed them with our traditional hoof treatment regimes. I cannot tell you how many of those fancy “natural balance” shoes I’ve removed from the hooves of dead horses.

Did you know that the average life span for a domestic horse is 12 years old? How sad is that? When we don’t interfere with the herds, wild horses live much longer than domestic horses. That’s likely because no one is screwing up their feet!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hoof Recovery

I’m a natural hoofcare practitioner based in Rainier, WA. I’m new to blogging. My website, is maintained by a webhost company so this is easier than making revisions to it.

I hope to add lots of tips here for horseowners and practitioners alike, as well as day in a life of a full-time Natural Hoof Care Practitioner, which can be fairly humorous some times and humorless at others.