My new SaveEdge Rasp came! It's a beautiful tool - well-made and balanced in the hand. Mrs. Mom at Oh HorseFeathers did a post recently that inspired me to begin to creep towards doing some care of my horses' feet. Pie is barefoot and has always been and I'm planning to keep him that way, so learning more about basic hoof care is on my program. I don't know if I'll ever get to the point of doing my own trimming, but I think I can learn to use a rasp for clean-up between trims. Next time my farrier's out, I'll ask him to give me few pointers. Pie's getting much better about picking up his feet and holding them up for me, so this should be something we can easily do.
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I've been feeding treats by hand to Pie. I'm not one of those people who believes horses shouldn't have hand-fed treats, and in fact I think it can be a good way to show appreciation to the horse. But I'm a big believer in treat-taking manners, and in fact using treats can be a great way to help train a horse to be respectful of your personal space. I've done this with Dawn, and she now takes a step back and waits for me to feed a treat. I use clicker training to do this. The first step is to establish the connection in the horse's mind between a click (I just click my tongue) and the treat. Pie's already right on that one, to the point of starting to become a mooch. The next step will be to teach him that he gets a click and treat when he takes a step back. I expect that will be very easy - he's a quick learner. With Dawn I've gone on to use clicker very successfully to help her with her reactivity to scary objects and to increase her trust in me. Pie has no fear of scary objects, so no need for that work with him, but I expect we'll find other fun things to do with clicker over the winter.
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A comment by the vet who did Pie's pre-purchase exam got me thinking again about worming. I've done different types of worming - rotational paste worming as well as daily Strongid with twice-yearly paste worming. My horses have done well with both programs. The vet said that she no longer recommended either rotational or daily deworming, due to the increased resistance the parasites are showing to the various deworming medicines. She recommended taking fecal samples and having them tested. So I did that recently - I took samples from each of Dawn, Pie and Scout to our vet for testing. All came back parasite-negative, which was good news. I'll take another set of samples in the spring, and only use wormer if something shows up, and will then use the specific wormer needed for the specific parasites. That reminds me that I need to get the bot fly eggs off Pie's legs before he ingests any of them, using a disposable razor - we've never had bots at our barn.
What sort of deworming program do you follow?