Friday, April 22, 2011


It's cold, cold, cold - wind chills around 30F - with rain on and off, and the wind was howling all day.  Yuck, yuck, yuck, what more can I say.  The horses were able to be out all day - we were spared the worst of the rain that went south of us.  But more rain and storms tonight, so more water.

Drifter and I had a good work session in his stall this evening.  He was just fine for hoof-picking.  Then we worked, using clicker, on him keeping his feet up for longer period.  We easily reached 10 seconds with the front feet and 7 seconds with the backs.  We'll add some time every day - we've got at least 5 weeks until the farrier is back, and as we go we'll add a "farrier hold", and a rasp and some banging and pulling.

We also did a bit of leading by the feet - he was confused by this at first but figured it out pretty quickly.  He was loose in the stall, and I looped a lead rope around one front pastern and applied a bit of pressure.  He looked concerned, and we stood there for a while, doing nothing together.  He happened to take a step, I think by chance rather than in response to the pressure, but he had done what I wanted so I clicked and treated.  He caught on - I was able to get him to lift the foot with pressure after a few minutes.  Then I repeated the exercise with the other front foot.  We'll do more with this, and also with the backs feet.

We've got time, and can take things as slowly as we need to.

Tomorrow's supposed to be better - almost 60F but with a lot of wind.  I may try to get Pie out for a ride in the morning and then see what Drifter and I can get up to in the afternoon (sorry, Dawn - the arena's too swampy for you).


  1. I know how you feel about this weather!! I'm beginning to lose all hope that it will ever get warm and dry enough outside to be able to to anything! I just got my two horses just a few weeks ago and finally said enough was enough and got them some waterproof blankets to wear out for now. We have been getting dumped on by rain, hail, and snow along with high winds just in the last two week. It's aweful! They had never been blanketed before and really didn't enjoy it but it makes me feel better that they are a little more insulated! They only had run-ins where I got them from and I don't think they would handle being locked up in a stall all day during nasty weather. At least the blankets keep them a little more clean too!

  2. I keep reminding myself that riding is an OUTDOOR sport. I'm beginning to lose hope.

  3. Bummer about the rain! We've been having fog in the mornings but clearing in the afternoon. It would be nice riding weather if I could ride. Sunday it is supposed to rain in the morning. Lovely. We have a boat load of family coming and they are all outdoor type people.

  4. Sounds like he is paying attetion to you , just gotta transfer that to the farrier

  5. Kate - I linked on my blog to your earlier post about teeth and dentistry. My horses and I thank you for the fabulous information!

  6. Good for Drifter. A little a time is going to pay off big time.

    Rain and coldish here too. We did have a week of really nice days, so I can't complain, but it's hard to wear your "Easter Bonnet" in this kind of weather. The cycle of winter storms coming through continues except now....thank's rain instead of "that other stuff." *G*

  7. Sounds like you're on the right track with Drifter, especially if you build up to the farrier hold and rasping. When I first adopted Beautiful she had feet that needed immediate care and I had to work heavily on just this thing. I did so much work with her feet, she's now my best one for the farrier--or one of the best. Hope your weather gets better. We're supposed to have 60 and sunshine today!!!

  8. Terrible weather all around. Here too, it's raining and windy. But we did get to ride and work horses on the longe this morning in the indoor.

    Sounds like Drifter is coming along. By the time the farrier gets there next time his issues should be resolved.

  9. Where I live (Mojave Desert) we get days of wonderful weather and then cold and windy. The mountains are still mostly snow-capped and when the wind comes off those bluffs, it carries the snow temp with it. I have short sleeves and fleece in my closet--something for every occasion.

    Your work with Drifter and the feet is a reminder for all who have youngsters to work with them early and often. Easier to deal with a snarky baby than one with some serious size or weight.

    Good for you, Kate.


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