When your whole “farm” consists of two miniature horses, zero cows, zero goats, zero chickens, zero regular-sized horses, not a single duck… it’s kinda hard to get an appointment with the farrier or the equine dentist, onaccounta they drive big trucks which run a lot of gas out… Oh, they’ll come out, but they will generally want to line up other farm visits same day in your area, so that it’s not a wasted trip. That’s okay, for people who don’t wait until the situation is DIRE before calling them out…
Then Lilly died, and I’m down to ONE mini horse… I don’t even have the heart to call the farrier out for that. Plus, I don’t want to talk about Lilly. I find it really easy to talk to my farrier, he’s kinda like a bartender or a therapist, he’s got a good vibe… except when you’re talking to him he’s bent over, filing the horse hooves, which means you have to talk to his backside, which isn’t bad.. that’s the only difference between my farrier and my therapist… But I know I would definitely say too much and start blubbering about my little horse..I can’t deal with it yet…
I bought my own set of hoof nippers and a hoof knife a while back, maybe two years ago, thinking, I don’t know, did I really think I could do this myself? Did I think, oh, I’ve watched Aunt Sis and my dad and the farrier do hooves enough times… surely I have absorbed some sort of “hooving artistry”… And that’s the problem. It is an ART.
I am no artist either. You should see the state of my eyebrows. Eyebrow shaping is an artform also. And tree pruning. God help my poor apple trees… You know I have a real apple farmer right up the street from me, I see him out there all the time, workin’ the orchard… I should stop in and ask to look around at his trees during the Time of the Great Pruning…
The hoof nippers I bought are ENORMOUS. They’re about 42 inches long, actually 14” but it feels like 42, and are made for people who work on real actual sized horses. My horse has hooves about 3 inches in diameter, maybe 4 inches at the most. They are tiny. So are my hands. I have short little stubby fingers that do not wrap around those long nipper handles when they’re open enough to put some of the hoof in. Also, my horse is SHORT, so the handles are hitting the ground and I can’t get the right angles for clipping.. Also, my horse is a little TURD, so she’s trying to pull her leg free and kick my teeth in at every single turn.
It’s a 2-man job too, which means I have to ask someone to hold her rotten, beautiful little head and keep her still. When I hold her for the farrier, she’s a precious little peanut. Mostly because he knows what he’s doing, and she senses it. When my husband holds her for me, she’s a maniac. Mostly because I don’t know what I’m doing and my husband’s afraid of a horse that weighs less than he does, and she senses it. He holds her head and tries to stand 4 feet away from her at the same time! Hey wait, maybe he’s putting constant pressure on her halter, pulling her down and that’s why she won’t stand still… it sure looks like it, now that I think about it… He’s too tall and she’s too short. Maybe Bean would be a better “holder” person.
It’s also a great work out, especially the filing part. My back SCREAMS, my arms give out, sweat rolls off my nose and I feel like I’m having a mild heart attack. Times four little hooves. It helps that the file stinks too, I bought it at a yard sale, maybe if I had a file with decent teeth..
Regardless of all these reasons for not getting ‘er done, we got ‘er done. The hooves are still too long, and I was afraid to cut the “frogs” with the knife until I research it a little more on the youtoobz. But they’re nice and round again, and I was able to get the nasty split out of the one.. She’s at least presentable again, so I can actually call the farrier out without too much embarrassment. It’s like cleaning your house before the cleaning service gets there..
Here’s a grainy picture I took, of a nice clear picture my friend Karen took, of me and Juniper:
Here’s how tiny she is:
Here’s what she looked like the other day, a little drowned rat-horse in the rain, stealin’ tomatoes off the porch: